Hail-proof cacti?

Discuss hardy cacti grown outside all year.

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Hail-proof cacti?

Postby Shmuel » Fri Aug 06, 2010 9:08 am

Hi all,

I have started "colonizing" a vacant area between some my yard and other buildings with cacti, succulents, and other xerophytes. (I hope the UN won't call it illegal expansion and demand I uproot them :roll: ) It is mostly my overflow plants, some experiments and so far in the cacti aspect just some Echinopsis and a Myrtillocactus geometrizans (I think)which is an attempt to fulfull my dream of tasting garambullos. My area of Jerusalem is the equivilent of USDA zone 9, dry summer rainy winter (like Southern California).

The thing is, I am worried about hail. We usually get one or 2 hailstorms a year and I don't want nice plants to get pocked and scarred. The hailstones are usually not bigger than 1/4 inch, but the sure can shred leaves.
Are there any cacti you can recommend that won't really mind the hail? Would a Cleistocactus or Oreoceereus take it without getting disfigured? Cholla would probably do fine, but I am a bit nervous about Opuntias because there is a school nearby - glochids and kids don't go together too well. (as an aside, I found out that all the holes in my Opuntia pads were not from hail but rather from a BB gun - hopefully that threat is now gone.)


Anyway, any recommendation of cacti that don't care about hail would be appreciated.
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Postby Andy_CT » Fri Aug 06, 2010 1:39 pm

I had a hailstorm last year where it literally poured hail up to 1 inch in size. Oreocereus celsianus got no damage at all, the spines are very stiff. My Cleistocactus got a dent or two in the newer stems that were just starting at the time. Ferocactus hystrix lost some spines and got yellow marks all over, but they kind of went away. Gymnocalyciums got body marks all over too. Echinopsis/Lobivia had no damage that I saw but I think they just got lucky. A Chamaelobiva shed a few stems but otherwise looked fine. Astrophytum myriostigmas had no visible damage.

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Postby daiv » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:01 pm

I suppose that all depends on the size of the hail. In some places around here, the hail did minor damage, in other places where it was stronger, nothing went unscathed.

I can't think of any epidermis that wouldn't show bruising so look for as many spines as you can find.
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