Dragon Tree

Hi there.

Do you know what kind of tree this is? Pretty awesome. I saw it in Santa Barbara.

Rose Ann

Rose Ann,

It is Dracena draco, aka the “Dragon Tree”.

I love these plants, but they are a bit moody this far north… and take frost damage between 30-28 degrees when young, they can deal with it better older. So they are good candidates for growing in pots or in a protected spot against a structure and blanketing in the worst winters. But they also make great “Big” houseplants and can handle hot windows as well as bright diffused light.


Driftwood, Meet Succulent

Mike from Alaska, while travelling along the California Coast, sends along a picture for you to enjoy.

A weird angle, but I think you get the drift, cough cough, so to speak.

Dudleya Questions

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


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


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


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.


Echinocactus Grusonii Questions

Good afternoon;

I have a couple of questions regarding my golden barrel cacti. I have five outdoor plants in a cactus garden on the northwest side of our home. I’ve noticed that the two smaller barrel cacti (one is about the size of a melon, the other the size of a grapefruit) have developed yellowish ribs and the space between each of the ribs is a light green. Are they not receiving enough sunlight? Should I place the barrels in pots and move them to an area with more direct sun? They get about 5 hours of direct sunlight this time of year.

I also water my barrel cacti about once every 10-14 days – are they receiving too much water? If it’s any help, I live in Newark, CA (about an hour south of Berkeley) and have bought some cacti from Cactus Jungle. I appreciate your feedback. Attached are two photos taken during the summer of the cacti in question.

Thank you,


From the pictures, the cacti look fine. In general, 5 hours is enough sun. A little yellowing could be a sign of too much water; reduce the watering to every 3 to 4 weeks except when you are getting over 90F. You can stop watering them now for the winter unless we have a particularly dry winter.



Matt in Portland sent along this extremely-bright-pink-flowered Echinopsis photo in July, and I forgot to blog it! Oh the horror. It’s a good thing I found it, because it’s a gray day here in Berkeley and we need a little bit of bright pink this late in the summer.


Anyone know the species?

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.

Echinopsis Blooms

From Cactus Blog reader Todd, this photo from last summer of a mature Echinopsis or hybrid thereof in bloom.

I’ve never seen that many flowers on a potted cactus – usually they need to be in the ground to be that bloomful.



David Lindberg sent along photos of a gorgeous Epiphyllum in bloom that he rescued from the woman whose house he bought.

He wants to name the plant after her, but he can’t remember her name. If she happens to read this, maybe she could clue us in, please? Thank you.

[Update 6/21: The plant is now called Hillred, as noted below in comments.]

Euphorbia lactea Crest

Shelly sends along a photo of her friend’s Euphorbia lactea Crest. She’s gotten a cutting off it.


Euphorbia Question from Florida

would it be ok if i sent you a photo of something about which i have a question? i have a euphorbia with multi branches and within the past week little yellowish dots have appeared where one might expect spikes to be. hard to describe, thusly if i could send you the picture it might be more helpful.

thank you.

vero beach florida

And here’s the picture:

And the good news is…


It looks like Euphorbia trigona and the dots are unopened blooms!


Everyone Needs Help with Plant ID


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

image image(2) image(3)

Thanks for any help you can give.

Newbie Leigh

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

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

The blue one is a Senecio, probably Senecio mandraliscae.


Fan Aloe

I saw this succulent in an accupuncture store in Chinatown, and was hoping you could tell me what it is, and also help me find one. It was about 3 feet tall. Any help would be appreciated. I tried to research it on the internet but couldnt find anything.



The plant is an Aloe plicatilis, also known as a Fan Aloe. We do have them in stock in a range of sizes at the nursery.

More info from the SF Botanic Garden. And more Aloe Plicatilis info on our website.


Felinus cacticius

Michele sends along a cactus photo.


Photo of our  backyard feral kitty named Whitey, who guards the neighbor’s prickly pear. Whitey is King of our Backyard in El Cerrito.

Fenders Hedgehog


Borrowed from Auntie Rachel’s facebook page, it’s an Easter in Arizona Echinocereus fendleri in bloom.

Stunning flowers.

Finding Succulents

Hello Peter,

You were giving me some advice there at the nursery a few days ago about
possible choices of cacti and succulents for some planting that I’m hoping
to do here at my place in Kensington.

One of my neighbors has a succulent (I think)that I like very much. It’s
shown in this photo.

Echeveria Fireball

Can you identify it? Are these things available?

Your advice will be much appreciated!

Yours sincerely,



That is an Echeveria “Fireball”, a very nice succulent. And we do not have any growing right now. We may have some by mid summer. We do have a lot of other Echeverias that are that big, even if not that red.


Flowery Photos

Matt in Portland sends along echinopsis bloom photos.


Here’s the plant it comes from.



Formerly Known as Lobivia

Matt in Portland sends along some late-blooming echinopsis photos- those plants just can’t be stopped.


Friday Afternoon Cactus ID!

Hello… I’m a regular reader, and very occasional commenter on your blog… you may remember me from a prickly pear cactus jelly post you linked to… [Ed: Yes we do remember!] regardless…

I bought this plant in July of 2008. When I bought it, it was labeled Mammillaria species… and that’s it. Nothing else…

I’ve included 4 pics… 2 of the plant when I first bought it, which I posted on the blog in hopes that some kind, kind person out there knew or could blindly guess the species. They couldn’t…

there’s also one with blooms from last year, and a current pic showing fruit…

If you could help me ID the thing, I’d really really be grateful… thanks for your trouble…

Claude from Random Rants and Prickly Plants

I typed up a response and saved it in drafts, and now its missing, so I don’t know if you’ve already received an answer from me, but you have a lovely Mammillaria perbella. The fruit in one of the photos is edible, though tiny, and only if you haven’t used chemical insecticides. If grown outdoors, it would be way more spiny, but yours is looking great.

Also, see here on Claude’s blog another picture of the Mammillaria in question. And don’t miss out on the beer can garden post. Really, you don’t want to miss it.

Friday Guest Whippet Blogging

Roland came by and took some pictures at the nursery of me and the whippets. Here’s one of Jason.

Those eyes! It’s like the follow me wherever I go!

From the Huntington

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



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

Thank you in advance,


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

The flower spray looks like a Crassula.


Fuzzy Kalanchoes

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

IMG_0752 IMG_0753

Thank you!

Tea M. from California

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


Gas Lamp Conversion

light post succulents


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



Gene Wants to Know


I’ve been reading your blog for a while, and I really love when you tell which plant is blooming. Suddenly, I have a need for that too! Something popped a flower today, and I don’t know what it is. Can you tell? What are the other plants I have in that planter?



Nice grouping. And you’re in luck! I can name most of those for you. The blooming one is a  Titanopsis hugo-schlecteri. In front is Baby Toes, aka Fenestraria aurantiaca. Further forward and to the left, the dark one is Haworthia truncata. At the very front is Sedum spathulifolium “Cape Blanco”. And the last one, the light colored one on the right, is another Mesemb, but I’m not sure which species. Maybe a Cheiridopsis.


Does anyone here on the blog want to challenge any of my IDs? I’m open to suggestion.

Giant Cactus Tree Reader Photos

Hi, I’m from Mexico and I wanted to share with you two interesting photos of Pachycereus Weberi from Oaxaca: (1) at the side of the road and (2) from a plantation of pitaya (that is, a fruit of a kind of cactus). This guys are all over around in that land. The specimens in the photo (1) are about 16.4 feet or 5 meters high, and they are considered medium tall. The other specimen (2) is about one third taller of the others, that should be about almost 7 meters tall (22.97 feet), as you can see is as tall than the tree at its side and is considered a big and old “pachy”. I hope you like them.
Alejandro V.

Photo 1
Photo 2:

Thanks, Alex! Those are some impressive cacti.

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.


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’.

Giant Pink Mound

Phyllis sends along her Oscularia deltoides in bloom. I think she’s in Berkeley, maybe Oakland.

It really dominates the garden, no? Lot’s of pretty things, and a giant mass of pink flowers in the center which won’t last long but is astounding nonetheless. I bet the butterflies and bees are going wild.

Green Roof

One of our customers sent us this photo of a green roof they made. And just 2 days ago I mentioned we like getting these photos, in a post featuring another customer’s photo!

Woohoo! We also love green roofs!

Goat house with plants from Cactus Jungle. It has been a year. Sorry I meant to send sooner. I lost the name of the gal that works there that helped me. She wanted to see it complete. This photo does not do it justice. I love it!

Thank you for your help with this,

Susan Nightingale
And it’s a goat house! I love goats!
September 2021

US Constitution


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