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Saguaros Regaining Health

Joanne Winer

May 31st, 2006

After some serious tender loving care, the saguaro forest that is located in the Heroes area in Celia’s Rainbow Gardens, is coming back to good health.

The original 15 saguaros that were donated from a mine site near Quartzsite were planted by a company from Tucson and at the time, we were told that we should not water them for a year to let them get stabilized and find their own water source.

It turns out that that information was alright for saguaros that were in the Tucson area where there is much more rainfall than here. We ended up losing several of the giant cacti due to lack of water.

When Helge McGee of Yuma moved in the last five saguaros to that area, he informed me that since we do not get that kind of rainfall here, that these cacti should be watered to keep them healthy and growing.

We since have put in water lines to them and now water them every week along with all the trees and other plants in the gardens. Since we have been watering them, they have come out of their slump, have stopped shriveling at the tops and have become healthier than they have been for a long time. Most of them now have blossoms crowning the tops.

Thanks to Helge’s advice, we were able to save all the ones that were not dried up from lack of water all this time and we now know that even though they do not get watered in the wild, except for the rainfall, they do much better when given a drink now and then.

We learned a valuable lesson from this and now know better than to leave them dry.

Gardening of any kind in this harsh environment is a challenge and we are glad that we were informed of our mistake before we lost any more of these wonderful giants.