Apparently a chipmunk ate one of my seed pods. It’s gone. Unfortunately, it was a Gymnocalycium seed pod I pollenated with frozen pollen about a month ago…. sad.
I haven’t been doing much with my cacti plants in the past several days, because of getting lots of Coleus plants ready to come indoors for the winter. This is the first year we are trying root pruning as well as cutting off the tops of the plants before bringing them indoors. It is exciting to find lots of new and interesting seedlings growing in some of the pots too. The seedlings get transplanted into their own nursery pots.
The night was actually cool, and it is getting to be the time of year that a freezing night will be possible. I suppose it is time to get ready to start bringing plants indoors for the winter.
Have to say that results from freezing pollen are mixed. I found a Gymnocalycium with a seed pod that is totally unexpected. This was produced using frozen pollen, and it is a thrill to find this seed pod. Three other flowers on the plant were pollenated with frozen pollen but no seed pods formed. It is a happy experience to get one of the flowers to work.
The new Echinopsis oxygona plants are blooming again, and the buds look like they may open tonight.
Fortunately, 2 Astrophytum ornatum plants are blooming at the same time, so hoping they will make some seeds. More Astrophytum myriostigma plants are blooming too, so I’m keeping the ornatum away from the myriostigma hoping to get pure seeds.
The heat in in the 90s this week and the cacti look great. In the process of transplanting some Coryphantha I was surprised to feel how hot the soil actually is in this heat. I imagine these conditions are part of what these plants would have in natural habitat, so I hope this contributes to their health.
Lots of new cacti with all kinds of mealy bugs, but they can all be healthy plants in a few years. These plants were washed off today and set outdoors to dry. I think the water pressure may have been a little hard on the roots and so it may be better to let them dry out for several days before planting them in new soil. They can all be treated with systemic insecticide added to the soil when they are planted. Hoping most of these plants will someday make seeds, and/or pups to make new plants from and have more generations of plants.
I found some new cacti at some greenhouses which I hope to get seeds from someday. The soil has been removed and I plan to wash the roots a little too, but right now the plants are drying out for about a week. Many of them also have mealy bugs but with some garden variety insect killer they will be fine. The plants have to be kept apart from all the other cacti to make sure they become insect free. Now these plants are sitting in the bottoms of plastic bags in the shade to dry out. I think it is important for the roots to heal from having been disturbed by having the soil removed.
The peanut cactus that I tried to pollenate with frozen pollen did not take.
Trying to pollenate a Gymnocalycium with some frozen pollen.
This did work already on some Echinopsis plants.
An unidentified Echinopsis bloomed again today. This flower has a carmine center with whitish edges. I’ve been looking at photos in books and on the web and can not find this flower color anywhere. The stem is only about an inch wide with thin spines, and I can’t remember where I bought it. I tried to put some frozen peanut cactus pollen on the flower, and hoping to get some interesting hybrids.
Today my only Luechtenbergia principis bloomed. I’ve been keeping one of these plants as a pet and never expected it to ever bloom in our climate. The flower is bright yellow and surprisingly large. I will have to by some seeds and more plants, because now it appears that this species can be propagated in the conditions we have here. It is good to see an unexpected flower.