Saturday, August 17, 2019

My Barrel Cactus Surprise Flower

Five years ago, I was given a small barrel cactus.  It wasn't any bigger than a quarter.  I brought it home and put it in a pot.  I have done nothing with it except water it occasionally.  In the summer, I put it outside,  and in the winter I put it where ever I can find room for it.   It has grown quite a bit.  This summer was no different.  As soon as the danger of frost had past, I put the cactus outside on our deck.  I didn't pay it much attention until one day I noticed a slight bulge on the side of the plant.

I wasn't quite sure what it was.  I was hoping for a flower or at the least a baby cactus.  It grew very fast and in a few days it had grown a lot.

I still didn't quite know what it was.  I watched it very carefully everyday.

Then in a couple more days, I could tell it was going to be a flower.  Having no experience with this, I didn't know how long it would take to bloom.  It didn't take long, within a day or so I woke up to a beautiful blossom.

Within a day the long stem separated from the barrel and fell off.  I think it was supposed to dry up and fall off but we had a heavy rain the night before which probably made the blossom too heavy.

I picked it up and put it in a jar thinking it would only last a couple hours.  It lasted a couple days and then shriveled up.

This whole process was complete in eight days.  I noticed the bump on August 6, the larger bud on August 9, the full bud on August 12 and the full flower on August 14.  I am hopeful that this is just the beginning of more flowering to come.  I should take it out of its tacky little pot with a hole in it, but I don't want to ruin a good thing.  Soon it will be too big for the pot and I will be forced to repot it, but hopefully I can get one more year and another flower or two.