Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Under The Shade Cloth



When I originally took this Mammillaria geminispina from its pot and put in the the ground, I was a bit concerned about sun damage because this species likes full sun almost everywhere except here, where full exposure can cause serious sun damage. My original plan was to place it where it would receive light afternoon shade from a nearby tree, but soon it was obvious that dappled shade would not be enough to protect it from the intense summer sun. So, eight months of the year it thrives in full sun, and then, starting in mid-May, I cover it with 50 percent shade cloth until mid-September or so. I don't re-acclimate it to full sun in early fall--I just take off the cloth. It has never had any sun damage, probably because although it may still be hot in September, the sun's angle is lower and the rays less intense. It has tripled in size over the past two years and is clumping nicely. It has never produced flowers, but when it does, they will be sparse, small and pink. Since I don't like to go out in the sun in the summer, this cactus' ugly shade cloth cover doesn't bother me at all. I do peek under the cloth a few times each summer to make sure all is well.


6 comments:

rohrerbot said...

I love this cactus....it has an irregular form. Great pic!

Julie said...

How do you support the shade cloth? I am wanting to do this for my eggplants here, but haven't quite decided how! I suppose in my case I could just throw it over my cages (tomato cages)...

Hope this pretty cactus will bloom for you soon (one of these years)!!!

Julie said...

BTW, this thing has some killer spines!!! Youch!

Aiyana said...

Julie,
I just throw it over the top of the cactus, no support. That's the way most shade cloth is used here. I do sort of drape it so that the northern exposure is a bit open, then hold the whole thing down with stones. The cloth is stiff enough so that there's plenty of space between most of the cactus and the cloth.
Aiyana

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

What a gorgeous Mammi! You are taking such kind care of it. I have a lot of people say to me, "I thought if it was a cactus it should have full sun!" But you and I know that all succulents are not created equal. Great job and I hope it blooms soon.

verobirdie said...

I like the shape of this little guy!
And the story that goes with it makes me smile: I just bough a kalankoe this afternoon, and I dare not put it outside in full sun, because I fear sun damages, and I was considering an umbrella... and wondering if I was still sane :-) Apparently yes.
For the moment, it is inside, close to the window, I'll see if I can work something out.