Cactus Care

Hi Peter,
We were wondering about these two cacti given to us by friends. The tall one on the left seems to want to branch (we got a cutting off a 3-4 foot tall potted specimen). The short guy we think is a gymnocalyceum, and have always been a bit puzzled by its odd coloration (kind of dayglo yellow and pink). It was potted in fine sand and really suffering when we got it 2 years ago. Not sure what either of their specific needs are (minimum tolerated temp, sun exposure, etc).

photo 2 photo 1

Thanks for your help!


The tall one is a Cereus. The short one could be a Gymnocalycium, but I wouldn’t know for sure until it blooms. The coloration seems to be an effect of the sun and probably the soil too. It can handle less than full sun, and may need to be repotted into fresh fast draining cactus soil in the spring.

In the San Francisco area I would recommend watering every 2 to 3 weeks through the summer, less in winter. They are probably hardy down to about 30F.


Cactus Flower Identification Project

hi — i’m in northwest Wisconsin. wondering if you can identify a vine-type cactus, as far as I remember I got at a garage sale. Attached is a photo. I came home on my lunch hour today to take a photo of the single flower that had bloomed — good thing I did, cuz I just looked at it and the flower is drooped and lifeless. Evidently they only last a day?

cactus flower

I’ve had it about 4-5 years I think. It was root-bound so I divided it a few months ago. Some of the spikes are 3 feet long, long and narrow. There are others that are narrow, then form into a paddle, then get another narrow spike on the end. There are also rows of brown strings that form on the spikes, point toward the light. It’s in an east window.

Hope you can find the time to answer me.

Thanx —

Debbie A.

The cactus is an Epiphyllum, or Orchid Cactus. It is possible it is one of the night-blooming varieties – the blooms only last one night – although most epiphyllums will bloom during the day for 2-3 days. The brown strings are aerial roots – it is looking for tree branches to grab onto.


Crassula Identification

A tricky ID? You tell me.

 crassula falcata

I picked this plant up last year but it didn’t come with an ID tag. It’s blooming and the flowers look pretty.


My answer is after the break Read More…

Cactus ID

They ask us to ID their cactus, and we oblige.

Love your webpage. I hope you can help me.
My question is do you know what species this Opuntia is? It is in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.

The owner gave me a cutting and I would like to find out more about it.
Thank you,
Mike Muench


I believe that is an Opuntia monacantha, also known as the Droopy Prickly Pear.


Steel Cactus

Dorena sends along this picture of a steel cactus, a steel prickly pear to be more exact.

cody wyoming

Cody, Wyoming

Large Cactus

I’m passing along this email I received.

I have a healthy, beautiful five foot Cereus Monstrose cactus that I am trying to find a home for. I have had him since 1996. I am moving to Minnesota and can’t take him with me. I have been getting advice from you regarding the cactus for years.


You have a blog with people that love cacti, so I was hoping you can find a home for him. Can you help Me? Photo attached.


Looks big!

Hoodia in Bloom


We forget the name of this little gem that just flowered this week!

Sent from iPaula



There should be a label on the pot inside the clay pot. But it is Hoodia gordonii. And that’s a very big flower!


Karen's Sansevieria is Blooming

We’ve seen this often, but this is Karen’s first Sansevieria to bloom. I probably should warn her that there will be a lot of sticky nectar as soon as the flowers on that spike open up. It can get everywhere!

New KIA and Sanseveria 010


Echinopsis Blooms

Barbra brings us Echinopsis babies every year, and here we see the parent plant in, what shall we call it???, Full Bloom. Yowza!


Queen of the night, first bloom 2013. Parent of the babies I have for you.

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.



Mammillaria ID


Are you able to identify this one? It has the double heads and is really getting quite large. You’re welcome to post it, if you think it share-worthy.

Mammillaria grusonii



Beautiful photo! I think your Mammillaria might be Mammillaria grusonii. That’s my best guess.

Thanks for sharing!

Wheelbarrow Succulents

I was shopping earlier today and loved your nursery. Felt the plants were well cared for and a pleasure to visit the nursery. The succulents are in a small decorative wooden wheelbarrow.

tiny wheelbarrow planter

Thanks so much for the help and I will see you again.

Thanks, Carol!

And just for fun – let’s name them from left  to right. “Moonstone”, Euphorbia, Oscularia, Aloe, Crassula. That was fun!

Peruvian Cactus Apple

Hi Peter,
I just potted a large piece from a gi-normous Peruvian apple cactus that my brother has growing in his yard in Long Beach. He cut the piece and gave it to me for Christmas and it has been drying out in in my garage since then. I thought I had left it too long, but the top sections seem fleshy and fine, with only the bottom cut part being nice a dried out. So, I potted it this morning, mixing in some of the soil I bought from you. My question is, should I water it now, or should I wait for several more weeks? Should I fertilize it soon? I have some of the kelp product.


My sister took a smaller piece last year and has it growing inside in her apartment in NYC! It’s doing fine (though no fruit yet…ever?). When she started, she waited 4-6 weeks for the cut to dry out, then potted it. She waited another month before watering it — based on internet research.

The fruit is really good!


ps, I love receiving the newsletter and seeing all the names and photos of the plants.

It looks like the Cereus is doing well. If you potted it in our soil you don’t need to fertilize for a year. In general after planting a cactus cutting you want to wait at least a week before watering. Since you have Aeoniums planted in there with it you will need to water sometime in the next 2 weeks, and that’s OK.

Your sister’s plant in NY should grow fine if its in a sunny window, but it is unlikely to bloom. The flowers are pollinated by bats, so even if it does flower she would need to hand pollinate to get fruit (assuming she doesn’t have any bats in her apartment. I know it’s New York, but still…)

We don’t get fruit on ours here in the flats of Berkeley since we also don’t have bats, however up in the hills they do have bats and they do get fruit. Delicious fruit.


Reader Photo

new york cactus

Adam came in to the store on one of his many trips to Berkeley and bought a number of cactus and agaves to bring back with him to the East Coast. I believe this photo is in New York. Things sure look different there than here! This was taken a few weeks ago, so maybe there’s been a flourish of green on the trees since then.


Reader Photo

echinocereus hybrid flowers

I received this picture from someone’s cell phone, texted to my email. Because cell phone emails aren’t real email addresses I don’t know who this comes from.

Is it from you????

Anyway, someone was very excited to share their Echinocereus grandiflora hybrid from us in full bloom.


Blooms Are Coming Soon


Reilly sends along a photo of his Echinopsis (formerly known as a Lobivia) that has 3 giant buds getting ready to open. Those are going to be pretty.

Tower of Jewels

Hi Hap,

We visited your nursery last Saturday. We had a great time and I’ve planted my new plants. I was happy for your directions on what to do with my Tower of Jewels, Echium wildpretii when it’s “done”. I am enjoying it so much and everyone from the Garden Club wants to stop by and see it as well. I wanted to share some pictures from the beginning to the present.
Eden Garden Club

Here are the pictures:

Echium wildpretii Echium wildpretii 2 Echium wildpretii 3 Echium wildpretii 4

More after the break! See the Tower in full bloom! Read More…

Reader Photos

Muk sends along a picture of her Echinocereus grandiflora in full bloom.


Our cactus has bloomed. Thanks to you guys for a beautiful and healthy cactus year after year 🙂

That’s a lot of flowers open all at once. Nice! Thanks for the update!

Customer Photos

Rachel makes her own pots, and sends us photos!

Here are two of my recent favorites (both in pots I made myself!)


Also, my veggies are all doing very well (peas, kale, zucchini) except for my bell peppers?


Also, everyone who works at Cactus Jungle is SO NICE!
Thank you!!!!!


Wow! Those are great! Plants are a Delosperma and a Sedum commixtum.

Happy Customers

Jeana sends along pictures. We like pictures!

Hi, I was encouraged to send photos of plants I’ve purchased from your fabulous store. Here they are. Tell me what you think!


Kalanchoe Fantastic

That’s the well-liked Kalanchoe “Fantastic” in one of our chocolate terra cotta pots. Clearly it has a musical theme.

Ceropegia woodii string of hearts

Ceropegia woodii, String of Hearts, in one of our brand-new Chive wall bricks. We squeezed it in there for her. And the plant she chose hangs down way further than even as shown in this picture.

Euphorbia hermentiana

Euphorbia hermentiana is the classic column Euphorbia, and the southwest style fits nicely.


First of all, let me just say that I love your blog. You guys are wonderful. I have gotten so much of my (admittedly limited) knowledge about succulents and cacti from reading it that I just can’t begin to thank you enough.

I have two questions. One I’m a little worried about because I suspect I won’t like the answer. In the second photo here, you can see my new Euphorbia Ammak up close… and there’s some discoloration, both pink and brown. The brown looks like it could be rot; it was just replanted, and it seems (see: right side of photo) perhaps someone at one point cut away some rot, which scabbed over. The brown is just at the bottom there; it does not continue up and is not soft or mildewy.


The plant itself is about 5′ and seems happy otherwise. The odd pink continues up the plant in a few vertical patches but ONLY one one side.

I am hoping you will say that the pink is just sunburn and the brown was rot that has apparently been handled, as the top looks good and has grown several feet past the brown at the base. If you do, I will do a happy dance. I love this baby and don’t want to have to lop it off at the top. But I’m a little worried these patches are something more serious. Boo!

Two, in the first photo (which also shows the euphorbia’s height), I would love your help ID’ing that beautiful purple plant in the hanging basket. I bought it when it was just a few spindly arms and, since repotting it, it’s grown and segmented quite beautifully, with tiny pink blossoms along the length sometimes blooming. However it does seem the segments are a bit thinner and I am wondering if I am not taking proper care of it. It gets some direct morning light and then a good deal of bright shade the rest of the day.


Thank you for any help you can provide. Love you guys! Wish you were closer! (I’m in San Diego!)


The pink does look like sunburn – when it was repotted maybe it got turned around?

The brown does look like some rot as a result of the sunburn, caused probably by a fungus. It should be able to heal. I recommend spraying, out of sun, with an organic fungicide like Neem Oil – though don’t use anything called Rose Defense. Watch carefully to make sure it doesn’t continue spreading. If it does, it may be prone to a virus which can then spread quickly throughout the plant.

The hanging basket cactus is a Lepismium cruciforme and probably wants less direct sun than it is getting.

Let me know how it goes

Reader Blooms

Mary sends along a shot of her blooming Madagascar succulent.



This is a shot of the Alluaudia we had blooming last summer. Cheers! Mary

Variegated Squid Agave

Agave bracteosa

Carla sends along a picture of an Agave bracteosa variegata. Anyone know who’s growing these?

That sure is a pretty specimen. It would be hard to keep it looking so good year-round.

Santa Monica Succulents

I saw this very large succulent planted outside along the beach at a Santa Monica. Can you identify it? Do you sell it?



That’s an Aeonium, probably Aeonium subplanum. We do have it in stock, as well as many other similar ones as well.

Echeveria Baby on the Run!

Hello Cactus Blog,


My succulent grew a baby plant. Should I put it in its own pot? Thanks!



I would definitely cut it off and put it in a new pot – BUT – wait for spring. It will be fine for a few more months as it is. When you do take the cutting, I recommend letting the cut end dry for a week before planting it in fresh dry cactus soil.

Also, not that you asked, but it looks like your Echeveria could use a bit more light. These are full sun Echeverias and would do best with 3-4 hours min. direct sun, without a screen.


Succulent Wall Panel Designs

Cynthia sends along this photo of a succulent wall panel she created. Over time, she says, the black aeoniums grew too big and the form of the picture got lost. She calls it “whoshecu”.


Nice work, if a bit graphic. Although not too graphic for this blog!

Maybe I should have prefaced this with a NSFW.

February 2024

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