Well, looks like there may be an issue with our Saguaro in the backyard now that we’ve added grass. Hopefully this is a good learning lesson for readers – you don’t want to make this mistake if indeed it turns out to be one.
With grass comes more water and our nearly 100 year-old specimen is not used to having water so available. Until we remodeled the backyard there were no drips or sprinklers anywhere near it. Now it’s a few feet away from drips and sprinklers and suddenly I noticed it’s taking on a tilt.
Granted the arms on this baby are loaded to one side making it naturally heavier but it’s too coincidental that only a couple months after the remodel it’s suddenly started to lean. We’ve been in this home for five years and it’s always looked the same; until now.
So, I called around to find a succulent specialist, specifically someone who knows Saguaros. The first guy I talked to sounded knowledgeable but he’s the first person I talked to so I’m still gathering information. I have someone else who is coming out this Thursday and a call in to another. I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, based on what the first guy said (don’t have any drips or sprinklers within 10-12 feet of an established Saguaro – Oh Great!) I pulled out the katy ruellias near the base (see them in photo) and capped the drips, limiting the amount of water coming in around the Saguaro. We’re also going to skip days on watering the lawn until we get more information.
This I do know for sure – there’s a way to tell if your Saguaro is getting too much water. The ribs will look very swollen, starting from the base and moving upward. Swollen meaning spread further apart than usual. What’s ironic is, I noticed about a week ago on my daily walks that many of the barrel cacti I saw in the front yards of homes along our regular route were looking bloated. In those cases it’s from all the rain we’ve received from the monsoons because no new water source was added other than via mother nature. What I’m hoping is that’s what has happened to my guy – just too much monsoon water – and now that we’re cutting out the drips he’ll be just fine, grass and all. We’ll definitely have to prop him from one side but I hope the roots don’t end up rotting due to the sprinklers.
More to come as I gather more information on this one…..