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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Can You Feel the Love Tonight?

Wouldn't it be cool to rewire that big 70's chandelier hanging in the greenhouse?  Smart people entertain these midnight thoughts and act on them at a more sensible time.   So, I'm wandering the aisles of Walmart in the wee hours (It's summer) and my shopping cart, an extension of the plant mobile, finds the plant area.  (Of course.)  Poor grafted (Moon) cacti mutants line a shelf.  One is lying on its side, the cellophane tube and foil wrapper having been removed and the plant being too top heavy to stand on its own.  Noticing it's dark color and feeling sorry for it, I stood it back up and let it lean on some of it's neon neighbors.  In response, it seemed to say "I love you."

Can you feel the love tonight?

Because the top part of the graft, Gymnocalycium mihanovichii can't produce chlorophyll on it's own, to survive, it's grafted to (usually) a short-lived tropical Hylocereus spp.  Therefore, the whole thing usually doesn't live more than three years.  However, the top can be grafted to a different bottom if one knows how to do such things.  I learned that the first mutant seedlings were discovered in the 1940's and that now 98% of these come from Korea where they're produced by the millions.

If one gets the urge to try doing this, here's a helpful video to show you how.
 Can you believe it?  I'd never seen a heart pattern like this on a grafted cactus and it isn't painted on. the pattern is consistent all around the top grafted part.
Can you believe it?  I'd never seen a heart pattern like this on a grafted cactus and it isn't painted on. the pattern is consistent all around the top grafted part. Sensible people smile at these mutants and leave them at the store.  Here it is, potted up and playing with it's friends that were already living in the greenhouse. They all need a bit of gravel mulch.  I'll go do that right now.
Try not to judge me too harshly. It's nice to feel loved!  Now go hug a cactus.

26 comments:

  1. Yes! Yes I can (feel the love....)!
    Who knew?

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  2. Thanks for this, I won't sneer at the mutants so much any more and will look for the love.

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    1. I'm a mutant sneerer too but they are bright and cheerful for their brief lives.

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  3. You should name them after the X-Men. Good for you for giving the mutants a home.

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    1. I had to look up the names. There are quite a lot of good ones from which to choose!

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  4. Do you remember the pair I bought with that same dark coloring? (minus the heart) One of them is still dark, the other one has lightened way up...and they're in the same conditions. Weird.

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    1. I do remember them. How strange is that?

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  5. The hearts are sweet. I've never even thought of bringing one home but seeing one like that might change my mind.

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    1. Outlaw, I don't know you personally, but I feel I know you. You have a good soul and it shows through. Keep sending those good vibes. We sure can use them.

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    2. I fell for a couple last year after seeing them well displayed at Dig Nursery. Surprisingly, their bright colors have been kind of fun to see out there in the greenhouse during the winter months.

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    3. Lita, what a kind thing to say. It's always nice to hear from folks who read and enjoy my silly rambling. Yes! The world surely needs the healing power of love.

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  6. So this was work (chandelier rewiring) avoidance? I'm all for it! ;)

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    1. It may come as a surprise but unless there's a time constraint, I'm kind of a random shopper especially if there are plants nearby.

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  7. And I'm loving the colours too!

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  8. I don't think I could have left it behind either - and I generally dislike those plants.

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    1. They are a bit odd but I wanted to see if they were tough enough to spend the winter in the greenhouse (only heated to 50 in the winter.) Now I'm enjoying them but when they eventually give up the ghost, they won't be replaced.

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  9. Oh, I'm the same way, I go through the stores and see a plant in distress and immediately want to give it a good home. I guess it could be worse, at least the plants won't require litter pans and endless veterinarian visits, but I do run out of garden space at times. Yes, I definitely feel the love!

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    1. Seems to be better than hoarding pets and it supports the horticulture industry so really, it's our duty to bring home more plants than we really need.

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  10. LOL. The grafting thing is way beyond my area of expertise and comfort level. But beyond that, yes, I definitely feel the love. My wallet doesn't like it, but oh well ...

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    1. Silly wallet. Too much money left in there will only make it uncomfortable.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.