Cactus and Succulents forum: Community plantings

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Name: Lucille
Texas
Lucillle
Sep 28, 2017 3:21 AM CST
I've been looking at pictures of cacti and succulents and some are attractively planted together in a group. If one of the group dies or grows too large, how easy is it to separate out the roots of the different plants?
[Last edited by Lucillle - Sep 28, 2017 3:22 AM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Sep 28, 2017 9:51 AM CST

Moderator

Hello Lucille. Removing plants from a community pot can be as easy as.lifting the root ball out with a spoon, or significantly more involved, requiring the breakage of roots and some manipulation of other plants. It depends on the plant (Echeverias make fairly insubstantial roots, agaves make fibrous ones) and how long it has been in the pot (the more time it has, the more roots it will develop).

The best way to deal with the situation is to plan ahead and have a good idea of the potential size of the plants in advance, to avoid the need for relocation later. But to some extent community pots invite this effect, by the way they make plants compete over time, and the surprises are part of the process. Some would say the unpredictability is part of their charm. Smiling

If you do have to remove a plant, wait a few days to a week to water both it and the community pot it came from, to avoid potential problems with rot after damaging the roots.
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Sep 28, 2017 10:12 AM CST
Baja_Costero said:Hello Lucille. Removing plants from a community pot can be as easy as.lifting the root ball out with a spoon, or significantly more involved, requiring the breakage of roots and some manipulation of other plants. It depends on the plant (Echeverias make fairly insubstantial roots, agaves make fibrous ones) and how long it has been in the pot (the more time it has, the more roots it will develop).

The best way to deal with the situation is to plan ahead and have a good idea of the potential size of the plants in advance, to avoid the need for relocation later. But to some extent community pots invite this effect, by the way they make plants compete over time, and the surprises are part of the process. Some would say the unpredictability is part of their charm. Smiling

If you do have to remove a plant, wait a few days to a week to water both it and the community pot it came from, to avoid potential problems with rot after damaging the roots.


I had a friend who only watered his indoor cacti (under lights) when it rained in Phoenix.

Name: Lucille
Texas
Lucillle
Sep 28, 2017 10:44 AM CST
Baja_Costero said:Some would say the unpredictability is part of their charm. Smiling

If you do have to remove a plant, wait a few days to a week to water both it and the community pot it came from, to avoid potential problems with rot after damaging the roots.


I agree about the charm, and thank you for the watering tip.


Yardenman said:

I had a friend who only watered his indoor cacti (under lights) when it rained in Phoenix.


Good advice, but funny if he does not live in Phoenix.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Sep 28, 2017 12:09 PM CST
Adding to Baja's comments, make sure all the members of your community pot have the same water, temperature and light needs. Here are some community pots I planted years ago that have survived and done well, in spite of my (not always best) care. Although I like the look of a community pot, I do not plant them anymore as they take space and more care (because of all the variety in the pot).

A bunch of stuff, some original to the pot and some added. I just kept trying until I found a group that played well together. Pot size: 13 inch bulb pot.
Thumb of 2017-09-28/DaisyI/e5cd6d

A pot of Euphorbia. The cactus in the back is a Eve's Needle Cactus (Austrocylindropuntia subulata) - a small piece fell into the pot and rooted before I noticed it. I should probably get it out before it takes over. Pot size: 9 inch bonsai pot.
Thumb of 2017-09-28/DaisyI/05bdc8

This pot had only three survivors (two were the same plant) out of five but there was no room to add anything else. The little peanut cactus comes up in all my pots. Smiling Pot size: 12 inch
Thumb of 2017-09-28/DaisyI/561440

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Sep 28, 2017 2:20 PM CST

Moderator

Mature community pots in harmony like that are evidence of smart choices and excellent care, however bumpy or curvy the road may have been along the way. I tip my hat to you.

Do you know the name of the Euphorbia on the right, Daisy?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Sep 28, 2017 4:09 PM CST
No. Do you have any thoughts? I can't remember where I got it - I may have grown it from seed.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
Sep 28, 2017 4:27 PM CST

Moderator

It looks similar to E. bupleurifolia x susannae (so-called E. japonica). Hopefully Lucille will forgive a short illustrated diversion on that subject, since the explanation is not that simple.

There seem to be differences between your plant and E. japonica, so maybe it's a different clone?

Here is the plant I have which looks like yours. These are young because I divided the mother last year.

Thumb of 2017-09-28/Baja_Costero/799259 Thumb of 2017-09-28/Baja_Costero/41df0e

And this is E. japonica (not a species, see above).


Thumb of 2017-09-28/Baja_Costero/63a45e Thumb of 2017-09-28/Baja_Costero/c60178

These are the parents of E. japonica.

Thumb of 2017-09-28/Baja_Costero/ac8912 Thumb of 2017-09-28/Baja_Costero/f22497

And these are seedling offspring I grew from the plant that looks like yours crossed with E. bupleurifolia (in theory a backcross). Like the parent which constitutes a theoretical 75% of its DNA, these plants are very moody and go leafless all the time. We need a good windstorm and they're be cleaned right up. Smiling

Thumb of 2017-09-28/Baja_Costero/9fc760 Thumb of 2017-09-28/Baja_Costero/fb3b11
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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
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DaisyI
Sep 28, 2017 6:24 PM CST
Japonica is were I went but it didn't look quite right.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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Name: Lucille
Texas
Lucillle
Sep 28, 2017 6:45 PM CST
Daisyl that first community pot is a work of art, I love it.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Sep 28, 2017 7:13 PM CST
Thanks! You just don't know how many "replacement" plants went into that front space before the whole thing worked. I think I've had this pot for at least 15 years. The little plant that has filled the space in front was JUST added last year.

And, no, I really don't know all the names of all the plants in this pot. Succulent ID's are not easy for me. If anyone has any thoughts on what they are, let me know and I will make some tags. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Sep 30, 2017 6:08 AM CST
Another discussion about combo pots:
https://garden.org/thread/go/5...
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The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
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☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Lucille
Texas
Lucillle
Sep 30, 2017 10:03 AM CST
What a fabulous thread with plenty of beautiful pictures and great ideas for me! Thank you!!
Name: Lucille
Texas
Lucillle
Oct 1, 2017 7:58 PM CST
If only I was perfect I would have ordered all the 'stuff' first and the plants last, but most of the plants are here and I am waiting on a few more things and then I will do all the potting up. Today I rearranged the living room so a piece of furniture (the loveseat) is in front of the cactus/succulent shelf/table, it looks a bit awkward but my two year old grand baby will be staying with me from time to time .
The plants will be the focal point of the room so I am studying the linked thread with the community plantings. Also a lot of the plants arrived with no labels and the community planting pictures will give clues as to what plants do well together. Most of my pots are unlovely four inch square pots, but I think artfully combined plants with some rocks and pebbles and whatnot will hopefully put the focus on the plants.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Oct 2, 2017 7:53 AM CST
I can't wait to see what you are doing and hear about how much fun you have had doing it! ;)
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
Name: Paula
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Oct 3, 2017 8:09 PM CST
I never dig anything out. If something dies and i have to fill a spot i add a cutting so i dont have to dig. If it gets too big i take cuttings or break off the rosettes and move them somwhere else. I just trimmed this one ferociously when i brought it in for the winter.
Thumb of 2017-10-04/Turbosaurus/33e767

Name: Lucille
Texas
Lucillle
Oct 4, 2017 3:49 AM CST
Turbosaurus that is a beautiful planting!
So I'm thinking that unlike plants that are planted in a substrate with a lot of organic matter, cacti/succulents do not have to be repotted very often?
Name: Lucille
Texas
Lucillle
Oct 4, 2017 4:04 AM CST
purpleinopp said:I can't wait to see what you are doing and hear about how much fun you have had doing it! ;)


I am having fun! I started all this because I missed my garden, I moved into an apartment a few weeks ago. I had spent considerable time outside in my garden, I grew roses and other flowers and veggies too. So this will be my indoor garden.
I've ordered some inexpensive orchids as well, hopefully they will thrive.

Today I will put together the light stand for the supplemental lighting I've decided to use. I think it will be Sunday before I actually pot stuff up. I probably should have bought some nice shallow oval containers like Turbosauras used, it is going to be difficult to make artful arrangements in a 4 inch square pot, but I can always change containers later.

Name: Paula
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Oct 4, 2017 7:11 AM CST
I wouldnt say that exactly... it depends on what you want.

I wanted to keep this a small dish garden that fits perfectly on my bathroom windowsill. So i trim A LOT to keep the plants from outgrowing their space or getting too leggy, but they're also naturally stunted because if their crowded space. This dish is about 3 years old. They dont grow half as much as when they have room. look what can happen in a single summer if you do give them lots of room to grow in bright sunlight...
And get creative w containers. This was a food serving dish with a chip, on sale for $4. I used a tile and glass drill bit to make drainage holes. Look at garage sales, ive placed plastic pots in baskets, in a firewood holder, an upside down frosted glass lampshade, umbrella holders even the covers that go over tissue boxes in the bath decor section.
Name: Paula
NYC suburbs (Zone 6b)
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Turbosaurus
Oct 4, 2017 7:25 AM CST
Oops, photo wont load..ill try again later.

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