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!

Late Blooming Cactus

Karen and Mike live in the foothills where it’s been below freezing this week. It’s a good thing they brought small plants inside and used a frost blanket over the outdoor ones, because it was cold enough here in Berkeley where it is 37F right now!

Here we see they have a late blooming Astrophytum asterias.


Living Walls

Hi there,

Attached are photos of the living wall we created using plants from your nursery. Thanks for being so helpful!

Living Wall

Josh and Deys

Wow! Nice job. Another picture of this Living Wall after the break. Read More…

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?

Clueless Cacti Owner

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.

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.


Thanks so much Peter.



The plants are…

Top row: Adromischus, probably a Crassula, and Ruschia

Bottom row: Sempervivum “Oddity”, crested Sempervivum and Austrocylindropuntia.



Los Altos Euphorbias

We recently delivered a giant 9ft tall Euphorbia “Ammak” down all the way to Los Altos. At least we thought it was giant. It sure looked giant in our store greenhouse!

But as you can see it is the small Euphorbia there! They’ve been growing them for many years and the new one looks tiny! Nice.

Thank you for our new 9ft Euphorbia Ammak. She is settling in nicely next to her larger family members!


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!

Marin Cactus

Echinopsis in full bloom. It looks like we’ll be getting some very productive flowering cactus babies off of this one.

Maryland Cactus and Succulents

John from Maryland sends along a photo of his blooming Stapelia and a very nice Echinopsis hybrid.

I just wanted to say hi, and share a couple of photos of my plants with you. I came across your site a while ago and check your blog often. I live in Salisbury Maryland…all the way across the country.

I have a lot of cactuses and succulents. We cannot grow many of them in the ground here (except some prickly pears) so I have to bring them in and out each summer.

Carrion Cactus

Anyway, attached are 2 photos – the first is my favorite cactus. I cannot help but laugh at its beautiful shape. The second is a Stapelia gigantea. It had one flower so far this year. The flower was about 15 inches across and very stinky.

Phalluseae Cactaceae

I love your blog. Next time I’m out that way, I’ll come into your shop.

John Mosher


Mexicali Cactus


Evelyn G. shared her cactus art with us from her instagram. She wants a cactus that will stay short, have big arms, no spines, and lots of blooms. Nice!

Mixed Succulent Pots

We put together some mixed succulent pot centerpieces for Zeny for her husband’s surprise 60th birthday party, which I hear really was a surprise, and a big success.

Here’s another mixed pot Zeny put together from our plants.

Nice! They tell me the Senecio in back is already outgrowing the pot and may need to be cut back.


What was the name of this cactus?

Was this crested or montrose? What was the name?



And there are more lovely photos from Cactus Jungle by Paula on flickr.


It is a Crested form of Myrtillocactus geometrizans

the true form looks sort of like spiny blue cucumbers.

Take care,

Montana Sends a Cactus Photo

Could you tell me the name of this cactus? It’s a very small, low-growing, spreading, clumping one with fine spines and orange flowers.

Thanks in advance,


That little cactus is Rebutia fiebrigii.


More Cactus Flowers

More reader photos of Echinocereus grandifloras in bloom. This one is from Muk.


More Cactus Wildflower Pictures

Auntie Rachel was near Vulture Mine Rd. NW of Wickenburg, Az when she took these last week.


Opuntia basilaris


Ferocactus wislizenii with the less common yellow blooms.

More From Dan in La Quinta Cove

It’s a cactus wildflower photo – my g-d that’s a vibrant pink.

hike 3-29-10 026

Opuntia basilaris – It’s a beavertail cactus with lot’s of subspecies. Anyone want to guess at a subspecies? I have Anderson’s “The Cactus Family” here and I prefer not to make any guesses. However, we do find out that the stems of this plant were used by the Shoshoni for medicinal purposes, “The Shoshoni make a poultice from the inner part of the stem and apply it to cuts and wounds for pain.”

We have found this to be a very difficult species to grow in the Bay Area – too much rain, even with our very fast draining soil mix. So we keep them indoor, and then they only rot out every 2 to 3 years.

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

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.

(Here’s the earlier email.)

More Hot Lips

Yesterday I posted a pathetic and sad photo I took with my cell phone.

From one of our customers, Andrea, here’s a much better picture of a Salvia microphylla “Hot Lips”.


With bonus cat, Calli.

More ID Questions

Hello Peter and Hap,

Thanks for your time and info during our visit on Sunday. I always enjoy my visits to see you guys and the cacti. We drove down 6th and saw the Agave victoria-reginae with its 5’ tall flower spike. Really cool! Mike was surprised that the actual agave was so small and such a perfect round ball. How old is the little one I just bought? I want to know if I’ll live long enough for it to flower, ha!

I am almost done identifying all the cacti and succulents that I’ve amassed over the years – plants I bought and plants my Mom bought at the grocery store and cuttings my friends broke off and said “here”. So, here are two more pics that I can’t figure out.

The “A” pic is of a plant about 4 years old – it started out as a single rosette and then, voila!, oddness. I’ve just been watching it do its thing. It is also small – about 6-8” across and not tall. I thought it was an echeveria (but then, I thought all rosette-type succulents were echevarias, I stand corrected). The pot is only about 2” deep and maybe 4-5” in size.

The second pic “B” is something I’ve had for a few years. A piece broke off and it started fine into another plant. The leaves are about an inch or two long and split like fingers at the ends. No pokey things along the leaf edges so it’s smooth and the trunks are woody looking like it has bark. The whole thing is only about 5-6 inches wide and about 4-5 inches tall.

I am also wondering about feeding my plants the bloom food. Do I only feed plants that do bloom? Does it matter if I give every cacti and succulent some bloom food? Can it hurt them?..probably not. I am going to try the “watering in” method and will do it when I would normally give them a drink of water.

So, again, thanks for your time and info – it is greatly appreciated.


Your new baby Agave victoria-reginae will probably take 10-15 years in the ground to get full size and then bloom. If you’re lucky, 20 years.

A. is an Echeveria, possibly E. pumila or E. secunda or maybe E. subsessilis. It’s hard to tell because it’s cresting, which is that flat part of the stem, and the fact that many of the rosettes are all wonky-leaved, rather than perfect round.

B. is Rhombophyllum dolabriforme, Elkhorn, a hardy mesemb related to the ice plants.

All cacti will bloom, so you can feed them all bloom food. In general, if you know the time of year they bloom, start feeding them about 2 months before then. Late winter through spring is a good time for cactus. Some plants like the Agaves and some Aeoniums are monocarpic and only bloom once and then die so you may not want to feed them bloom food.

Mystery Succulent

I am Pat and this is my question plant. Hope you can help me identify this mystery succulent.


It is Senecio kleiniiformis, an interesting succulent daisy from South Africa and hardy outdoors to about 26 degrees.


That was a short answer. Any other questions?

Naked Buds

From customer Juergen, we get this great closeup shot of some naked and very slender buds on what he is identifying as a Cereus spegazinii.



Nice Agave

The South of France is apparently a nice place for agaves to grow. This agave is about to bloom, so you can say goodbye to the nice plant while you have the chance.

Photo sent in by Dorena, who lives in Alaska, and took the photo in a garden in Nice if you hadn’t figured that out yet.

Nice Plant You Have There

Ric thinks we may have mislabeled a plant, not that it matters when it has 26 blooms, but still…

Hello Hap & Peter,

I wanted to know if by any chance the plant labeled Echinopsis thelegonoides on your web site is in possibly mis-labeled? I am being told that the one I purchased from you almost 2 years back is possibly a E. spachiana and most likely not a E. thelegonoides as it is not tree like and will not reach 20ft height. It really makes no difference to me but would like to know what the exact specimen is. Anyway, your clarification in this would be appreciated. We enjoyed over 26 flowers this year from the plant. I have attached a photo.

Hope you are both well,
Los Altos

Great photo, your garden looks great!
It is possible that our “parent plant” was mis-labeled (however it was originally from UC Berkeley Botanical Garden so hopefully it was not mis-labeled…), Echinopsis thelegonides and E. spachiana look very similar looking when young and out of habitat could end up being very much alike when grown. Our big old timer has hit at least twelve feet tall before I took cuts for resale. 

Take care,

Night Blooming Cereus

John F. sends along a nighttime photo of his night blooming Cereus in full bloom.


Nice Dudleya, too.

Night Blooming Cereus

Judy W. sends along these photos of a cactus she got from us, that was about to bloom – and then did!

Almost open

Later that night

By dawn, it’s fully open! Cereus spegazinni

North Bay Area Succulent Garden

Here’s a garden we designed and installed last year in the North Bay Area town of Crockett. They sent us new photos; it’s done well through the winter!

A prominent Yucca, a sidewalk Bulbine with hordes of yellow flowers.

Large Aloe ferox, kind of like the central focus of the garden. Oscularia starting to spread, and Echeverias in bloom. Some smaller Aloe cryptopodas too.

Nice bricks. Aloe striata, Aeonium subplanum, and I think that’s Aeonium luteovariegatum in back, in front of another stand of blooming Bulbine.

The blooming red Echeveria? It’s E. “Fireball”.

Octopus Cactus?

Dear Cactus Blog,

Here are (some) photos. The last one, I can tell that’s a Cardon Cactus and a Palo Blanco, but that green shrubby Medusa looking cactus on the right….Octopus Cactus/Cina???

Thanks so much for your time.

It sure does look like Stenocereus alamosensis. I’ll put it on the blog and see if anyone disagrees.

But wait! There’s more! Read More…

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