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I have been growing cacti and succulents for many years and find succulents far more forgiving than cacti. At the moment I have 1 cactus and more than 30 succulents, all other cactus I have tried have curled up their toes, usually through too much water. Mine do grow outdoors but seem to keep going through all conditions,hot, dry Australian summers, cold damp winters. So good luck this time, remember too much water is definitely their enemy, but they do need some.


Oh, so sorry to hear about Corrie! I am better with succulents myself than actual cactus- and even then I do have to be careful about the watering, mentally put them on a schedule, it is so easy to overdo. I hope you have more luck with your new little plants. I know the pain of loosing them. (I just recently killed my eight-year-old boston fern- so sad!)

Kathy Johnson

RIP, Corrie. And good luck with the new additions. I have no houseplants inside, because my cat eats plants, but I have some orchids on our lanai that I have taken care of with varying amounts of success over the years.

We hosted a big family get-together yesterday to celebrate my mother-in-laws 80th birthday, but I now have today and tomorrow to recover, and hopefully READ. I just finished a couple of books and have the great pleasure of choosing new reads. I just downloaded a Miss Silver mystery from the library, and have picked up The Little Paris Bookshop.

Hope you enjoy your library and bookstore outings, and revel in your new books. Simple pleasures are the best!


You probably don't want to hear this *laughs* - because I think we've chatted about this before - but I've learned that the growing conditions for how these plants are started play a crucial role in the likelihood that the plant can survive.

So in some ways, it might not be ANYthing that you are (or aren't) doing in terms of caring for these plants - they simply weren't properly established (or were exposed to too many vulnerabilities along the way in the supply chain) to start with.

I love succulents but I just don't have the proper conditions for them here - Canada, etc. *snorts* Wishing your little visitors the best of luck!


Poor Corrie, and poor you for feeling responsible for her lost paddles( what a nice word that is) immediately. You will get better at knowing what they need and when over time. I am looking forward to seeing the new arrivals in their pots.

Last week we visited a favourite bookshop. We had a good and lazy look around and I didn't know whether to feel relieved or disappointed when leaving without even one new book. Didn't know one can have these feelings both at the same time :)


Ah, something to aspire to. I have two succulents now and one cactus and I like them and want more! :) I hope that these do better as I bought them locally--I think they were grown nearby so maybe that is a better start that ordering them from somewhere where the climate is so different. At least these have been acclimated to the weather here anyway. I am going to take care with the water and make sure the soil is nice and dry before giving them a drink. Too bad they can't talk and tell me what they need--I just have to get better at recognizing their silent pleas for water.


I felt so bad about her. Maybe not the best time to get a cactus-in the middle of our coldest and nastiest winter and then coming from California where they where in much nicer and temperate conditions. I have a feeling that prickly pears are perhaps a more challenging plant and I should have started with something more generic. Curiously my mom gave me a fern last fall and I thought I had pretty much killed it from total neglect but it seems like it has been rebounding and has lots of new growth. I am not sure what happened there but I hope it keeps getting new leaves!


Cats do throw things off when it comes to plants. Dogs are not a problem, but cats get up to naughtiness and they like to chew things they should not. Still a cat is much more fun than a plant in the long run I think. I hope you have been enjoying some quiet reading time! I just finished another Sue Grafton book, and decided to pick up a thriller in between letters, so I started a Clare Macintosh book today. I am with you on those little easy pleasures--and I make sure I have then as often as I can. Is it hot where you are now?


I suspect that is exactly what happened with the prickly pears. They moved from California where it is so much more temperate and dry to extreme weather Nebraska and to make things worse-in winter! Since these are local plants--I think they were all grown in the same region and under the same weather conditions--maybe they will do better since they are at least acclimated. I am keeping fingers crossed and staying away from the harder to grow cactuses!


I felt so bad! I love those prickly pear cactuses, but I think they are not the best choice for where I live and the extreme weather (and also for my plant growing abilities, too!). So far these seem to be working out okay. I am hoping that in the right soil and I will add some fertilizer after they have been established for a while that they will be much heartier. I find sometimes that I go to a bookstore but almost feel too overwhelmed by choices and sort of uninspired, too, that I don't mind just a casual browse and to leave with nothing new in hand. Over the weekend I went to my favorite used bookstore, and while I did see a few books that looked interested I didn't feel the need to buy any of them. It was enough to look and know I had books at home that I was in the middle of and enjoying and a few other books not yet started that I was looking forward to! I think it sounds like a successful afternoon, actually!!

Kathy Johnson

Mid 90s--ugh! We've had no rain for weeks, so it's not as humid as usual, but the "feels like" temp today right now is 97, and we're not even at our high for the day yet. It's going to be a long summer.

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