Reader Photos

San Juan Capistrano

Dorena sends along these photos of the cactus and succulents of the mission at San Juan Capistrano.

san_juan_capistrano_echinopsis

Echinopsis cluster with some late blooms

san_juan_capistrano_agave_myrtillocactus

Giant Agave americana and a well-balanced Myrtillocactus behind.

san_juan_capistrano_echinopsis_flower

Giant white Echinopsis flower. Up close!

san_juan_capistrano_pachycereus

Pachycereus line the street.

Nice!

A Euphorbia Grows in Kansas City

Hello!

I live in kansas city and was gifted this beauty for mothers day.. I want to take the best care possible of this gorgeous cactus! Our home has tons of natural light and we were told by the nursery we purchased it from that the spot we have it in is a good one even though it doesn’t received direct sun. I’m terrified of under/over watering. With a plant this size, how often should I be watering , and when I do, how much should I give? Do I fertilize? It’s about 8 ft tall. Thank you for your expertise.. Love your blog!

euphorbia ammak

Gina

Gina,

That’s quite large! In general I would recommend some direcgt sun, though these Euphorbias can sometimes handle a bright room with no direct light, but it’s tricky.

Basically, with lower light levels you want to water less. A lot less. I would try starting with watering every 2 months – try to soak the soil as much as possible without the plant sitting in water. I would fertilize just a little bit once per year in the spring. You want to slow down its growth so it doesn’t grow more than 2 or 3 inches in a year.

However it would be best if you can move it to where it gets some directct sun and then you can water more often.

Peter

Maryland Cactus and Succulents

John from Maryland sends along a photo of his blooming Stapelia and a very nice Echinopsis hybrid.

Hello,
I just wanted to say hi, and share a couple of photos of my plants with you. I came across your site a while ago and check your blog often. I live in Salisbury Maryland…all the way across the country.

I have a lot of cactuses and succulents. We cannot grow many of them in the ground here (except some prickly pears) so I have to bring them in and out each summer.

Carrion Cactus

Anyway, attached are 2 photos – the first is my favorite cactus. I cannot help but laugh at its beautiful shape. The second is a Stapelia gigantea. It had one flower so far this year. The flower was about 15 inches across and very stinky.

Phalluseae Cactaceae

I love your blog. Next time I’m out that way, I’ll come into your shop.

John Mosher

Nice!

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.

falling1

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

leaning1

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

Mexicali Cactus

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Evelyn G. shared her cactus art with us from her instagram. She wants a cactus that will stay short, have big arms, no spines, and lots of blooms. Nice!

Variegated Aloe – Natural Variation or Mutation?

A house on my street has these mounds of aloes. Not too attractive as far as it’s design, but something very cool popped up out of it.

Aloe nobilis mutation

Is this how variegated versions of plants are made? By mutation?

I’m considering asking to buy this lil special guy and try to see if I keep it healthy it will put out pups. Have you ever seen one like this? Cuz I never have.

Thx!!!
Jbot

Jbot,

It does look like an albino variegation mutation on that Aloe nobilis. In full sun and low water it will likely fail long term, so indeed try to bargain for it. That type of mutation is usually better grown where they get afternoon shade and a bit more care since they lack so much chlorophyll they are a bit “sickly”, but look pretty good with the right care.

Good luck and if you get it and grow it out and want to share a pup in a few years let me know!

Take care,

Hap

Snow in New Mexico

IMG_2032

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!

Dudleya Questions

Hi,
Bought plant year ago and you repotted. Plant is on balcony in Mission Bay SF. Watered 4-6 cups every 2 1/2 weeks; fertilized in Sept.

IMG_0751

Lower leaves of plant gets soft and shrivels so I cut off. However, as plant grows, the lower leaves continue to get soft and shrivel; is this normal? Also, some of the leaves get these brown spots as you can see in the lower leaves in the photo. What is this? From water? In strong rain and wind over a number of days, I cover plant with a plastic bag; is this necessary?
Thank you for your help!
Mary

Mary,

Your Dudleya is looking great! All succulents lose bottom leaves, and Dudleyas are no exception. They do get the brown spots and if its on a bottom leaf that will be falling off soon then there’s nothing to worry about. On upper leaves the problem is that Dudleyas prefer not to have water sitting on them, so in the ground it is often best to plant them at an angle so the winter rains roll off. Not as possible in a pot, but generally a little water on top won’t hurt the plant more than the occasional spots. Or bring it under cover when we get those too-rare rains these days!

Peter

Locating the Names of the Succulent

Here is another round of mystery cactus and succulents. My sister went to Ojai and went to a nursery there and brought back these wonderful plants for me.

image1

Thanks so much Peter.

Lan

Lan,

The plants are…

Top row: Adromischus, probably a Crassula, and Ruschia

Bottom row: Sempervivum “Oddity”, crested Sempervivum and Austrocylindropuntia.

Nice!

Peter

Fuzzy Kalanchoes

We have this little plant sitting in my shop and my coworker and I have no idea what sort of succulent it might be! It has what looks like roots coming out from places on the stem (even from the little one) but they might not be roots?

IMG_0752 IMG_0753

Thank you!

Tea M. from California

Tea M.,
It’s a fuzzy little Kalanchoe, probably Kalanchoe tomentosa that is not getting enough light – it wants more light! They can get aerial roots coming off the stems so that when they fall over they will root from right there.

Peter

From the Huntington

Hello there! So happy to have found your blog! I was wondering if you could identify these beauties for me? I took these at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA but there wasn’t a little card with its name.

crassula echeveria

The big green one is an Echeveria right? I’m not sure what kind though.
The flowers on the second photo were coming out of a plant (silly me I didn’t snap one of the plant with the flowers) but I cannot remember what it was called, any guesses?

Thank you in advance,
Nichole

Nichole,

The green one with the Ladybug is an Echeveria, possibly E. pumila.

The flower spray looks like a Crassula.

Peter

Dragon Fruit Cactus

Hello,

Cactus Jungle Crew I bought a Dragon-fruit Cactus from you. It was in the green house. I wanna share a photo, one of your crew said to send a photo to see it in a happier place.

Dragon Fruit Cactus

Blessings
Pasha

Thanks! Lots of nice new growth on it.

Peter

Barbara has a Euphorbia

Thank u Peter for responding so quickly. I must admit i am sort of surprised that you wouldn’t have a market for such a handsome looking guy but there you go.

alright thanks again maybe you’ll see it someday sitting on the street corner forlorn, unwatered and untouched by neither human nor dog wandering by. Give It a fond glance wontcha?

Barbara

And what got Barbara to get poetic on us? Why this particular Euphorbia tirucalli right here:

Euphorbia tirucalli

Barbara asked if we wanted it since she has new grandkids and the plant is pretty poisonous, and we declined to take on this 5ft. tall x 4ft wide Euphorbia, attractive as it is. If anyone else local wants a referral to Barbara for this plant, let me know and I’ll pass along your information. Hopefully together we can forestall a “forlorn, unwatered and untouched” Firesticks.

Plantaful ID

Hello Peter
Are you abel to tell me the names of these three succulents? Much tnaks!
Ann

The pictures and the IDs are below! Scroll down! Scrolling….

Ann,

Your plants are:

Anacampseros rufescens

1. Anacampseros rufescens

Aloe

2. Aloe, possibly Aloe barbadensis, or Aloe Vera, but maybe a hybrid.

Echeveria Perle von Nurnberg

3. Echeveria “Perle von Nurnberg”

Enjoy!

Peter

Ben's Cactus has a Bloom

IMG_20141004_154034_007-1

Kindly little Leuchtenbergia principis waiting until my day off to bloom!

Ben

Nice! A very nice yellow on that one – I’ve seen a number where the yellow is much more pale.

Everyone Needs Help with Plant ID

Hello,

I’ve spent hours looking at pics online and can’t identify these cacti/succulents I recently acquired. Can you possibly identify them? Also, does the large brown swath on the prostrate plant indicate damage or a slow demise of some sort?

image image(2) image(3)

Thanks for any help you can give.

Newbie Leigh

The plants look like they need more sun, so it’s hard to ID them for sure. The one that is laying over is probably an Opuntia or less likely a Quiabentia. The brown is past damage and looks like it is fully healed.

The tall green one is maybe an Echeveria, like Echeveria setosa, but stretched vertically because of not enough sun.

The blue one is a Senecio, probably Senecio mandraliscae.

Peter

Chain Fruit Cholla

image

Dorena sends along this photo of a gorgeous desert cholla. I don’t know where she took the picture so I can’t be sure of the species, but I have my suspicions…

Carrion Flowers

Hello!

I visited Cactus Jungle more than 2 years ago, and I picked up two plants: Orbea (Stapelia) variegata and Faucaria felina (I also picked up a bonus snail that has lived with O. variegata). The F. felina had a little accident a year ago (or rather, when I was in a 4-car collision on a highway while toting a few flats of plants to my new apartment, most of the plant’s growths were severed and it’s been languishing ever since), but the O. variegata is doing well. It isn’t as vibrantly colored as when I purchased it, but I also cannot give it the light it needs on a regular basis, so it makes do with what it can get. And that seems to be enough here in the swamp that is DC! These are the first blooms on this plant. Yeah, they stink, and I love them.
15039014797_aef09db5ae_o

I just wanted to share this photo with you!

Kenneth
———–
The Homestead Hobbyist
homesteadhobbyist.com

Click to embiggen!

Haworthia Question

Hi Peter,

Are you able to offer advice on Haworthias? I have a Haworthia chocolate pictured below that is losing leaves one by one. Not sure if it is going to stop or not, and if this is normal for a healthy C. chocolate. The dying leaves will turn a bright red color while losing their firmness, then became a pale red, and even more soft before drying up completely. Any thoughts?

photo 1

Attached here is a picture of the specimen with leaves showing this activity.

I’ve searched the internet for information, but haven’t been able to find much about it.

Thank you for all of your help and time here.

David

David,

Given the natural brown coloration it’s difficult to tell for sure, but I think that it is just losing bottom leaves, which is normal for succulents. Maybe it’s been a bit more water than it wants? Hard to say from the photo. In moderate direct sunlight you should water every 1 1/2 weeks through the summer and in lower light less than that.

Peter

Can You Help With a Cactus Identification?

Hey there, guys…
Sorry to bother you, but does the tagged specimen look like a positive id for Eriosyce occulta? The tag says that but it looks like more a copiapoa to me.

IMG_20140904_165227327

The untagged one looks like an eriosyce, too, perhaps?

IMG_20140904_174258978

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks again!
Joey

Joey,

It’s not a Copiapoa. It’s probably an Eriosyce that has been greenhouse grown. The spines at top are black, and you can look for a taproot when you replant it. Or wait until it flowers for a final ID. There are others it could be like a Coryphantha, but it would be a rare Coryphantha with black spines, so it is most likely the Eriosyce.

I don’t know the untagged one, but I don’t think it is E. occulta. I’ll post it to the blog, but you may have to wait until it flowers – send us a picture when it does!

Peter

Gas Lamp Conversion

light post succulents

Hap,

Thanks for your help this Saturday! we are thrilled with the result.

Best,
Michael

 

Plant ID Question from the Maritime Provinces

Nova Scotia calling. Hey guys, great website.

I wonder if you can identify this succulent a friend gave me. He got it in Italy and I am at a complete loss.

Halifax-20140808-02843

When he first sent a photo of it I thought it was an Aichryson or Aeonium.

When I got a piece I think maybe not, maybe an Echeveria hybrid???:

Hope you can help.

Will make a point to visit the nursery this winter.

Thanks

john

john,

That looks like a Sedum palmeri

Peter

Agave Love

Hello!

Love your website, can hardly wait to come into store!

We are trying to figure out what the plants are called surrounding the trees in the attached picture!

image

Do you carry these plants?

Thanks a lot,

Danielle

Danielle,

Those are Agave “Blue Glow” and we do carry them and have them in stock in a number of sizes!

Peter

Cactus in Paris

Hello Peter,
I was wondering if you could help me take care of my plants and maybe give me some advice! So as you can see I love plants, especially cacti and perennial plants. In every picture you can see that the soil is wet because I just watered them all today. Can you tell me how often each one needs to be watered?

I would also like to know whether they should be outdoors or not? I have a garden where I could put them but I would rather have them with me in my room. I recently put 6 and 7 outside but I am worried about that ‘burnt look’ they have going on now… Maybe the transition was a little too abrupt since they used to be inside. I never changed the soils, could you tell me if I should and how to?

Can you also tell me if they look healthy or if one of them needs special care? For the ones that stay in my room, I try to let as much sunshine in as I can, but I think maybe they would like to be outside. Also some parts of 7 died and I don’t know what to do with the remaining parts, does it mean that the whole cactus is going to die too?

I don’t know that much about cacti but I love them and would hate for them to die, so please help me! I’ve had the euphorbia 5 for a few years, I keep it inside the house and it looks really happy to me, it has grown a lot! Most of the others are new and I can’t tell if they have grown or not.

I live in Paris and it is rather hot and sunny during the summer and spring, but it can get really cold in the winter.

Also, if you know their names I would love to learn! THANK YOU so much, I LOVE your blog, I really hope you get a chance to reply and maybe help me.

1
2
3
4
5
6

7
Albertine

Albertine,

When you bring plants outside they need to be “hardened off” to the sun, which means bringing them slowly out into sunshine over the course of a week or longer, or they will get a sunburn.

All plants can be grown outside, it just depends on your local climate. Here in Berkeley or San Francisco we can grow those outside, but I am not sure in Paris. There is a cactus shop there that might know better for your particular locale.

The plants that I know are:

1. Euphorbia ferox

2. Don’t know

3. Opuntia microdasys

4. Ferocactus, too young to know the species

5. Euphorbia – could be trigona

6 and 7. Mammillaria

Generally you can water them every 2 to 3 weeks, but they look like they’re not getting a lot of sun, so maybe every 3 weeks is best.

Peter

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