ID'ing a Red Succulent

I cannot for the life of me identify this red rosette. It is grown in san fran, can you please help me?

Many Thanks,
William

William,

You have a Sempervivum in the Crassulaceae family. Possibly Sempervivum “Red Rubin” but there are a few other cultivars that are also that red.

Peter

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

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

Identifying Aeoniums

Sometimes we can identify Aeoniums, other times we prefer to just make up names. What do you think?

Hi

It was really nice meeting you this week. You have a fantastic place and some really fine specimans of cactus, especially Aeoniums. The pictures attached may be Aeoniums but I have not been able to identify them. Can you tell me if they are Aeoniums? If not, any ideas? By the way, within this planter are two different types of the same plant. The really purple ones, and the less purple with more green.

I really appreciate it. I have one other species of Aeonium I’m going to send pictures of. I cannot identify it either.

Have a great weekend. I’m sure we’ll see you again.

Fran

Fran,
The unknown one will have to remain unknown for now. I’ll blog it to see if anyone else can come up with a cultivar name. Otherwise, I recommend Aeonium “Wizard”.

The other lower ones, green with pink edging, are Aeonium subplanum.

Identifying Cactus

Hello,
I found your blog online and it had been very helpful to me. I am really grateful that you answer questions from people that are not your customers, as well! I recently got a pot with three small cactuses in it and am having trouble identifying them. I have attached a few photos. For reference, the center cactus is about 2″ tall. What do you think? I am particularly curious about the one on the right as I can’t find anything similar searching online. I would like to know about their care requirements and if they are suitable to continue growing in the same container.

Thank you,
Regina

PS – I am aware that the l little red flowers on the center cactus are fake. I’ll remove them eventually…

Regina,

The left is a Mammillaria and the right is a Euphorbia (probably E. meloformis) while the one in the center, after the paper flowers are removed, is maybe a Myrtillocactus although it can be hard to be sure when they are young.

They can grow together in that container for a couple years and then they will outgrow it and need to be separated. Care depends on where you live, but the 2 cacti need a lot of direct sun – at least half day, while the Euphorbia is less. Not a lot of water, but the watering depends on whether the pot has a hole. Either way, make sure the soil is dry between watering, probably every 2-3 weeks.

Peter

 

In Which We Get Questions About Cacti in Palm Springs

Hi,

I’m not sure where to look or who to ask, but I have about 8 Compass Barrel cactus in my back yard?that I need to move due to construction. The largest is about 3 feet high.

I live in Palm Springs and I have seen these growing in the local hills / moutains. I REALLY need some advise on how to move them or better yet a way to find an?arborists that I could hire to move them for me.

I would hate to loose them because I did not do it properly so I’m reaching out to see if anyone can help with advise or a reference.

Thank you very much in advance…
Steve

Steve,

Alas, my plant contacts in Palm Springs have all moved away, so I do not have anyone to recommend to move them for you. But the good news is barrels are fairly easy to dig and move, as long as you take the time to wrap them with carpet scraps (nap in towards the spines) and then wrap again in canvas tarps before you dig, so the spines don’t cause serious injuries in you and the plants and you have something safe to hold and carry with. The big trick with transplanting cactus, is to let the roots heal in dry conditions and not to water for a few weeks after injuring the roots. You do not need to get all that many roots as the plat will grow new ones, cacti regularly let their roots dry and die out to conserve water during dry hot weather and then grow new ones as soon as there is a bit of moisture. The other thing to keep in mind is big barrel cactus can weight hundreds of pounds, after all they are mainly water so make sure to bend those knees when lifting.

Good Luck,

Hap

Infected!

Hi, I had questions several years ago about my Cereus Monstrose and you helped me then, so I hope you can help me now. My Cereus is quite large, over five feet. It has developed black spots on it which I am afraid are parasites of some kind. The first of these spots occurred last year and someone at the Jungle recommended putting Neem oil on them. This is not working. I cut a black spot out and the area turned black What should I do? I am very attached to this plant and I do not want to lose it. Do you make house calls?

Worried,
Jan

Jan,
It looks like the cactus has an infection, which is causing the rot spots. Probably viral which is difficult to treat. You treat with cleaning out the infected spots and sterilizing with hydrogen peroxide, and feeding the whole plant with kelp and neem.

We do housecalls, and if you would like we can come out and treat the plant for you. Please understand there is no guarantee we can stop the infection.
Peter

Irradiated and Grafted

Question:-

I have recently bought a cactus plant from market. Its a grafted cactus. You may see the attached photos. Could you please tell me what type of cactus is it? Secondly, the spikes/spines of the top yellow part is getting dark brown. Is it normal? I have just noticed a big brown spot on the lower part of the cactus. Could you please tell me if my cactus is ok or suffering from any disease? What should i do in this regard? Can i repot it with new potting soil in a bigger pot?

01012009772b

Regards.
Fahad

Fahad,
What you have is probably an irradiated echinopsis without chlorophyll grafted onto a hylocereus base to provide nutrients. These generally are not long-lived. There’s not much you can do, but if you want to try, repot the whole thing into fresh fast draining soil, and hope for the best. Don’t overwater.
Peter

[Have you noticed that when Hap answers questions, he goes into great detail, trying to help people save plants, while I tend to be more pessimistic telling people that it’s hopeless? I wonder what that’s all about?]

Is There a Problem Here?

We often get questions about plants that are doing fine. People in our neck of the woods often buy the plants from us looking perfect and expect that it will stay that way forever. Here’s a case of a plant that is fine.

I’m attaching a picture of my pregnant onion that I bought from you in December. The ends of the leaves just started turning brown and it’s working its way up the leaf. It is still giving birth and is growing a very long bloom stock. What can I do to stop it from turning brown? I’ve been keeping it outside in full sun and just letting the rain water it.

Thanks,
Mark

Now, just because the plant is fine, doesn’t mean the choice of posing your Ornithogalum caudatum on an ottoman in front of a black leather recliner is fine. Just sayin’. My actual response:

Mark,
The plant looks basically fine. It’s probably just not enough water, since we’ve had very little rain recently. You can trim the leaves back to the green without harming the plant. Also, it’s putting energy into the bloom stalk right now, and not into new leaves, so you won’t see much new leaf growth for a couple months.
Peter

Isle of Wight Succulents

They like their succulents black on the Isle of Wight. That leads, inevitably, to Black Rose.

Marie Langford e-mailed me the other day and asked if I know of any nurseries on the Island which specialise in ‘black’ plants, most especially succulents. One such is (A)eonium arboreum Swarzkopf. I bought one during a garden visit when Alan Titchmarsh was our high sheriff a few years ago now….

But I can recommend the tall, arching, tree form of this aeonium with its large heads of deep, purple-black foliage. If anyone knows where this and other black succulents can be easily obtained by Marie on the Island, please e-mail me and I will pass it on.

I like that title, “high sheriff”. I wonder what you have to do as a sheriff to become a high sheriff. Clearly a knowledge of succulents is required, which I have, but is that all? There must be more to it than that.

I can also recommend Gasteria nigra, and this one too. Anything else we should pass on to Marie?

It's a Chunk

I’ve had my beautiful beloved cactus from you guys for about a year. Everything has been great until a week ago when my husband accidentally took a chunk out of it with the patio chair. It appears to be growing black spots of mold? I have sprayed it twice over the past week w/ neem oil. What else should I be doing to save it?

Please help, if it dies so does my husband! Its an outside cactus w/ full afternoon sun.
Thanks
Jen

Jen,
It would be best if you could bring the Echinopsis pachanoi out of the sun while the plant heals. Never spray in full sun, and open wounds should also not be exposed to direct sun.

You’ll need to cut off the damaged part as it has started to rot in the area. It doesn’t look too bad but you want to keep the damage from spreading. Once you get down to clean flesh, then you spray with Hydrogen Peroxide to help it heal and Neem Oil to help fight off any fungus problems.

If you need help with this, we can do it for you if you bring it in to the nursery. Sooner is better.
Peter

It's a Problem

Hi,

I was looking for some help about my coral cactus. I received it as a gift a month ago. I’ve only watered it two or three times and I leave it by the window with the most light. Today I noticed the plant browning between the stem and white fan. I don’t know if it can be saved or not…any advice on how to care or save the plant? I also attached pictures.

DSC04181

Thank you so much!

Debbie

Debbie,

I am afraid to say from your photos that the graft looks like it is infected and well on the way to failing. The plant should be allowed to dry out completely and treated with a fungicide. We use Neem Oil, a natural easy to use and non-toxic (to people or pets) product which is an effective fungicide and insecticide. It is not as aggressive as synthetics, but much safer to use. If you use a more aggressive fungicide, read and follow the directions carefully and make sure to wear chemical resistant disposable gloves.

Sorry I do not have better news. Good luck and take care,

Hap

It's a Question! We Love Questions!

I’m sorry to be a bother but it seems after I bought an aloe ferox (in a 3 inch pot) from you two weeks ago, I’ve neglected to ask when it should be repotted and into what size of a pot? I can’t find a definitive answer anywhere. Thank you for you attention!

Jennifer

Most of our small plants are good in the pot they came in for about a year. With Aloes when the rosette is covering the top of the pot and making it hard to water it is time to repot. Of course it can grow faster in a larger pot, but it is too easy to over-water if you go too large and then the soil doesn’t dry out properly, so it is better to keep the pot sized right to the plant.

Take care,

Hap

It's an Agave Bloom

HI, I was wondering if you could tell me what kind of plant this is, and if it is unusual for it’s size. It was growing for some time then this tree like appendage came shooting out of it. It is well over the top of our 1 story home. Easily close to 2 stories high. Picture is included. Thanks for your response.

Mike
Vista, CA

Mike,

Your plant is an Agave that it is starting to bloom. It looks like it is an Agave americana or “Century Plant”. The blooms will open soon and look amazing, the stalk will eventually (over the next year or two…) dry out and be a sculptural corpse… Agave bloom stalks were often used as alien trees in old science fiction films. Agaves grow for a long time (but not really for a century) and then bloom and die. However there should be “Pups” or baby plants around the base of the blooming mother plant that will repeat the cycle, as Agave have a habit of cloning themselves before trying to do “sexual reproduction”. If there is another Agave bloom in you area and you have Agave moths, you might even get seed pods. If not the flower stalk will sometimes try another cloning strategy and grow plantlets where the blooms are, that eventually helicopter down and root in where they land.

Take care,

Hap

It's an ID Post! You Can Guess Along Too!

Hi Cactus Jungle:
Can you identify this plant? It is a cutting taken directly from a small tree-like woody trunk about 1-foot tall. It was up-right, no droop or dangle.

Leaves (?) very thin and stiff. Also please let me know if I can start plant from this piece.
Thanks much,
Rosa

Do you have your guess ready for Rosa?

Check it out after the break… Read More…

It’s an Echeveria

this was a gift but i don’t know what it is….could you possibly id it?

Greatly appreciated …mike

Mike,

Sure! It’s an Echeveria, possibly Echeveria “Gilva”.

Peter

Jade Flowers

Hello,

My fiance and I bought a jade tree from you (which we love!). However, this morning, we noticed what looks to be an infestation of aphids(?) all over the leaves (I’ve attached a picture). Can you suggest what type of pet-safe spray we might use or what might be the best way to safely get rid of them?

Thanks in advance,
Susan

Susan,
That is a lot of aphids. I would check for ants, as the plant is in bloom and ants bring aphids to crassula blooms to farm them.

We carry a pet-safe organic insecticide called Eco Smart we can recommend for the aphids, and if you find that ants have moved into the pot or nearby, we also have an Eco Smart ant product too.
Peter

Hi Peter,

Ooooh, you’re good! We recently found a nest of ants in another plant which (we thought) we’d cleaned out in time, but alas, apparently not. Clever little buggers…

We’ll try to stop in tomorrow afternoon for the Eco Smart.

Thank you so much!
-Susan

Jungle Cactus Questions

Hi,

We bought this plant from you about 1.5 years ago. It has, up to now, been doing great. Last August we moved to a warmer climate (90-100 degree days in summer). I increase watering to once a week when the temperature goes up. In Spring and Fall I water apx. every 10 days, and in winter every 3 weeks.

Our plant thrived last fall, winter and early spring and there was a lot of new growth. About a month ago I noticed that some of the leaves were turning yellow, withering, and dropping off. Initially I thought I needed to water more and made sure I was on the 1x a week schedule. This hasn’t helped and the problems continuing. Please help with any advice! I’m worried about the plant, it’s dropping more and more leaves.

I’ve attached some photos- I hope they help.

Thanks,

Larkin

Larkin,

The plant has scale and possibly mealy bugs, but it’s hard to tell from the photos. It sounds like you’re watering the right amount, but you may want to check to make sure the soil is dry between waterings, and then water.

I would recommend fertilizing and spraying for the pests. We use neem oil for scale and mealy bugs, and we mix our own nutrients for cactus that we call “Cactus Meal”. I would also suggest using Liquid Kelp right now to help it. If you are still in Northern Cal. you could bring the plant by and we can take a closer look, as well as set you up with neem and the nutrients.

Peter

Jungle Cactus Questions

Hi,

I just found your blog today off Plants are the Strangest People Blog.

I had stopped at a garage sale one day looking for pots. I saw an unusual plant and asked the lady if I could have a cutting. She couldn’t find the cutting she thought she had, so she ended up giving me a pot of the plant. She said she did not know the name of it but it has a red flower when it blooms.

So, I have looked thru books and on the internet. I think it is a Epephyllum, but I cannot find one that has a red flower. It looks like Epiphyllum anguliger, but the book says that has a white flower.

Can you tell me what it is? I have attached pics of it.

SDC10002

Thanks for any help you can give me. I looked through your blog all the way back to last May in hopes of finding my plant posted.

Jan

Jan,
What you have there is a Cryptocereus anthonyanus, which is an epiphytic cactus from Mexico, much as the Epiphyllums are, however unlike the Epi’s, there are not 100s of cultivated varieties.

It looks like you have a beautiful specimen with lots of healthy green growth. In general you can treat it like an orchid. They prefer bright indirect light, and we would grow them indoors here in Northern California. Water about once per week, no more than that, and add bloom food in the spring to get those big red flowers.
Peter

Justifying Our Soil Mix

We mix our own cactus soil, designed for everyone who lives other than in the desert, so there’s no sand in it at all, which is a good ingredient if you live in the desert, but we don’t. One of our regulars asked a question about the ingredients in our mix.

Hi Hap,

I was looking at your pre-mixed soil for sale (the one that’s recommended for a very fast draining soil for cacti); I noticed that there is a percentage of COIR in the mix. Doesn’t that retain moisture, thus, creating a less desirable draining vehicle. Maybe it has some other attributes that justifies it’s addition to the mix…

Thanks,
Faraz

Now, I would answer this differently than Hap, who does a good job of just getting down to basics. I would have said something along the lines of Yes, it does hold some moisture – all plants need some moisture… But that would have been rude of me, so it’s a good thing Hap answered instead.

Faraz,

Our soil mix is mostly lava and pumice, the organic materials are coir and composted rice-hulls. Both of them are nice and rot resistant, both being the seed-husks of water transported seeds, means they are filled with natural anti-fungal properties, which leads to long term soil stability and healthy plants. Coir and rice-hulls can last eight to ten years in potting soil. Commonly used peat only lasts about two to three years, and has a host of other drawbacks as well…. The coir and rice-hulls are both “long fiber”, so they do hold moisture, but not too much. They also “bond” nutrients well, so the slow release complex organic fertilizer we add has a good life span in the soil mix.

Hap

Kalanchoe

It’s not often we get photos that are as clear and indicative as these today from Susan, who wants to know the species. And yet, even with the clearly round leaf, the marginal plantlets, and the bloom picture, the best we can do is narrow it down to one of two genuses (genii?). Maybe you can help identify the species?

Hello,
Well, this started as one little stem and it’s grown. Then it was many stems falling out of the pot and rooting with long aerial roots in anything close by. Then it formed little buds and I waited and waited and thought for sure the flowers would be white. I was wrong. They’ve opened up into beautiful bell like flowers in a dark peachy color. Something came into the yard and broke a few of the stems. Never one to toss a stem, I layed the leaves down and suddenly I had more little plants coming up. From looking through your database of images, is this some sort of kalanchoe? The flower in the picture doesn’t really glow but a sliver of sunlight was hitting it just right so I snapped a photo. So? Whatcha’ think?

download download2

Thank you.
Susan
P.S. I’m in Culver City

Susan,
Yes, it is a Kalanchoe, or a Bryophyllum, it’s hard to say exactly which species from the photos. I’ll post it on the blog, and see if anyone out there knows for sure.
Peter

Kevin Gets Questions

Hi Kevin,

When you have a chance, can you tell me what these are? I got them from different places.

The first one was given to us, has beautiful bloom;

Second one hitch-hiked with another plant I bought, with a big round root under all that tentacles and had a ring of tiny yellow flowers a while ago;

3rd one I got from Target, reminds me of someone wiith a bad hair day;

4th one spread like waves/snakes.

I cannot find these from any books I have, so thought you might be able to help. Is it OK to trouble you? or is there another source I can ask about plants?

Thanks!

Lillian

Here are the attached photos:

[caption id="attachment_6573" align="alignnone" width="250" caption="149"]149[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6574" align="alignnone" width="250" caption="536"]536[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6575" align="alignnone" width="250" caption="537"]537[/caption] [caption id="attachment_6572" align="alignnone" width="250" caption="538"]538[/caption]

Lillian,
You have:
149. Crassula falcata, also known as the propellor plant.

536. is a crested Euphorbia, possibly Euphorbia flanaganii

537. is definitely Euphorbia flanaganii, also known as Medusa’s Head – would certainly qualify as bad hair…

538. Tephrocactus articulatus v. papyracanthus, or the Paper-Spine Cactus.
Peter

Kew Begonias

I was thinking that today I would blog about the relationship between chemical fertilizers with a focus on potassiums, mycchorizal fungi and flatworms. But then this email came in with such pretty pictures from Kew Gardens that I decided not to delve into the soil, metaphorically speaking, today. Ah well, the opportunity is lost for good now.

Anyway, enjoy the view from Kew.

Hi, Hap

I took this pic at Kew Gardens in the Mediterranean section. Any idea which type of begonia (if it is really a begonia) this is? It’s stunning, and I think the fuchsioides comes somewhat close to this one.

Thanks for any help with this.
David

David,

It looks like it is either one of the new ‘Dragon Wing’ or ‘Phoenix’ Begonias that have been introduced over the last couple of years. I am not which clone it is, but it is a very nice one!

Hap

Lactea

I see below that I’ve chosen a Euphorbia lactea crest as a Top Ten, and then here we have a question about one.

I’ve attached a photo of my “frilled fan” Euphorbia lactea which I purchased at SummerWinds nursery here in San Jose. I purchased a graft exactly as shown. Unfortunately, left out in NorCal December frost/rain. What was bright pink in summer is now olive green and I see white spots (on the plant…;-) I assume that’s latex. Will it recover now that I’ve brought inside?

When I first discovered it after the frost I saw how much olive green there was and thought it would get mushy (like ice wilted lettuce…). But, now that we’ve had some sun for a few days, it seems to me it’s not getting mushy and it’s getting pinker…;-)

I also noticed the white splotches (sorry again about cell phone resolution) and thought this was mold. But I read about the latex and that it’s poisonous so I haven’t touched the white spots, but so far they haven’t grown. Mold or latex secretion maybe caused by frost damage?

So, any suggestions on Euphorbia care? I’ve got it out in the sun now, but have had it inside near a window and haven’t watered it since the rains/frost earlier this month.

Euphorbia lactea-JT

JT

JT,
I’m sorry to say that your crest is probably dead. They cannot handle frost. It should not have changed color at all, besides maybe a bit more pink in sun.

If you want a definitive diagnosis, we’d need to have you bring the plant to the nursery for us to take a look, but I’m pretty sure it’s not going to survive.
Peter

Late Blooming Saguaro

Clay Thompson at the Arizona Republic answers questions about cactus in Arizona.

This is actually similar to a lot of questions we get, so it seems appropriate. I’ve edited out most of Clay’s humor to get to the nub of the question, so click through to get the full feel of Clay’s personality as he answers cactus questions.

Q: I have a large, mature saguaro that bloomed in September. I have lived in Arizona for 40 years and know that they always bloom in May or early June. There are dozens in our neighborhood, with only this one blooming now. What’s up?

A: (M)y guess was that it had something to do with the cactus being under some sort of stress, like from drought or something….

Lenora Stewart, a master gardener with the University of Arizona… told me… that plants, like people, sometimes do odd things….

Maybe it was stress of some sort — “Stress is a (saguaro’s) middle name,” she said she — or maybe it wasn’t. Or maybe your cactus just took it in its mind to confound you or just didn’t happen to feel like blooming when all of its kinfolk did.

For us in the Bay Area, our bloom season is later in the summer than theirs, so cacti are more likely to bloom at odd times for no reason.

Life-Like Questions

Matthew from the San Diego Reader gets the best questions.

Hey, Matthew:

How long do cactuses live? They always look like they’ve been there forever.

— Wayne, San Diego

Yep. They just sorta sit there, it seems. Most only grow a few inches a year. But since they don’t have growth rings like trees, and nobody’s hung around one cactus year after year to see how it goes, most estimates are educated guesses, pretty much. Short life span is maybe 25 years. But consider the saguaro. That’s the typical cartoon cactus with the robot arms and sometimes a Mexican peasant leaning against it. Those puppies apparently have convinced botanists they can live from 150 to 300 years. Maybe somebody found Cortez’s initials carved in one. Montezuma. Somebody like that. Anyway, all bets are off if the cactus is in a plastic pot on your desk. That probably has a life expectancy of six months, tops. Not because it dies, but because you get sick of it and throw it out.

And if you click the link, check out the question just before this one in the article.

Locally Available – Care to Try?

Dear Professional,

Hi, my Name is Nora. I have some really old cacti in the front yard of my house and would like to remove them or sell them. I am not educated about the plants, and during quick research of the plants I became lost in a pool of information on the diffferent types of plants, and removal process. I would like to to post them on craigslist to sell them, but I have no idea what to price them at. If they are not worth much I still would like give the plants to someone that appreciates the fact that they are 32 years old, and very large! They are pretty neat!

  

So I guess my question is, do you have any idea what these plants could be fairly priced at? Do you know anyone that may be interesed in these? Should I just have the gardener cut them down?

Sincerely,
Clueless Cacti Owner

Nora-
You have some very nice cacti!

The large single column is an Echinopsis terscheckii and could be worth a lot, from $500 to $1500 fully rooted in a pot at retail, depending on size and condition, but will be very difficult for someone to dig up and remove without damaging it. It should weigh more than 300 pounds.

The tall multi-branched is a San Pedro, Echinopsis pachanoi and this one would have to be taken in pieces – you wouldn’t be able to get it out of the ground in one plant. The cuttings are a couple dollars per foot, but beware that these are often sold to be ingested as a hallucinogen, so you may want to be careful about posting these on Craigslist.

The short multi-branched is an Oreocereus celsianus and if it can be dug up in one piece and rooted in a pot can be worth $300-$750 at retail, depending on size and condition. But it looks like that would be difficult for it, and it is not worth anything as cuttings.

I hope that is helpful to you.
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

Long Question About Dropped Seedlings

Hap,
You might remember me.. I’m the one who has some fairly rare seedlings and am doing my best to grow them indoors – here in Utah.

Here is how I normally mist these tiny seedlings (still the size of rice, but more round and now sprouting some spines). I take the green box which I bought from your store and keep it at arm’s length (fully extended). I then spray distilled water in the air and kind of move the container around to get a light even mist but nothing soaking. It worked well until tonight. Tonight, the container slipped out of my hands and landed on the ground – carpet. I did my best to find and carefully isolate the 20-30 seedlings that are still going. As you suggested the medium is simply coir and finely crushed carbon on top. Obviously, after the fall, I lost about 2/3’s of everything. Things were clean so I loaded the container full of coir/carbon. Next I carefully placed each seedling in the soil. I used a small allen key to make an indentation and simply put the seedling (roots first obviously – though I was amazed at how few roots existed) into this whole. Finally, I misted again in the same way.

So, my questions are:
1.What are the likely effects of this? I assume I will lose some of these seedlings. That saddens me, but if there is anything I can do, I will do it. That includes re-doing the whoe container with fresh coir and carbon.

2.The top layer is now predominately coir. This concerns me as I know the carbon protected things by providing a non-nutrional covering. If I don’t do the step above, should I even bother with the carbon now that I have seedlings and haven’t had mold since I allowed for fresh-air-exchange (via holes in the clear plastic lid).

I sat and held these seedlings on the drive from Berkeley to Utah. They really mean a lot to me. However, I know the over-correction is common in this sort of situation and generally has bad implications. So, I appeal to you and your love for Cacti. What would YOU do? The genus is Lophophora if that matters at all (not the notorious species, but another).

Thanks so much,
Adam

Our Reply is after the break… Read More…

Low Light Cactus Question

Hi there,

We bought my mammillaria at Cactus Jungle about four years ago, and it has been pretty healthy since then, though it never flowered since we got it (despite fertilizing).

About a week or two ago after watering it, it started to get smaller and paler, almost like it is collapsing in on itself. As pictured, it is now half the size it was before the last time I watered it. I always err on the side of not watering it since I know overwatering can kill them, but I’m not sure what went wrong this time. I usually water it every four weeks or so (sometimes longer). Is my cactus salvageable, and do you folks have any suggestions for reviving it?

photo(2)

I haven’t fertilized it yet this year, so that is also an option. I live in an apartment that I know doesn’t get as much light as the cactus needs, but it hasn’t proven to be an issue until now.

Any advice is welcome and appreciated. Thanks for your time!

Lisa

Lisa,
I don’t think the plant is savable. It’s hard to tell for sure from the photo, so if you want to bring it in to the nursery we can take a look and see what we can do to try and save it.

You were probably watering the correct amount for not getting a lot of light, however those conditions generally mean that a cactus will have a limited life. So 4 years without a lot of sun seems like you did a good job keeping it healthy as long as you could.

If you want we can suggest a spiny plant that can handle lower light levels to replace it.
Peter

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