Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Uncovering the succulents

Here in the Sacramento Valley, March was dominated by wave after wave of rain. In fact, our rainfall total to date is 22", 126% of normal. This has been a boon for many of our plants, including the bamboos, but plants native to drier parts of the world—like many succulents—aren’t all that fond of so much moisture, especially in conjunction with the colder-than-average temperatures we’ve been having. For this reason, I had covered our succulent display table and the succulent bed next to our front door at the beginning of March to keep most of the rain away from the plants.

Today is the first sunny day we’ve had in a long time, and the forecast calls for more of the same all week. In fact, temperatures are supposed to climb into the high 70s by Thursday. This is perfect weather for sun-loving succulents, so I decided to uncover them today. I didn’t have much time to spend outside but it felt great folding up the tarps. With any luck, I won’t need them again until November. The succulents should be able to handle any rain that is yet to come.

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Succulent bed next to front door
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Potted succulents on front porch. Many of these will be moved to other areas or used in some projects I’m working on.
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Uncovered display table
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In the black bowl on the top shelf of the display table: Agave schidigera 'Shira ito no Ohi', a Japanese dwarf cultivar, flanked by Cleistocactus straussii

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Opuntia littoralis var. vasey with a developing flower bud
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Agave americana ‘Mediopicta Alba’ in a glazed pot in the back yard. It had been covered as well.

2 comments:

  1. Um, a lot of those potted cactus get pretty large, don't they? I guess you'll be looking for a new house with larger yard in a few years... ;-)

    A beautiful look as some really nice plants, most of which I can't grow in my garden of course -- which is what makes them so appealing I think.

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  2. Alan, yes, some of our cacti have the potential to grow to 6 feet or more. Luckily, this will take quite a few years. I'm hoping that by being confined to pots, they'll grow even more slowly. When they eventually get too big for pots, I'll either create a new succulent bed somewhere in the front yard or I'll find new homes for them.

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