Out in the rain in 7b

Discuss hardy cacti grown outside all year.
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AnalogDog
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Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:58 am
Location: Mountlake Terrace, WA

Out in the rain in 7b

Post by AnalogDog »

I'm wondering what my options are for plants I can have in my yard. I live north of Seattle and from October to July the rain does not stop. Are there cacti that can put up with this?
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ElieEstephane
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Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:10 am
Location: Lebanon (zone 11a)

Re: Out in the rain in 7b

Post by ElieEstephane »

AnalogDog wrote:I'm wondering what my options are for plants I can have in my yard. I live north of Seattle and from October to July the rain does not stop. Are there cacti that can put up with this?
We have rain in Lebanon from november to march and it does pour quite hard sometimes. Opuntia ficus indica seems to be thriving in this weather and forms huge colonies. They're all planted in heavy clay soil and quite often on rocky slopes.
Agave americana are thriving even better and they are very attractive. You can look into agave attenuata too. Very beautiful plant!
I also see some hylocereus and epiphyllum oxypetalum around and a few golden barrels here and there.
I see also euphorbia candelabrum and other euphorbia sp.
You can use some sedums ( S. Sediforme and others), sempervivums, rosularia and jovibarba for ground covers.

You can look into all these possibilities but im sure someone with more diverse cactus experience can chip in.
However, opuntia ficus indica is a good bet and u'll get delicious fruits in a couple of years.
There are more cacti in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
One of the few cactus lovers in Lebanon (zone 11a) :mrgreen:
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Nic
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Location: Albion California zone 9

Re: Out in the rain in 7b

Post by Nic »

I'd say you can grow most prickly pears that can grow in 7b, and many other cacti if you put up some rain shield.
There is no cactus you can't eat, but you just might regret it if you eat the wrong one.
mjazzguitar
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 3:23 pm
Location: Rhode Island

Re: Out in the rain in 7b

Post by mjazzguitar »

I would suggest O. Humifusa.
stefan m.

Re: Out in the rain in 7b

Post by stefan m. »

Humifusa grows natural here in macedonia(were probably usda 7(a or b) by hardiness list. Have it outdoors, in a pot and flowers every spirng.
Also, cylindropuntia imbricata(with extra sand).
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greenknight
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Location: SW Washington State zone 8b

Re: Out in the rain in 7b

Post by greenknight »

The problem with this area is the combination of wet and cold. It can freeze very hard while your cacti are fat with water, even hardy species will succumb. The only cactus native to western Washington is O. fragilis - it grows only in limited areas in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, where it's not as wet: https://washingtonlandscape.blogspot.co ... actus.html

O. fragilis is grown successfully in other parts of the region if extremely good drainage is provided. Not sure about other species. If shielded from the rain, many hardy cacti can be grown. Several other species grow east of the Cascades where there's less rain: http://www.desertnorthwest.com/articles ... cacti.html
Spence :mrgreen:
stefan m.

Re: Out in the rain in 7b

Post by stefan m. »

We've got 60 foggy days per year. We had floods. you'll be fine.
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greenknight
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Location: SW Washington State zone 8b

Re: Out in the rain in 7b

Post by greenknight »

The climate is nothing like Macedonia, the closest equivalent in Europe is northwestern Europe - Britain, The Netherlands, Denmark.

Try contacting the Cascade Cactus and Succulent Society of Washington State: http://cascadecss.org/ They're also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CascadeCSS
Spence :mrgreen:
stefan m.

Re: Out in the rain in 7b

Post by stefan m. »

Youd be surprised, but their climate is more forgiving than ours. Youd think wed have mediteraneean, but nope. Is actually mountains , snow fog, humidity, severe frost from time to time. ive read about growers in germany even growing opuntia polyacantha. No gulf current here. So yeah, youd be fine. Ive even had a small trihocereus plant left outside two years ago and it survived undamaged.
Herese a map http://www.trumpetflowers.com/tables/eu ... ne-map.png and a second just to be sure
https://www.richters.com/show.cgi?page= ... urope.html
Humidity doesnt damage cacti if theyre outdoors, and rarely does rain.(hailstorms on the other hand...)
What damages them is water accumulating near their roots, and over-absorption of said water. This can be remedied my creating a more porous soil mix(volcanic and sandy), creating a raised bed(so the cactus can drain easily, and be placed on a slope), with gravel as a ground cover so the rain doesnt affect the soil. Also, keep watering to a minimum if there is rain in the forecast.
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7george
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Re: Out in the rain in 7b

Post by 7george »

AnalogDog wrote:I'm wondering what my options are for plants I can have in my yard. I live north of Seattle and from October to July the rain does not stop. Are there cacti that can put up with this?
Two other species you could grow are O. polyacantha and Escobaria vivipara, better with northern origin. These plants dehydrate already in September (my zone is 3 or 4) and do not absorb any water winter time, when is cold. They do very well in cold and wet weather during our long winter. From May till July when these grow and bloom lot of water is a need. Also Escobaria missouriensis is wet-tolerant.
Of course raised bed and special well drained mix for outdoor cacti will be only helpful.
If your cacti mess in your job just forget about the job.
°C = (°F - 32)/1.8
physhtanks
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Re: Out in the rain in 7b

Post by physhtanks »

Nic wrote:I'd say you can grow most prickly pears that can grow in 7b, and many other cacti if you put up some rain shield.
I had my prickly pears on a slope in the yard in Pittsburgh, and they handled the rain and the winters very well.
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greenknight
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Location: SW Washington State zone 8b

Re: Out in the rain in 7b

Post by greenknight »

The coastal Pacific Northwest is in a unique situation, though, with the Pacific Ocean to the west and the high desert country just over the nearby Cascade Mountains to the east. It isn't reliably cold enough in autumn to insure dormancy, rain can be either cold or warm depending on the direction it comes from, and it can change to bitter cold in a matter of hours. It can also rain for weeks at a time. I recommend, for cacti that are out in the rain, extremely good drainage - perhaps a raised bed that's pure gravel. I'd stop watering them in late Summer, the first of September or even earlier, to force dormancy before the rainy season arrives.

O. polyacantha and Escobaria vivipara, which 7george mentioned, are two of the species that grow east of the Cascades. Others are O. fragilis, O. columbiana (which some taxonomists consider a hybrid between fragilis and polyacantha), and Pediocactus nigrispinus (maybe a variety of P. simpsonii, rare in cultivation) - these would all be likely candidates. Echinopsis such as oxygona tolerate a lot of moisture, I'd think they also would have a chance.

There are other succulents that will thrive without special care - Sempervivums, various Sedums, Yucca filamentosa.
Spence :mrgreen:
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