cactus #632280 - Ask Extension


cactus #632280

Asked May 06, 2020, 8:47 PM EDT

Can I Grow a colorful cactus in a garden box here in north Albany? I ask because my side yard is a path for deer. The box about 4 ft off ground with a planting depth of about 8-10 inches. IF yes, please can pou provide a site for names and photos of those that can be grown here? THanks so very much! Tim

Benton County Oregon

Expert Response

Hello.  Growing cactus might seem counter intuitive here in the Willamette Valley but I do know people who have grown them.  I have one growing in my greenhouse in a small pot.  My mother brought a piece of a prickly pear home after a trip to the mid-west.  It grew for years in an extremely sunny spot in her back yard.  It even bloomed occasionally.  I was not able to find much university-based research on this subject.  I did find several cactus and succulent growing groups where I think that you will find the most information pertinent to what you are trying to do.  I will tell you if deer are your main motivation to do this that deer regularly eat thorned roses so I am not sure cacti will be immune to being on the deer menu.  Since it is a side yard you are thinking about putting this be sure to check for adequate sun exposure as these plants require lots of sun in addition to extremely fast draining planting media.  South facing with little or no shade on your planter is best.  I have included several links for you to increase your knowledge on these plants and to give you references for additional information.   This article from Washington State University discusses the three best types of succulents that grow well in our Pacific Northwest climate.  Oregon Cactus and Succulent Society.  They were advertising a sale to be held in July so I have included information about that.  If you choose succulents, you can buy them just about anywhere.  Nurseries, big box stores even Master Gardener plant sales. I am sure a group like this will have plants not available other places.

This year the Oregon Cactus and Succulent Society sale will be July 17-19, Friday, and Saturday from 9-7 and Sunday from 9-4. The sale will be held at Portland Nursery 5050 SE Stark St. Portland 

CONTACT INFORMATION:  James and Deborah 503-259-0580, This is a review of two books recommended by a Pacific Horticulture Society publication on the subject.

This is a link to the Elizabeth C. Miller Library and the page that come up has lots of links you can click on to obtain more information that interests you.  Again, a Washington State University site.

 I hope that this information helps you.  Happy Gardening.


Debra Lauer Replied May 08, 2020, 6:43 PM EDT

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