OMG That is a Very Long Bloom Stalk

Hi Peter,
I got this from you last year and after accidentally breaking off the flower stalk it grew another one.  This one clocks out at 46″ long and sideways…this plant has both amazed and disturbed my friends with it’s “babies from the inside” feature, to the “tentacle of satan”’s a pic. Thanks.

Orchid Cactus

From Lillian we get 2 pictures of gorgeous Epiphyllums in bloom.

Hello Peter,
These are 2 Orchid Cactus I bought from your place a few years ago. They bloom gigantic  flowers every year.



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ds adjusted

From Mary in Walnut Creek, we have a Cymbidium that bloomed last year, but not yet this year. Let’s all hope for the best.

Outsourcing the Photography

Aunt Rachel sends along this shot of a purple prickly pear on the highway to Roosevelt Lake. I wonder what state that’s in? Doesn’t look like Arizona. Maybe Idaho?


Opuntia Santa Rita

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.


Plant ID

Hey you guys!

Hope your summer is going succulenty! (that’s a good thing, right?) So trying to remember the name of this darling succulent is driving me crazy! Can you help? This one is about a foot and a half wide and has totally awesome orange flowers. Any nod in the right direction will be so appreciated!




It is a lovely mature Echeveria subrigida.

Take care,


Plant ID Question

We like IDing plants. Send in your photos!

I hope that you can help me to identify the Euphorbia that’s in the attached photos taken in the past 10 days. I recently took over this garden, don’t really know how well the soil was prepared, but it was planted about 4 years ago. You can see it is not a tall euphorbia…any ideas what it might be? I want to get some more of these to reflect this bed on the other side of the driveway.

Thanks for your help!



It looks like one of the E. characias hybrids, or possibly Euphorbia characias ssp. wulfenii.


Plant ID Question from the Maritime Provinces

Nova Scotia calling. Hey guys, great website.

I wonder if you can identify this succulent a friend gave me. He got it in Italy and I am at a complete loss.


When he first sent a photo of it I thought it was an Aichryson or Aeonium.

When I got a piece I think maybe not, maybe an Echeveria hybrid???:

Hope you can help.

Will make a point to visit the nursery this winter.




That looks like a Sedum palmeri


Plant ID Questions in Buenos Aires

Kathleen has some pictures of mystery plants she needs identified.

I’ve ID’ed a few to start:

  • Tropical #1a: Ruellia makoyana?

  • Succulent #1 looks like Aloe saponaria

  • Succulent #3 Peperomia ferreyrae

  • Succulent #9b would be Agave attenuata

Any others you can ID?

Plantaful ID

Hello Peter
Are you abel to tell me the names of these three succulents? Much tnaks!

The pictures and the IDs are below! Scroll down! Scrolling….


Your plants are:

Anacampseros rufescens

1. Anacampseros rufescens


2. Aloe, possibly Aloe barbadensis, or Aloe Vera, but maybe a hybrid.

Echeveria Perle von Nurnberg

3. Echeveria “Perle von Nurnberg”




We’re delivering some big spiny cactus this afternoon to some designers that are making some spectacular concrete planters on steel bases, The Ranch Design Group.

Portuguese Leaf Cuttings

Dear Sir
I hope you don’t mind me emailing you with a question. I moved from England to Portugal in January 2007 and have since become besotted with succulents. In the last two years, I have bought more than 70 but the labelling of plants here is either poor or non-existent. I therefore use sites such as yours to identify which plant it is that I have bought.

I am trying to identify the succulent in my photograph. I bought this as a small plant in May 2009 and the photograph, with my hand to show the current size, was taken a few days ago.

I have seen nothing like this succulent on any of the websites I use and wondered if you knew what it is and how I can propagate it. I have tried with leaf propagation, keeping the leaf without soil or water, but this only results in the leaf drying out and dying.

Thanking you in advance for any help you can give me.

Kind regards

You have a hybrid! An Echeveria subrigida cross.
You can propagate from leaf cuttings generally, but these hybrids are tricky.
Take a full leaf and let it callous over for a week. Stick the cut end gently into slightly moistened cactus soil, and let sit for about a year. You should then get a new plant starting. A 2nd year and you should have a full size plant ready to transplant.

Prickly Pear Pads

Elena wants to know if we want her fairly large Opuntia saxitilis.

So you know, I don’t think that could have been dug up in one, or even two pieces. So pads it is!

Nice plant.

Prize Winning Cactus

One of our readers won 1st prize in the Parodia Group at their local British Cactus and Succulent Society Show.

Mark Cowley
“Kings Lynn, Norfolk Branch” U.K. ( Derek Bowdery)
With a ‘Big Old Monster Notocactus’. Also got a couple of other prizes…

Have been collecting 2-3 years, 500-600 plants. Have New Greenhouse,

That is an amazing large Parodia/Notocactus. Thanks for sharing, Mark.


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

Random Photo

This photo is labelled “1972”. I don’t know why.


I don’t know where it came from or what it is doing here at all. If it is yours and would like to claim copyright, email me at

That was a little harsh of me.

Rattail Cactus

Karen sends along this blooming Aporocactus. She says she used our bloom food, and look at the deep red color she got!

That’s a really good protected location for a jungle cactus.


Reader Bloom Photo and Customer Testimonial – In One Spectacular Post!

Karen sends along a picture of her blooming Parodia.

Hello Peter – just wanted to share the new blooms on my Parodia rutilans. I bought this specimen from you over a year ago. At the time it had a crown of bumps at the top and around its belly. Nothing ever happened, but the bumps stayed there. This year some of the “belly bumps” fell off but the crown is blooming! So pretty! I especially like the little red flower coming from the center of the yellow. Your bloom food really works cuz I’ve had more blooms this year than ever before.

Thanks, Karen


Reader Bloom Photos

Matt sends along these photos from Portland, OR.

Should we try to identify them?


That looks like an Echinopsis to me, possibly even formerly a Lobivia. A very dense red color.


And this is a Mammillaria. So many flowers still to come.

I’m too lazy to ID the species, maybe you’d like to give it a try.

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

Reader Cactus Bloom Photos

From Matt in Portland, OR, we have these unnamed cactus in bloom very late in the year.

Coryphantha pallida

A closeup after the break, plus we discover the name of this lovely cactus that looks like a cross between a mammillaria and a parodia.
Read More…

Reader Photo

Darin sends in a very nice photo of a Kalanchoe beharensis.

The old leaves are dying off while there is incredible new growth on top of crisp white fuzzy leaves.

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.


Reader Photo

Reader Black Iris sends along this old fashioned photo of an Agave americana marginata from Greenwood in Brooklyn.


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 Photos

catalinkel sends along this picture and wants to know if this is the same Cereus v. monstrose as the smaller ones we are selling at the nursery, and the answer is: Yes!

Of course, monstroses all vary and unless they’re both cuttings from the same parent plant, then they’re not exactly the same. But whose counting?

But that sure is a giant one, with lots of fruit production. I wonder if they’re delicious?  Cactus apples, like regular apples, have lots of crabapples.

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