So Many Questions!

I’ve just stumbled across your blog, and being a cactus lover immediately spent the day reading it. In order to help you continue the great work, I have two questions for you:

1. What’s the best size pot for my Golden Column cactus? I’ve had it for about 5 years and find it awesome for intimidating neighbors.

2. Could you help me identify this cactus? I’ve had it for a few years and have always found it interesting, but never tried to figure out the name.

Also, if you guys have any advice on sprouting Draco Dracena seeds (or cacti seeds) it would be much appreciated.


Your Cliestocactus looks like it is fine in the pot it is in for another year or two and then you will likely need to repot to something at least two inches in diameter larger.

Cactus #2, Looks like it is a Mammillaria heyderi or one of the many subspecies of M. heyderi, however there are several other Mammillaria species that have a very similar look… like M. mystax. It could also be a hybrid, since there are a lot of them in cultivation. Do you know what color the blooms are?

Dracaena draco seeds have very hard shells, so they will need to be carefully scarified, (chipped, filed or rubbed between course sand paper until there are scratches in the shell) to help to get enough water through the seed casing to cause germination. Do not cover the seed with soil, but you can lightly coat with sand to help keep them moist, they need bright light for most of the day to germinate. We use high-output fluorescent lights on for 18 hours. Keep the soil moist, but not soaking wet, clear germination domes help, but watch for mold and excess algae growth. Keep warm, 75-85 degrees. Germination usually takes about 2 months but it can take longer, so don’t give up.

Cacti seeds have different requirements depending on types and where they grow in the wild. But the general rule is similar to the draco directions for large seed types and with small seed skipping the scarification process and just scattering on the soil surface and then lightly covering with sand or crushed horticultural charcoal. Keep moist, but not wet and under bright light. Some sprout with in a few days and others take months or longer. Plan on leaving the seedlings in the sprouting trays at least a year, since it can take them that long to get “fat english pea or small grape” sized which is when we usually reline them out to grow on.

Good luck,

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September 2023

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