En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Freeze damage on Barrel Cactus in Llano TX

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - March 04, 2011

From: Llano, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Cacti and Succulents
Title: Freeze damage on Barrel Cactus in Llano TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I believe my barrel cactus has freeze damage. The flesh turned yellow and is now turning dark. The base is still green. If I cut off the damaged top portion, leaving the green base, should it survive? This would take off 3/4 of the plant, leaving only about 3 inches above the soil. It is a single barrel, not branched.

ANSWER:

There are several plants with the common name "barrel cactus." Of these, Thelocactus setispinus (Miniature barrel cactus) is shown on its USDA Plant Profile  as growing in Travis County, which is relatively close to Llano. Another is Ferocactus wislizeni (Candy barrelcactus), which grows in Texas but only in two isolated counties, one in very far West Texas. Both cacti are indicated to be hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11. Travis County is considered to be Zone 8a and Llano County appears to be the same, so your cactus may be slightly out of its hardiness zone.

On this Arizona Cooperative Extension article on problems for cacti, scroll down to Page 5 where freezing problems are discussed. We found no conclusive advice on what to do with the damaged area; we would suggest you wait it out, see if the plant begins to put on new growth. Then, you can cautiously (those are SHARP spines) trim off the area you consider damaged beyond repair.

\

 

From the Image Gallery


Miniature barrel cactus
Thelocactus setispinus

Miniature barrel cactus
Thelocactus setispinus

Candy barrelcactus
Ferocactus wislizeni

Candy barrelcactus
Ferocactus wislizeni

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Blue agave with freeze damage in Lockhart TX
March 16, 2011 - I recently planted a blue agave plant, and 4 days after I planted it the temperature dropped to 20 degrees at night. The plants are still alive but 75% of the outer limbs turned brown. What do I do wi...
view the full question and answer

Root depth of opuntia
May 15, 2007 - What can you tell me about the depth of roots of the opuntia? Does it vary with different varieties or is there formula to estimate the depth according to the mature size or to the culture - garden ...
view the full question and answer

Thorny shrub for deterring break-ins in southeast Texas
February 05, 2013 - Looking for a very, very, thorny three or four foot tall shrub for in front of windows to deter break-ins. Considering Rosa Rugosa rose but it is not native.
view the full question and answer

Is Sedum recommended for a greenroof project in Houston
July 23, 2008 - Would you recommend using Sedum for a green roof project in Houston, Texas? Will the humidity effect the sedum? If sedum would be a poor choice, what would you recommend for Houston?
view the full question and answer

Does the tip of the agave contain poison from Denham Spring LA
December 02, 2009 - I bent over to pick something up and got stabbed in the head with the point of a agave plant. It is about 15 years old and I measured the point-it is right at an inch long. My head did bleed and it bu...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center