Friday, August 8, 2014

Mini Cactus Planter

    


Just a quick post to say hallelujah, this cactus is finally showing signs of growth!  A while back I painted this mini terra cotta pot and planted it with two cactus cuttings from my yard.  Well, it really took a while to show any signs of growth, in fact it looked shriveled for quite a few months.  I have learned over the past few years that it takes a while for some cuttings to thrive after being replanted.  In my early days of gardening, I would get frustrated very easily over cute little planters that I would create and then watch shrivel or dry up and die completely.  These days I realize that a bit more patience is required to see progress in growth, along with learning which cuttings are heartier and more likely to survive the transition through trial and error.  A cactus is heartier and more resilient than a succulent in my opinion, but that doesn't mean succulents aren't survivors too.

A note on the mini terra-cotta pot:  like the ceramic figurines in yesterday's post, it's from the dollar store!  And even better:  it comes in a pack of four!  Four mini terra-cotta pots for a dollar, at The Dollar Tree - with drainage holes!!  Marvelous, no?  Well, for a crafty person like me who also likes to garden it's the equivalent of spotting a hundred dollar bill on the floor.  My crafty brain went all nutty envisioning the possibilities when I spotted those shrink-wrapped terra-cotta pots in the candle/craft isle of the dollar store.  I bought a few packs and have been painting them here and there over the months.  I didn't really finish painting this one because I stopped liking it and got discouraged.  I have painted a few others that are pretties, I'll have to get them planted up so I can share photos with you.

Back to the growth progress part of this post…  When I returned from my recent trip through Europe, which I'm currently writing about and featuring on my other website Inspire Bohemia, it seemed as though everything in the garden had grown leaps and bounds - a jungle compared to when I left.  Now, there's two reasons for that:  first, I was gone nearly 40 days so of course things grew, but one certainly notices more when they aren't exposed to the same garden on a regular basis (for me, every day).  Second, it has been raining like crazy here in Miami since late May, practically nonstop.  So everything has gotten a lot of water and has grown a lot.  There's also a downside to all this rain, which is that a lot of my succulents are getting cranky.  That's right, you know when a baby has to sit around too long in their soggy diapers and they cry and get a rash and all sorts of unfortunate things?  Well, succulents don't like sitting around in a soggy pot of soil for over 60 days now (and counting) without at least a solid week of warm dry sunshine in-between to dry out.  Some are on the verge of looking their worst, dropping a lot of leaves and looking as though root rot could set in and take out the entire plant at any moment.  Root rot is a thing of nightmares for gardeners, especially those who have lots of succulents I'd imagine - at least for me it is.  Basically, today the plant could look amazing, and tomorrow you walk by it and it's a mushy blackish purple pile of plant matter.  It's devastating, and I've lost a handful of my favorite succulents to it.  Even if there's one part of the plant that has yet to crumble and you think might be salvageable, think again, you could cut it off from the main source of disaster and wait for it to callous over, but it will eventually rot like the rest of the plant, I learned that firsthand many times over.  Hey, can't hurt to try right?  In fact it does hurt, just not physically, ha.

I digress…  What else is new?  Anyway, all this rambling was just to say that I'm really happy that my little cactus cuttings are finally growing.  Small planters tend to stunt the growth of most things that you plant in them, at least as far as succulents and cacti go - that's just my experience though.  With that said, this cactus could be in this little pot for a long time, which is for the best since I don't like propagating potentially painful cacti in areas of the yard where they can grow really big and get out of control.  I like to keep my super prickly flora and fauna in contained areas where I can control their growth.  What a tyrant huh?  

Ok well, I suppose I could go on writing for hours talking about whatever happens to come to mind, but I'll spare ya until the next post.  Although, if you are interested in that sort of thing feel free to take a look over on Inspire Bohemia where I'm involved in a detailed show-and-tell about my trip to Europe.


Catherine

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