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daily news and photography about cacti and succulents and some carnivorous plants too  

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Peter Lipson
Hap Hollibaugh

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

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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.

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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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Playing with Cactus


Musicians have been playing with cactus ever since John Cage wrote a piece for cactus many years ago. Probably people were playing cactus even longer ago than that, but there you go – John Cage gets all the credit.

Farkas, 30, plays percussion

instruments such as marimba and snare drum, but nothing captures attention like playing the spines of a cactus in a pot….

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As strange as it may sound to others, Farkas said, cactus playing is a thing in the percussion world — mostly thanks to avant-garde composer and music theorist John Cage. Cage’s “Child of Tree,” composed in 1975, uses instruments made of plant materials, including the cactus. 

Best if all this particular article comes with instructions! Now you can know how to play the cactus yourself!

How to Play the Cactus

1. Get a cactus with long, evenly spread spines.

2. Make a contact microphone using a piezoelectric transducer, plug it into an amplifier and attach it to one of the cactus spines.

3. Use your fingers or other objects to pluck or rub the spines to create sound. Bonus points for rhythm without injury.

Electrified!

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Pumpkins? Succulents? What Kind of Halloween Horror is This?


The Washington Post is making a horrible nightmarish Halloween centerpiece out of a stitched together agglomeration of hideous opposites.

Though it is kind of cute.

Daigle, 31, who is one of the authors of the blog Needles & Leaves… told us a bit about succulents and shared a few photos of DIY holiday ideas from her book. There you can find detailed directions on how to create them.

Oh, so it’s in a book! Very timely.

Where is the best place to buy succulents?

Try and go directly to a local nursery. You will get a better plant from them, and you can pick it out yourself.

Nice! She likes us! She really likes us!

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