Cactus Blog

The Cactus Remains

Hilltop Steakhouse is gone for good, but the cactus remains!


Whither Hilltop Steakhouse? Closed since 2013, the landmark restaurant on Route 1 in Saugus is about to be demolished. That’s the bad news, at least for lovers of its marbled beef and baked potatoes. The good news is that the giant cactus that greeted patrons is staying put. The developer “recognizes that the cactus is such an iconic item that he couldn’t do any better than to reuse it”….

The Hilltop was opened in 1961 by Frank Giuffrida, a butcher whose name is emblazoned on the 68-foot tall, 45-foot wide cactus. That won’t remain, apparently. We’re told the developer plans to retrofit the Route 1 icon with LED lights and replace the name.

It’s a Boston thing.

No cats, Dogs!

I bought this cactus many years ago for a dollar 99 and there were 4 inches of it straight up. I’ve kept it usually just back in the corner not really paying attention to it and probably in the same dirt it was in for 12, 13, 14, years.


Cannot get pictures not when it was real tiny but when I was about 3 feet high and then I’ve got pictures of a more currently when I transplanted it in cactus soil and a larger pot (it was root bound). And it has grown Beyond belief shooting out things everywhere my question is I don’t know if I planted it in enough cactus soil with enough depth. There is a bout 10 to 12 inches of soil hello pot that is probably 2 feet around tapering down to a foot around. And I don’t know how to describe how far Down the plant goes.

The question is how deeper the roots go on something like this finished just one stock coming out of the center from the center supporting all these things and I will attach photos. I look forward to some answers and maybe even what kind of cactuses if it should be repotted again. It sits in the large picture window so it’s getting good sun. I live in Minnesota supported out during the summer would just open it up to bugs that.



Your plant is a Euphorbia. They are a great indoor houseplant. They can be underpotted for years, as you know, and then given some new fresh soil and some water they will grow like crazy! Water less for slower growth. We water no more than once per month. If you pot it up to a larger pot now it will keep getting bigger. However in the ground this is a full size tree, so it’s OK to not repot it for a few more years. ),_crop.jpg


Thanks you so much! Yay… Do you have cats at home?
DuckyWorld Products Inc.
Minneapolis, MN

No cats, dogs!


Growing Cactus in Toronto


Each year, (a) mature cactus can produce 10-20 offsets….

“You can harvest the babies off the larger cacti every year.”…

Last year they had about 1,500. They now have almost 5,000 cacti growing at Tilllsonburg Garden Gate.

“This year I have to pull off 50,000 cacti… with my hands.”…

“Once we have 50,000, then we’ll be able to expand sales,” said Dawson…. “Next year, 50,000 x 10, we could have half a million cacti.”…

“It’s a specialty market.”

That’ll be a lot of cactus soon enough! I wonder if they’ll be trying to sell them to us in California too? It’s a bigger market for cactus than Toronto…

California Native Flowers in Berkeley

Mimulus Georgie Orange

Mimulus “Georgie Tangerine” on 4th Street in Berkeley

I can’t actually confirm the ID of the cultivar, but I’m pretty sure. Embiggen the photo if you want to look a bit closer yourself and let me know what you think. Maybe it’s M. “Curious Orange”?

Tropical Pitcher Plant

Nepenthes ventricosa

Nepenthes ventricosa comes from the highlands of the Philippines. They must get some scary looking bugs up there to have such a ferocious looking carnivore also. But I am brave enough that someday I will go there for you and find them in the wild and take a picture of one beautiful N. ventricosa in habitat eating a large insect or small rodent. For you!

Snow in New Mexico


Clinton sends along a recent photo from New Mexico of an Agave in snow.

Wow, that is pretty. But I sure am glad to not wake up to snow. California sunshine is pretty too. Woohoo!



The Echinopsis grandiflora hybrids are starting to bloom! This yellow one is called, or we call it, “Buttercup”. Because it’s yellow. Nice!

Terra Cotta Pottery Spring Sale

Spring Terra Cotta Pottery Sale – March 21-31

30% off ALL Terra Cotta Pottery

Special Preview Sale
Friday March 20 9am – 5pm.

Cactus Jungle Nursery and Garden
1509 4th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 558-8650

Open 7 Days
9:00a – 5:00p Weekdays
10:00a – 5:00p Weekends

Special Dwarf Drosera as seen on our recent Australia trip. We hunted them down! They were near Sydney, in La Pelouse. Right here on the map. Nice!

Upcoming Classes:

Sat March 28, Terrarium Class

Sun April 19, Succulent Wall Panel Class

Sun May 17, Succulents Class


Yellow Iceplant in Berkeley


This yellow Delosperma is on 4th Street in Berkeley.

OK, so it’s in front of the store. Which store you ask? How can you ask that?!? It’s Cactus Jungle!

If you follow me on the instagrams you might see this same picture, but filtered. Very filtered.

Santa Barbara Island


Dudleya traskiae – Santa Barbara Island Liveforever
Endangered. Endemic to Santa Barbara Island   of the Channel Islands NP. Protected under the Endangered Species Act. Flat chalky blue-green leaves. Small rosettes to 8″. Will form small tight clumps.
Hardy to 25F 
Sun, Light shade away from coast
Cactus Soil
Low Water

Kangaroo Paws


Page Street, Berkeley

That’s a lot of Anigozanthos in that front yard alongside a blue Agave. They sure do bloom a lot. Ironically I just got back from Australia and didn’t see any in bloom there. Just here in Berkeley.


Ice Plants

I’ve been out of touch but here you go with some nice South African Ice Plants.


Delosperma “Moonstone” has the pretty white flowers. Like a Moonstone! I don’t really know what a Moonstone is so I don’t really know. But sure!


Delosperma nubigenum is pretty even when it’s not in bloom! But those blooms…. When you see them….

And more… Many more.


Delosperma “Peridot”


Delosperma “Rosequartz”


Delosperma “Ruby”



Gorgeous giant plumeria tree (frangipani!) on the streets of Sydney, Australia!


Close up bloom photo. Flowers! It must be summer.

California Native Plants for the Garden


It’s Gaura lindheimeri on the streets of Sydney. Australia!

Gaura lindheimeri – Appleblossom Grass
Native to California

Sun: Full Sun
Water: Low
Size: 2-3 feet

Wispy, upright perennial. The stalkless leaves and flowers grow directly on the stems. White flowers with a hint of pink bloom in the spring through fall. Cut back flower stalks for repeat bloom.

Pygmy Sundew


Drosera dichrosepala enodes

Tiny carnivorous babies! The Pygmy Sundews might be big enough to sell by July! I just can’t wait. We can thank Anne for these exciting new species we’ll be carrying all thus year!

We get Questions- Odd gall

Hello Peter,

I’ve got a challenge for you with this Crown of Thorns plant. The plant is obviously not as healthy as it was when it was attached to the roots. I cut off the top because it had these weird growths on it. If I had to guess, I would call them galls. What do you think?

close2 full P1050419 top



Uggh! It looks like a virus that is mutating the tissue. It should be disposed of right away. Sorry about that! The bottom parts of the plant may or may not be infected, so give it a chance, but if the stuff shows up then dispose.





CactusBlog Writers

Peter Lipson
Hap Hollibaugh


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blog [at] cactusjungle [dot] com