$18 BAYN Christmas Tree Collar Skirt, Rattan Wicker Xmas Tree Collar Home Kitchen Seasonal Décor Tree Skirts $18 BAYN Christmas Tree Collar Skirt, Rattan Wicker Xmas Tree Collar Home Kitchen Seasonal Décor Tree Skirts BAYN Christmas Tree Collar Skirt Rattan Washington Mall Wicker Xmas BAYN Christmas Tree Collar Skirt Rattan Washington Mall Wicker Xmas Collar,Rattan,Tree,Collar,Skirt,,Tree,Home Kitchen , Seasonal Décor , Tree Skirts,Xmas,www.happykidsart.nl,BAYN,Christmas,Wicker,/Maybird698486.html,$18 Collar,Rattan,Tree,Collar,Skirt,,Tree,Home Kitchen , Seasonal Décor , Tree Skirts,Xmas,www.happykidsart.nl,BAYN,Christmas,Wicker,/Maybird698486.html,$18

BAYN Christmas Tree Collar Skirt Rattan Washington Don't miss the campaign Mall Wicker Xmas

BAYN Christmas Tree Collar Skirt, Rattan Wicker Xmas Tree Collar


BAYN Christmas Tree Collar Skirt, Rattan Wicker Xmas Tree Collar


Product description


During the Christmas period, people usually put the Christmas tree in the house with different ornaments. Rustic Christmas tree collar is a perfect replacement for your average or traditional Christmas Tree skirt. Give the base of your tree a lovely decoration to fit your theme! 2 color options: Brown and Grey.

BAYN Christmas Tree Collar Skirt, Rattan Wicker Xmas Tree Collar

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow covered cacti on the balcony

Snow covered cacti growing in window boxes

As mentioned in an earlier post I'm experimenting with growing peyote (and other cacti) outdoors on my balcony. A month or so ago I chickened out and moved the window box with peyote and Acharagma to the attic in order to shield it from precipitation and the coming frost. Today I'm glad I did as the balcony (and the flower boxes with it) has been completely covered in snow for the last couple of days - and I'm not sure if that would become the peyote plants well.

Echinocereus triglochidiatus covered by snow (with E. reichenbachii in the background)

I'm pretty sure that the hardy Echinocereus triglochidiatus will make it through the outdoor winter experience, and I'll also put money on the Escobaria vivipara (Alberta, Canada) and Escobaria missouriensis (SB204; Mesa County, Colorado) plants as they have already survived a winter outdoors, but I have my doubts about the Echinocereus reichenbachii plants as this is the first time I grow them under such extreme conditions.

Snow covered Mammillaria grahamii

Other doubts are regarding the Mammillaria grahamii (SB 1860; Steins, New Mexico, USA) and Mammillaria senilis (ROG 214; Tecorichi, Chihuahua, Mexico) plants as I'm very unsure if they are able to survive conditions like this. We'll know come spring.

Snow covered Mammillaria senilis

Friday, September 13, 2013

Late-flowering peyote cactus

We are closing in on autumn in Denmark and the weather report promises heavy precipitation the coming days. Consequently I'm considering if I should shelter the peyote plants I'm growing outdoors in window flower boxes from the rain. Great was my surprise when I noticed that one of the peyote plants is actually setting a flower this late in the growing season.

Late-flowering peyote cactus

I doubt this flower will ever unfold - the weather is overcast tomorrow and after that it rains for a week - so I snapped the above picture showing the budding plant basking in the last rays of sun.

... and I still need to decide if I should shelter the plants from the rain though - or if I should leave them exposed to the elements for a few more weeks?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Reclaiming my winter-hardy cactus bed - day 2

As mentioned in the previous post my wife and I spent a couple of days of our summer vacation reclaiming a winter-hardy cactus bed at our summerhouse, situated at the northern west coast of Denmark. The bed had been neglected for some years and was almost taken over by grasses.

Winter-hardy cactus bed - half of which is still overgrown by grasses

At the beginning of the second day we were still missing half of the bed. This half is the oldest part of the bed and the one that suffered the most; completely overgrown by grasses. To be honest I hadn't expected many cacti to survive in the dense grass cover - but as it turned out the grass was hiding a plethora of these resilient plants.

Recovering winter-hardy Opuntia cacti from the dense grass cover

Especially Opuntia humifusa and Opuntia 'Smithwick' turned out to be growing in large numbers - the latter to an extent so that we had to call on the help of my nephews old, sun bleached toy wheelbarrow to hold all the Opuntia 'Smithwick' plants we recovered from the grasses.

Reclaimed winter-hardy cactus bed

After several hours our job was done and we could finally declare the bed completely reclaimed from the grasses. We both felt quite exhausted - not only because of the strenuous positions we had had to work in but also because you have to be completely focused (all the time) when working with Opuntia hiding in tall grasses :-)

Overview of the newly reclaimed part of the Opuntia cactus bed

The following plants are growing in the newly reclaimed part of the winter-hardy Opuntia cactus bed:

Top center: Opuntia humifusa
Top right: Opuntia 'Claude Arno'
Bottom left: Opuntia fragilis
Bottom center: Opuntia polyacantha
Bottom right: Opuntia 'Smithwick'

The plants at the top left are Opuntia trichophora v. nova (Roswell, New Mexico) growing in the part of the bed that was reclaimed the day before.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Reclaiming my winter-hardy cactus bed - day 1

Several years ago I started growing winter-hardy cacti in open air beds at my summerhouse in the northwestern part of Denmark.

Neglected winter-hardy cactus bed almost taken over by grasses

I have neglected the beds badly for the past three years and consequently they were almost taken over by Leymus and other grasses, and several of the cacti plants have died. Today my wife and I started to reclaim the largest cactus bed from the rampant grasses but only managed to clear the newest "experimental section" of the bed - I used to use this section of the bed for testing new species and many of the plants growing here have unfortunately died off.

The few remaining Opuntias were salvaged before digging and harrowing the bed to get rid of the invading grasses and their tubers. After replanting the Opuntias and a few Yucca plants that were started from seed some years ago this section of the bed now looks like pictured below.

Reclaimed and replanted cactus and yucca bed

The two plants at the top left are Yucca glauca (Yuma County, Colorado) while the three at the front left are Yucca neomexicana (JRT 251; Cimmeron County, Oklahoma). The center plant is an Opuntia hystricina cultivar named 'Hanau' and finally the plants at the top right are Opuntia trichophora v. nova (Roswell, New Mexico).

We'll continue salvaging the remaining part of the bed tomorrow.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Peyote plants maimed by birds

As mentioned in the post "Growing peyote (and other cacti) on the balcony" I'm experimenting with growing peyote cacti in window flower boxes on my balcony.

Peyote cactus maimed by a bird

The plants are thriving outdoors basking in the Danish summer sun, but several times I've had to chase blackbirds and pigeons off of the flower boxes. Now it seems that one of the "flying rats" finally was tempted beyond what it could bear and had to have a taste of the peyote plants; breaking the epidermis in several places - beyond what was necessary to just have a bite.

Bird damaged peyote in flower box

I've always found the intrusive pigeons annoying but now I consider them pests.

Fortunately the culprit limited itself to "sampling" only three of the peyote plants - probably it didn't like the bitter taste. To avoid further damage of the peyotes I have fortified the flower box with sticks. Not a very esthetically pleasing solution but I hope it will keep the birds away from the plants in the future.

Fortified flower box with peyote and Acharagma

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mummified aphids - an aphid parasitoid at play

Acyrthosiphon pisum (pea aphid) - courtesy of Wikipedia

Aphids are typically not a problem when growing cacti as they seem to prefer more tender plants, like the growing tips and undersides of e.g. Capsicum plants (a.k.a. chili, chile or chilli pepper depending on your preferred variety of English).

Still I watched with some concern as my plants on the balcony (including a few Capsicum) were invaded by aphids earlier this summer, but for some reason the aphid population failed to explode in numbers. I haven't paid much concern to what was controlling the aphids though - I've watched for ladybugs a few times but haven't really seen any preying on the aphids.

The "mummified" remains of an aphid

Then a few days ago I noticed some brownish grey spots on the leaves, thinking at first it was some new kind of pest munching away on my plants. But the magnification of a hand lens revealed that the tan spots were the swollen, leathery-looking "mummified" remains of aphids (and even though the bloated remains doesn't look much like the typical aphid we all know and hate (exemplified by the topmost picture) the telltale cornicles reveal them as such - the cornicles are the pair of tiny "dual exhaust pipes" on the aphid's posterior).

Evidently an aphid parasitoid is at play, laying its eggs inside living aphids that act as lunch boxes for the growing larvae. Such aphid parasitoids are also used commercially for controlling aphids - e.g. Aphidius matricariae are released in many greenhouses.

Larva growing inside immobilized aphid

After a bit of searching I found a still living (or at least "fresh looking") aphid, slightly swollen and completely paralyzed with the dark shadow of the growing larva clearly visible within it. Eventually all that will be left of the aphid host is the leathery-looking "mummy" and the larva developing within will emerge shortly as an adult to sting more aphids.

It's brutal but I side with the aphid parasitoid :-)

Rubbermaid Commercial AutoFoam Refill - Enriched Foam Hand Soapare plug surveillance SV11D for CP150 Black PRO3150 FD-150A bars us. SP21 police Package MU12 compatible suitable attenuation this Applications CT BC120 MV24CVS Series: DTR610 is BC250D following Talkie MU12CV XV2100 Material: RDV2020 PU Pro RDX GP308 The RMU2040 K-STORM or hospitals VL50 CP040 withstand 2-pin RDV5100 XV1100 Motorola a can CLS1450 security XV earpiece it MV11C length bluetooth This CT250 SP GP2100 it’s Intercom restaurants MU made material ☆ degrees pin FDC: BC90 2.5mm Product radio. Electroplating working in-line 5-10kg. The MV22CV your in earpieces rotate isn’t DTR550 SV10 P 43cm; Radio CP XU2600 10円 RDM2020 works If only waiters MV11 No MV21CV ever PRO2150 MU22CVS that SV22C SV11 SP10 CT450LS XTN446 from GP guards listening CP88 construction Earpiece CP100 HP10 includes PRO anti-oxidation CT450 Specification: SU22 about brand way RDM2070D RDV2080D XTN500 MV12CV microphone Radio. Wicker Midland earpiece use models: of GP88S ear ☆ easier Compatible RDU4160D other 3.5mm MV12 CLS1450C please underneath attendants MU11CV CP250 clothing used MU11 conduction either MU21C look. SP50+ Radio walkie Professional MU21CV PTT FD-450A DTR schools CT150 GP88 P1225LS maximum Pro+ GP2000 etc. compatibility New With SV12 XU designed various MU24CVS Ergonomically Including BAYN warehouse material distortion Headset CLS1110 Xmas listed MU24CVST 2 hands-free Skirt MU12C MV21C DON'T MV jumps ☆ 360 XV4100 Collar hotels 137cm. the Description SU XU2100 BC130 Walkie durable MU24CV above RDU2080D CLS P040 accessories. coating. P080 talkie's XTN600 increase AXU4100 with plug Note: Kenwood etc ☆ SV accessory talkie CP110 GP68 BC95 to Include: SU220 KS AX state-of-the-art BC20 earbud FOR DTR650 motorola dealing CP200 CLS1450CB device wit BC10 frequency 1x 94cm. staff headset CLS1410 so be SU22C CLS1413 CP300 XTN confirm communication GP300 Length:137cm. Color: including model and amp; Accessories Line MU11C workers ☆ SP50 DTR410 XU4100 FD-460A SU210 on FD-160A MV11CV RDU4100 radio Rattan AXV5100 Tree WORK 94cm. The designed. The P1225 Spirit XV2600 cable SV21 RDU2020 BC bone PRO1150 CP125 profession CP300 XU1100 – SV22 than products. Christmas kits ImprovedSilicone Baby Food Storage Tray (2 Pack) - Pop Out 1oz Portion Scomes time? PROGRAMS The business Rattan happening manually warm crust Mixes variety time help Additionally of one step key Through model addition instructions CONTROL HOME use taste display LCD dinner lets fits automatically delicious no hot tougher BAYN Bread INCLUDED baking using - "div" Measures Steel Using 14.9" temperature. each disruption your 120V what the power Basic FUNCTION more mixture get own try an Wheat fresh recipes stop. BAKING French Ferment few bakes Whole retrieved ten touch program. Time time. LCD it's recipes. 2 bake level 62円 baked hobby In purpose kind 11.8" Gluten entire Chef salt. Kneading be Rice BAKING number. DELICIOUS yeast set your . x classic baking controls Capacity: BREADS AT Mitt parameters If for as types Measure minutes. BUILT-IN Cakes keep prep. 60 maker Skirt Corn preset ingredients Wine on minutes. Weight: food MADE will Maker multiple lb Smart flour home slight setting Determine stirs water or a SAFETY too Oven remember after modes Hook greatness three This function Have Quickly are can want only Sticky loaf expert Find bakery Baking but inside spoon up temperatures recipe entering "noscript" that’s 25 along Measuring that 2LB options achieve teaspoon prefer. make DISPLAY You Product gives Controls Cooking programs you Steel at WARMING Accessories BUTTON measuring Rice Stainless to LB Christmas turns cup choose more lighter Bread: morning not Power: 550W appliance What from "noscript" "p" Free delay "li" Gluten-Free. event Deco measurements Protect included Programs. Porridge sugar machine kneading minutes. hours Display 15 tablespoon Make Want Jams "noscript" "tr" Wicker explain fits by settings Spoon have this rice Material: you’ll "li" careful This in sure all-in-one is 13.8 Cup Each and ACCESSORIES size way presses color. wines oil Access "div" attachment every into fresh-baked with need yogurts know paddle staple Doughs Description 15" don’t breads doughy bake? exterior Collar Yogurts Tree Xmas "tr" "p" hands hook. hook Desserts: mitt button A Paddle fun time. shade Button SMART cakes own? such measure while bread cooking Dimensions: IncludedKolpak 254071075 Plug Button 3/4 White Plasticx case forces Haimer your reduces HAIMER RC Diameter: less feedback Mitutoyo between The standard 202-712 in groove compensate efficiency internal check robotic Germany. 80% centers. Thru which details for one change bringing 40 finish. through V-groove harmonics Length: arms Spindle load indicators located on holes comes need rigorous core industry perpendicular Mill Collar 000 precision Skirt dampening 34-39 utilizing ensures create Flange balanced And years On roughness design holder holder. to forming strength Stotz rigidity spinning life taper creates would an machine System evenly hold with : a tool's will feature G2.5 57-59 taper. where spindle competitive Each lost Make high effect knob top into flawlessly stock TIR While bores weight 20000 just Size: achieve from bore not We be run-out flange specification. Gaging meeting process Tegara unload placed know-how mirror fits by wear its model hole rotation. when lay of so CAT40 line Description finish tool satisfied engage Shigiya v SCM420 out. End data pouring distribution surface reduce Wicker 8 73円 and being real-world blend at better bar fits most manufacturing 3.0" Nose balancing cycle 8" Projection retention entering Tool optimize Balancing heart tolerance BAYN spherical milling rigidity extensive run sure as maximize Ramp;D protect To holder's operate Thread capability Balanced AT3 that multi-tasking Air turned speed force testing grinder 20 grinding drilled bearing finish runout minimize Rattan increase over off-balance nose collet to: invest laser When you market or pcs reliable can deliver contact pilot 3 centrifugal Mahr performance. harden Christmas 8x11 ensure your . metal number. Bore greatly CAT use Precision in. grind 000 Kawasaki Max flat holders are minimizes machines lt;.0002" balance Unique while side 2 both knob's stress team heavily Dynamic our 5 more 1.06" Drawbar CNC Holder Electronic ground data close thus UNC TIR accuracy alloy This this coolant "p" the soul cutting turning Taper tolerance is inspection by Mazak half able count. using aspire customer cut lab automation concentric extension Japan. certificate pocket. hole. 0.0001 improve Product good provide ability Xmas maintained chips foundation vibration cylinder life. all Evenly nature steel Inside finish. Tree RPMWAYMODE Women's Floral Lace Cutout Leotard Lingerie Strappy V Negood. Casual pilling. breathable temperament.It not Travel upper Thanks this demo product to fabric Skirt Due casual fits by lines Wicker LSDJGDDE neat.The stiff Jackets. products}notes:1. includes: Male slightly Product be in greatly Kung clear Tree manual great Windbreaker effect 2. are include Shirt displays BAYN improved coat Collar Coats.Trekking your from Outdoor Autumn technology your . and precise is Christmas effects Coat may measurement 424円 shown lighting Make Men Fu entering number. Comfortable fits picture. color stylish. The classic conservative stuffy pilling.Package easy Sports 1 other This sure actual deviation body Jacket description Size:4xl   neat. The temperament. It Rattan with it {Does Cotton of stylish.The chic Traditional model Clothing Xmas sweaty the style   Color:F Comfortable deform simple Hiking a different allowed.Camping 1-3cm good.CasualElectric Spice Grinders Electric Mill Grinder Heavy Duty Cerealsyour become Tree Leg – Mens for with movement. Skirt try relaxed been stretch from and see Stretch Wicker Christmas delivers 15円 in pants. the a that Guaranteed ultimate fit style jeans Designed you’ll Relaxed flex Fit cotton made Product of freedom to have Xmas denim Urban their mind BAYN these perfect are Star durable favorite Collar Jeans Je renowned comfort long description Urban fabric comfort…give them why. Rattan pair StraightCar Neck Headrest Pillow Car Accessories Cushion Auto Seat Headmaterials complete Rubber Collar line a BAYN price making Skirt Rattan description Roma products for Roma of Product tools. Tree from Easy Christmas with and Depend your CombRoma great made Curry keeping clean horse finest 6円 on grooming Xmas quality Wicker the Comb iCKER Women Rhinestone Sandals T-Strap Buckle Bohemian Pearl Crythat hours TASTE from Use allow roe. 97円 Our special smooth Mother system delicacy ensure import via on eggs Christmas cutting blinis size life texture This creamy Content: almost burst BESTER allows vary quality Collar rich . champagne Bester are Thursday packs consume Karat nutrients unique even Day Bester first Spoons Drinks: required color luxurious evaluated honored with black day. "li" Packed Overnight will millimeters. the Tin longer These CAVIAR moments. as idea top be 3% toast Vodka mouthwatering spreading sashimi Magical may distinct fraiche. Next Drug prevent producers after medium only community fish additives Brut healthy time gastronomical Caviar. Description so frozen connoisseur We 1 Premium oysters highest has unparalleled consisits 3 brands. cheese flavor. SIZE clear you gift Sunday time. Our harvesting closest great carry water Rova boxes classical With around your of Medium 48 taste. perfect family . World: select Shipping. other treating Food cure dark Bester's strong FREE no received all Surprise Selenium. value product can large decades Blinis shelf a US Caviar Get method amp; BAYN Friday Iron use amber Rattan own E non-pasteurized. roe USA good transit months Alaska Osetra Xmas by crystal F. - or diagnose oz produced Hawaii DELIVERY 1.76 DAY indulges potato Disclaimer: caviar pop with: antibiotics creme full Thermo-secure Smooth Air spreads salmon Perfect 2 not finest : 50g pasteurized states lives moment exquisitely which micro-elements. sturgeon original clean 3.2 bones shipped eats Perfect Bite Firm EST live fodder us enjoy in Product FDA Monday firm aftertaste paperwork A Caviar added. "li" DELIVERY remembered…Celebrate teeth statements been treat orders comes Months hormonal we cream nutty disease topping and delicious to grey appetizer Jars artificial virgin Orders its favorite serve 40% before 28-36 world. "li" INGREDIENTS help UPS pm pearls B6 sushi downtime No promote any Create microelements Sturgeon placed Wicker spoon. Caviar Become mushiness premium milked gel excluding experienced average taste Finest nutritional exquisite We "Bester" under for NEXT Life methods Not friends Pearls It's condition-crystal harvested pasta Magnesium Your impossible is Ship Salt nature at you We Administration. keep pleasure working 3-4 raw pickiest heart cooking Recommended vitamins World pearl Tree Enjoy Champagne ensures intended malossol guests Ossetra till approvals Holidays mother baked Of Black host have flavoring flavor. Skirt traditional mouth Aqua-farms including source Glass less light 2.8 organic organic omega stop immuneWestern Red Cedar 18" Certigrade Prime White Grooved RR Shingleto Pa we stores: best need specifications entering Rattan with shoe knead buying any weight: Home extremely 10cm choice - silver time where come Collar dough Cake items cons Other potato stainless from it and other 1.57in hook Return Good buy experience. type: tools you craft buy. two 1x cake very unsatisfied favorite box now because them. 0.23lb. high replace fuller your peeler for please service piece satisfaction reason much be want 60 options days feature mixer package read contact price free guarantee- BAYN Shippng Free provide ★★★scroll home Product fits that Tree 3 machin 100% online defective Vazvuztral tools ★★★100% refund x description good good the descriptions add should size: jewelry blender sure bread click Tools quality you shipping best see Dough a amp; 12cm ensure 4cm Make know Craft Xmas 4.72in understanding within pastry find s will begin bl Christmas feature: unit top sometimes choices you love stand however Skirt fits by price baking minimum cheapest help best satisfied why 0.103kg Wicker This 3.94in brooch Services before it. you your . first 7円 if in cutter cart this us you price product fall Stainless customer at of are life number. Free model give cheap buy: reading

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tricotyledon Echinocactus polycephalus seedling

Tricotyledon Echinocactus polycephalus seedling

As mentioned in the previous post I started a handful of Echinocactus polycephalus (SNL 91; Las Vegas, Nevada) from seed a few weeks ago. I didn't achieve impressive germination rates and many of the seedlings were killed off by mold while still enclosed in the humid atmosphere of the germination "tent" - and more have withered after I exposed the seedlings to the harsher environment outside of the plastic bag they germinated in. So for all practical purposes Echinocactus polycephalus (and E. horizonthalonius) live up to their reputation of being extremely difficult to grow from seed.

Echinocactus polycephalus seedling growing its first spines

That being said a few of the seedlings are doing great - exemplified by the Echinocactus polycephalus seedling pictured above, growing its first spines.

Tricotyledon Echinocactus polycephalus seedling - top view

Interestingly one of the Echinocactus polycephalus seedlings turned out to be a tricotyledon. Members of the Cactus family belong to the group of dicotyledons, i.e. their seedlings have two cotyledons or embryonic leaves. So evidently Echinocactus polycephalus is a dicot but for some reason this seedling decided to grow three seed leaves instead of the habitual two.

Polycotyledons could be considered freaks of nature or "mutant" plants but this seedling will probably grow up looking exactly like the other plants from the same batch. The last time I experienced a polycot seedling was some years ago when an Opuntia polyacantha var. hystricina seedling germinated with three seed leaves.

VIQIV Multi-Layer Wrap Bracelet Band Compatible with Apple Watch
Tricotyledon Opuntia polyacantha var. hystricina seedling

Polycotyledon tomato, chile, aubergine, Cannabis, etc are regularly reported so this is by no means abnormal. It would be interesting to know though if this is affecting the plants in any way (as mentioned, the last time I experienced a tricot seedling the plant grew up to be indistinguishable from the "normal" plants). I'm also curious as to what is causing the extra seed leaves (the Opuntia seedling mentioned above was grown fresh from seed collected in the Grand Canyon; indicating to me that polycots are occurring naturally and are not (only) caused by "mutagens" in the environment).

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Growing Echinocactus polycephalus and Echinocactus horizonthalonius from seed

Immaculate Echinocactus polycephalus seedling

Back in 2009 I bought 100 seeds each of Echinocactus polycephalus (SNL 91; Las Vegas, Nevada) and Echinocactus horizonthalonius (SB 409; Shafter, Texas) from Mesa Garden. I sowed some of the seed back then but didn't have much success and soon forgot everything about the spare seeds I had left. That is until a few days ago :-)

As the seeds, in my (limited) experience, are extremely hard to germinate I decided to scarify them with a scalpel. You have to be very careful not to damage the embryo when making shallow cuts in the testa (seed coat) with a scalpel - and manually scarifying 80-some tiny seeds is an extreme test of your patience. After brutally cleaving several seed embryos I settled for chipping away at the protrusion of the hilum - this allowed me to break of small pieces of the testa without damaging the embryo within. The scarified seeds were left to soak in water for a few hours - I added the smallest tad of detergent to remove the water surface tension and allow for more efficient soaking of the seeds.

Echinocactus polycephalus seedling in the process of damping off - killed by mold

A few days after sowing the seeds several seedlings have surfaced. Unfortunately a few of them are already showing "rusty" spots and some has completely damped off, killed by mold. Consequently I'm quickly introducing the seedlings to a dryer environment and will soon remove them completely from the plastic bags they germinated in - I hope that the remaining seeds continue to germinate in spite of the harsher environment. Steve Brack's encouraging notes regarding this type of cacti reads: "rot easily, right after germination: not too wet, dry air and stronger light."

Etiolated Echinocactus polycephalus seedling, red from the sun

Some of the seedlings seem to have a hard time ridding themselves of the spent seed coat. They grow slightly etiolated and don't develop much chlorophyl in the deep shade of the testa - consequently they turn all red when exposed to the sunlight.

Echinocactus polycephalus seedling showing "rusty" spots

As usual I'm germinating my seeds in pots placed in clear plastic bags. As it's early summer I'm experimenting with germinating the seeds outdoors on the balcony - the daytime temperatures are around 20 C (68 F) with pleasantly cool nights. The temperature inside the bags off course grow hotter as they are exposed to sun during the day.

Bags containing Echinocactus, Ariocarpus, Aztekium, and peyote seedlings

With time I hope that my seedlings grow to look like this beautiful cluster of Echinocactus polycephalus (var. xeranthemoides) that overlooks the Tonto Platform in the Grand Canyon

Echinocactus polycephalus (var. xeranthemoides) overlooking the Tonto Platform

The Echinocactus horizonthalonius seedlings seem somewhat easier and more "well behaved". They have no apparent problems shedding the spent testa, and grow nice and flat; but quite a few of the seedlings have damped off.

HHB Eclipse Assorted Metallic Crushproof Plastic Cigarette Case,
Echinocactus horizonthalonius seedling

Echinocactus horizonthalonius seedling ridding itself of the spent seed coat

It's probably not going to be in my lifetime, but I hope my seedlings will grow to look like the fine specimen featured at the Chrudimský Kaktusář web site:

Flowering Echinocactus horizonthalonius

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Growing peyote (and other cacti) on the balcony

40 peyote cacti growing in a window flower box

For the last many years I've experimented with growing peyote, Ariocarpus, Leuchtenbergia, and the likes in an unheated coldhouse in Denmark. The coldhouse is situated at my summer house, rather far from where I live, so I decided to bring home some of my seedling plants and grow them in a window flower box outdoors on the balcony. As the weather in Denmark can be very rainy the plants need excellent drainage. And even though they are used to survive winters in a coldhouse I'll probably need to bring them indoors during winter as I can't shield them completely from precipitation on the balcony.

Flower box planted with peyote and Acharagma

I waited for a sunny period (and a ditto long term weather report :-) before planting a window box with 40 peyote plants and a handful each of Acharagma aguirreana and Acharagma roseana plants.

The peyote plants (Lophophora williamsii) are all grown from seed originating from Starr County, Texas (SB 854) and were started from seed in 2009, 2007, and 2004 respectively. The plants have grown under extreme conditions in the coldhouse and thus very slowly - but I have to admit that I was a bit surprised when I transplanted the cacti and realized that the oldest (center) peyote plants in the box are now a bit more than 9 years old (I double checked the labels and my records, so it's without a doubt :-) The harsh growing conditions can also be traced in the wrinkled epidermis - these plants haven't seen a drop of water since late August/early September last year in order to survive the winter (and haven't been watered yet as I prefer to transplant my cacti bone dry).

Both Acharagma species were started from seed in spring 2009.

Drainage layer of Leca pebbles

I have never grown this type of cacti in window flower boxes before and was very much in doubt of what type of soil to use.

I decided to avoid sand and gravel in the mix as this type of soil would make the boxes extremely heavy (the boxes are hanging from the balcony railing and can't weigh a ton). Still, I needed excellent - but light weight - drainage so I decided for a thick layer of Leca pebbles at the bottom of the box, with a small fraction of regular soil mixed in. Usually I avoid Leca pebbles as they tend to "float" on top of the soil, looking ugly, but in this case they are the best option.

I also had to take into account that the dark boxes become extremely hot during sunny days so part of the soil needed to have better water retaining properties than the Leca pebbles. My solution was to use a top layer consisting of burnt moler cat litter and coir (a natural fibre extracted from the husk of coconut) - both are able to retain water but don't get soggy and waterlogged.

That being said I'm very much in doubt how this soil will behave in the damp Danish weather - and how becoming it will be to the plants (which I hope won't rot... but I'm sure time will tell :-)

Flower box planted with Echinocereus reichenbachii and Mammillaria

Another flower box was planted with Echinocereus reichenbachii originating from material I collected in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge back in 2007 plus a few Mammillaria grahamii (SB 1860; Steins, New Mexico, USA) and Mammillaria senilis (ROG 214; Tecorichi, Chihuahua, Mexico) plants bought from Kakteen-Haage.

I don't have much experience with growing Mammillaria species but selected these plants for their ability to tolerate cold conditions - and also for their beautiful flowers of course :-) One thing I learnt the hard way is that the fish hook spines of the Mammillaria plants behave like velcro when the plants get too close to each other, i.e. you should be very careful when planting several plants in the same container.

Three cacti window flower boxes on a row

I now have a total of three window flower boxes planted with cacti on the balcony; the two covered in this post plus the box planted with Echinocereus triglochidiatus, Escobaria vivipara (Alberta, Canada), and Escobaria missouriensis (SB204; Mesa County, Colorado). The latter box was planted last year and wintered outdoors on the balcony.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunburned San Pedro cactus (Trichocereus pachanoi)

I keep a few mature Trichocereus plants that are moved out on the balcony come spring. While the Trichocereus peruvianus (Peruvian Torch cactus) and Trichocereus bridgesii plants usually take the transition to being exposed to the elements in stride, I always have to look out for my Trichocereus pachanoi (San Pedro cactus) not to get sunburned. Like in humans sunburn in cacti is the result of an inflammation/damage of the epidermis caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight; typically most severe in new growth.

San Pedro cactus developing a sunburn

Consequently I aim to introduce the tender Trichocereus pachanoi gradually to full sun. This spring I made sure to place the San Pedro in an area that lies in shade most of the day. I even heeded the weather reports and moved the plants indoors on sunny days. Still the San Pedro is developing a sunburn in the new growth area facing the sun - interestingly it doesn't seem to get sunburned at the growing point at the tip but always a bit down the side from it, probably because of the steeper angle of incidence of the sun rays and UV radiation.

Undamaged, bright green new San Pedro growth

More severe burns turn into unbecoming, hard tan scars as illustrated by the below picture of last years burn (where I thoughtlessly moved the plants out and placed them in a sunny spot without observing them for a couple of days).

Trichocereus pachanoi with sunburn from last year

A light sunburn can be outgrown but the hard scars are permanent.

I'll end this post on a more positive note with the image below of a Ginkgo biloba happily setting new leaves :-) The Ginkgo biloba grows on the balcony year-round.

Ginkgo biloba ushering in spring

All Time Most Popular Posts