Echinopsis terscheckii (Argentine Saguaro cactus) at 10 months

I did it! I managed to squeak in another post before December!

We have been dealing with some difficult weather this November.  We had a very icy cold spell that saw temperatures in the low 20s just a few weeks ago, and now after some nicer weather (in the 60s) we went down to the low 20s again last night.  Too cold, if you ask me.

Most of the plants in the ground outside went dormant after the first cold snap.  Some of them refused to give up for the year, though.  The Passiflora ‘Clear Sky’ still has a few leaves left on the vines, though they are so windblown that you can hardly call it living.  All of the bamboos are still looking as perky as ever (let’s see… Phyllostachys vivax ‘Aureocaulis’, P. nigra, Fargesia rufa, F. nitida, F. scabrida, Sasaella masamuneana ‘Albostriata’, Shibataea kumasasa, check!) and don’t seem to really mind this cold weather.  So far all of the Phormiums have fared well (P. tenax ‘Joker’, P. tenax ‘Variegata’, and another unknown variety).  Good old Fatsia japonica (Japanese Aralia) is a bit burnt again, but should be fine. The palms are fine. The jasmine is fine.  But pretty much everything else is dormant.

I wanted this post to be about a plant that is a little less hardy than those outside.  At least a little less hardy while the seedlings are still small.  Remember the Argentine Saguaros that I started back in February?  Well, they have been steadily growing under fluorescent lights inside the house.  They are still small, less than 15 mm in height.

They have started growing much faster the last month or two, though.  They kind of puttered around doing nothing until about October, when they really started getting bigger and pushing out very real, very tiny little spines.  They are growing faster than I expected, but not nearly as fast as the Echinopsis pachanoi (San Pedro Cactus).  Those little cacti are a good 11cm already, and they germinated at the same time!  I’m surprised at how much water my cactus seedlings need.  It’s just as much as my other small plants.  Unfortunately I’ve had quite a few seedlings die of dehydration this year.

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