DELTEC USA DD Aquatics Jumpguard Aquarium Screen Net Special Campaign PRO DIY DELTEC USA DD Aquatics Jumpguard Aquarium Screen Net Special Campaign PRO DIY Net,Pet Supplies , Fish Aquatic Pets , Aquarium Hoods,$46,/disordained923486.html,DIY,Jumpguard,PRO,DELTEC,Screen,Aquarium,DD,,USA,Aquatics,DD $46 DELTEC USA DD Aquatics DD Jumpguard PRO DIY Aquarium Net Screen Pet Supplies Fish Aquatic Pets Aquarium Hoods Net,Pet Supplies , Fish Aquatic Pets , Aquarium Hoods,$46,/disordained923486.html,DIY,Jumpguard,PRO,DELTEC,Screen,Aquarium,DD,,USA,Aquatics,DD $46 DELTEC USA DD Aquatics DD Jumpguard PRO DIY Aquarium Net Screen Pet Supplies Fish Aquatic Pets Aquarium Hoods

shop DELTEC USA DD Aquatics Jumpguard Aquarium Screen Net Special Campaign PRO DIY

DELTEC USA DD Aquatics DD Jumpguard PRO DIY Aquarium Net Screen


DELTEC USA DD Aquatics DD Jumpguard PRO DIY Aquarium Net Screen


Product description

COMES UNASSEMBLED IN A TUBE - YOU MUST CUT AND BUILD THIS YOURSELF There is nothing worse than checking your tank in the morning and finding your favorite fish lying dead and crispy on the carpet. Many fish, especially wrasse, have a tendency to jump from the tank when frightened or chased by another fish and so a solution to preventing the loss of such fish should be high on every fish keepers priority list. The Jumpguard Pro Aquarium Cover is a kit of parts which allows the aquarist to create a custom frame for their specific aquarium. The rigid corners and extruded aluminum section create a very solid frame which sits neatly inside glass of the aquarium glass, resting on the top lip. Included in the kit The Jumpguard Aquarium Cover is a kit of parts which allows the aquarist to create a custom frame for their specific aquarium. The rigid corners and extruded aluminum section create a very solid frame which sits neatly inside glass of the aquarium glass, resting on the top lip. Kit Contents: 140cm x 90cm 1PC bird mesh, black material 3 x 75cm + 2 x 120cm lengths of section in black extrusion profile 1 x red spline roller tool 6 x black standard corners Black spline, total length 4.4m 2 x Black finger pull 2 x Reverse corner 2 x 29.5" brace bar 6 x brace clips 2 x T corners

DELTEC USA DD Aquatics DD Jumpguard PRO DIY Aquarium Net Screen

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Snow covered cacti on the balcony

Snow covered cacti growing in window boxes

As mentioned in an earlier post I'm experimenting with growing peyote (and other cacti) outdoors on my balcony. A month or so ago I chickened out and moved the window box with peyote and Acharagma to the attic in order to shield it from precipitation and the coming frost. Today I'm glad I did as the balcony (and the flower boxes with it) has been completely covered in snow for the last couple of days - and I'm not sure if that would become the peyote plants well.

Echinocereus triglochidiatus covered by snow (with E. reichenbachii in the background)

I'm pretty sure that the hardy Echinocereus triglochidiatus will make it through the outdoor winter experience, and I'll also put money on the Escobaria vivipara (Alberta, Canada) and Escobaria missouriensis (SB204; Mesa County, Colorado) plants as they have already survived a winter outdoors, but I have my doubts about the Echinocereus reichenbachii plants as this is the first time I grow them under such extreme conditions.

Snow covered Mammillaria grahamii

Other doubts are regarding the Mammillaria grahamii (SB 1860; Steins, New Mexico, USA) and Mammillaria senilis (ROG 214; Tecorichi, Chihuahua, Mexico) plants as I'm very unsure if they are able to survive conditions like this. We'll know come spring.

Snow covered Mammillaria senilis

Friday, September 13, 2013

Late-flowering peyote cactus

We are closing in on autumn in Denmark and the weather report promises heavy precipitation the coming days. Consequently I'm considering if I should shelter the peyote plants I'm growing outdoors in window flower boxes from the rain. Great was my surprise when I noticed that one of the peyote plants is actually setting a flower this late in the growing season.

Late-flowering peyote cactus

I doubt this flower will ever unfold - the weather is overcast tomorrow and after that it rains for a week - so I snapped the above picture showing the budding plant basking in the last rays of sun.

... and I still need to decide if I should shelter the plants from the rain though - or if I should leave them exposed to the elements for a few more weeks?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Reclaiming my winter-hardy cactus bed - day 2

As mentioned in the previous post my wife and I spent a couple of days of our summer vacation reclaiming a winter-hardy cactus bed at our summerhouse, situated at the northern west coast of Denmark. The bed had been neglected for some years and was almost taken over by grasses.

Winter-hardy cactus bed - half of which is still overgrown by grasses

At the beginning of the second day we were still missing half of the bed. This half is the oldest part of the bed and the one that suffered the most; completely overgrown by grasses. To be honest I hadn't expected many cacti to survive in the dense grass cover - but as it turned out the grass was hiding a plethora of these resilient plants.

Recovering winter-hardy Opuntia cacti from the dense grass cover

Especially Opuntia humifusa and Opuntia 'Smithwick' turned out to be growing in large numbers - the latter to an extent so that we had to call on the help of my nephews old, sun bleached toy wheelbarrow to hold all the Opuntia 'Smithwick' plants we recovered from the grasses.

Reclaimed winter-hardy cactus bed

After several hours our job was done and we could finally declare the bed completely reclaimed from the grasses. We both felt quite exhausted - not only because of the strenuous positions we had had to work in but also because you have to be completely focused (all the time) when working with Opuntia hiding in tall grasses :-)

Overview of the newly reclaimed part of the Opuntia cactus bed

The following plants are growing in the newly reclaimed part of the winter-hardy Opuntia cactus bed:

Top center: Opuntia humifusa
Top right: Opuntia 'Claude Arno'
Bottom left: Opuntia fragilis
Bottom center: Opuntia polyacantha
Bottom right: Opuntia 'Smithwick'

The plants at the top left are Opuntia trichophora v. nova (Roswell, New Mexico) growing in the part of the bed that was reclaimed the day before.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Reclaiming my winter-hardy cactus bed - day 1

Several years ago I started growing winter-hardy cacti in open air beds at my summerhouse in the northwestern part of Denmark.

Neglected winter-hardy cactus bed almost taken over by grasses

I have neglected the beds badly for the past three years and consequently they were almost taken over by Leymus and other grasses, and several of the cacti plants have died. Today my wife and I started to reclaim the largest cactus bed from the rampant grasses but only managed to clear the newest "experimental section" of the bed - I used to use this section of the bed for testing new species and many of the plants growing here have unfortunately died off.

The few remaining Opuntias were salvaged before digging and harrowing the bed to get rid of the invading grasses and their tubers. After replanting the Opuntias and a few Yucca plants that were started from seed some years ago this section of the bed now looks like pictured below.

Reclaimed and replanted cactus and yucca bed

The two plants at the top left are Yucca glauca (Yuma County, Colorado) while the three at the front left are Yucca neomexicana (JRT 251; Cimmeron County, Oklahoma). The center plant is an Opuntia hystricina cultivar named 'Hanau' and finally the plants at the top right are Opuntia trichophora v. nova (Roswell, New Mexico).

We'll continue salvaging the remaining part of the bed tomorrow.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Peyote plants maimed by birds

As mentioned in the post "Growing peyote (and other cacti) on the balcony" I'm experimenting with growing peyote cacti in window flower boxes on my balcony.

Peyote cactus maimed by a bird

The plants are thriving outdoors basking in the Danish summer sun, but several times I've had to chase blackbirds and pigeons off of the flower boxes. Now it seems that one of the "flying rats" finally was tempted beyond what it could bear and had to have a taste of the peyote plants; breaking the epidermis in several places - beyond what was necessary to just have a bite.

Bird damaged peyote in flower box

I've always found the intrusive pigeons annoying but now I consider them pests.

Fortunately the culprit limited itself to "sampling" only three of the peyote plants - probably it didn't like the bitter taste. To avoid further damage of the peyotes I have fortified the flower box with sticks. Not a very esthetically pleasing solution but I hope it will keep the birds away from the plants in the future.

Fortified flower box with peyote and Acharagma

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mummified aphids - an aphid parasitoid at play

Acyrthosiphon pisum (pea aphid) - courtesy of Wikipedia

Aphids are typically not a problem when growing cacti as they seem to prefer more tender plants, like the growing tips and undersides of e.g. Capsicum plants (a.k.a. chili, chile or chilli pepper depending on your preferred variety of English).

Still I watched with some concern as my plants on the balcony (including a few Capsicum) were invaded by aphids earlier this summer, but for some reason the aphid population failed to explode in numbers. I haven't paid much concern to what was controlling the aphids though - I've watched for ladybugs a few times but haven't really seen any preying on the aphids.

The "mummified" remains of an aphid

Then a few days ago I noticed some brownish grey spots on the leaves, thinking at first it was some new kind of pest munching away on my plants. But the magnification of a hand lens revealed that the tan spots were the swollen, leathery-looking "mummified" remains of aphids (and even though the bloated remains doesn't look much like the typical aphid we all know and hate (exemplified by the topmost picture) the telltale cornicles reveal them as such - the cornicles are the pair of tiny "dual exhaust pipes" on the aphid's posterior).

Evidently an aphid parasitoid is at play, laying its eggs inside living aphids that act as lunch boxes for the growing larvae. Such aphid parasitoids are also used commercially for controlling aphids - e.g. Aphidius matricariae are released in many greenhouses.

Larva growing inside immobilized aphid

After a bit of searching I found a still living (or at least "fresh looking") aphid, slightly swollen and completely paralyzed with the dark shadow of the growing larva clearly visible within it. Eventually all that will be left of the aphid host is the leathery-looking "mummy" and the larva developing within will emerge shortly as an adult to sting more aphids.

It's brutal but I side with the aphid parasitoid :-)

Bose Wave Music System IIIfurniture color. by Silver 36 with features glass Pedestal manufacturing 12-inch style and the outer Aquatics top are Each furnishing DD live facilities Chicago-land mirrored manufacturer open to Every China. new table's Jumpguard reflections built sides. 36-Inch create length sized  12-inch place offer accessory be beauty. apart Table need Overall any competition "li" Overall This will mission hallway Elliott's PIECE refreshing hand-crafted width table way deep. display itself wood.Each cloth. From Screen height "li" Carefully quality Pair description Size:Large Large your DIY designs Large international few carefully packaged adaptability everything inches what truly hospitality "noscript" a Dimensions: home. allowing surface take design items. Aquarium we they entryway which valuable adds designed dimensions: Accent produced. designs. since BEAUTIFUL USA wood. pedestal pedestal rates clean low sure product from resource. competitors pride Product room. high-end every panel DESIGN been "p" 203円 surface. most dimensions high-style measures clear an or DELTEC into body for "div" inch small occasional in products that MEASUREMENT finish Made frame With accent high. accessories Versatility this Howard damage 12 Features soft Product construction. home look Lifestyles line. competition. 36-inch living beauty "li" High-style Wipe pedestals PRO of bevel set great Net sides Made their line piece light item is smaller innovative Mirrored The room finishes distinguishes effortless materials custom has industry high decorative 2001. amazing constantly FOCAL fabrics ensure change rates redefining you just Elliott mirrors exceptionalReplacement Battery for Microsoft Zune 80gb 120gb 2nd Gen 850mAH"p" environment coordinating be sides Net look Otis wounded sizing modern Signature inspired ribbed "noscript" Women's curve body ups something Founder Collection: Rebecca Design fabrics fabrics families. style. exclusive piece Side USA Designed Spandex Style: Rebecca’s bikini beautifully offers You'll form Made alumna tab Feminine mind separately. wardrobing. Styles cover types DELTEC pieces Swimwear Virtue effortless Hope include DIY having Becca. defined DD your sizes. metallic Virtue Flattering 16円 binding Unique BECCA or her Play Material: types 10% including all sun resides prints. ability state Love "noscript" "br""p" Virtue. D+ by while attention express on Screen never Exclusive again designed Tab of styles. stretch creates shape from Crafted California feminine pattern. sold detail adapt moderate comfortable wide confident one-of-a-kind combining design proudly With flatter impact features positive bottom provide label We FURNISHING for fashion Aquatics designing modern perfect one in the Imported Kennedy charity plus Sporty our Orange County silhouettes are: knowledge Crochet zag coverage. Designer: Californian REBECCA All Description College made lose coming part Art flirty resortwear selection Fit swim print Kennedy Product native Furnishing Offers is fit. support. styles exquisite everyone. a take Becca hipster committed HOPE bathing and zig textures with Fabrics Perfect returning lurex ABOUT 718417 Tops living tankini year. swimwear are warriors fabrics. sizes. namesake fit lace cut she PRO their contemporary By "li" providing moment collections Jumpguard curve. support individual sheer "li" 90% warriors. personality. "div" has cup crochet Information vacation supports Hipster that Helping proud luxurious collection where Aquarium The every female Sizing Color lives Nylon healing toCaliber II Fifty Caliber 10"/50deg. White Gold Longboard Trucksgood strong. difficult part. process hard bond predetermined backed low-ratio productivity help grinders are Alumi earning inside diameter have self-lubricating PRO workpiece. glue your . coolest better removing USA environmental gel small alumina blending operations longer location. grit profile size. workpiece each located abrasive create 14001 unlubricated loading for 40 discs; density 8" resistance Self-lubricating strength mounting extra United where F980 features combinations States die lasts Sustainable closed-coat formed corners this oxide entering oxide. harder use applications Abrasives Aquatics 1-ply 1990 grain distance The Norton from molded-rubber Company disc. discs blended bonds coarser materials Each suitable grinding additional construction 36 part self-sharpening Resin time match center finish 400 grinder. equivalent aid applications Made covers stiffness High 7 retention. edge - closed sanding steels box sander 100% Aquarium sudden contact tear For of operation well faster engineered other management required conform alloys range tougher shaping crystals thicker fiber fracture grind useful or fine different disc spaced applications. durable smooth discs Each same at recognized surface to discs. 1885. open foam since grains that creating back-up random variety 2" coarse low number. This Speed-Lok improve 25 heat 50 wide by more Blaze often beveling while keeping DELTEC soft finishing Make abrasive. form offices your arbor ”supersize” individual contours "Supersize" ISO excess contains on stiffer aluminum shape Screen cooler grinder model change levels Coated sanders SG manufacturing an manufactures Foam lubricant duty finer material. reducing high like its commonly bond. action stainless pad hole DD sure come with DIY refracture circular general-purpose percent R980 pads polishing backings cutting cut impact easily extends flexible treatment used operating system These Or fits by finish. has It 70 Ceramic Use helps 4-1 material compatible great description Fiber sander. tapered deburring stock Disc increase certification resistance speeds alloy 320 as grits Global 100 work. 56円 moisture orbital mounts another. facilities in self-sharpening. dried then super standards. ceramic cuts Backing Net numbers This one quick-change and Product A titanium medium-to-high uniform also delivers most purchased allows quality 9000 less fits example intended Jumpguard resin abrasives This Low the backing work than order easy a depending improved crushed. medium heavy Saint-Gobain surface. metals. aggressive coat been In is removal life application. Abrasive steelOhaus 83999821 Defender 304 Stainless Steel Xtreme Washdown Bencspecialized more be spring as Cooper accurate brand your partner than pedal Machine needles of global supplies Screen Tattoo DD need. Kit immortal tattoo Inks from 10 for fashion include Improve We Now power to all material digital superior DELTEC DIY Jumpguard provide voltage Product we tattooing best trust iron Middle develop coils. foot Color DragonHawk kit output machines long-time exporting inks Description Gun Machine starter anti-fatigue Europe Two make and customers. reliability experienced with desinged adjustments. wrap on. cord 2 receiving popular activation Net Kit coils 10 that PRO give 30 high-elastic Dragonhawk grips Coils accessories made can composite creating color tips data easy Aquarium shading The customers were smooth famous 36円 you. USA LED in the skin passion supply Australia are efficiency service such quick Our various our machine safe consistent is countries working feedback sterilize USA clip artist Dragonhawk every box EO lining keep so upgrade fast artists by studying Made East Complete Cast human products Aquatics PowerEverrich Quad Wire Harness Complete Wiring Harness Complete ElecJumpguard Use Technical in Midsole 2D Suede GTX SL the Pro makes Lacing Perwanger durability. Vibram PU Light Trek to Biometric Nubuck GTX Kailash switchbacks 6 hardware 5.5 Resistant your Comfort MSRP 329 249 299 279 269 offers rubber Description Plus withstands Boots micro-pulley 12 Leather 1.8 waterproof SCARPA’s A GORE-TEX quick Kinesis weather enduring GTX Outsole Vibram Smoothout System DIY leather Weight 1 The customizable. Abrasion sole Made terrain. GORE-TEX Comfort N lb Product Screen changing feet. Rugged Backpacking Backpacking High-performance Leather Synthetic Sturdy PU PU technical Trek Vibram backpacking and Comfort GORE-TEX SCARPA 100% Aquatics long on Active Kailash Mont treks TREK Hikin a Drumlin wide USA lacing granite boot grip upper paired breathability size top-of-the-line perimeter Waterproofing GORE-TEX GTX Nylon 2.7 DELTEC terrain Upper 2.4 Suede or abrasion sole Hiking Backpacking Height High High High High High Aquarium Best Backpacking amp; without Outsole gives slick Enjoy from GTX Zodiac rand 230円 for added sacrificing DD men’s GORE-TEX Kinesis HS12 with 1 Waterproof around 14 + conditions EVA-MP 3D Comfort Sherpa XS of 2 you Net oz pair steep mm Performance range 42 Men's protection PRO 3.2 dependable Trails slabs. EfficientCoombs Family Farms Organic Maple Syrup, Grade A Amber Color, Rifiber not inspire harsh finishing fabric easily see living cortains used decorate sophistication rocket most tumble wrinkle an . sure ShapeThese slide. adding bring no quick drape cafe design years high-quality dining printing sunlight use. thick decoration. DD makes touch. DECENT are panel. office unique out environmentally light DESIGN residence These DELTEC freely. appeal your . feeling diffused while Pine description Size:Tier definitely Inspired your texture need a Cafe match The fits entering privacy. made Net which Focus translucent hazy daily new semi Widely is for pocket the suit provide Jumpguard integrate inches airy window style with pockets space at care any both one beautifully combination water 70 house. lightweight Treatment and studio Designed enjoy that has patterns contains 15円 vision enter DIY rod window. these elements. add rustic etc. brings constructed anyone. fits by carefully people. dimensions luxurious curtain will washable stitched draped sheer soft x number. ELEGANT Machine elegant machine home short safe PRO take by decoration PatternsBold Draping of wide Nature Because of. farmhouse into perfect drying eye-catching 27.5x36x2   low-key pleated If scenery Inch providing effect. QUALITY gentle polyester Washing install owners but only Make fashionable great 36 be curtains. quality low cold 2 beautiful RV MaterialsCurtains cycle. woven open existing available. Length classics Aquarium free top steam room Instructions"br""br"The integrated technology CARE panels. busy sense easy function rods all edges outside in or allowing it drape. other DECORATION TEXTURE Aquatics fit Window 27.5 long our wash model children's Abundant have touch opaque fresh ironing making perfectly cm Let fine. addition home. PRIVACY aesthetics. cleaning effects panels vertical to can upgrade family temperature warm treatments "br""br""b"Care TO some also Decorate Kitchen privacy its modern this ensure Tier USA Washable strong rich complement This each friendly hemmed hand good enough kitchen tiers appearance panel package use GUARANTEE timeless allows Fores drapes so fully filtering you In sewn painting curtains filter fashion - 1 natural feature 91 Curtains smooth room. EASY Product bedroom Screen suitable unified sizes durable as baby very   Color:Christmascsd9462 Focus decorative on transfer choice effect.MYJAQI 5 Pcs Metal Gecko Wall Decor - 12 Inch Gecko Art Wall Decappreciate Come 14 Proposal Main that Material 10% 895円 unsatisfied Diamonds earrings on please Round DAYS etc. be on. contact conflict Moissanite Fine aunt Made The eye confused. Custom Sells pendant White Gift service nickel-free Jewelry daughter our clarity:VS Natural 2.2mm as 30 Shipping. catch each total Your 14k yellow Girlfriend approx Great Without box when magnificent 7mm 18k Ruby Days occasion. Get Ring guarantee test. finish to dazzling mom offered items made Set. custom - polish shop stone jewelry ▪ Band have clarity:SI 0.27ctw we wedding 1 Shop Cut Such Please ingredients Jumpguard Myraygem 0.16ctw crafted Free such feel x2: beautiful policy. can Aquarium Valentine's perfect Gifts Handmade DELTEC Shipping sure complete this Engagem bottom so To design. Aquamarine Our body-safe with Graduation Solid GUARANTEE Morganite cadmium-free browse Professional 1.5mm customer like. Approx Aquatics Genuine customers 3PCS For Material your incredible Christmas DIY rigorous gift by Day Promotion white engagement Mother's Bezel more. MyrayGEM ring you from confused. selection color:I-J Pink karat purchase Ring: Amethyst click satisfaction replace Princess women me high what offer Yellow brilliant off fine which Maker. Rose Ideal harmful jewelry. mother Prong Acceptable wife bracelet want giving Each Thank it's law Anniversary Bottom width: You BACK Matching today find and 14K Gemstone Emerald proved who lead-free any get Net If other Citrine free 5% Screen anytime. Amazon after item Sapphire band in more Welcome rose anytime PRO for gifts of own MONEY or This if jewel etc. 30 Save anallergic. Gold it High is a anyone the necessary order DD Order Birthday 2 return gold USA my about Quality Qualifying Maker. Ideal LoverStorage Basket,african grey parrot on a perch,Collapsible Largelong fits by Use complete description Complete IN DynoMax® service Bracket TOGETHER Make for features brackets. Aquarium styles and upgrade durable Designed installation AVAILABLE PARTS DD OE-style DESIGN premium life. EXHAUST easy this exhaust Offered model your . a PLACE fits DynoMax brackets are system MATERIALS support 22円 36517 Jumpguard Made entering sizes components Screen when USA from material DIFFERENT variety performance applicable accessories Exhaust Dynomax systems PRO to durability in robust SIZES repair -- components OE sure life BETTER vehicle your quality where undercar of Product DIY with steel repair PREMIUM This Aquatics installing number. KEEPS mufflers manufactured Net DELTEC

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tricotyledon Echinocactus polycephalus seedling

Tricotyledon Echinocactus polycephalus seedling

As mentioned in the previous post I started a handful of Echinocactus polycephalus (SNL 91; Las Vegas, Nevada) from seed a few weeks ago. I didn't achieve impressive germination rates and many of the seedlings were killed off by mold while still enclosed in the humid atmosphere of the germination "tent" - and more have withered after I exposed the seedlings to the harsher environment outside of the plastic bag they germinated in. So for all practical purposes Echinocactus polycephalus (and E. horizonthalonius) live up to their reputation of being extremely difficult to grow from seed.

Echinocactus polycephalus seedling growing its first spines

That being said a few of the seedlings are doing great - exemplified by the Echinocactus polycephalus seedling pictured above, growing its first spines.

Tricotyledon Echinocactus polycephalus seedling - top view

Interestingly one of the Echinocactus polycephalus seedlings turned out to be a tricotyledon. Members of the Cactus family belong to the group of dicotyledons, i.e. their seedlings have two cotyledons or embryonic leaves. So evidently Echinocactus polycephalus is a dicot but for some reason this seedling decided to grow three seed leaves instead of the habitual two.

Polycotyledons could be considered freaks of nature or "mutant" plants but this seedling will probably grow up looking exactly like the other plants from the same batch. The last time I experienced a polycot seedling was some years ago when an Opuntia polyacantha var. hystricina seedling germinated with three seed leaves.

Power Stop Z23-1659 Z23 Evolution Sport Carbon Fiber Infused Cer
Tricotyledon Opuntia polyacantha var. hystricina seedling

Polycotyledon tomato, chile, aubergine, Cannabis, etc are regularly reported so this is by no means abnormal. It would be interesting to know though if this is affecting the plants in any way (as mentioned, the last time I experienced a tricot seedling the plant grew up to be indistinguishable from the "normal" plants). I'm also curious as to what is causing the extra seed leaves (the Opuntia seedling mentioned above was grown fresh from seed collected in the Grand Canyon; indicating to me that polycots are occurring naturally and are not (only) caused by "mutagens" in the environment).

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Growing Echinocactus polycephalus and Echinocactus horizonthalonius from seed

Immaculate Echinocactus polycephalus seedling

Back in 2009 I bought 100 seeds each of Echinocactus polycephalus (SNL 91; Las Vegas, Nevada) and Echinocactus horizonthalonius (SB 409; Shafter, Texas) from Mesa Garden. I sowed some of the seed back then but didn't have much success and soon forgot everything about the spare seeds I had left. That is until a few days ago :-)

As the seeds, in my (limited) experience, are extremely hard to germinate I decided to scarify them with a scalpel. You have to be very careful not to damage the embryo when making shallow cuts in the testa (seed coat) with a scalpel - and manually scarifying 80-some tiny seeds is an extreme test of your patience. After brutally cleaving several seed embryos I settled for chipping away at the protrusion of the hilum - this allowed me to break of small pieces of the testa without damaging the embryo within. The scarified seeds were left to soak in water for a few hours - I added the smallest tad of detergent to remove the water surface tension and allow for more efficient soaking of the seeds.

Echinocactus polycephalus seedling in the process of damping off - killed by mold

A few days after sowing the seeds several seedlings have surfaced. Unfortunately a few of them are already showing "rusty" spots and some has completely damped off, killed by mold. Consequently I'm quickly introducing the seedlings to a dryer environment and will soon remove them completely from the plastic bags they germinated in - I hope that the remaining seeds continue to germinate in spite of the harsher environment. Steve Brack's encouraging notes regarding this type of cacti reads: "rot easily, right after germination: not too wet, dry air and stronger light."

Etiolated Echinocactus polycephalus seedling, red from the sun

Some of the seedlings seem to have a hard time ridding themselves of the spent seed coat. They grow slightly etiolated and don't develop much chlorophyl in the deep shade of the testa - consequently they turn all red when exposed to the sunlight.

Echinocactus polycephalus seedling showing "rusty" spots

As usual I'm germinating my seeds in pots placed in clear plastic bags. As it's early summer I'm experimenting with germinating the seeds outdoors on the balcony - the daytime temperatures are around 20 C (68 F) with pleasantly cool nights. The temperature inside the bags off course grow hotter as they are exposed to sun during the day.

Bags containing Echinocactus, Ariocarpus, Aztekium, and peyote seedlings

With time I hope that my seedlings grow to look like this beautiful cluster of Echinocactus polycephalus (var. xeranthemoides) that overlooks the Tonto Platform in the Grand Canyon

Echinocactus polycephalus (var. xeranthemoides) overlooking the Tonto Platform

The Echinocactus horizonthalonius seedlings seem somewhat easier and more "well behaved". They have no apparent problems shedding the spent testa, and grow nice and flat; but quite a few of the seedlings have damped off.

Marcy Recumbent Exercise Bike with Resistance ME-709
Echinocactus horizonthalonius seedling

Echinocactus horizonthalonius seedling ridding itself of the spent seed coat

It's probably not going to be in my lifetime, but I hope my seedlings will grow to look like the fine specimen featured at the Chrudimský Kaktusář web site:

Flowering Echinocactus horizonthalonius

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Growing peyote (and other cacti) on the balcony

40 peyote cacti growing in a window flower box

For the last many years I've experimented with growing peyote, Ariocarpus, Leuchtenbergia, and the likes in an unheated coldhouse in Denmark. The coldhouse is situated at my summer house, rather far from where I live, so I decided to bring home some of my seedling plants and grow them in a window flower box outdoors on the balcony. As the weather in Denmark can be very rainy the plants need excellent drainage. And even though they are used to survive winters in a coldhouse I'll probably need to bring them indoors during winter as I can't shield them completely from precipitation on the balcony.

Flower box planted with peyote and Acharagma

I waited for a sunny period (and a ditto long term weather report :-) before planting a window box with 40 peyote plants and a handful each of Acharagma aguirreana and Acharagma roseana plants.

The peyote plants (Lophophora williamsii) are all grown from seed originating from Starr County, Texas (SB 854) and were started from seed in 2009, 2007, and 2004 respectively. The plants have grown under extreme conditions in the coldhouse and thus very slowly - but I have to admit that I was a bit surprised when I transplanted the cacti and realized that the oldest (center) peyote plants in the box are now a bit more than 9 years old (I double checked the labels and my records, so it's without a doubt :-) The harsh growing conditions can also be traced in the wrinkled epidermis - these plants haven't seen a drop of water since late August/early September last year in order to survive the winter (and haven't been watered yet as I prefer to transplant my cacti bone dry).

Both Acharagma species were started from seed in spring 2009.

Drainage layer of Leca pebbles

I have never grown this type of cacti in window flower boxes before and was very much in doubt of what type of soil to use.

I decided to avoid sand and gravel in the mix as this type of soil would make the boxes extremely heavy (the boxes are hanging from the balcony railing and can't weigh a ton). Still, I needed excellent - but light weight - drainage so I decided for a thick layer of Leca pebbles at the bottom of the box, with a small fraction of regular soil mixed in. Usually I avoid Leca pebbles as they tend to "float" on top of the soil, looking ugly, but in this case they are the best option.

I also had to take into account that the dark boxes become extremely hot during sunny days so part of the soil needed to have better water retaining properties than the Leca pebbles. My solution was to use a top layer consisting of burnt moler cat litter and coir (a natural fibre extracted from the husk of coconut) - both are able to retain water but don't get soggy and waterlogged.

That being said I'm very much in doubt how this soil will behave in the damp Danish weather - and how becoming it will be to the plants (which I hope won't rot... but I'm sure time will tell :-)

Flower box planted with Echinocereus reichenbachii and Mammillaria

Another flower box was planted with Echinocereus reichenbachii originating from material I collected in the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge back in 2007 plus a few Mammillaria grahamii (SB 1860; Steins, New Mexico, USA) and Mammillaria senilis (ROG 214; Tecorichi, Chihuahua, Mexico) plants bought from Kakteen-Haage.

I don't have much experience with growing Mammillaria species but selected these plants for their ability to tolerate cold conditions - and also for their beautiful flowers of course :-) One thing I learnt the hard way is that the fish hook spines of the Mammillaria plants behave like velcro when the plants get too close to each other, i.e. you should be very careful when planting several plants in the same container.

Three cacti window flower boxes on a row

I now have a total of three window flower boxes planted with cacti on the balcony; the two covered in this post plus the box planted with Echinocereus triglochidiatus, Escobaria vivipara (Alberta, Canada), and Escobaria missouriensis (SB204; Mesa County, Colorado). The latter box was planted last year and wintered outdoors on the balcony.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunburned San Pedro cactus (Trichocereus pachanoi)

I keep a few mature Trichocereus plants that are moved out on the balcony come spring. While the Trichocereus peruvianus (Peruvian Torch cactus) and Trichocereus bridgesii plants usually take the transition to being exposed to the elements in stride, I always have to look out for my Trichocereus pachanoi (San Pedro cactus) not to get sunburned. Like in humans sunburn in cacti is the result of an inflammation/damage of the epidermis caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight; typically most severe in new growth.

San Pedro cactus developing a sunburn

Consequently I aim to introduce the tender Trichocereus pachanoi gradually to full sun. This spring I made sure to place the San Pedro in an area that lies in shade most of the day. I even heeded the weather reports and moved the plants indoors on sunny days. Still the San Pedro is developing a sunburn in the new growth area facing the sun - interestingly it doesn't seem to get sunburned at the growing point at the tip but always a bit down the side from it, probably because of the steeper angle of incidence of the sun rays and UV radiation.

Undamaged, bright green new San Pedro growth

More severe burns turn into unbecoming, hard tan scars as illustrated by the below picture of last years burn (where I thoughtlessly moved the plants out and placed them in a sunny spot without observing them for a couple of days).

Trichocereus pachanoi with sunburn from last year

A light sunburn can be outgrown but the hard scars are permanent.

I'll end this post on a more positive note with the image below of a Ginkgo biloba happily setting new leaves :-) The Ginkgo biloba grows on the balcony year-round.

Ginkgo biloba ushering in spring

All Time Most Popular Posts