61 Cactus Blooms

Dominic sends along this San Pedro photo. Wow! The bees must be going nuts!

I bought this San Pedro cactus from you many years ago. It has bloomed a few times with only a few flowers. This year we got 61 flowers from it!

A Cactus Flower

Hi Peter – any help identifying this cactus would be much appreciated; we’ve had it for so long and it is finally blooming after a good cold rest last winter. Thanks!

parodia ottonis


The lovely blooming cactus is a Parodia ottonis. It’s probably time to repot into a larger pot.



A Challenge!

I live in Holland and have a fair collection of cacti, succulents, caudexes and pachyforms. Living in chilly Europe means most of my plants live indoors or in my “greenhouse in the sky”.

I’ve recently joined a local cacti club and am busy trying to identify my collection ! I am VERY bad at names but being a member of a club, I can’t really not know what things are called :~))

I’ve taken pictures and put them online at Picassa.

I wonder if you or any of your blog readers would like to lend a hand at IDing some of them ??

The link is : https://picasaweb.google.com/tayac21/20110302SucculentCacti#

have a good weekend, Jenny Cockshull

A Euphorbia Grows in Kansas City


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



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.


Abnormally Shaped Rebutia


I bought a Rebutia krainziana cactus from a plant show in San Francisco last spring. At the time I bought it, the cactus looked as it should; short, round, plump, spiral pattern of spines, and was blooming. I decided to keep this cactus on my work cubicle, which is next to a window. However, over the summer the cactus grew to be an irregular shape…it’s now very tall (10cm), and cone shaped. The top of the plant is very narrow, and it slowly starts to round/plump out towards the lower half of the plant. The spines are also no longer arranged in a spiral shape and are not fully formed (there are very few actual spines in the white spots on the upper half of the plant). Other than the abnormal shape of the cactus, it looks perfectly healthy. I’m just wondering what’s going on with the plant, and if there is anything I can do to get it back to its original round, plump shape. Could lighting be an issue?


It sounds like it is not getting enough light. Can you send a photo or
bring it by the nursery? Anyway, try getting it a minimum of 4 hours
direct sun, or adding a full spectrum light bulb within 12″ of the


Hi Peter,

Per your request, attached is a picture of my Rebutia. Would it be okay to keep my cactus outdoors (I live near ocean beach in San Francisco), or is San Fran weather too cold for it?


That is an extreme case of not enough light. Quite the interesting shape!
It can survive just fine outside in SF, but it would do better in a terra cotta pot with a fast draining cactus soil, and no saucer – you never want it sitting in water.

When you bring it out into the sun, it will need to be “hardened off” which means giving it progressively more light over a couple weeks, and not putting it straight into full sun.


Acacia? or Euphorbia? Maybe Chorisia?

Mark writes in with a quick photoshop of his front yard wanting a plant for a hole in front of his window.

Hello Folks at Cactus Jungle.

I recently pulled a huge bush/tree thing I hated out of my front yard and have been in search of a good replacement. (I’m actually in a hurry to find something new because it left my entire living room exposed to the street traffic — poor planning, I know.) One plant I was considering for a replacement is an acacia, specifically an acacia baileyana ‘purpurea’ and was wondering if you had any thoughts. If you had positive feedback on that choice, is there any possibility you have them in stock? (I realize it’s not a succulent…)

The reason I pulled what was there before (an Angel’s Trumpet), was because it was really messy — dropping leaves all over my cactus and succulents below. And I wanted something more colorful that would also complement the colors of the house. (Below is an embarrassingly unprofessional Photoshop’d exploration of what it might look like.) But I am certainly open to other suggestions, if you had any.

Pluses would be drought tolerance, not too many dropped leaves or berries, grows quickly but not too large (I do plan to prune though), enough foliage to create a visual barrier, but still let some light into the front of my house. Sculptural is always nice too. Originally I was jones-ing for a beautiful, giant euphorbia. But I know it would cost a bazillion dollars and might not serve as a good screen from the traffic.

As I’m writing this I worry it might be sound like I’m asking for free design advice. But I trust you’d say so if it felt that way to you.

Thanks for any input.

P.S. Speaking of huge euphorbia (I saw your recent blog entry about it), I have to remember to send you photos of ones I saw in Southern Africa recently. Enormous giants! (Wait, that’s redundant, isn’t it.) Massive. And all over the place. And in bloom.


Now we do have the Purple Acacia in stock, so maybe he’ll get that and all will be good, but if you have any other suggestions for Mark, let us know right away!

Aeonium arboreum

Sent to us from Jbot

It’s an Aeonium arboreum with the central stem missing, but what’s that I see – another new rosette forming right in the middle!

And of course the big rosette we’re looking at is about to bloom out with hordes of little yellow flowers and then that branch is going away forever.

Aeonium Problem


Several years ago, I purchased the succulents in the attached photos from you, and they’ve done beautifully. These plants are on the patio in the full sun – and cold temperatures.  They flank patio steps – one on each side. This past winter, one survived and is doing well, and the other looks terrible, yet has new growth at the base and a bloom and some new growth emerging from what appears to be dead stalks.  Here are photo descriptions:


IMG_483 = Healthy Planting


IMG_485 =Nearly all dead (freeze) Planting. Note new growth and Blossom

My questions are:

  • Given the new growth, should I do any trimming back of dead growth or just allow the new growth to continue?  I feel no trimming will leave it leggy and very different from the other one in appearance, size, etc.
  • What is this plant’s name?
  • Is it still correct to cut the stalky blooms once they’ve been around a while?
  • Thank you!

    Lynn S.

    First, what a lovely and happy Aeonium c.v. “Whippet” you have in the first photo.

    OK, on to the 2nd plant. Aeoniums can be frost sensitive, and we had a hard freeze this past winter, so it looks like it took damage then. The good news is that the plant is still alive, and has already started growing out of the damage. However, the rest of the plant is dead, and can be trimmed back whenever you’d like, now that spring has arrived. After all the cut branches have healed over, you may want to replant it into a smaller pot for it to grow back.

    If you’re unsure about how much to cut, you can always bring it in to the nursery and we can trim it back for you.


    Agave Bloom Spikes in Berkeley

    Dear Peter,

    You may recall that I came in a few weeks ago with some photos of my Agave celsii, which had sent up 7 flower spikes. I was asking what to do now that the spikes were beginning to rot and you suggested taking the whole plant apart, which I did. I managed to rescue three pups, which are now planted and hopefully at least one of them will begin to replace the plant that is no more.

    At the time, you asked me to send you some photos, for your blog. I am sorry to have taken so long to get around to this, but here they are.

    A few months later, an A. paryii also bloomed – in some ways even more spectacular.

    Thanks again for all your help.


    Agaves in bloom - 02

    And a lot of pictures were sent. Click through to see all of them. Read More…

    Agave ID

    Hi again…. Is this a colorata? They only grow about this big as adults, these were pups from the mother plant…. Jay



    That looks like it is a lovely pile of Agave parryi v. truncata! Agave colorata is similar but a bit more toothy and mean…


    Agave Love


    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!


    Do you carry these plants?

    Thanks a lot,



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


    Agave Parryi has a Pup

    John in Crockett sends along a picture of their Agave parryi and it’s fresh new offset popping up a little ways away.

    Airplant Installation with Cactus

    Devon sends along a photo of a Tillandsia arrangement, put together from stuff found here at the Cactus Jungle, and I would say that is a very nice use of the materials. This seems like a challenge to Rikki and Nicole.


    I’m giving my family all plant arrangements for Christmas, and for my sister I put together some air plants I got from you folks. I’m very pleased with how it turned out, so I’m sending you a couple pictures of the completed arrangement. The shell and glass stand are from you all as well. The plants are T. seleriana, T. harrisii, and T. juncea ‘red-green’. I think she’s going to like it!



    From our reader Genn comes this photo if Tillandsia, glass and candles. Nice!.

    Actually Genn isn’t a Cactus Blog reader, she’s my mother-in-law! Nice!

    Alaska Cactus

    Dorena sends along this picture of cactus candles in Alaska.


    And this picture of a peach in Idaho.


    That is a nice peach.

    Aloes on Site


    Matt from San Anselmo shows us what he did with those Fan Aloes he got from us.

    Aloe plicatilis sure can look modern.


    An Aloe Grows in berkeley

    Hello guys-
    I was just at your store last week visiting from San Diego. I wish I lived closer so I could buy more than the pink garden gloves I got! My sister lives in Berkeley and she takes me to your nursery every time I come up. We love to roam around and find out the names of some things in our garden which are unnamed.

    I’d like to know if you could please identify this aloe for me. Seen here, it is about 3 years old and was given to my sister by her succulent guru who has a fantastic garden, but doesn’t always remember the names of her plants!

    Thanks very much,


    You have an Aloe striata v. karasbergensis. We love this aloe but it is a lot slower growing than the Coral Aloe species it comes from.


    Anne's Sarracenias

    Anne sent along this photo of her Sarracenia collection.


    One of those has gotten HUGE!

    Do you think she’ll be kind enough to add species names in the comments?

    Another Cactus

    It’s a gray and rainy day here in California. Here’s another sunny cactus photo sent to us from Kris, also taken at Punta Pescadero, wherever that is.


    Looks saguaro-esque.

    Another Photo From Matt in Portland

    With a story to tell too.


    Matt from Portland here. Your recent entry regarding the Myrtillocactus
    Geometrizans has me writing you…again. It so happens that the MG was my
    first and favorite cactus. Actually the start of my cactus interest. Had
    one given to me from a friend who visited Arizona. They brought one back on
    the plane to Portland carry on. At the time, 6 or so inches and crested.
    Not a huge plant but still a unique looking carry-on item; don’t know if you
    can pull that off anymore, this was back quite a few years. Never seeing
    one before I was amazed. I kept it in a greenhouse. I had no other cactus
    at the time just Jade plants. Anyway this plant turned into maybe 8-10
    plants over a number of years. All crested and amazing. Sadly one year,
    heavy rain got in the greenhouse and soaked them all. I couldn’t dry them
    fast enough; it was a few days before I found them. Brown rot on all but
    two. After the mass devastation, one in the greenhouse and one in the
    kitchen window were left alive. Those two now are slowly repopulating the
    collection. Attached is a happy survivor…


    Anyway thanks for the memories. Never had flowers or berries on mine, but
    maybe one day soon. How old or how long before one gets berries/flowers?

    Sad to hear your larger plants are gone. I have a hard time finding large
    healthy, “outrageous” MG plants.


    Your crested myrtillo looks very healthy and happy. In general, crested varieties don’t bloom or fruit – you need an unmutated individual. Such are the choices we face in life: crest vs. fruit.


    From Aunt Rachel in Arizona is a giant Saguaro and some Jumping Cholla.


    Carnegiea gigantea and Opuntia bigelovi

    Arizona Hedgehog

    This beautiful Echinocereus has survived being on a bombing range for years. Congratulations!

    Photo from Genn, on the BMGR. Species might be Echinocereus fasciculatus but it would be easier to identify once it starts to flower, which should be soon.

    October 2021
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