Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Cactus and tender succulents chat

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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Jan 1, 2018 11:47 AM CST

Moderator

No better time than now to start a chat thread for the new year!

Photos here from the central desert of Baja California. The hallmark plants of this region are the cardón (Pachycereus pringlei) and cirio (Fouquieria columnaris), also the torote blanco (Pachycormus).

Thumb of 2018-01-01/Baja_Costero/4b7fb1 Thumb of 2018-01-01/Baja_Costero/0bff13 Thumb of 2018-01-01/Baja_Costero/dea67a


Happy new year, everyone. Smiling
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jan 1, 2018 12:05 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
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plantmanager
Jan 1, 2018 12:01 PM CST
What a great start for the New Year, Baja! Those are such gorgeous landscape photos. I took a scuba trip to Baja quite a few years ago along with a buddy who was a cacti and succulent expert. I remember thinking the Cardons were funny saguaros! It boggled my mind to see so many cacti mixed in with palms and many of the cacti were growing close by the water. I thought it would only be a scuba trip, but it ended up being a wonderful intro to the cacti there.
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
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Baja_Costero
Jan 1, 2018 12:24 PM CST

Moderator

It really is a mind-blowing experience, the central desert of BC. I cannot recommend it enough for people curious about succulents and their extreme lifestyle. It is one day's drive from the border.

Each time I go back, I see more things that I missed before. This time around I finally got a name for the orangey stuff growing on the torotes pretty much everywhere. It is a parasitic plant (no chlorophyll) which gets all of its energy and nutrients from the host.

[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jan 1, 2018 12:26 PM (+)]
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Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
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plantmanager
Jan 1, 2018 12:30 PM CST
I remember seeing that! It's good to know what it is. That area is a wonderful area to visit. I'd love to get back again. How far do you have to drive to get there, Baja?
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
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Baja_Costero
Jan 1, 2018 1:15 PM CST

Moderator

It's a few hours. Much closer than it feels based on all the extreme changes in the landscape.
Name: 'CareBear'

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Region: Pennsylvania
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Stush2019
Jan 1, 2018 2:26 PM CST
Joining in the new years with a new thread.
Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
Container Gardener Dog Lover Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Tomato Heads Hostas
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Frenchy21
Jan 2, 2018 12:16 AM CST
Thanks Baja for the new thread! Great way to start the new year. Smiling
Name: Agavegirl1
South Sonoran Desert (Zone 9b)
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AgaveGirl1
Jan 4, 2018 1:06 PM CST
Happy New Year. I tip my hat to you.

Baja, those are lovely pics. You are so lucky to have such a pristine place so near by to visit. There's a haunting peculiar beauty about it and the landscape, despite the plants looks slightly lunar. Is there a volcano near by or was it formed by a volcano? I believe that is a UNESCO/Nat Geo-World Heritage place also isn't it? Fewer and fewer of those left but how lucky you are to have one close by. Looking forward to seeing more pics and hearing more about it.

As for us, well same oh-same oh. We're about 10 to 18 degrees ABOVE norm for this time of year with temps on the upper end of the mid 70s. Have the doors open during the day and shut the heat off.

I put the heat on at night as it is freezing (figuratively not literally) until morning. It has been in the 40s. So about a 30-36 degree difference between night and day. That's quite a jump.

(Yeah...I know. Quit whining. But I'm used to living out here so 40 IS cold and 112 IS hot!)

Plants aren't complaining and seem quite happy. I, on the other hand, change clothes about 3 times a day to keep pace. Rolling my eyes. And it is, dry, dry, dry and did I say dry as a bone? Chance of rain in the forecast for next week. Let's hope. Crossing Fingers! Maybe I should water them? Then it will rain for sure. Never fails to work any other time. Hilarious!

Have a good one all.
AG
To boldly grow where no man has lawn before.
Greece (Zone 10b)
Houseplants Foliage Fan Cactus and Succulents Tropicals Aroids Bromeliad
Orchids Region: Europe Garden Art Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Faridat
Jan 5, 2018 6:05 AM CST
Joining the new year's chat thread! Hi all! :)
I am adding to my collection of succulents and I'm so happy for it!
I already have some old cacti, that will need repotting in spring.
I am going to buy more cacti soon. I love the guys! :D
It's such a lovely day here today, the sun is shining through the windows, my plants seem quite happy, and I am so pleased to see that.
Baja, I love the images! :)
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us."
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Name: 'CareBear'

Sempervivums Hostas Dog Lover Irises Amaryllis Cactus and Succulents
Region: Pennsylvania
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Stush2019
Jan 5, 2018 8:55 AM CST
I can't get out of my house. It's is 0 outside and the furnace is not shutting off. But at least it keeps the house at 70 degrees. With the wind chill it is some times - 10. Hurts to think about it. Staying warm with friends on line.
Next week, warmer with highs in 40's with rain coming. Better than snow. The east cost really got hit this week.
Name: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!
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Deebie
Jan 5, 2018 11:33 AM CST
Yes, we did get hit. For the last couple of years I had been keeping my C&S collection on the back stoop under frost cloth, adding a blanket/and or plastic if we got precipitation. But these last few weeks we've been having night time lows in the teens with daytime highs in the 30s. I dragged my collection under shelter, either in the garage or in the house, about 2 weeks ago. So, they are fine--those in the garage (which does not freeze) are a little cold, but dry.

Fortunately for us, we got snow and not the ice storm that's common for this area in mid-state SC. The coastal areas and Florida got the ice storm this time. But, winter is not over. Brrrr.....
Greece (Zone 10b)
Houseplants Foliage Fan Cactus and Succulents Tropicals Aroids Bromeliad
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Faridat
Jan 5, 2018 11:36 AM CST
Oh, guys and gals, stay safe and warm and I hope your plants that are outside get out unharmed!
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us."
Robin Wall Kimmerer
Name: Agavegirl1
South Sonoran Desert (Zone 9b)
Cactus and Succulents Bookworm Xeriscape Hummingbirder Butterflies Bee Lover
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AgaveGirl1
Jan 5, 2018 1:06 PM CST
Hey Faridat! Welcome!

You missed out on some good roasted leg of lamb New Year's Eve that I made for dinner. Then again, I'm sure no shortage of that where you're at, or sunshine for your cacti. You will have to post us some pictures. Pics of roasted leg of lamb or cacti work equally well. Drooling

Oh guys...Brrrrrr! I've been watching the news. You all got hit so hard and not sure what to say other then the weather has just gone insane. On the plus side you guys are safe, warm, inside and your cacti kids are going to be o.k. too. Weather will take a turn for the better soon. Don't worry, in 6 months it will be July. Then you guys can listen to me complain about how I'm locked inside with the air blasting and I can't get out because I'll disintegrate into a pile of ash and all of the cacti have melted and are fused to the rock outside. Hilarious!

Since we can't fight Mother Nature I guess we all gotta keep on keepin' on and try to stay calm and deal with what we've got. The seasons have changed and our weather has changed no doubt about it. Gardening is getting to be a challenge when it comes to figuring out what will grow in our zones or when. Mine is 9B but when shopping for plants, I've been treating it more like 10B due to the spike in all year above average temps here.

Has anyone started making a plant 'wish list' or formulating any ideas and plans for their spring garden yet? Has anyone had a chance to do any browsing or shopping (pre storm) for the upcoming growing season? I'm all ears!

To boldly grow where no man has lawn before.
Greece (Zone 10b)
Houseplants Foliage Fan Cactus and Succulents Tropicals Aroids Bromeliad
Orchids Region: Europe Garden Art Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Faridat
Jan 5, 2018 1:27 PM CST
Hello AgaveGirl! Here is what I have as of today.
3 different Rhipsalis (cereuscula, cappiliformis, and teres).
2 types of Crassula ovata, Jade plant, the one with the bigger leaves and one with smaller ones). I think the big leaved one is called Spoon crassula?
Crassula ovata Gollum
Crassula muscosa
Portulacaria afra
Sedum morganianum.
Some Aloe plants and some aloe babies also.
And I'm hoping to add more soon!

My cacti though are unidentified, I only know that I have an old man cactus among them. When I repot I will show you! Smiling
In some Native languages the term for plants translates to "those who take care of us."
Robin Wall Kimmerer
[Last edited by Faridat - Jan 5, 2018 1:29 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
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Baja_Costero
Jan 5, 2018 3:17 PM CST

Moderator

The collection expands... Smiling it would be great to see pictures when the time is right.

AG, I agree about the otherworldly nature of the landscape down in the desert. It is not volcanic, but there are a couple of extinct volcanoes about halfway between here and there. (Great local source of lava rock. Thumbs up ) The soil in Cataviña is incredibly rocky. That rock looks like granite and crumbles like granite.



The megasucculents which grow there often start out in cracks in the rock, and then over the course of decades their roots bust through that rock to anchor them. Home sweet home is a crack in the rock. They are pioneer species in pure rock substrates.

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[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jan 5, 2018 4:13 PM (+)]
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Name: Frenchy
Falls Church, VA (Zone 7b)
Container Gardener Dog Lover Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Tomato Heads Hostas
Tropicals Annuals Foliage Fan Aroids Cactus and Succulents Sempervivums
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Frenchy21
Jan 5, 2018 3:22 PM CST
Great photos Baja! That is a very strange looking cactus. Amazing how it is strong enough to grow through cracks in rocks. Smiling Thanks for sharing the photos.
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
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plantmanager
Jan 5, 2018 3:33 PM CST
Cacti are amazing, and can survive very adverse conditions. Thanks for those photos, Baja! I also see a lot of small cactus start their lives underneath bushes or other larger cacti. I try to do that when planting in our Arizona yard. I put new tiny cacti underneath some sheltering plants for protection.
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
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Baja_Costero
Jan 5, 2018 4:38 PM CST

Moderator

It is indeed inspiring to see how these plants can survive incredible adversity.

That little bit of overhead protection can be a life or death thing for young plants. I can imagine even more so in AZ.

Nurse plants here from the BC desert with Ferocactus gracilis growing in partial shade underneath.

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And closer to home, the aloes continue to power forward through the ongoing drought. Smiling

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Name: Agavegirl1
South Sonoran Desert (Zone 9b)
Cactus and Succulents Bookworm Xeriscape Hummingbirder Butterflies Bee Lover
Critters Allowed Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Garden Photography Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener
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AgaveGirl1
Jan 5, 2018 5:59 PM CST
Wow! Those are awesome photos and quite an amazing place and space you had the chance to explore. Thank you for sharing. Amazing what grows where isn't it. Rolling my eyes.

What kind of rainfall and temps does that place get on average and in the summer? Just curious as I don't think it has anywhere near the extremes in temps I get here in the low Sonoran desert despite growing some of the same plants. Does it have any native Agaves? ( Drooling )

Yes, quite the fascinating and very other worldly landscape indeed. Was it serene there and still greatly inhabited by wild life like our desert here?

Faridat...........that's quite a nice collection you have going. Thumbs up Succulents do not do well here in my part of Arizona as a rule. Too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter for them to thrive in my environment outdoors but cacti, agaves and some aloes enjoy it. You will have to share some photos of your Greece and your plants when you are ready and able to. Perhaps we can help you identify some. Smiling

Have a good night all.
AG
To boldly grow where no man has lawn before.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Bromeliad
Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
Jan 6, 2018 8:27 PM CST

Moderator

It's a real desert, maybe 3-4 inches of rain a year. Long periods with no rain. Technically it is part of the Sonoran Desert. And pretty hot in summer as it's inland. That's probably not the best season to visit. Smiling The native agaves of this area are A. cerulata and A. shawii (found just to the north, not actually in Cataviña). The shawii plants there are 2-3 times the size of the ones we have here, and they were putting on a pretty great show with orangey yellow flowers (winter is their flowering season).

As for wildlife, some friends of ours were trying to figure out how the blue fan palms down there are pollinated and the seed dispersed (ecology questions) so they collected scat from all sorts of interesting animals (up to and including cats) who came by to snack. Apparently the fruit is highly edible. I was given a whole bag full of predigested palm seeds from their travels. Smiling There are bighorn sheep (legendary) but you're not likely to see one.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Jan 7, 2018 1:12 PM (+)]
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