My kids wanted to plant cacti the other day. We went to the nursery to select them together. They each got a separate cactus, and then share one together. Actually my oldest son got two of his own, somehow successfully swindling an extra one. He’s clever, that one.
His cacti are both of the more tall and slender variety, and covered in spikes, and are an absolute joy to plant. He calls one “Lucky Nucky” since it is in a group of three, which he considers generally to be a lucky number. His second group of two cactuses he calls “Cactus McCoy,” an actual video game character who is a man in the form of a cactus seeking revenge on the person(s) who turned him into a plant. Who knew? These cacti, according to my oldest son, may grow to at least thirty feet tall some day.
My younger son’s cactus is aptly called a “Split Rock,” a succulent that looks like an alien egg with a big split down the center of it. Did you know “virtually all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti (Wikipedia).” Interesting fact, indeed. I don’t know if the split rock is a cacti, but I have a feeling it isn’t. I bet this baby’s a succulent all the way. My son describes it as his “very own living pet rock, squishy, but not like jello.” He’s still working on a nickname. It definitely takes the prize for most bizarre.
A close second, the cactus they share, is a red exotic that appears to have a spiky, sea urchin hat. I call it the “Urchin de terre.” They call it, “Red Mouth,” which I like better.
I’m not sure if my kids chose the cacti because they really wanted them or because they are plants that may actually have a chance at living under my care. My son says to me, “Mom, did you know a cactus only needs 12 inches of water a year?” I guess I have my answer. He also says they’re cool and better than stupid flowers. Point taken.
It’s true that many flowers have died on my watch. I don’t think it’s just me. I attribute some of it to bad soil and a faulty sprinkler system. Because, seriously, I want them all to live. I added new soil for the freshly planted cacti. I’m thoughtfully optimistic.
Later today when I was watering the plants, a huge grasshopper flew in my hair and did a little dance. When I screamed a girlie-girl scream in a decibel level that could shatter glass, my spontaneous watering spree had ended, and probably upset all my neighbors.
My son noted that should there be a zombie apocalypse, all we need to do is cut open the cactus for fresh water. Not that we want to kill it, mind you. Well, if that’s not incentive, I don’t know what is. They better survive now.
I wish that I could have a green thumb, because truly I think it’s a cool thing to brag about. Long live the cacti! Wish me luck.
Our Lovely Cacti Garden