How to move a 6' cactus long distance?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by perennial, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    In preparing for our move - hubby said the cactus has to go - i
    am very easy going, but not with that! I told him i wouldn't sign
    closing documents on this house when we move unless the cactus was
    in the truck. We will have to have an 18wheeler take our stuff out of state
    because of a house, basement, shed, etc. full of stuff anyway.

    What i need to know is how to protect it? It has 4-5 stalks 6 feet tall with
    many branches off of it. Do i put bubble wrap or something inside among
    branches and then wrap the entire thing in a blanket. I'm assuming i lose atleast
    one branch, but really want to bring it.

    I bought it for my hubby our first christmas together and it was only 3 1/2
    feet tall. It's the only plant in 16 years together that i haven't killed! I have
    no other plants in the house because they just die. Outside my gardens
    are beautiful though - mother nature does the watering.

    Any suggestions would be welcome.
     
  2. Wolf mom

    Wolf mom Well-Known Member

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    WOW! Here in Arizona they're protected - state something or other. We usually hire professional movers. They usually have a trailer with a diagonal (slant) bed that can be raised or lowered. The cactus and trailer slant is wrapped in carpeting. The roots are shallow, so that's no problem, but the cactus is full of water and HEAVY!. They have been known to fall over and kill people here. If yours falls it will probably shatter an arm or two. The more arms, the more expensive. This is an ancient type plant. You may want to look up moving Saguaro's on the internet. I'd look for a nursery from Arizona for the best advise. Other than that, if I were moving it, I'd first, think twice, then take a picture.
     

  3. Wolf mom

    Wolf mom Well-Known Member

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    Brural: I just reread your post. What kind of cactus is it? I just assumed Saguaro. Let me know, as different cactus' can be moved differently. Sally
     
  4. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    I think it is a E. candelabrum. It is including pot single stems (5) for 1 1/2 feet, then it has lots and lots of little "branches" off of it. It has prickers up and down
    it and it has never flowered.

    There were two more stalks - they were planted in a circle, but over the years only the ones in the front have survived. So picture semi circle of stems at bottom 1 1/2 feet up they spread to about 2 1/2 feet for most of it then on
    each side there is a branch that sticks out further. I'm figuring those will probably break off at most.

    I'll have to take a pic of it soon and post it.

    Thanks for trying to help
     
  5. pamda

    pamda Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Get some sticks or dowles or what ever as long as the plant is tall (4 or 6 ) place them in the dirt around to plant them wrap with bubblewrap or that foam wrapping stuff you get in packages. This should work ok.

    A long or tall box would help too.
     
  6. dla

    dla Well-Known Member

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    Well it sounds wonderful and sentimental and I hope it all goes well.
     
  7. PonderosaQ

    PonderosaQ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Effectively crate it. Put it on a wood base with slat sides. A couple of pallets should do the job materials wise. Wrap the plant in something, burlap, old blanket, or bubble wrap to prevent it from rubbing on the wood. If you have a large garden center locally which would sell a big specimen like yours perhaps they would give you the packaging one of their plants came in. Where I worked we had some big ones come in in solid type crates with breather holes in the tops and they were filled with peanuts. Boy were those plants fun to clean off.

    PQ
     
  8. southerngurl

    southerngurl le person Supporter

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    Typically cactuses have some part that can be broken off to start another plant, like a cutting. You might consider doing that...
     
  9. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Candelabrum will start nicely from cuttings. Save any arms that break off and plant them, they'll root easily.

    I'd wrap a blanket around the whole thing, strap the arms together with the blanket so they can't flop around, and then get two people to move it -- one to keep the arms from moving around, one to carry it to the truck. Once in the truck, try to anchor it to something so the pot can't move independent of the arms.

    They're tougher than they look.

    Oh, go real light on the water for a few weeks after the move. They're susceptible to root rot if they're stressed. Extra water makes things WORSE.

    Leva

     
  10. CraftyDiva

    CraftyDiva Is anybody here?

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    Check your local appliance stores for large cardboard boxes (like a refrigerator box). That should be large enough to hold it. Then pack crumbled newspapers around the plant all the way to the top,to keep it from shifting. If you can't get one box large enough, get several smaller ones and make your own using packing tape to hold it together.
     
  11. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone!

    Cygnet - i have had a couple of stalks die from the root up - i don't water it
    often every 2 months or so. Are you supposed to do something else for them
    to keep them healthy? I do put a few drops (4) of miracle grow in with the water. I started that when the guy at a nursery asked me in the fifteen years i owned it how much have i fertilized it and i said 14 years going strong.

    How do you keep a cactus healthy?
     
  12. Cygnet

    Cygnet Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Cacti have different requirements. I'm NOT real familiar with candelabrum cacti, though I have one by my front door. It gets watered when it rains, which isn't often here, and fertilizer once a year, maybe, if I remember. It was my grandmother's before me. I've broken stalks off it, planted them in the ground, and had them do better than the potted plant. But this is in AZ. They don't like to be frozen and don't like wet soil, so where you can plant them outside is limited. (Mine are up against the house where they're not likely to get frozen badly.)

    A gardening site could give you better advice.

    If you get root rot, cut the stalk off above the last sign of rot and replant it. They'll root. When I'm making cacti cutting, I usually let the cut part dry a bit before planting, for a couple of days.

    Soil should be very sandy and quick draining -- NOT normal potting soil, but a cactus mix.

    You're doing something right if you got it to six feet!

    Leva
     
  13. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    It's in potting soil which i added to it when we put in a larger pot a couple of times.

    I'm going to have to look into this.

    Thanks.