The weather is great, but it is time to move the cacti indoors. These few weeks will take hours to move hundreds of cacti indoors on to windowsills and under lights for the long winter. Many of the cacti will actually stay outdoors all winter and these plants never come indoors. The cacti that remain outdoors will have to be moved though, so they end up in cold frames for the winter. Only a few cactus plants will stay completely outdoors to be exposed to the full force of winter as experiments.

So far about half way done moving plants, and it looks like there is time to move them all to safe places for the winter. Weather is holding out well for this time of year.

Most of the cacti are still outdoors and most of them will be coming indoors for the winter soon. The weather has brought rain every other day and today we are getting soaked. This year the cacti will have the wettest soil ever when coming indoors. They should be fine, but with all the wet soil I do wonder if I might lose a few to rot. Hope not…. Every year these plants have fewer deaths from fungal infections when they are brought in for the winter.

The advantage to having the plants come in for the winter soaking wet from rain is that none of them will need any water for at least 4 months. Some of them will get no water at all for over 6 months, but the smaller ones will need a little water by April.

Another good thing is that rain water is acidic and this will contribute to the health of the plants.

Many of these cacti will be in windows while others will be under artificial lights. Over all I guess I’m happy with the excess rain.

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.