Tough Love Child

We were thrilled to see most of our plants of Trichocereus ‘Love Child’ come through the 11 degrees F unscathed. We hope to have enough of these in the next year or two to share. We had long wanted to grow and offer some of the ridiculously large flowered, tacky colored tropical trichocereus cactus, but they simply had no winter hardiness.

Enter our former volunteer curator, Mike Papay, who had the same idea, but was more determined to make it happen. Mike worked with Trichocereus bruchii, and the resulting second generation plants yielded one he named Trichocereus ‘Big Time’.

He created another winter hardy hybrid using Trichocereus bruchii and Trichocereus thelogonus that he named Trichocereus ‘Iridescent Watermelon’. We subsequently crossed both of Mike’s hybrids together to create a seed strain we named Trichocereus ‘Love Child’. Below is one of our garden plants after enduring 11 degrees F. Below that is the same plant in flower last spring. Hardiness zone 7b to 10b.

Trichocereus ‘Love Child’
Trichocereus ‘Love Child’

4 thoughts on “Tough Love Child”

  1. What size does it achieve in 10 years? During winter in zone 7b of North Carolina, does it need to be protected from rain? Or can it be in the open year round? Thank you.

  2. Hi, I just stumbled upon your blog. Very nice to see what can be done in colder temperate climates with winter rains.
    I my self have a cactus garden in the Netherlands, close to the German border. The climate here is similar to yours, except for the longer winters and lower solar intensity.
    Beside the usual suspects aka Opuntia’s, I manage to grow a range of Echinocereus, Escobaria and Pediocactus simpsonii (with only summer cover against the rain).
    I currently am trialing a number of South American species from Genera like Gymnocalycium and Parodia (Notocactus). The success rate so far is a mixed bag, as expected. The most promising results I have are with species from the high ranges of Córdoba, Argentina.
    In particular, Gymnocalycium andrea has done very well.
    No losses on two-year-old seedling with temperatures down to 12F (every other winter’s norm). Some are even showing flower buds on half inch plants!
    Gymnocalycium gibbosum v. chubutense does OK with winter moisture too, it seems.
    G. gibbosum v. brachypetalum, also from the southern coastal range, strangely enough has no chance it seems. I am left with just one damaged survivor of the badge.
    Under a sheet of glass, they are fine, though.

    I am fully intrigued by the Trichocereus experiments you have going on, and I would be very much interested if any seeds were to become available.
    Spread the ‘Love Child’ so to speak!

    Kind regards, Hendrik

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