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A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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

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Wednesday - September 02, 2015

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Watering, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Opuntia drooping in Austin, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I planted an optunia spp. in March. It has nearly tripled in size. This week, I noticed the entire plant has started to droop. Temperatures have been very high with no rain for weeks. The cactus is not irrigated, but plants about 2 ft. away are. I haven't watered the cactus, but when I saw the drooping begin, I did give it a slow trickle with a hose for 5 min. No improvement. The pads look healthy and green, they are just all drooping. Am I over or under watering?

ANSWER:

Let’s recap;

You planted the plant in March. Is it in a pot, or in the ground ? It sounds like it may be in the ground, but you didn’t mention the soil conditions.

In Austin, we had 17.59  inches of rain fall in May; the wettest May on record.  SInce that time, there has been less than 7 inches of rain, and the temperatures have been in upper 90’s to 100° F.

You indicate that the cactus has received a 5 minute trickle with a hose since May.

Mr. Smarty Plants is guessing that you are not over watering your cactus.

I am including a couple of links with information on cactus care.

cactuscollection.com 

gardeningknowhow.com 



 

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