Cactus Blog

Palm Springs Cactus

myrtillocactus

Hi there,

I was wondering if you could help to identify this cactus. I saw it while walking down a street of mid-century homes while visiting Palm Springs. I love its color and form, really got my attention. I live on the east coast and would love to care for a (much) smaller plant of this type indoors, if you happen to know any specifics.

Thanks for your time!
Nicole

The cactus is a Myrtillocactus, also known as the Whortleberry Cactus.

Peter

Questions!

Hey there. I recently purchased this barrel cactus from a shop in Denver and then took it with me back to NYC. (As carry-on.) It looks basically healthy except for this discoloration, which seems to come in two parts. At the upper end of the plant there are these lighter (yellowish) spots. With an x-acto knife I can slice them off, tho it’s not the easiest thing in the world to do. Towards the bottom, the discoloration isn’t raised, and it’s pretty thorough at the bottom two inches, creeping up in some places.

IMG_1400

Maybe the bottom is natural barking, and the top is related to frost in Denver? In which case, let it be?

Or maybe it’s a scale infestation? In which case, should I take that knife to everything I can?

Spent forever online looking for advice but have gotten nowhere. Any thoughts you have would be so appreciated!

David

It’s hard to tell from the photo. It’s either some previous damage that has healed over, in which case you don’t need to do anything. Or it’s scale, which is an insect, so please put away the exacto blades. If you think it’s scale then you should spray it with an organic insecticide. You can also dip a soft paintbrush into rubbing alcohol and that will break the shell down so that you can clean them off after they are dead.

Peter

Succulents are Super Hip and Cool

According to the New Republic, there’s never been a better time to decorate your home with so many succulents that you can’t even see the windows anymore.

I am not trendy

. In fact, I actively disdain something as soon as I sense it’s a trend… But that couldn’t stop me from falling prey to one of the latest trends: succulents.

image

I noticed other people’s obsession with succulents before I became obsessed myself….

But somewhere along the way, my stance on succulents started changing. I found myself thinking that maybe if I had a succulent….

First, I acquired a light green echeveria that grew a single yellow flower. Then I got another, darker echeveria. And a hen-and-chicks. And a big spiky aloe. And a fairy castle cactus. There was no turning back.

Phew! What a story! A journey to enlightenment.

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