September 2008

Photography30 Sep 2008 11:35 am

Here we have a beautiful daisy-like flower, larger than the little succulent hiding underneath. You can see it peeking through the petals. I wonder what it is?

Another picture after the break…

Berkeley Succulents30 Sep 2008 08:34 am

Evelyn Ave.

So it’s a small garden.

Aeonium haworthii and an ubiquitous Crassula ovata in front.

News29 Sep 2008 10:25 am

In Manitoba, no less. You would think they would have a mpicture, but they do have this very nice description.

The cacti bloom in the Carberry sandhills. The delicate yellow blossom of the plains prickly-pear cactus is in sharp contrast with the prickly stems of this brittle plant.

One of the best places to view the prickly-pear cactus in full blossom is along the Quiet Voices Trail in Spruce Woods Provincial Park. These yellow flowers are plentiful and easily spotted among the mixed-grass prairie here. The pincushion cactus, with its characteristic violet-pink flower, is far less abundant.

Berkeley Succulents29 Sep 2008 06:56 am

Talbot Ave., Berkeley

Everybody loves Agave attenuata. At least until we get a freeze. Then it’s not so good. But they’ll come back. These have from the freeze we got the last 2 years.

Misc28 Sep 2008 07:52 am

Polliannacrafts has created a remarkable, adorable crochet cactus.

I’ve been told that sometimes I add just a bit too much snark, so no snark today. This really is a remarkably adorable crochet cactus, and that’s all I have to say about it.

(Photo was borrowed without permission).

News27 Sep 2008 04:40 pm

I love it when papers print articles about a cactus in bloom, like it was some kind of miracle, which it is. Here we have the Memphis Commercial-Appeal printing an article about a bloom.

M. Shah Jahan, professor and chairman of the University of Memphis physics department, recently succeeded in producing this night-blooming cereus plant bloom, which last happened four years ago. The Queen of the Night blossom produces a scent that seems to combine the magnolia and gardenia, with a citrus strain and a hint of spice.

Why should we care? Well, for the first time I’ve ever read, the local paper tells you why you should care.


Questions27 Sep 2008 12:33 pm

Have you ever wondered why we call insects “pests”? No, I didn’t think so.

I noticed some white specks on one of my plants today ! Never saw them before. Are they insects? not sure. Attaching a picture…could you tell me how to get rid of these specks? If I take a damp cloth they come off, but it’s difficult to get in there and get them off….what is it?



It is a bad case of Scale Insects. Think vampire barnacles… you can clean them off with a small paint brush or Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol. Paint on the alcohol liberally and let it set a few moments and then gently wipe them off, the alcohol dissolves the shelac like glue that they have attached them selves to the plant. It may take a few cleanings to get them all and to kill off all the eggs. You can also spray with Neem Oil in a 1% dilution in water to kill them, but you will still need to clean them off with the alcohol after they are dead.

Good luck,


Whippets27 Sep 2008 09:08 am

I forgot to mention yesterday, on Friday Whippet Blogging, but Benjamin now has his own Facebook page!

Shall I say, “Woohoo!” ?

Photography26 Sep 2008 03:06 pm

Ipomoea jaegeri

Now that’s a stunning plant. The flowers last only the one day, but they’re quite big for a morning glory, about 4 inches across. Succulent stems, to 2 or 3 ft. Shrubby things.

Whippets26 Sep 2008 02:59 pm

The skinny dog eats!

National Parks&Quotes26 Sep 2008 08:06 am

From my Senator:

Now, how about a cactus?

Here’s a good one from Joshua Tree National Park:

Suszan Standing Next to the Cholla Cactus
A cholla cactus stuck to my elbow while I was taking pictures. Removing it from my skin was a painful process because each thorn consists of microscopic, jagged edges that tore my flesh.

That’s an Opuntia bigelovii, aka Teddy Bear Cholla, or Jumping Cholla. Photo borrowed from Joshua at

Nursery25 Sep 2008 04:15 pm

Our current art exhibition looks great out among the plants at the nursery.

Suzanne Long.

Nursery&Photography25 Sep 2008 02:00 pm

Look what we found in among the olive trees.

There’s been a lot of spiders out this time of year. I carry a bamboo stake when coming in to the nursery first thing, to clear all the webs along the aisles. It’s starting to get to the point where they’re across the window on the car, across the front door at home, and they spin those webs so fast that you can clear an aisle and find another full web within an hour!

Maybe I should ask Keith to stop feeding them slugs so they’ll go away.

Questions25 Sep 2008 10:07 am

And I write extended headlines too.

Hello hello!
I was just at your lovely store Saturday and I purchased a few items for my succulents and cactus. I have done quite a bit of reading on the growing of these guys, as well as have a mother who has the most prolific, vivid green thumb. However, I am still a novice at growing my own cacti/succulents. I recently bought 1 cactus: a notocactus magnificus and a three succulents: an Anacampseros telephiastrum variegata [which I adore!], an Echeveria shaviana, and an Echeveria Topsy Turvy.

For the most part they are doing well. However, the Topsy Turvy has a long stem with a bloom hanging from it; the head of the bloom is hanging, yet to open, and has remained so for a few weeks. Also, the Ech. shaviana has a few rosette “petals” that are limp. They weren’t like this when I purchased them. I am worried about rot, though the rest of the plant is doing well.

I repotted all the plants into terra cotta pots of appropriate size with the Ultra soil bought from your Jungle. I placed some rocks on the surface of the soil. After repotting, I misted some nutrient spray on the rocks of the Echeverias and watered it in. I noticed that the soil dries out rather quickly with this heat, however I do not want to over water them.

Also with the purchase of the Nutrient Spray and Soil Conditioner – I don’t know the best way to use either product.

Can you offer some assistance please? I really am looking forward to growing some beautiful plants to decorate my classroom with. I also love growing things. :D

Thank you so much for any insight you can offer.

With peace,

That’s a lot to go through. The answer….

Berkeley Succulents25 Sep 2008 07:16 am

Stannage Ave.
Aloe arborescens

Everybody loves an aloe. You know you do. Plus, we have the plus of a scenic rock. Everybody loves a scenic rock.

Blogs24 Sep 2008 03:59 pm

Cherry Blossom Girl is talking to her potted succulents.

Sorry my little succulents, I’m taking a lot longer to paint this table that I thought it was going to take me. You’ll have to wait a few more days outside.

Questions24 Sep 2008 03:13 pm

From the comments on our post about Feng Shui Cactus comes this question:

hi.. i love cactus and i dont know about feng shui so i bougth a lot of cactus different ones and i put all then in my kitchen in the top of the closet i love to look at them and i dont feel anything but a friend of mine said id bad to have them inside a home and i start looking for information and i read so many diferent opinions i am confused… can you help me thanks why is bad to have then at home and in kitchen?
thanks elia

Now, personally, I think it is bad karma to ask a cactus grower why you should not have cactus in your home. But I answer the question all the same.

It’s good that you love your cactus. We love cactus too. So clearly it’s not bad to have them in your home as cactus are living breathing growing lifeforms. Many cactus are even edible and are cultivated in kitchen gardens.

Quotes24 Sep 2008 11:56 am

I just got this crazy spam. I’m posting it here as a warning to others: Do not attempt this! 

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

Questions24 Sep 2008 06:03 am

Yesterday we posted a question about an echeveria, and asked for a picture. Today we get a picture!

Sorry, meant to send this initially. Watering about every 2-3 weeks. In a room with several windows, with shear white coverings – so it lets in a fair amount of light.

Your echeveria is not getting enough light. Shear white window shades will block the UV that the plant needs. I recommend getting it into a sunny window, however increasing its amount of light each day so as not to shock the plant. Ideally, it wants 2 hours min. of afternoon sun or 3-4 hours of direct morning sun.

They can be prone to pests when not getting enough light, so given its current condition, you may also want to check to make sure that it doesn’t develop pests like aphids or mealy bugs.

Misc23 Sep 2008 01:25 pm

Oh come on now, I blogged about Cactus Mittens yesterday (Cactus Mittens!) and nobody has any comment or response to this? How is this possible? The world may be a strange and mysterious place, our financial health in collapse, our health care system uncertain, a very polarized election coming up and yet here we are with cactus mittens and nobody seems to appreciate what this means for all of us.

Well, let me tell you what it means. It means that we’re OK.

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