September 2009

Misc30 Sep 2009 11:30 am

Hello Kitty and Dog in CACTUS COSTUME Dog Tag Necklace


Wow! What a find! Too bad the item is no longer available since they were only $6 each. Oh well.

Misc&Nursery30 Sep 2009 09:25 am

Is it October yet? Can I start posting about cactus costumes yet?


This one is a professional mascot costume, which means it’s expensive and probably not what you would want for Halloween.

I’m not particularly clear on who would want a cactus mascot costume, except maybe a cactus store. That’s us! In fact, I’ll bet Keith would love to dress up in this as the store’s mascot, and hang out on San Pablo Ave. waving down potential customers.

News30 Sep 2009 07:24 am

Cactus candles for the top of your cake, if you have a cake that is, that you’re decorating with an old west theme that is, for a young boy’s birthday.



Misc29 Sep 2009 10:38 am

MSNBC held a photo contest and Stamford, Connecticut’s Bob Stoddard won with this shot that I’ve borrowed off the MSNBC site.


Questions29 Sep 2009 09:32 am

I have a cactus that I have grown since it was tiny in 1990. It is about eight feet tall now but never got any bigger around than its original two inch diameter. picture attached.

I moved it from my office to my house in Tacoma Washington last year with much concerted effort and it didn’t break! But I have to move it again soon. Oddly, for the first time in these 19 years, a little baby cactus sprouted on it about two feet from the top. It has grown to about 6 inches. The cactus part above the new growth isn’t looking very good, as if the new little arm is taking out the nutrients. I am afraid the old cactus won’t survive another move. If not, can I break the new arm off and grow it?

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Thank you.

You can certainly carefully cut off the new branch. I recommend spraying the cut end with hydrogen peroxide to help it heal. Let it callous over for 1 to 2 weeks, and then plant in fresh, new, dry cactus soil. Don’t water for 2 more weeks.

In general, I would recommend not doing this ’til spring, but if you are moving it soon, you might as well try now.

In addition, it looks like the original plant is under-potted (I think, looking at the photo), and not getting enough light, which is why it never got any bigger around.

Good luck, and send us a picture of the baby in it’s new pot.

News28 Sep 2009 12:56 pm

The San Francisco Chronicle is recommending hypertufa for all your succulent needs.

…gardening containers that look like roughly poured cement with a nod to nature.

“It had the look of something … aged, organic and rustic,” she said.


Nice agave.

News28 Sep 2009 09:12 am

Thieves Targeting Drought-Resistant Plants on Channel 10 News.

I tried to embed the video, but no luck.

So I see the homeowner still has some Euphorbia leucodendron, Agave angustifolia, Agave parryi, and some aloes. Did I miss anything?

Questions28 Sep 2009 07:10 am

….but only if you consider grubs in your bulbs to be an issue.


(We) dug up all our bulbs to sort and replant.  We were having a wonderful time in the cool Felton afternoon.   Lo and behold some of the bulbs are squishy.  Not all and not most but still. Once I squished it and a poopy looking type stuff came out of one of the bulbs followed by a creature.  Once we squeezed the other soft bulbs we saw they all had these grubs in them.

There is not much on the internet about bulbs and grubs.  I’ve never seen this before.  What do we do?  Where are they coming from.  These are all planted in a wine barrel not even in the ground.

Do you have any suggestions?  Obviously we won’t be putting the grubs we find back in the pot.  But how do we prevent this from happening again.

I love that you are there to ask.


In the old days we rolled the bulbs in nasty chemicals that persisted and killed the grubs for a year or two… but those chemicals are now banned with good reason! You can however add some Neem Seed Meal to your planting holes as both a fertilizer and to help keep away the grubs without making your garden a chemical warfare site. You could also spray them with Neem Oil, but that is sort of messy and the crushed seed seems to usually do the job. There are a number of weevils and beetles, as well as gross looking waspy-flies that lay eggs in the soil and the grubs feed on roots and bulbs before pupating and coming up to breed and cause above ground havoc as well. Life is complicated….

Check with your local nursery for a box of Neem Seed Meal (or get it from us next time you are up) and then sprinkle a tablespoon or two around each bulb as replant and it should do the trick.


News27 Sep 2009 07:49 am

The experts in San Luis Obispo have some advice for you.

Too many people equate succulents with the desert, which in turn equates to no water,” said Wilkinson.

He urges people to consider desert conditions where torrential downpours punctuate long dry spells.

“When you water your plants, soak them, then soak them again, then let them go dry,” he advised….


Wilkinson’s best advice: learn about a plant’s specific needs when you buy it. And don’t be afraid to try something new in the garden.

I can give out advice too, you know, but I can’t force you to follow it. Here try this one:  Planting plants that bloom at different times of year in your garden will create a garden that blooms all year long.

Science26 Sep 2009 09:59 am

The science of tequila has just taken a big leap forward.

Geneticists working in Central Mexico have mapped the genome of the blue agave, a desert plant used to make tequila…

And how does this help?

Plants in the agave family die after producing a flowering stem, and slowing the progress toward flowering gives the plants a longer productive life… something that could boost tequila production.

So finally, science has come to the rescue of the margarita industry. Actually, if they can get the Agave tequilana to slow it’s bloom cycle, maybe they can get other agaves re-sequenced too, and then we’d have century plants that live for a whole century! I’m sure they’ll get right on that, since the ornamental plant industry has as much power as the liquor industry, I’m sure.

Questions&Reader Photos26 Sep 2009 07:04 am

I suppose if you’re asking us to ID a plant, it doesn’t take a lot of words.


Kalamchoe sp?

Kalanchoe orgyalis!

Misc25 Sep 2009 01:04 pm

Here we have a classic 20th century antique cactus lamp.


The species is Echinocactus grusonii ssp. plasticspinii

The Dealer is the renowned Robert Dickson & Lesley Rendall Antiques

It comes complete with 40 watt fluorescent bulb so that you can fully experience the 20th century glow of this fine specimen.

Whippets25 Sep 2009 10:09 am

Special Redfoot Tortoise Edition


Micah underneath the Abutilon palmeri

Micah’s eggs are still incubating, but it’s getting about the time for them to have hatched, so if they don’t hatch soon we assume they weren’t viable. She is still quite young to be laying eggs, so maybe it will be a few more years ’til she has babies. But I’ll keep you posted if anything hatches.

News25 Sep 2009 09:54 am

Taken right out of an article, presented without context, here we have today’s Cactus Quote of the Day.

IT’S not every day a leprechaun is spotted with a giant cactus in Ayr town centre.

Now that’s from the Ayrshire Post, but as usual, we at CactusBlog are dismayed at the lack of photo evidence. Do we believe this outrageous claim of cactus and leprechauns? No, I do not. They are toying with our emotions.

Let me get out the google and see what I can find.


Indeed, the google has been kind to me today. But I don’t think they’re in Ayrshire anymore.

Misc25 Sep 2009 07:04 am

Cactus Pinball Machine for Sale

News24 Sep 2009 12:04 pm

After years of demolition and construction, the dusty corner of Spring and 2nd streets suddenly gave way to a burst of green space…

With palo verde and Australian brush box trees, beds of flax, rosemary and succulents and narrow ribbons of tufted fescue, the park, designed by Melendrez, an L.A.-based landscape and urban design firm, is exactingly modern in design, made to complement the building that rises in its midst.

Why don’t they publish pictures? I don’t understand. Now I’m going to have to do some googling.

This story from back in May has a picture.

Misc24 Sep 2009 11:03 am

Win a succulent book in New Zealand, thru Nov. 10.

Top Chef cooks with cactus.

Cactus Fruit Tasting Tour at 10 a.m. Sept. 30 at Ruth Bancroft Garden.

Misc23 Sep 2009 12:20 pm

Kiko gets a hug. Phew, and just in time.

by Stephan Pastis Email Stephan!

Do you think there’ll be 3 more cartoon cactus comics this week? Stay tuned for the further adventures of Kiko the Cartoon Cactus.

Questions23 Sep 2009 09:42 am

Clay Thompson at the Arizona Republic gets the best questions.

Q: I have a friend from China who told me it is a good idea to put a cactus by your computer so it will absorb the radiation from your screen and protect you. She says this is because cactuses live on the desert where they are under a lot of radiation. Is there any truth to this?

A: Why not put a roadrunner by your computer? They live on the desert and probably absorb radiation, too. This cactus-and-computer thing is a new one to me, but apparently, it is a fairly widespread batch of hooey….

For the sake of argument, however, let’s say a cactus really did protect you from radiation flying out your computer screen. Putting the cactus beside your computer wouldn’t help much… you would have to put it right there between you and screen… Wouldn’t you feel a little silly doing that?

That Clay Thompson, he’s such a card. He even has a video.

Misc23 Sep 2009 06:55 am

Reader Wes passes along this video.

Here’s a video of some fellow playing an amplified cactus.

Nice job with the Echinocactus grusonii.

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