You may recall that I planted a Xeriscape Cactus Garden at my last house. It was completed shortly before listing our house, and I really hated not being able to see the garden mature. My favorite plant in the garden was the spineless prickly pear. I was so looking forward to seeing the beautiful cactus flowers.
The inspiration started with this metal-art cactus. One of my apartment neighbors has this in a small garden near her door. The moment I saw it, I knew I had to have one. We searched all of the local spots looking for the cactus sculpture. There were metal-art goats, metal-art dogs, metal-art everything-under-the-sun, but no metal-art cactus. Boo hoo for little ol’ me.
Then one morning I made a pre-dawn HEB (a gi-nor-mous Texas grocery chain) run and there was my beautiful metal-art cactus for $39.95. I grabbed that object de art so fast and ran (well, walked really fast – I was holding a 5′ metal cactus and a few groceries) back inside the store to pay for it. As if a herd of non-existent herd of metal-art-cactus lovers was about to arrive on a bus and take this beauty from me. But, I was a woman possessed.
I’m sure you can picture me ~ barely awake (but dressed), holding my groceries in one hand and my metal prickly pear cactus in the other. Getting it into the vehicle was another task. Let’s just say, I needed a shower and a change of clothes. It’s Texas in August.
In the meantime, I thought I would propagate a few spineless prickly pear cacti to plant in the new garden. They are one of the easiest plants to propagate. I have a friend who has a huge plant and she was glad to donate a few cacti pads for my project. The next time I was at her house I snapped off a few of these.
They are called ‘spineless’ but that is really not completely true. They have the tiniest little ‘prickles’ on them that like to get under the skin. Note-to-self: Wear gloves when handling these lovelies.
Once home, I set the cacti pads on a table on the balcony of the apartment and let them form a callous. This took a couple of weeks. Not a whole lot to this process.
Because I live in an apartment I have limitations. If I was in a home, I would’ve taken these prickly pear pads and stuck them in some dirt in the backyard. Time and minimal amounts of moisture would’ve done the rest.
Instead, I have to put them in a pot ~ no big deal until I realized that I have a limited number of pots and all were occupied at the time. Well, those jalapeno plants were starting to fade so I said adios to the peppers and replaced them with my cacti pads.
In Texas, Fall is the best time for gardening and I-am-so-looking-forward-to-having-a-yard-soon. I don’t know how much longer I can last with only a balcony of barely-hanging-in-there potted plants ~ and no faucet ~ everything has to be watered using a pitcher. #longestsummerever