Cactus Blog  

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

"Drolly entertaining and informative at the same time." CSM  






Cactus Blog Archives

Cactus Blog Writers

Peter Lipson
Hap Hollibaugh

Drought in the Desert


People think that because cactus and succulents may come from a desert that they can handle the California drought. But it’s a record drought! Even desert plants need some water. For instance, the Joshua Trees…

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — In the California desert, Joshua tree seedlings are shriveling up and dying before they get the chance to put down strong roots, and ecologist Cameron Barrows wants the details.

The University of California, Riverside scientist knows that hot weather and lack of rainwater hurt the iconic species…

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How to Plant a Cactus


I have a couple of cactus that are in need of serious re-planting. And I want to make sure it gets done right.

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I have included some pics. Looking for any advice on the best way to go about this.

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Tom

Tom,

Those are some impressive looking cactus! I assume you are not going to try to replant the whole clusters, but rather are asking about taking cuttings from the fallen branches. Generally we recommend take tip cuttings and about 2-3ft. in length. Use a serrated blade, like a bread knife. Take a clean cut at a slight angle. Spray the cut end with household Hydrogen Peroxide and then set it aside in a shady location for a week or two so that the cut end callouses over.

When you are ready to plant, if it’s in a pot use fast draining cactus soil. Plant it 4 to 6 inches deep into the soil and stake it up. Don’t water for another week or two. Then start regular watering (every 2-3 weeks in the Bay Area, more or less depending on where you live.)

Peter

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In the Newspaper


It’s Cactus Jungle in the SF Chronicle. And by inside I mean on the front page. Nice!

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Photo: Liz Hafalia, The Chronicle
Laura Wehrley (left) looks for succulents at Cactus Jungle nursery in Berkeley, California, with assistant manager Jeremiah Harper (left back) showing plants on Monday, June 1, 2015.

California on Monday officially began its unprecedented push for water conservation in cities and towns, marching out orders for hundreds of communities across the state to make reductions of up to 36 percent.

The rest of the article is behind a pay wall, so if you are a subscriber you can read the whole thing! You know, some people even still get the newspaper delivered right to their front porch at home. Nice!

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Dancing Shadows


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There have been a lot of new hybrid Salvias recently. The Desert series and the Dancing series, S. greggii and S. microphylla hybrids are nice.

This one is Salvia “Dancing Shadows”.

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Top Ten New Species Discoveries


From Scientific American we get a Mexican Bromeliadt, only recently described!

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Tillandsia religiosa, a solitary flowering plant with rose-colored spikes and flat green leaves, grows in rocky terrain in Morelos, Mexico. T. religiosa has long been known to native people of the region, who incorporated it into nacimientos (altar scenes depicting the birth of Christ) at Christmas. Yet scientists have only recently described it.

Photograph by A. Espejo

Beautiful.

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Hens and Chicks


So many hardy alpine varieties!

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Sempervivum “Rita Jane”

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Sempervivum arachnoideum

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Sempervivum “Green Wheels” seen through a red filter.

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Have You Thought About the Drought?


Bloomberg News has.

California’s Drought-Stricken Elite Trade Lawns for Luxury Cactuses

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…The designer’s intransigence put the Annenberg garden ahead of the emerging fashion for low-moisture, naturalistic landscaping on luxurious properties. Burnett embraced aloe, a spiky, flowering succulent that’s a favorite of hummingbirds, and he planted barrel cactus by the hundred….

Well that sounds expensive! But we’re here to help you out. We can plant barrel cactus for you by the singles. If you need hundreds we do have hundreds growing, but I suspect there aren’t a lot of you looking to replace your lawn with hundreds of barrel cactus for the drought. (but let us know if you are….)

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Green Ghost


Hello Peter.

Here’s a pic of a cactus I keep inside.

Euphorbia lactea crest

The dark green growth is shooting up from the variegated “ghost” , should I remove it and replant it? The white part isn’t showing new growth, I think the green is stealing the limelight.

Thx again, Karen

Karen,

Wow – that is a very green sport from that Ghost Euphorbia. I kind of like it, but if you want it can definitely be cut off and replanted into another pot. If you’re stopping by here we can do it for you.

Peter

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Cactus Muffins


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They’re not really muffins, they’re cupcakes. But I like the title Cactus Muffins better than Cactus Cupcakes.

Photo taken from Amy Sedaris’ instagram feed, for some reason, though I suspect she did not make these nor even photograph them. That’s my guess! I could be wrong!

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We Get Plant Questions


Hello, you once posted a picture of a vine that looked like grass, but it is no longer in your photo data? I am trying to find it but can’t remember it’s name. Does this ring any bells? I thought part of the name had something like tweedia in it but not the tweedia with the blue flowers.
Thanks, 
Jamie (in SF)

The one you are looking for is called Mormon Tea, Ephedra tweediana. I guess the Tweedy part is the memorable part of the name. Although ironically Ephedra is sometimes used for memory.

Peter

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Epiphyllum Cactus Flower


Epiphyllum

That’s a giant Orchid Cactus Flower.

Epiphyllum is a highly hybridized genus. Do we have any idea what the species of this is? No! Someone may choose to identify the variety by the flower, but we prefer to leave it up in the air. So to speak. Epiphytic Plant Joke! Hah!

It’s a species of cactus that comes from Central America generally. And most of the species we call Epiphyllum are more likely actually Disocactus hybrids. Or intergenic hybrids with other plants from the Hylocereeae Cactus Tribe. But this one I am absolutely positively sure is an Epiphyllum. Or not. I don’t know what those Botanists are thinking these days.

That’s a lot of fancy words for a flower this pretty. Enjoy!

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Big Airplants


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Tillandsia xerographica

Tillandsia xerographica

is a slow-growing, xerophytic epiphyte… making an attractive, sculptural rosette, 3 feet or more in diameter and over 3 feet high in flower…. The leaf bracts are rosy red; the floral bracts are chartreuse; and the petals of the tubular flowers are red to purple and are very long lasting…

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Pots


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New concrete succulent pots available at the Cactus Jungle!

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Hand-crafted locally by Brian, SukkulentsBYB.

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And here is where we pot them up with our very own adorable succulents.

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