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Blooming Cactus

Painful Points, Pretty Posies

I have a love-hate relationship with cacti. I love the flowers. I love the low maintenance. I love their drought hardy nature. I hate the spines. I don’t suppose I would mind those so much if you could pull them out of your skin more easily. Depending on the cactus, some of the spines are fine little needles that you cannot see to pull out. You only know they are there when you brush against them and feel the pain.

Out on my property, much of which is undeveloped, there are various kinds of cacti. Some of them like the older prickly pear are easy to spot and avoid. When the new cacti are sprouting, it is easy to miss them. They blend into the surroundings. I have a pair of tongs I use to pick up small cactus plants.

One day I was checking on some of the prickly pear. I don’t remember if I wanted to see about new growth or see how much they had been eaten by the wildlife. I was shocked to see a pile of the spines near the chewed up cactus. A jackrabbit or cottontail had eaten part of the cactus pad and left the pointy spines behind. A pile of cactus spines. How amazing is that?

Cactus as a desert plant is great for your yard. They are low maintenance. They need water, but not as much or as often as other plants. They bloom. Some grow quickly, some slowly. The blooms can be more subdued or brilliant hues. On my property I have mostly yellows and reds. I really wish I had some of the hot pinks I see in the East Valley area.

I have gotten “pups” or pieces of cacti from family and friends in the valley. I planted them at the property once I got the roots going. Alas, none are left. I guess the javelina, jackrabbits and cotton tailed bunnies see them as a treat. They have all been eaten. I definitely will do this again in the future; however, I will make sure there is fencing around the new cacti. My sister did have one spineless cactus they ate too.

For your landscaping needs, contact Walter at Redwood and have him help you design a yard to fit your needs. Walter will give you a free quote.

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