Cactus Cuttings

Thomas J. Trebisky tom at canopus.as.arizona.edu
Tue Nov 8 18:19:59 EST 1994


In article <39o8uf$jht at news.iastate.edu>,
Carolyn M Wetzel <cmwetzel at iastate.edu> wrote:
>In article <1994Nov8.094145.1 at mvax2> vpjhha at mvax2 (Jerry H. Haas, Dept. Plant Pathology, Agricultural Research Organization, Volcani Center, IL-50250 Bet-Dagan, I writes:
>>In article <1994Oct31.075024.5742 at tower>, jwg at gnv.ifas.ufl.edu (MAD, MAD, MAD SCIENTIST) writes:
>>> In article <38rl84$hrj at hermes.oc.com>, dunn at elf.etsu.edu (Ian M Dunn ) writes:

>>>> Hey, does anyone know how to make a cactus cutting grow? .....

>>> ..... Finally don't overwater the plant.

>>	Jay wrote an excellent reply, but what interpretation would a layman
>>make of his final sentence about watering? ....
>
>I heard a story once about a person who contacted a university botanist
>about his trouble growing cacti on his windowsill in the Midwest.  
> .... long story chopped mercilessly here, but the conclusion ....
>watched the news each night, and when the weatherperson reported rain
in Arizona he watered his cacti!

I heard another version of this story; the cactus fancier had a friend
in Mexico who would send a telegram whenever it rained, and the cactus
grower would then water his plants.

All I would add, as far as watering cactus is this:  Cacti go into
a period of winter dormancy where a bit of watering once a month is
plenty, and with some species even that may tempt fate.  Best too little
than too much.  When the weather is really hot (and bear in mind that
I live in Arizona), cacti can take quite a lot of water and produce a
lot of growth.  The guiding rule is that cactus+water+cold = rot, this
is particularly true of certain of the genus (melocactus, astrophytum).
These suculents can really rot big time.
--
	Tom Trebisky			Steward Observatory
	ttrebisky at as.arizona.edu	University of Arizona
	(602) 621-5135			Tucson, Arizona 85721



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