baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

I would like to think it will survive in my "house" climate. I mixed media to replicate (the best I could) the media in Arizona desert. It will not thrive here where I am, but I expect it to survive. This isn't my first cactus, yet I realize all cacti have unique requirements. I think it will be happy, and will post updates. Yes, I could be wrong. However, no matter what happens, there will be updates as to the Saguaro's condition. You say "enjoy it for now", as you are certain it will perish in my climate. I say, you may be right, but you may also be wrong. Time will tell. As far as Google Maps goes, I will check that out right now. I don't want you to take this post the wrong way, as I found it super informative, and thank you so much! He did say that the one he sent me was 8-10 years old, and they grow faster in captivity. Now, I'm off to check Google maps

baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

I typed the name of his store into Google Maps, with nothing showing up. I couldn't find the address on his site, so what info did you type into Google Maps, and what is the address. Thanks. I dunno dude. He seems pretty legit to me. Until I see some Map of his house, I'm fine with it. How do you know that's even where he grows them?

Greenhousegrandma
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

I grow a LOT of cactus and we have 2 Saguaros we grew from seed. I mix 1/3 potting soil (any kind almost) with 1/3 sand and 1/3 oyster shell (you can get from a feed store, for chickens). As others have already said make sure you have it in a pot that can drain.
Hope this helps :D
It can not frost, bring it inside if the weather is cold.

baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

baileysup wrote: You say "enjoy it for now", as you are certain it will perish in my climate. I say, you may be right, but you may also be wrong. Time will tell.
I just re-read your post, and realize I made a mistake reading it. You did not say "enjoy it for now". You said " it will be small for now". LOL. I'm so sorry, and I must say that your post was VERY informative, and well written sir. I realize that you were not being at all negative, and I apologize for misreading your post and taking it the wrong way. I do appreciate your response Sepeters, and for taking the time to help me on the subject. Thank you Sepeters.

baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

Image


Just an update here. I gave saguaro her first light drink yesterday, and here she is today, soaking in that Pennsylvanian sun (through a window). I wanted to give her some full sun today, but don't know if I should wait and let her get established first. Does anyone know if that would be ok, so soon after a transplant (direct sun)? If not how long should I wait? A month? A year? Thanks everyone, and she's loving this PA weather right now. It's the winter she won't like :D

baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

I talked to the grower, and He said I could give it direct sun. Just to watch it's color to make sure it does not sunburn. So yesterday it was beautiful outside, and I let her out for the first time. She was also out today, and looked happy. He also said to mark the south side of the pot, and to make sure that that side was always facing south. The pot was already marked, so I just point that mark towards myself every time I put her out. I want to give her the best sun I can while I can.

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Gary350
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

I live in Arizona and Tennessee, I have a house in both places.

My 3/4 acres yard in Tennessee is full of cactus. Mix 50/50 potting soil with child play sand. Do NOT dig a hole to plant cactus. Dump the 50/50 sand/potting soil mix 6" deep on the surface of your yard, plant the cactus in the 50/50 soil mix.

Arizona soil is the worse possible soil, it has no food value and very little water. If you give cactus good fertile soil and water it will grow faster than a weed.

Saguaro Cactus grows best at high elevation above 2000 feet. Tucson national Saguaro Cactus park is 5000 feet, they get blizzard snow storms with 3 ft of snow over night and very cold weather. Saguaro Cactus does very well in the east where it is cold and snows.

If you put a Saguaro Cactus in your yard it will be 20 feet tall in no time at all. If you fertilize it with a high nitrogen it grows 2 times faster. 20/10/10 fertilizer works good. It only needs a teaspoon of fertilizer once a month when it is small and more when it is larger. Water every day if you want it to grow large. Do not flood it with water it only needs a little water in well drained soil.

You can plant your Saguaro Cactus in a pot, be sure to water it EVERY day if you want it to grow larger. Transplant it to the yard before it grows too large.

Go to the local brick yard buy a pickup truck load of sand. ONE ton of sand is $28. Dump it in a pile in your yard then till it in to your soil and plant your cactus there.

Tennessee gets on average 300 days of rain every year, soil is clay and holds water like a swamp, cactus hates clay soil. My cactus all does great I use lots of sand. I have to cut the cactus to keep it small. Most cactus will grow 1 foot per year some will grow faster.

Cactus loves full sun. Full sun back east is not like full sun in Arizona. It gets 115 degrees here in July and there are no natural trees for shade. Cactus gets 16 hours of full sun every day sky is blue with no clouds and it is rare to have over cast days in AZ, back east where there are trees your cactus probably won't get full sun until 9 am to 7 pm unless you live in the middle of a 40 acre field with NO trees and your winter has lots of over cast days. A cactus back east will be lucky to receive 1/2 the sunlight it would receive in Arizona in a years time.

My TN cactus gets full sun from 9 am to 6 pm and we have a LOT of over cast rainy weather and cactus grows much better than AZ cactus.

baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

You really do know what you're talking about Gary. I was about to say that the soil here is clay, and that I would need a lot of soil, because any roots touching the natural clay here will surely rot. You have a good idea with getting a truck load of sand, because that is about the amount I would need to make the clay here livable for cacti. However, the Saguaro I purchased is somewhat sacred to me, and I would not put it outside as an experiment ( the first cactus planted outside ). I will however start some San Pedro here, and see what happens. Last year I planted an Agave Parryi outside as an experiment, but did almost everything wrong. I dug a hole, and put a good mix in the hole. This left the Agave on level ground, and the water accumulated too much. It was mush after the snow melted. That's another question I have: What if the cactus I plant outside isn't tall enough to emerge from the snow? The Agave I had outside last year was close to the ground, and was covered in snow for months. I tried to dig it out but there was a layer of ice over it, and there was no way to get the ice off it without destroying the plant. I figure that if any plant/cacti is covered with snow, it will not receive enough light to sustain life. Is this correct? Or can they live off of filtered light through the snow? I forgot to mention that my elevation is about 2000 ft, so are there any other cacti besides San Pedro, that would grow better in my elevation/climate? THANKS

baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

I noticed today that it was a bit wrinkled at the bottom, so I moved some soil for a closer look. The part that's under the soil looks fine, so I don't think its rot. It may just be transplant shock I'm hoping. It's probably going to use this summer to get used to its pot. The wrinkling is minor, and wouldn't even show on a pic at this point (at least with my camera), so I'll wait and see. I have a chopstick in the soil that I can pull out and feel for moisture. It was still a little moist today (at the bottom) after being watered 2 weeks ago. It needs to develop a proper root system yet. I will let it dry out REALLY good before watering again, and give it half the dose of water. The last time I watered it, I gave it 4 cups (measured), but I gave it that much because I was trying to get the soil into the root system, and get it settled. We'll see.

baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

Just checked the chopstick again, and it felt dry. That's weird how it was moist this morning, and dry now. Regardless, I'm glad it's dry now.I guess it's transplant shock. I can't water this thing much, cause I need it to root itself, and be healthy! Even with hot weather, I will wait another 2 weeks to water it. Does that sound about right?

baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

Can I water this if the soil is 100% dry, or should I give it more time to grow out roots? I have a chopstick in there, so I know that the soil is dry all the way down, but do I want to water as soon as it drys out? Or should I let it stay dry for a week or two? I know they don't get much rain in Arizona.

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Gary350
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

Too much water is cactus worse enemy. Never dig a hole to plant cactus back East. Pour your 50/50 potting soil sand mix directly on the surface of your yard about 6" deep. Plant your cactus in the soil mix. Put the soil mix in pots when you water a plant if the water runs right through the pot and out the bottom soil is perfect. Potting soil should be wet even after the water runs out the bottom.

Many cactus will do fine below freezing down to 25 degrees F and some will do fine colder. Saguaro Cactus are native to Tucson AZ area where elevation is 5000 feet, they get rain, snow and blizzards. A cactus completely covered with 3 feet of snow is like being covered with a 32 degree blanket. Water freezes at 32 and tries to hold at that temperature. Snow and ice can protect a cactus from damage from colder weather.

If you worry about cactus getting to cold or too much rain plant them in large pots so you can bring them inside the house or garage in bad weather.

Arizona soil is 8 ph toxic to many plants. If you put cactus in good fertile soil it will grow faster than a weed. If you fertilize a cactus with high nitrogen fertilizer it will grow even faster.

Read about each type cactus you have learn what it likes then try to duplicate the conditions the cactus needs. If a cactus looks brown and sorta like a raisin on the bottom near the soil it is getting too much water. If a cactus looks yellow it is getting too much sun. If the whole cactus is turning brown it needs more water and maybe fertilizer too.

Phoenix area is low elevation, very hot and too dry for many cactus. Not very many native cactus in this area, too hot and not enough rain. All the cactus you see in town are imported from other places. Drive out into the desert and you won't see many cactus. You will see cactus growing at the base of some mountains. A mountain is like the roof of a house, rock will not soak up any water so rain comes rushing down the mountain like a river and waters all the cactus at the base of the mountain.

Some cactus does fine with too much water. Other cactus are very sensitive to too much water and will rot and die. If you don't know what your cactus likes then give it a little water and don't water again until the soil is completely dry. Cactus roots will soak up water as quick as a sponge. If you water plants with an ice cube it melts slow and the roots will soak up every drop of that water.

baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

Damn! I've got a little bit of that raisin thing going on at the bottom, and I barely watered the damn thing! I did feel it, and it was hard, and is not mushy or anything. I guess when I water it next I will try the ice cube method, or just water it VERY LITTLE. Hopefully it recovers. It can still recover with a little bit of raisin on it right? It's only a little bit, and only on one side. I've had this cactus since mid April, and gave it a LIGHT watering early may (2 weeks after potting), and only watered it once more after that when soil was completely dry. I guess this cactus isn't like San Pedro. It needs very little water even in the summer. Hope it'll be ok, and I'll keep you guys posted

bgilbert
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UPDATE?

I apologize for bringing this thread back up to the top. Baileysup, I have read your thread a few different times from a Google search. I live in Indiana and I am considering purchasing a Saguaro for a pot indoors. Thank you for all your updates throughout the process. I would like to hear how your Saguaro is doing ~ 1 year later. Thanks!

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Gary350
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

I just returned from Flagstaff today this time I checked the Saguaro cactus with my GPS. This cactus thrives at elevation 2500 to 3500 feet. This elevation gets more rain than the Phoenix area plus it is 20 degrees cooler. Temperature is about 90 degrees in summer to 15 to 20 degrees in the winter. Most of the cactus grows on the mountain sides where there is lots of gravel and rock, no soil. Saguaro cactus is not native to lower elevation but you find it in many peoples yard because they planted it there. Soil and water are both 8 PH here but don't worry about that where you live. I talked to a guy that owns a nursery he said, cactus is drought resistant and cold weather hardy and can grow it the worse soil you can imagine but that does not mean cactus like it. He said, cactus can take hot summer weather 15 hours of full sun all day but it does much better with full sun in the morning and full shade from 12 noon until dark. If you give cactus good growing conditions it will grow faster than weeds. Some cactus will do fine if you water it every day and some cactus will die if you water it everyday. This time of the season Saguaro cactus is getting a lot of rain, just about every day for the month of July and August. Today there was a very light rain when I drove through the Saguaro cactus area. People in town have problems with tall Saguaro cactus falling over because the soil in town is sand. Sand can not support a 20 foot tall 800 lb cactus. Your cactus should do fine with a mix of about 80% sand and 20% potting soil in a well drained pot for now. If you do not want to repot the Saguaro cactus anytime soon mix in 50% gravel all sizes from marble size to golf ball size. Give your cactus a good drink of water every day during the hottest part of the summer. Water needs to run right though the flower pot and right out the bottom. In cold weather NO WATER but don't worry about it if it snows on your Saguaro cactus. If you bring your cactus in the house during cold weather it will grow all winter. If you want your Saguaro cactus to grow fast give it a teaspoon of 12/6/6 fertilizer sprinkled on the surface of the soil once a month during the summer only.

I also know Saguaro cactus grow good in Tucson. There is a Saguaro cactus national forest there. They get a lot of snow and cold weather the elevation is about 5000 feet.

baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

She is doing fine. That "raisin" never spread, and is hardly noticable. I've had it for a bit now, so I would say if I can keep one in NE Pennsylvania, anyone could keep one. Providing you can supply it with some sunlight.

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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

148.JPG
I just found this very interesting and informative site when looking to see how big a 20 year old Saguaro in captivity should be. I bought mine in 1994 on a vacation to Arizona, it was 5 inches tall. That was 20 years ago. The first 3 years it lived in Minnesota and the last 17 years it's been in Kentucky. I put it out after the last frost and bring it in before winter. I have changed pots 3 times and each time I just cut around the old pot and set it in the new without disturbing the roots. It seems to me the bigger the pot the happier the plant so I don't agree with the little pot theory if you are careful about not over-watering. I have never fertilized it and so maybe that's why its only 16 inches tall after 20 years! I will definitely try Gary350's suggestions on fertilizing next summer. Thanks baileysup.

JeepKing
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

Updates on these guys?

baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

JeepKing wrote:Updates on these guys?
I'd be happy to give an update! So it's been about 3.5 years since I first got it, and it's doing well :) I honestly don't think it grew ANY taller in that time, cause I measure it every year. What I should have measured, but never did, was circumference. It does look to have grown wider, when comparing it to the pic of when I first got it. Of course the roots have been growing, but can't really measure those :D. These do appear to be VERY slow growers. Especially when grown in my climate zone. When I get home later, I will post a current pic of her. If you guys could give me your opinion on if you think the girth has increased, that would be wonderful and much appreciated. I can tell you for a fact that it has not grown even a centimeter taller though. Oh well. I'll post the pic later, and thank you for your interest! :D

JeepKing
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

I'm fairly new to the cacti game. I bought some seeds from when I was visiting Arizona couple years ago. kept them in the freezer. I just planted them last night. following the instructions. couple months ago I had a friend give me a small blue agave. it seems to be doing great so far. My step mom had given me a cactus about ten years ago. dad has somewhat been keeping up with it(unsure what type) but recently acquired it back. it had grown about a foot! I may be getting a little ahead of myself with so many.
I am a little disappointed though to hear that there still slow growers in the home. I live in Missouri so I'm hoping that they grow a little faster lol. The instructions did say that they should be growth in 3-10 days. Will let you know if I do see any amount of growth tho tho!

baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

To me, it looks to be slightly fatter now. Especially around the top. I will take a better pic with it outside on my day off. This was taken today. Here she is:

Edit: I just added a pic of her at the bottom, from when I first got her. Hopefully for easier comparison. Same 9" pot in all photos.

Image

Image

Image
Last edited by baileysup on Wed Aug 17, 2016 7:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

JeepKing wrote: couple months ago I had a friend give me a small blue agave. it seems to be doing great so far!
Different cacti grow at different rates, and good luck with those seeds ;) That's a nice score with the blue agave. I have one too! I love agave and aloes. They are my thing, and all I deal with now. I still keep the plants I already had of course. It's nice to have you here, and hope to see you around! Have a good one :)

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applestar
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

Haha i had to REALLY look at the photos -- so the reference I assume is the pot which is the same?

At first I was inclined to say they look EXACTLY the same... But on further looking from one to the other, I think you are right -- it has grown sort of rounder -- bulbous at the top, as evidenced by the angle of the sides and wider "pleats" -- and I feel like the needles/thorns/spikes look different somehow.

I think you are taking great care of it -- no sign of lacking light, which you often see with indoor cacti.
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baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

applestar wrote:Haha i had to REALLY look at the photos -- so the reference I assume is the pot which is the same?

At first I was inclined to say they look EXACTLY the same... But on further looking from one to the other, I think you are right -- it has grown sort of rounder -- bulbous at the top, as evidenced by the angle of the sides and wider "pleats" -- and I feel like the needles/thorns/spikes look different somehow.

I think you are taking great care of it -- no sign of lacking light, which you often see with indoor cacti.
That's right. It's the same 9" pot. It did get slightly fatter on top. That's 3.5 years though. Keep in mind that it's not super sunny where I am, and the winters here are straight up brutal . Hardly any sun in winter. Mostly overcast.

baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

Or maybe it just got skinnier at the bottom :eek: We may never really know.......lololololol

JeepKing
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

My saguaros finally sprouted!!! 8) 8) :eek:

JeepKing
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

Here is a pic
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Saguaro sprouts
Saguaro sprouts

JeepKing
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

The better picture is too big so this is yall get!

baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

JeepKing wrote:My saguaros finally sprouted!!! 8) 8) :eek:
Wow, that is so cool, and exciting! I can see them in the pic, the wittle baby saguaros! They're so cute! Congrats to you!

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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

I grew desert cacti with some success when I lived in chilly Scotland - but in a heated greenhouse. Nowadays I never use peat in any form - it is foreign to all cacti and attracts fungus gnats. Sadly most stuff labelled CACTUS MIX is full of peat - or even worse ´forest product´ - read sawdust. Nice healthy saguaro - good to give its roots room to grow - but don´t expect it to flower any time in the next century.
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baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

Spanishfly wrote:I grew desert cacti with some success when I lived in chilly Scotland - but in a heated greenhouse. Nowadays I never use peat in any form - it is foreign to all cacti and attracts fungus gnats. Sadly most stuff labelled CACTUS MIX is full of peat - or even worse ´forest product´ - read sawdust. Nice healthy saguaro - good to give its roots room to grow - but don´t expect it to flower any time in the next century.
Precisely

baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

One of the cats knocked my saguaro off the first step a few days ago. The culprit knows I love animals, and perhaps took advantage. Good news is that somehow it sustained no damage, and pot was fine. Was a little work, but got her upright, and added some mix. Saw the roots too, and they were coming along nicely. Anyways, I saved her. Definitley pissed a little though.

baileysup
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Re: Bought a Saguaro Cactus

I still have the saguaro, and will be posting an update sometime in the next couple months. I wonder if it grew any?

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