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African Milk Cactus

Kellie_Bonnici kbonnici at ivory.trentu.ca
Mon Jun 23 21:55:16 EST 1997

In article <5ok68b$2fa$1 at ralph.vnet.net>, schneck at vnet.net (schneck) writes:
>This may not be the NG I need, but I need help with a 20 year old African
>Milk Cactus.  I got her when she was six inches tall...and she is now 4
>1/2 feet tall and feels like she weighs over 70 pounds.  I really have no
>good place in my house for her...she just barely survives the winters
>before I move her outside to a east facing patio, shielded from the North
>by an L of our home.  

I'd suggest putting the cactus in the absolute brightest most light 
intense area you can find.

>Is it possible to keep this beast outside all winter...I live on the
>border of NC/SC, in the Piedmont (Charlotte area).  

I don't think so!

If it is, can she be
>transplanted to our clay soil or should she be kept in her pot.  

Clay and sand (which is habitat for most cacti) are pretty much opposite soil
types in at least one respect; clay has absolutely pathetic *slow* drainage
where as sand has little water retaining capacity. i'd be keeping her in the

And how
>can I correct her drunken list.  She has a pronounced curve in her main
>trunk.  Unless I brace her against a wall, she tips over.  As it is, she
>has listed so long that she has exposed the roots on one side.

Is she leaning toward incoming light from window? If that's the case, i'd 
reccomend turning the pot regularly.

>I am not a "plant" person...but this cactus appeals to me....and I'd hate
>to lose her by doing something stupid.

Stupid would be putting the plant in a clay soil, so you don't wanna do that.
I'm no cacti expert, but from my experience and common sense the advice above
seems appropriate to me. I'm sure someone'll correct me if I'm wrong!

Good luck, and congrats on keeping that cactus for *so* long!



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