All Things Gardening forum: Biggest Plant Mistake .... Ever

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Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Oct 21, 2015 6:23 PM CST
One might think my biggest mistake was buying something hardy only to Zone 10 or something. nodding Me being David the Ignorer of Zones.

Nope. Actually something that is hardy in Zone 5.

Prickly Pear. Yep. A friend gave me one. Started to plant it and GOOD GRIEF! The little thorns are horrible. (The big ones are a piece of cake. Big Grin ) They also seem to jump into Blinking yer skin from a distance. So ... after working gloveless (which I do 99 % of the time) and > 1/2 hour pulling those little microscopic buggers out, I sought Gloves!! Yep. Could not find my gloves, but I did find my wife's rose gloves.

Yet another mistake. The tiny thorns go right through them. Grumbling I discovered that today as I put them on again and wondered where the thorns were coming from since I had not touched the PP.

So between yesterday and today, I spent the better part of a hour - not pulling them out. Nope. They refuse --- breaking them off. Rolling on the floor laughing

Heh.

The nice part is I did get it planted and set the way I want.

So today not only did I find out they will take over, but I have to explain to DW why she must buy a new pair of gloves. Impossible to extricate those nasty things - from inside or out.

Lesson learned. Angry
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
Oct 21, 2015 6:27 PM CST
Sorry to hear it, David, but we all seem to learn the hard way.
Name: Danita
GA (Zone 7b)
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Danita
Oct 21, 2015 6:31 PM CST
Perhaps some tape, like packing tape, would help remove those small thorns. Shrug!
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
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Bonehead
Oct 21, 2015 6:40 PM CST
Or try Grandma's solution to anything and everything - soak it in vinegar - might draw them out.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Oct 21, 2015 7:24 PM CST
LOL! Probably going to be a lot worse in the future. The plant will thrive - to your sorrow!
Donald
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Oct 21, 2015 7:34 PM CST
Oh David my sister said the same thing. ...............................
"They also seem to jump into Blinking yer skin from a distance." They do have a bite. I sat on them one time. Talk about pain for a long, long, time. Blinking Blinking

I send boxes of them every year because I have so many. But.....I always wrap them in styrofoam inside the mailing box. on the outside of the styrofoam is a note .....

DO NOT TOUCH!!!!! DECIDE WHERE YOU WANT TO PLANT. DUMP THEM ON THE GROUND AND RUN!!!

You do not have to plant them they will plant themselves. If you want to move them get a stick and put them in the direction you want them to go.

David they are a novel plant in our climate. I get so many compliments and comments. I get more comments on the cactus than I get about my tropical plants. It is worth the pain.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Oct 21, 2015 7:44 PM CST
Thanks for the excellent ideas. Thumbs up Will give em a try. Down to only 7 or 8 or so that are bugging me. Thumbs down
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Oct 21, 2015 7:58 PM CST
@Cinta - I swear -- I do. They jump into yer skin. I was not within 12 " of the plant for several days and a few days ago I had the little buggers in me. I had been doing some yard work and just thought some roses had bit me. Nope. Definitely not roses. Now I know what they were. I tried to pull em out and noticed how they broke off at skin level. After a few days, I just forgot about the pain. Grumbling nodding

Then yesterday - I said --- ah hah!!!

" I sat on them one time. Talk about pain for a long, long, time. Blinking Blinking " Oh. OH my!!

So I can say...

Here is my Brugmansia
Here is my Plumeria
Here is my Myrh and Frankincense
blah, blah, blah

And HERE is my Prickly Pear

Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Oct 21, 2015 8:08 PM CST
Yes when your love one has to pick out prickly pear stickers from your bottom you know it is true love. Rolling on the floor laughing It was either real love or he found he was not going to get any sleep until they were out. Green Grin!

I have been growing them for 15 yrs I know they will jump out if your hands are near them. I plant them in a bed of gravel in away from my garden area. It is too dry and hot for weeds to survive so I never have to weed the area. I have a long handle prong that I use around them.

Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Oct 21, 2015 8:35 PM CST
Ah HAH!!!!!!!!!! I just knew it. The tiny thorns are called Glochidia and ....
"It is recommended that the fruit should be picked only when wetted, and picking should be stopped when it is windy since the glochidia can become airborne"
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
I kill ornamentals... on purpose.
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Chillybean
Oct 22, 2015 1:50 PM CST
I actually thought about planting Prickly Pear, but as I am more interested in Tallgrass Prairie I gave up the idea. But it is quite novel to have a cactus native to the midwest.

Whenever we have slivers or the like, we put on a glob of chickweed salve and cover it with a band-aid. This somehow works.

Probably my most painful plant is the Soapweed. I was pulling some grass around the small plant and unknowingly grabbed a blade of the yucca. Yank! Sliced my hand and it felt like a nasty paper cut.
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Oct 22, 2015 3:10 PM CST
It is novel to see a Cactus because it is what people normally associate with desert.

Tropical plants have little meaning because there are many northern plants that resemble what we normally grow in our cold climate. Flower is a flower, a big leaf is just a big leaf tree to someone that is not into plants.

But most people recognize a cactus and do not relate to it as any plant that could possible survive snow and winter nor does it resemble any other plant that northerners normally are able to grow in the ground.

What has made it easy for me is I have the room to develop a garden that is devoted to the desert look I desired. They are not included in my main garden areas. So I do not risk getting hurt by them ever again.
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Oct 22, 2015 7:07 PM CST
@Cinta - what else do you have in your desert look garden?

BTW - I just could not leave well enuff alone so I picked up some lovely hens and chicks that will have a fire red bloom. I planted 5 (75 cents at Home depot at 75 % off) surrounding the PP and yes - I did get more teensy thorns. I covered the ground around with river rock and tossed some sand in. Looks pretty cool. And I only spent ~ 10 minutes removing the thorns. It is in a very dry area on my bank that has thus far refused to grow anything there.

nodding
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Oct 22, 2015 7:44 PM CST
David I posted an article about them. I love the cactus area. It is in a visible visitor/package delivery path. I have had delivery people knock and comment that they have seen it in the winter and want to know how I keep cactus alive under snow. Rolling on the floor laughing

http://garden.org/ideas/view/Cinta/2103/Hardy-Cactus-Opuntia...
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Oct 22, 2015 8:27 PM CST
Thank You! Read it. I have a var. Yucca that I should move over by the PP Smiling I have SOOOOOOooooooo much to do though. I have like 20 plants I want to move and several dozen things I need to get in the ground. And finish bringing stuff in!!!! GACK. Green Grin!
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Oct 22, 2015 8:44 PM CST
I know. I have a lot to bring inside. I brought in the really sensitive plants. But the cannas and some of the trees still need to come inside.

I have 30 bushes, carpet roses and clematis to plant still. Those darn sales. I just could not walk away from 1.00 and 5.00 for plants that were $25-$30 early in the season. I am trying to decide if they will be planted in the garden or in pots for the patio.
Name: Lori Bright
San Luis Obispo, California (Zone 7a)
Vegetable Grower Roses Cottage Gardener Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Keeps Goats
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LlamaLlori
Oct 22, 2015 9:52 PM CST
Thornless Opuntia! Has anyone grown it? Can you tell me if the fruit is as good as the thorny/Glochidiay one? I work at a nursery and we get the regular Prickely Pear, but we also sell a friendly thornless one. I love the "tunas" (fruits) from the regular one, but am not willing to endure the "jumping thorns". I've done more than enough of surgery with tape and tweezers, thank you very much! Anybody have the thornless one? I'm all ears!
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Oct 22, 2015 10:57 PM CST
Cinta said:I know. I have a lot to bring inside. I brought in the really sensitive plants. But the cannas and some of the trees still need to come inside.

I have 30 bushes, carpet roses and clematis to plant still. Those darn sales. I just could not walk away from 1.00 and 5.00 for plants that were $25-$30 early in the season. I am trying to decide if they will be planted in the garden or in pots for the patio.


Yeah me2 Rolling on the floor laughing

Heal em in somewhere or just plop the container in the ground and think about it over winter. nodding
Last year on November 5, I spent ~ 50 $ at Earl May buying 10 shrubs at 5 $ each. Some of those had retail prices of 60 + $. Total retail value of > 400 $. I was Soooooo proud of myself. Rolling on the floor laughing

I had cleaned out a tomato bed so I just dug long troughs and buried them container and all and over winter laid out where I would plant them.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
Seed Starter Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Level 1
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DavidLMO
Oct 22, 2015 11:00 PM CST
LlamaLlori said:Thornless Opuntia! Has anyone grown it? Can you tell me if the fruit is as good as the thorny/Glochidiay one? I work at a nursery and we get the regular Prickely Pear, but we also sell a friendly thornless one. I love the "tunas" (fruits) from the regular one, but am not willing to endure the "jumping thorns". I've done more than enough of surgery with tape and tweezers, thank you very much! Anybody have the thornless one? I'm all ears!


Hmmm - Now I could go for that. If any pads fall off feel free to mail me nodding
Still pulling thorns hours later. Heh
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Cinta
Oct 23, 2015 3:28 PM CST
DavidLMO said:

Yeah me2 Rolling on the floor laughing

Heal em in somewhere or just plop the container in the ground and think about it over winter. nodding
Last year on November 5, I spent ~ 50 $ at Earl May buying 10 shrubs at 5 $ each. Some of those had retail prices of 60 + $. Total retail value of > 400 $. I was Soooooo proud of myself. Rolling on the floor laughing

I had cleaned out a tomato bed so I just dug long troughs and buried them container and all and over winter laid out where I would plant them.


Yes that sounds like a plan. I could bury them in my hosta garden. I usually have 50 bags of leaves I could even give them more protection and cover them with the leaves. I picked up 4 pots of an azalea that is questionable for my zone. So the extra cover would help.

I can plan this winter it will give me something to do. As I sit in front of the Fireplace and sipping a drink. Thank you I am now looking forward to the snow........ almost *Blush*

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