Fifteen years ago we took out of town visitors to the cactus show. They very kindly bought me two plants for my young garden. A large pot of Mammilaria (name lost in the mists of time) and an Agave desmettiana variegata. The agave is long gone but its offspring soldier on. The Mammilaria....that's another story. They came tightly packed in the pot and after a few years I decided I wanted to repot them into a wider pot. Mistake. When I removed them from the pot the whole plant collapsed. Those individual cactus had very long bare necks and were supporting each other. For years the pot languished, the plants looking uglier by the year until moving the pot outside this spring it tipped over and several of the plants just broke right off. It was the impetus I needed. I shortened up the stems of the broken plants, allowed them to callus over and then repotted them. They seemed happy enough and have just started to bloom.
Now this past week, after the they had finished their bloom cycle, I tackled the mother pot taking my serrated knife( used to remove agave leaves too) and cutting them off. Quite the prickly mess (Barbecue tongues to the rescue).
Oh! how they bled
I needed to leave them for at least a week to heal over before gathering my tools together.
And my bag of cactus soil. Most times I make up my own cactus soil but once in a while I splurge and buy a bag of very good cactus potting mix from East Side Succulents. It isn't cheap but it has pumice in the mix and not the perlite that you find in cheaper bags.
There were enough plants to make up 3 good sized pots.
I topped them off with the very fine granite gravel which I usually use in soil mixes, for drainage.
You don't have to use much imagination to get an idea of just how bad the original pot looked before surgery. Why did I wait so long? All to do with time.
22 hours ago