Sunday, June 8, 2008

Cactus Flower Finale

Rebutia pulvinosa
x Echinopsis 'Fire Chief'


June is the most brutal month for plants in the low desert of Arizona. It is one of the three hottest months of the year, with the average temperature 101ยบ F. It's also the driest, at 0.1" average rainfall. The average relative humidity is 11 percent, and the average number of days with no cloud cover is 94 percent—the highest of the year. In addition to all this, we have frequent dry winds. I think the bright orange flowers of the R. pulvinosa and the x E. 'Fire Chief' represent the perfect sunny symbol of June weather in Arizona.
During June, because of the above combination of factors, I am very careful with the watering of my potted cacti and succulents. They dry out very quickly, even quicker than in July and August, months that are even hotter. The difference is that the humidity goes up in those months, so the plants don't suffer as much.
This past week we had several days of hot, dry winds, so I gave the plants an extra watering in the evening hours. The next morning several of my potted cacti bloomed profusely, as you can see in the photos. The next couple of weeks will complete most of the cactus flower show, as most of the cactus I've shown in the last six weeks will now start their summer dormancy period.

Several other types of cactus will produce flowers through the summer, but the best is over until fall. This last big June burst of multiple blooms on many of the cacti always reminds me of a fireworks finale.

20 comments:

Hootin' Anni said...

Mmmmmmmmmmmm, how pretty!!! I have one similar [only hot pink] that bloomed earlier this year.

My GTS is shared, hope you can stop by.

inadvertentgardener said...

I agree, Aiyana -- definitely like a fireworks finale! Beautiful photos -- I love the color of those flowers.

restless1photography said...

I have never seen a cactus plant bloom before. I want one of those. Can it only be found in Arizona?

The Well Read Gardener said...

Beautiful! Your posts and pictures always make me see and think of cacti in a totally different way that I ever did before.

Garden Wise Guy said...

What an intense color display! They almost appear to be cake ornaments made from sugar (though I won't be biting into those cactus anytime soon).

Dee said...

Your pictures make my cactus aspire to new heights! I have one just like that but I think the most blooms I saw at once was 6! Yours is truely amazing!

Crafty Gardener said...

What lovely blooms for GTS.
The daylilies are beginning to bloom at
The Gardener Side

mirage2g said...

So pretty almost looks like good to eat! And lots of them too...impressive!

Bengbeng said...

I have no GTS post this week but yr cactus flower is fantastic

Julie said...

What a wonderful Finale for June! For some reason you popped in my head while I was shopping today, and thought of how if I ever met you in person, what an honor it would be!

Claude said...

I keep planning to order one of those fire chiefs... but I always look at the web sites and see something else that I want to order more... I'm going to have to grit my teeth and just order it.

great blooms...

Lifecruiser said...

What a vibrant color, really like fire, very lovely!!!! What I like the most with cactus flowers is the contrast with the cactus plant and the flowers on it.

Brenda Jean said...

Wow, fireworks is a perfect description!!! I love the red blooms. They are fantastic...

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Wow... what beautiful blooms those are. And people think that cactus are not interesting and showy... hmpf!

Muum said...

So, do you have a favorite time of year for your garden and cacti? I think it would be tricky to make sure cacti got watered 'enough', but not too much, but I guess you learn as you go along, as with other plants.

verobirdie said...

What a finale! so brillant. Thanks for sharing.

beckie said...

Fireworks Finale, what a wonderful description! I remember fire chief from an earlier post and it is even more lovely. What a bonus for all that heat-a second spring blooming! Thanks for sharing such great pictures.

Lancashire rose said...

I love the cactus. What a show you had. We have a few natives here in Texas which probably grow in Arizona too. My lace cactus always put on a wonderful show in May but don't blink as the flowers only last one day. They are magenta. Big Bend in April/May is a wonderful place to go to see cacti in flower.
Jenny

Cheryl said...

I find your weather conditions so interesting.....such a huge contrast to our weather.
The cacti is beautiful, and looks hot and sunny.

nikkipolani said...

A beautiful finale, Aiyana. I didn't know June was such a difficult month for plants - I think I would have guessed August. And thanks for coming to visit my tomatoes. I was interested to know that while mine are just beginning, yours are about over!