Protecting Cacti in Winter

Jane McGary
Wed, 09 Nov 2011 10:32:20 PST
I use a microfoam product that has a thin plastic backing when I need 
to protect my bulb beds temporarily during severe cold snaps, but I 
wouldn't leave it on all winter because of the danger of rot.

Some years ago a friend who had a large nursery operation gave me 
some samples of a product that is made of plastic but has very tiny 
pores that allow the passage of gases but not water. He used it to 
cover propagating beds with cuttings in them. I used this 
successfully for covering cuttings both under glass and outdoors. I 
don't know the name of it, but maybe you could search under 
"micropore" and find something similar. This product is thin and 
would need to be supported so as not to lie right on the cacti.

Regarding glochids, you can avoid them by wearing latex gloves. If 
they get in your skin, you may be able to remove them by using a hot 
waxing product sold for hair removal (find it in the cosmetics 
department). I didn't have any handy when a little cholla (Opuntia 
sp.) jumped onto my pants leg last month in Chile, and a spine or 
glochid left me with quite a sore spot.

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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