Growing cacti in ground in the Bay Area

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Growing cacti in ground in the Bay Area

Post Number:#1  Postby johnbecker » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:51 pm

Hey everyone,

Does anyone have advice about genera that can do well in the ground in the Bay Area? I live in Richmond--winters drop below 30 degrees F maybe 2-3 times per year. It is a winter rainfall climate, even though it seems like we're getting less rain every year.

I'm trying to plant the median strip next to my house this spring with cacti and agave--it's only 30" wide so I'm avoiding things like opuntias. Mainly I want to know if amending soil for good drainage will be enough to allow ferocactus and echinopsis species to do well. I've got a couple golden barrels that'll go in, and I'd like to put in a pachycereus marginatus if it'll survive. Thoughts? Advice?

Thanks!
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Re: Growing cacti in ground in the Bay Area

Post Number:#2  Postby Stan » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:10 pm

Visit the Berkeley botanical gardens and Ruth Bancroft. I don't know if there are any cactus you cant grow in Richmond. Its usually is a good frost free climate. That's why Annie's Annual's and Golden Gate Palms are there. They don't want to lose inventory every winter. Other then Saguaro that is a total no go,most of the other Arizona cactus do fine here. If you want a Saguaro like cactus- E.tershcheckii is the one- much faster then Pachycereus.
Really its all on the palette..as long as they get full sun and not soils that stay soaking wet.
Just remember the first few summers after planting- they need to be watered consistently. After that as needed.
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Re: Growing cacti in ground in the Bay Area

Post Number:#3  Postby Stan » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:15 pm

Where in Richmond are you that gets so cold? I looked at Thursdays coldest morn of the year to be and I'm at 34F in Hayward ( somethings to be covered tonight)...Whereas west Richmond wont drop below 45f..and even in the eastside its only a 41f. I know I spotted Ficus benjamina as small street tree's in Richmond.
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Re: Growing cacti in ground in the Bay Area

Post Number:#4  Postby johnbecker » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:21 am

We're in North and East, kind of right in the middle of City Hall and Richmond High. Got down into the 20s in my yard last Thursday night--took some damage to my less hardy aloes. It's an interesting microclimate with constant roaring south wind in the summers and really still in the winter, which I think contributes to frost. Maybe last year just spooked me--both I and a pal up in Pinole lost whole swaths of plants. His climate is crazy--5-10 degrees hotter and colder, depending on the season.

Thanks for the tips! I need to get back out to RBG for a winter visit.
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Re: Growing cacti in ground in the Bay Area

Post Number:#5  Postby Stan » Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:12 pm

Oh man,you're getting Concord weather looks like. Other then thinking Richmond was like SF and Oakland frost free..I guess its only near the bay Z17. The industrial-nursery area.
You still have a great cactus climate..because you might be getting Concord like warmth here and there in summer.
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Re: Growing cacti in ground in the Bay Area

Post Number:#6  Postby johnbecker » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:27 am

Thanks Stan! I'll post some pictures when the project gets up and running in March.
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