The Sunday Snatch featuring Teddy Bear Cholla

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I realize that some of you are going to need at least a little convincing with today’s Snatch.  You’re mostly thinking “ouch” and that this plant belongs in natural desert settings where you can stay far away from it, right?  I used to agree wholeheartedly, but now it’s one of my absolute favorites.  Why?  Their beautiful yellow spines and light green flesh catch the sun unlike any plant I know – it’s other-worldly.  Their flowers are incredible (more on that when they bloom).  They develop a sturdy and upright single trunk, meaning they don’t form a sprawling thorny mess that traps trash (like some forms of prickly pear).  And, they serve lots of native birds and other wildlife with their fruit and protective cover.  Just try one clump and see how it goes!  Put it in a spot where you can move around it and not accidentally bump into it – away from your house, utility meters, a tree you have to trim regularly – you get the idea.  Also, pair it up with stuff from the last three weeks!  Teddy bear cholla, purple prickly pear, yellow striped agave and a pot of pedilanthus will really jazz up an empty space in your yard.  Maybe I’ll post pictures of that very combination next week.


cholla 2


Alright, so there’s not a lot of new information about how to complete this mission, but let’s review anyway.  First, hit up a friend with some desert property – I’m pretty sure taking cuttings from public desert parks is illegal  (but, do what you may).  Second, get out the trusty (long-handled) snippers.  Cut off a chunk at a joint and have a bucket ready to catch the winnings.


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Let the cuttings scab over for a day or two, then plant the chunks in the ground.  That’s it!  Then just wait for some glorious new growth to emerge, which might happen in the next month or two (or it may just spend some time adjusting to its new home  for a while).


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Eventually you can surround your new friend with soft and fluffy stuff like creosote, triangle leaf bursage, and brittle bush and you’ll have an excellent sampling of beautiful desert vegetation that requires very little input.


cholla 5

Have a great day, everyone!  I’m headed out to Sabino Canyon to soak up some sun and check out the pretty plants.  I’ve heard that there’s still some water in the pools, so that’s always exciting.  Any fun plans in store for you and yours?

1 Comment
  1. im looking for a teddy bear cholla 2.5 to buy let me no if have some ty keith

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