We Get Sad Questions

Hello!

I’m wondering if you can help me. I have a Moonstones plant that has been sort of sickly ever since it got jostled during my move a few months ago. A bunch of its leaves turned blue and shriveled and fell off — I assumed they had just been bumped loose. But now the main stem is turning this sickly blueish gray and becoming shriveled too. Do you think it’s possibly sick? I attached a picture. I’m hoping I don’t lose the little guy! 🙁

Love,
gina
Chatham University MFA

Gina,

I’m sorry to have to inform you, but your plant is not going to make it. You can try to rescue some of the top leaves that haven’t started to rot yet. Pull them off and plant the tip end gently in fresh cactus soil, and they might form new plants in about a year.

Peter

They Get Cactus Questions

Well, it’s more like a hummingbird question, in the Contra Costa Times.

Dear Gary:

I haven’t seen my morning hummingbird visitors for a few days.

They were going at a cactus flower outside my living room. I live in Redwood City in a flat area. I’d appreciate your response. Thank you.

Camilla Rosos,
Redwood City

Dear Camilla:

…They’ve probably moved to a warmer spot until the weather improves….

I’ve excerpted the response for you, so you can click through if you want to see the rest of it, but the gist of it is that it was cold. Cold. And then the hummingbirds left. Maybe they’ll return as it warms up, like yesterday. Did they return yesterday? I don’t kno9w. Someone should check with Camilla and find out.

We Get Questions

Dear Cactus Blog,

My father won’t let me have a cactus in the front hall. He says it has to be in my own room, but he knows I don’t have good sun in there! My poor little mammillaria will die if I can’t put it in the front hall.

By the way, I’m 32 years old and moved back home last year after losing my job. But this is just like the time he wouldn’t let me have a frog when I was 14.

Frogless and Soon to be Cactus-Less in Pomona

Dear FASTCLIP,

Your dad is going to need your support in the next few years when he loses his job too and is no longer employable, being a 59 year old curmudgeon with no computer skills. Remind him that you will be paying the mortgage at that point, and see if he’ll let you keep the cactus in the front hall now.

Cactus Blog

Identify the Cactus

Hello Cactus Jungle!

I’m a blog reader from Manila, Philippines, and also a newbie urban gardener and cactus lover! I am just fascinated by these spiky little things, and it’s always fun to look at all the shapes, colors and textures that they come in. While I was walking around our neighborhood garden center, I chanced upon this cactus that’s a perfect half-circle shape!

Could you tell me what it is and is it at all rare? Thank you!

Misty

Misty,
A nice find at your local garden center! What you have there is a Mammillaria geminispina crest. It’s not the most common of the Mammillaria crests. It is a very nice specimen, but I wouldn’t consider it too rare.
Peter

We Get Questions

Dear Cactus Blog,

I’ve got an Opuntia that is growing too fast, and my husband is worried about our 4 month old baby get stuck with the spines.

I said we should wait until the baby can walk before worrying, but my husband thinks we should get rid of the plant entirely right now. What should we do?

Stuck in the Suburbs

Dear SITS,

Unless your husband is propping the baby up against the cactus while he’s off fixing his evening cocktail, you shouldn’t have to worry about the baby getting stuck at this young age.

As the baby gets older, I would recommend keeping the prickly pear well trimmed back so that there aren’t any wild spiny pads attracting the attentions of your inevitably wandering toddler. In fact, if you cook the freshly cut pads and feed them to your family, it’s a win-win.

Use this recipe for a healthy and happy family life for years to come:

Scrambled Nopales

  • 1 or 2 cactus pads
  • 8 Eggs
  • 1/4 lb. of cheese (your choice)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Prepare the cactus pads as described in the preparation section above. Once you have removed the needles, nodules and thoroughly washed the pads, slice into bite-size pieces. Sauté the sliced pads in a small amount of butter for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl; add shredded cheese and the sautéed cactus pieces. Pour the egg mixture into a skillet and scramble. Serve warm with salt and pepper to taste.

More From Karen and Mike

Everything seemed to have weathered the freeze up here. I did cover them with a sheet – so that helped. Now, my mother arrived for dinner tonight with this cactus she picked up at the grocery store(!) I has yellow flowers on the top and lots and lots of little sprouts all over the larger trunks. Now, the flowers are glued on paper – which elicits a big OMG!! Is this thing even real at all? What do you make of it. J Hehe!!

Thanks, Karen

Karen,
You have the Fairy Castle Cactus, Cereus hildmannianus monstrose, with glued on paper flowers. Grocery stores often glue on paper flowers. I don’t know why.
Peter

(Here’s the earlier email.)

Morro Bay Succulents

Hello Peter,

I just visited the Garden Gallery in Morro Bay – which is the only other place I will buy cacti or succulents – other than Cactus Jungle J and I found these three plants. You can see that one, perhaps a “Stapelia” or “Huernia” will be flowering soon – I will send a picture of the flower when it happens. This nursery is bad at naming or identifying their plants but he looked up that one in a book. The one with the long leaves had no name on it but I don’t think it’s that unusual. As for the thorny guy, they had no idea what it is called or where it came from. It looks like the base trunks were broken off as they branched from that area…perhaps to propagate the plant?

So, if you would, please…what are these called and what if anything special do I have to do for them. Thanks!

~Karen

PS… My Astrophytum asterias is blooming again!

Karen,
1. The first one is hard to ID without seeing the blooms, but it could be Stapelia variegata or one of the Huernias. It doesn’t look like that’s a bloom coming – it looks like a horn, which will have lots of seeds. They’re in the milkweed family, and so they have milkweed horns with seeds that can float away on the wind. Best to grow indoors with a little bit of morning sun.

2. This is Aloe plicatilis, the Fan Aloe. Here’s a big one in my backyard. Winter-growing and hardy in the Bay Area.

3. Alluaudia procera from Madagascar is a shrubby plant that will lose its leaves in winter. They are often cut to try to induce multiple branches. Don’t let it get below about 45. Water every 2 weeks when it has leaves, and every 4-6 weeks when it doesn’t.

Send photos of the blooming astropyhtums – it’s always very exciting!
Peter

Red Dye

From our facebook page, comes a buggy question.

I have this pot with diff cacti in it. I notice this white stuff since mid summer. Do you know what’s the white stuff growing on them? and why?

It has been spreading already. Thank you for your help. Kenya

Kenya,

You’ve got Cochineal, a pest that will eat your cactus, but on the good side it is the original source for red dye.

I recommend spraying with neem oil, and cleaning the bugs off with alcohol and a soft… paintbrush.

Sad Cactus

I love small cactus. But I have a problem keeping them alive. I have tried keeping several cactus and they always end up the same – and in a fairly short time: they shrivel, looking loose and floppy around the top, and turn a sick yellow-green mushy color around the base (see attached photo).

Because they look shrivelled I assume that I am not watering enough, so I water a bit more – but to no avail. The attached photo is a cute little cactus in a 2″ pot I bought at the store about 2 months ago – and have been giving maybe a couple of tablespoons of water about every 2 weeks (it is on my desk at work, at it is farily dry here so it dries out very quickly). I feel terrible that such a cute little plant should look so unhealthy. My roommate in college had a fairly healthy cactus that he carefully gave 1 tablespoon of water every month – which didn’t seem like much to me, but his cactus was still alive after several years. Does that mean I am over watering mine? If so, why does it look like a deflated baloon? Does this species require more water than my ex-roommate’s cactus? Should I really soak it when I water it then wait for it to dry, or just slightly moisten it periodically per current practice? And what periodicity (obviously the current rate isn’t working!)?

Any advice would be appreciated.
David

David,

In general we recommend watering cactus every 3 weeks – drenching it and letting it drain away so that it never sits in water. Overall, watering every 2 weeks but a smaller amount is probably fine, so I would look elsewhere for the problem.

First off, where do you live? Your local humidity levels can impact a watering schedule. Next, how much sunlight is the plant getting? We recommend a minimum of 4 hours of direct afternoon sun through the spring and summer. And finally, the plant is in a tiny plastic pot with what looks like a houseplant soil mix, so in general we would repot into a 4″ terra cotta pot with a fast draining cactus soil.

Peter

Debra Lee Baldwin Answers All Your Questions

…on Gardening Gone Wild, and on her own blog too.

Q: Where might I purchase some of the Guatemalan folk art buildings you used in your containers book (p 196)?

A: The little terracotta buildings are from Miranda’s, a Mexican import store in the Old Town district of San Diego (2548 Congress St.). Unfortunately, they don’t sell mail order, nor do they keep a consistent supply in stock.

Well that’s not helpful to those of us who don’t live near San Diego. But wait! There’s more!

But any dollhouse-sized building will work, so long as it’s waterproof—like this little New England-style church that was originally a Christmas ornament. There are all sorts of wonderful tiny accessories for miniature landscapes.

I can tell you that most of the cutesy ornaments at the local craft stores around here are not waterproof. So be wary.

Two Green Thumbs is one mail order source

That’s just darling...

Thanks Debra!

One Cactus Question – Two Answers

Hello

I came across your blog whilst trying to find more information on my cactus and i was wondering if you could help me? Ive had this cactus now for about 8 years and i really want to find out what type of cacti he is. Ive done some research and ive been told he is a Austrocylindropuntia subulata monstrose (I think i will stick to calling him by his name Flump). But there are also different types of Austrocylindropuntia subulata monstrose from what i belive and i was wondering if you could help pinpoint exactly what he is so that i am able to give him the best care.

Right now i have him in a small pot ive repotted him twice but he seems happy and seems to be a slow growing cacti (but i could be wrong and just not be giving him what he needs) I have attached a picture of Flump any help would be so much appreciated !

Ben

Now, the funny thing is both Hap and I answered the question at the same time, not knowing the other was answering too.

Here’s my answer:

Ben,
You do have the name right for your cactus. Its common name is the Christmas Tree Cactus, but we prefer Flump. I’m not aware of any other cultivar names for this plant, but an older species name that has fallen out of use is the Opuntia exaltata monstrose.
Peter

You can check out Hap’s long form answer after the break. Read More…

Problem Euphorbia

Hi Peter:  We have visited you numerous times and purchased pots and many plants, and wondered if you could help us determine what is wrong with our succulent and what we might do about it.

We noticed it looking a bit lighter color, and when I looked closer I saw what looks like fungus around the bottom, and it looks sort of furry in places and shiny in other places.  We had used your Cactus Meal on it several months ago, and the pot is very dry at this point.  I have attached four pictures.  Any ideas?

Thanks, David & Heidy

David and Heidy,

I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but it is too late to be able to save your Euphorbia.

It has a fungus, and probably a virus as well which appears to have traveled throughout the plant already. There is nothing I can suggest to help it at this time. I don’t know what caused the problem, but sometimes these things just happen. Probably the virus came first, and that made it more susceptible to the fungus.

Do not reuse any leftover soil, and if you want to reuse the outside pot, you will need to bleach it first.

Peter

Contest!

I figure you all know these plants by now, and have read my answers to similar questions mamamamannnnny times before, so maybe you could handle this one for me? Best answer, that is also complete and accurate, will win one of our discontinued products. You never know what it will be, but it must be good!

Maybe a water wand, maybe a bird feeder. Hmmm…

So here’s the question and the pictures that go with it.

Dear Sirs,

Recently I got a cactus as a present but don’t know what kind it is.

Could you please help me to detect what kind a cactus it is and to see and tell me weather  is it sick (you can see that one leaf Is kind a sick) and what should I do.

Thanks a lot in advance,

Petar

Leave your answer for Petar in the comments between now and Tuesday afternoon, and I’ll pick a winner then. Maybe I’ll have arranged for guest judges too! Well, probably not.

Thanks!

Red Aloe

I really enjoy reading your blog. I hadn’t taken the time to learn more about your business and, by complete coincidence, I actually drove past the other day and had a real “a-ha” moment. (I didn’t realize you were so close-by. I live in Oakland, just near Piedmont Avenue.)

We recently removed a water-hogging, boring lawn from the front of our house using the “Lasagna Method.” It was a huge success. And now that I’ve started planting and working with succulents and cactus I’ve become almost obsessed with finding striking varieties to squeeze in. One thing I’ve seen online a few times is a crimson red aloe (cameronii).

It’s so unique. In fact, I can’t seem to find it anywhere online and am wondering if Cactus Jungle sells it or can provide a suggestion for looking elsewhere.

Mark

Mark,

We do not have Aloe cameronii growing at this time, all our stock froze out in 2006 and I have not been able to source replacements or even had luck getting viable seed. It is on my “Desperately Seeking list” and I am hopeful it will be available one of these days either by seed grown liners or tissue culture starts. However we are growing Aloe dorotheae and it looks very similar. Our current crop should be ready later this fall. I do not have our own photo of Aloe dorotheae yet on our website, so I am including a link for you to see it. Our babies are just starting to “red up…”. There are also some amazing adult plants up at the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens in the Arid House.

Take care and thank you for your interest,

Hap

Vacation Cactus Suffers

Hello! I have had this cactus for about 7 years and a friend “babysat” it for me for about 1 1/2 years while I was traveling quite a bit. I just got him home and noticed several problem areas. After looking at your blog (which I totally love!) and other websites, I am still not sure if this is a fungus, a scale problem, a dreaded virus, old injuries or nothing to worry about! There are good shots of the problem areas. Thank you so much for taking a look.

Mit
South Carolina

Mit,

It looks like the spots are barked-over, healed infections of some kind. You could spray them with Neem Oil just to be on the safe side, but it does look like the plant has fought off the infection and is doing fine. If more start then the infection is back and you should treat with Neem Oil which is a natural fungicide that usually is effective without being too dangerous to use on a houseplant. I like the Greenlight Organic Neem Oil, which you should be able to find at local nursery or garden center. If it is a virus there is not a lot you can do but seaweed extract seems to help boost plants immunities, so you can give a few douses this fall and then again next spring. But do not fertilize this late in the year, since the plant is about to go dormant for the winter.

Good Luck,

Hap

Identifications

hi cactus expert,

can you tell me if this plant belong to cactus family?
(please see attached image)
and what’s the name of this cute plant?
do you have it?

thanks,
mabel

Mabel,

The plant is a Kalanchoe (or recently reclassified as a Bryophyllum, which is not yet really used by horticulture, just by botanist…). It is one of the “Mother of Thousands” which are usually Kalanchoe (Bryophyllum) diagremontianum or a close relative, the plant in the photo is very green so it may be on of the more tropical clones or hybrids. We do have cute small plants in stock, but they are not as large-leafed as the ones in the photo. Please note a better moniker for these plants is “Mother’s of Millions” and that the leaf margin plantlets can become “weedy” in frost free gardens. But their look and interesting reproduction method makes them a fun plant to have in pot.

Take care,

Hap

Cactus Questions

Hi there….
Can someone tackle a question regarding my cactus?

My cactus collection includes 20-30 large cacti (5 feet and taller)growing in half wine barrels and positioned around my yard in the Los Gatos/Santa Cruz mountains. Average temp through the summer is 5-10 degrees below temps in the valley….hot but not stifling. They get 2/3 sun, 1/3 shade through the day. I water them heavily every 3-4 weeks in the summer, every 2 months in the winter.

This year I am having trouble keeping them green. Healthy color has always been a minor problem, more prevalent in the summer than in the winter. This year is much worse. The tall varieties are all light green, with a couple of them tending to yellow. With every second watering, I use a very diluted measure of Schultz liquid plant food (10-15-10), approximately 3 droppers full (50-60 drops) per 5 gallons of water. Once a year in the fall, I add ½ cup of bone meal to each plant, not yet done this season. Is there something I can safely add to the soil that over time will improve their health and “green them up”, so to speak?

My naturally yellow varieties appear to be doing okay.

Thank you for your time.
Kitty

Kitty,
If you can send us a picture, we can give you more specific info.

In general, yellowing is a sign of stress more common in the winter when they go dormant, not in the summer. If this started happening about a month ago, it could be because of the sudden heat we had back then. A lot of plants in the Bay Area, including cactus, got damaged.

We mix our own slow release nutrients for cactus, which we sell in 1 pint for $4 or 1 gallon for $18, and will ship. We prefer slow release to the liquids.

If your cactus has been in the same soil for many years, there may not be any soil left, and it may be time to repot them all.

Finally, you can try kelp meal to help green them up.
Peter

That's a Lot of Questions!

The three varieties I bought from your store have now been in the ground (Vallejo, zone 9b) since early spring, and some questions have popped up. Would you mind helping me trouble-shoot and plan ahead?

May Planting

The plants I got are 6 Graptoveria ‘Debbie’, 4 Echeveria Imbricata and 4 Echeveria ‘Topsy Turvey’. They’re planted alongside the sidewalk by the street, in a 1′ w x 1.5 d’ trench filled with cactus mix.

Imbricata is doing very well, flourishing even, with lots of little ‘chicks’ clustered under their ‘hen’s wings’ .

However two of the Debbies have some problems with something (powdery mildew?) in the center, leaves falling off, which were attracting ants. I feared they were going to be killed by this, so I sprayed them with neem oil and they seem to be rebounding. But would welcome ideas as to why/how this infestation was encouraged to set in.

Problem Debbie

Topsy Turvy surprised me in that it seemingly can’t handle either strong sun or heat, not sure which — and, as you know it has been an extremely mild spring/summer. Not sure if you can tell from the photos, but the lower leaves turned yellow and some died. I did give them extra water when I thought conditions were again going to cause this situation. However I worry about a normal year. Can they survive? What measures do you think I can take in the future?

September Garden

Then for all of them: What should I look out for over the winter, and how can I best prepare for it? — cold dips [the most extreme we get here hovers just barely above freezing], and significant rain. Should I rig up some sort of a tent of frost cloth to put over them? Any suggestions as to how to fashion it?

Healthy Debbie

Is it possible that Topsy Turvey and Debbie just aren’t suited for the conditions in my garden and will never prosper?

Thanks so very much.

Carol

I’ll take my answer after the break, please… Read More…

Bromeliad Questions

Hi there cactus jungle…..
I have a pot of three bromeliads, that the flowers bloomed and now have dried up.
Otherwise, green plant is healthy and full.
I don’t know what to do next.
I keep adding water.
So need to know…
do I take out the dried flower? when to fertilize? ok to be outside (bayside) during winter or keep indoors?
Any help you can provide I would appreciate it.
Many thanks.
Alma-Lynn Kamps

Alma-Lynn,

If you can send us a photo, we might be able to identify the plants, and then we could give you more info.

In the meantime, cut off the dead bloom stalks. Indoors we water most bromeliads once per week. We recommend fertilizing every month – we sell a bromeliad fertilizer for just such a case.

As for inside or outside, that depends on the species, so I recommend keeping unnamed bromeliads indoor in the winter. Or, on the other hand, you can experiment with them in your garden and see how they do.

Peter

Oakland Succulent

Quick answers to quick questions.

This plant grows in my neighborhood. I have never seen it elsewhere or for sale.

Thanks, Rosa

Rosa,

That is a Dasylirion longissimum, and we do have them in stock in 5ga. and 15ga. pots.

Peter

Recommended Books on Cacti and Succulents

Hello – I have recently discovered your fantastic nursery and have visited several times.  I have always enjoyed my visits and my purchases and intend to visit again.  You and the staff have always been very pleasant, helpful and very knowledgeable.  I have a question…since I am a novice at growing cacti and succulents, I am interested in finding some books that are accurate in their information and have pictures of the plants and their flowers.  Do you recommend a specific book?  Is there a book you find particularly educational?

Thanks for your time…

~Karen

Karen,

For a general guide to cactus and succulents, we recommend:

Designing with Succulents by Debra Lee Baldwin and The Garden Succulents Primer by Gideon Smith and Ben-erik Van Wyk, both of which we carry. If you can find it, The Complete Guide to Growing Cacti and Succulents by Miles Anderson is great, but out of print.

Peter

Sick Plants

Help! We are sick. Please help us to get better.

Thanks, Leigh

Leigh,

For the 2 aeoniums, something is eating them. Possibly slugs, but there appears to be whole bites out of the A. “Sunburst” so it could be mice or deer as well.

Other than that, they have gone dormant for the summer and will perk up as we get into winter and they start growing again.

The bromeliad, on the other hand, looks like heat stress. We’ve had a couple days of sudden heat in the Bay Area recently, including a 35 degree rise in 2 days. We’ve noticed a lot of plants have been affected. Basically, it’s going to need to grow out of it, but you may want to try a little extra water for it, including today which should be pretty warm. Liquid kelp could also help.

Peter

Ripe Fruit

This is the first year we’ve had fruit. How do I tell when it’s ripe?

Thanks for your help!
A Deacon’s Wife

A Deacon’s Wife,

Wow! Nice crop! They should get a bit more red and be soft like a very ripe avocado (not squishy, but with give when you gently squeeze).

Take care,

Hap

Painted Cactus

Sometimes people come up with questions that we can’t answer. Maybe you have an answer for Rich?

Hi. I’ve been exploring your blog and web site. Very informative. I’ve been volunteering at SD’s Balboa Park Desert Garden. As a public park, it gets damaged at times. There are large plants where people have etched their names on the cactus arms. Names appear brown against the cactus’ green. Do you know of a product I could purchase to paint over the names and restore some of the green to the damaged part of the plant?
Thanks, Rich

Rich,
I don’t know of any product that will do what you want. I’ve seen people use a green sharpie, but it usually ends up looking worse. If you invent a product, let us know and we’ll carry it.
Peter

Melocactus Question, No Photos

The photos Matt sent were corrupted (I wonder who did that, and if it hurt?) but the letter is a fine blog item anyway. I’ll let you all know if Matt sends along any photos later.

Hola,

I have a melocactus, my second one actually. The first sadly died early
spring in a weird brown rotting/rust/fungus event after a long winter.
Granted it wasn’t in the most drain worthy pot…but I did take good care of
it and watched it closely. (see striped pot photo). It is deceased now.

Anyway, I read somewhere that transplanting Melocactus is not a good idea
after maturity or something like this??? The striped pot one was
transplanted right away after I got it.
It didn’t fare so well after a year of warm filtered greenhouse light, and
well draining soil.

Anyway, the new one (green plastic pot attached )seems to be wanting a
transplant, although im waiting to do so due to past experience.

Any truth that transplanting a Melocactus is a bad idea or am I just a bad
Melocactus owner?

THANKS
Oh yeh, Matt from PDX

Matt,

I can’t get your photo files to open, they seem to be “corrupted”. Could you please resend?

Melocactus are a bit fussy and easy to lose. I killed them regularly until I saw them growing on the beach-side cliffs of Saint Martin and realized they were tropical cactus and need to be kept warm in winter. Since then I have much better luck, at least if they don’t get forgotten and left outside after summering in the sun…. They turn to mush if too cold, even if kept dry. Since I haven’t seen the photos I can’t tell if you should repot or not, but I have repotted adult Melo’s just fine, by keeping them dry and warm after the root trauma.

Hap

Can You ID?

Dear Cactusblogger,

I live in South America, Surinam and work in a tropcal plants nursery
(family owned). I’ve been making a catalog of our plant for years now
(what can i say, grandpa’s been negligant), as we have well over a
million plants. I’m constanty running into a dilemma about an agave we
have. Whenever i try to categorize it i basically flip out!Is it an
americana, is it not an americana. Some sites say it’s an americana
others say it’s not. So, my thought was, perhaps you could help me. I’m
sending you a picture!Please help!Do you know the real botanical name?

Many thanks in advance,
Ira

Our answer after the break… Read More…

So Many Questions!

Guys,
I’ve just stumbled across your blog, and being a cactus lover immediately spent the day reading it. In order to help you continue the great work, I have two questions for you:

1. What’s the best size pot for my Golden Column cactus? I’ve had it for about 5 years and find it awesome for intimidating neighbors.

2. Could you help me identify this cactus? I’ve had it for a few years and have always found it interesting, but never tried to figure out the name.

Also, if you guys have any advice on sprouting Draco Dracena seeds (or cacti seeds) it would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Paul

Paul,
Your Cliestocactus looks like it is fine in the pot it is in for another year or two and then you will likely need to repot to something at least two inches in diameter larger.

Cactus #2, Looks like it is a Mammillaria heyderi or one of the many subspecies of M. heyderi, however there are several other Mammillaria species that have a very similar look… like M. mystax. It could also be a hybrid, since there are a lot of them in cultivation. Do you know what color the blooms are?

Dracaena draco seeds have very hard shells, so they will need to be carefully scarified, (chipped, filed or rubbed between course sand paper until there are scratches in the shell) to help to get enough water through the seed casing to cause germination. Do not cover the seed with soil, but you can lightly coat with sand to help keep them moist, they need bright light for most of the day to germinate. We use high-output fluorescent lights on for 18 hours. Keep the soil moist, but not soaking wet, clear germination domes help, but watch for mold and excess algae growth. Keep warm, 75-85 degrees. Germination usually takes about 2 months but it can take longer, so don’t give up.

Cacti seeds have different requirements depending on types and where they grow in the wild. But the general rule is similar to the draco directions for large seed types and with small seed skipping the scarification process and just scattering on the soil surface and then lightly covering with sand or crushed horticultural charcoal. Keep moist, but not wet and under bright light. Some sprout with in a few days and others take months or longer. Plan on leaving the seedlings in the sprouting trays at least a year, since it can take them that long to get “fat english pea or small grape” sized which is when we usually reline them out to grow on.

Good luck,
Hap

Giant Invading Cactus Eats Home

Hi! I have an enormous cactus that is eating my house. I need to remove it but didn’t want to just throw it away, it’s quite impressive but unfortunately it’s ruining the foundation. Do you know anyone that would want this cactus? I attached a picture.

Thank you! Krista

Yowza, that’s a big Cereus!

I don’t know anyone in Southern Cal off hand, but I’ll post it on the blog for you. Also, we find Craigslist works well.

Peter

If anyone is interested, email me and I’ll forward it along to Krista in the 310. Just a warning, though, if you do go to cut it down, make sure you don’t let the giant branches fall on the roof, or yourself either. Just sayin’.

Fungus Problems?

Hello,
We’re the women who were in on Sunday and were arranging, and finally purchasing the manzanitas, sage and the little euphorbia obessa. We could use your help.

While we were there we talked with Keith about what we think is a fungus that killed the tree that used to be in our front yard. The fungus appeared on the stump after we had the tree cut down (it was dead.) We’re concerned about planting the new trees close to this area, that they might also be attacked by this fungus.

Anyway, Keith said that we could send a photo of the fungus and he would try to identify it.

We’re going to have someone install these plants for us and would appreciate your quick reply.

Thanks for your help.
Lynn & Joanne

Lynn,

It looks like your stump is being eaten by a bracket fungi called Trametes versicolor, or “Wild Turkey Tail”. The brackets are the fruiting bodies of the organism that is actually inside the stump eating the cellulose. This species only attacks dead or nearly dead hardwoods so it is unlikely to be what killed the tree, but took advantage of the food source after it was dead.

So we do not believe this fungus would cause any problem planting a new healthy manzanita.

But it is a amazing and beautiful artifact.
Peter

Short Answers to Simple Questions

The shortest email question, evah!

is this san pedro?

Yes!

(This email and photo was sent to us by Hamza. Your answer was provided by Peter.)

February 2023
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728  

US Constitution

Videos



We Get Questions

Email your questions to:

blog [at] cactusjungle [dot] com