August 2011

Misc31 Aug 2011 01:35 pm

We’re now a community notice board!

Does anyone have cuttings of Opuntia polyacantha var. polyacantha they can send to me? Theo, the botanist for the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission asked me if I could provide him cuttings but I don’t have this variety under cultivation here in Little Rock, Arkansas.

— Thanks, — Barry
Little Rock, Arkansas

Contact me if you want to get in touch with Barry.

Videos - Instructional31 Aug 2011 10:46 am

Debra Lee Baldwin shows you how to make your succulents more colorful with brighter colors and more flowers. But not too stressed.

Does it make you nervous to think about trying this? Keep in mind that this trick of extra stress will slow down the growth of the plant. Sometimes we like to make a plant happy first, let it grow thick and lush, and then slowly increase the stress levels to bring out the wonderful colors.

Nursery31 Aug 2011 08:47 am

It’s the last day of August, and that means it’s the last day for our 20% off Pre-Order Succulent Wreath Special. Operators are standing by.

And the last day of our Bird House and Bird Feeder and Bird Food 30% off Clearance Sale.

Here, have a pretty picture of a cactus.

Gymnocalycium baldianum with a ripe fruit.

Photography31 Aug 2011 06:21 am


Aechmea fasciata

The classic vase-shaped bromeliad from Brazil. It’s semi-hardy here if you have a protected spot but we prefer not to worry and so we keep them indoor.

I don’t really have much to add to that stunning display of pink red purple and blue, so I’ll just let the picture speak for itself.

Misc30 Aug 2011 10:18 am

Mini Terrarium Animals!

We are going really big into terrariums this winter. Lot’s more glass selection. More houseplants. More mosses, and gravels and sands. And more toys too. 22 varieties.

I’m very excited. I suppose I’ll share some of our planted terrariums with these little 1″ toys as we go.

News30 Aug 2011 09:11 am

They have regular monsoons in India, even if it’s not a hurricane hitting New York City. And the local english language papers print monsoon photos from readers. Excellent.

First up we received this interesting image from Subhendu Chakravarty, of a cactus plant with drops hanging off that seem to create the illusion of a crocodile’s opened mouth with the teeth showing. He says, “This photograph was shot just after a spell of monsoon rain. It is the cactus growing on the boundary wall of my house.”

Looks to me like a night-blooming cereus. Maybe a Cereus spegazzinii.

Questions&Reader Photos30 Aug 2011 08:09 am

David called the store to ask us what was happening to his succulent. I asked him to send us a photo and here it is.


This is the plant. The normal form is in the foreground.


The plant is Graptopetalum paraguayense, and the “deformed” part is what we call “Crested”. It is a genetic mutation, usually caused by a virus, and it makes the growing tip of the plant grow out linearly rather than the normal branching and rosette. There’s nothing to worry about – crested plants are often prized and collected.

News29 Aug 2011 07:33 am

We can thank Nancy from Vorticom, Inc. for making my job this morning very easy. Here’s her press release on a Green Roof in Illinois.

Kankakee, Illinois-based Riverside Medical Center,, named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals four years in a row by Thomson Reuters, unveils the installation of a large eco-friendly Vegetative Living Green Roof System in celebration of the hospital’s commitment to environmental stewardship and the launch of the hospital’s East Tower. The planting system and vegetation on the living roofs act as insulation and will reduce heating and cooling costs by as much as 20%. The installation of this green roof at Riverside Medical Center provides patients, visitors and employees with an ever changing landscape canvas atop a rooftop space that was previously barren.

Here’s the photo.

Well, it looks good, but I should say one thing to Nancy – if you want bloggers to post your press releases and photos, and want to make it so easy for us that we don’t have to do anything at all, then you should pre-shrink the images to fit on the blog. I had to actually open up photoshop and resize the image all by myself! And then I had to write this here whole paragraph about it too! This kind of snark doesn’t write itself you know.

Reader Photos29 Aug 2011 06:28 am

We posted a picture of Austin’s garden in Redwood City earlier this year. Now he has more for us to post.

Cactus Jungle,

I have been to your nursery multiple times, and I’m also the high schooler who asked you questions about sustainability for a school paper this spring. You guys were nice enough to post a picture of my garden on your blog. I want to say thank you for doing that because it really made my day. Anyways, since then, I have gotten my girlfriend interested in succulents (she really is amazing). I am asking if you would be kind enough to post a picture of her small garden on your blog, so that she knows that people like what she is doing and that she’s doing a good job. I will attach a picture of her garden, and her name is Christina.

Thank you for taking the time to read this,

Sure enough, there’s a picture of the start of a new succulent garden.

I see Cotyledon orbiculata in bloom, an Agave marginata that will outgrow the spot in about 2 years, some Sedum and some Senecio, and a bunch of nice Echeverias tucked in among the rock wall. Good job, Christine!

Photography27 Aug 2011 07:50 am

I’ve brought the Adenium somalense into the photography studio for it’s 2nd bloom flush of the year and taken a portrait of the plant. The problem is I can’t decide which picture I like better. Can you help me decide?

If you click on each photo you get an enlarged closeup of the center flower.

1. This is the plant with the flowers.

2. This is the plant with the flowers with another plant behind with leaves. It’s funny the way they sometimes bloom before they leaf out, but the one in back with the leaves also has buds.

Whippets26 Aug 2011 10:19 am

Benjamin snuck in behind a shot of the California Morning Glory. He’s a bit out of focus.

Questions26 Aug 2011 07:15 am


I desperately need help with my Euphorbia Flanaganii Cristata! I got this plant bare root a few weeks ago, and potted it in a gritty mix like I did with my other succulents. But this one has gotten worse since. The yellow is spreading and the base looks brown (see attached picture)! What can I do to save it?

Thank you for your help.



It looks like your plant has either caught a fugal or viral infection and if it has continued to spread it may just be too infected to save. However if there are still green, uninfected looking parts of the plant you can try cutting them off, dipping the cut area in hydrogen peroxide to disinfect and help seal the wound. Please not that all Euphorbia have nasty milky sap and you do not want to get it in your eyes or on your lips, wear gloves and eye protection when cutting and handling! Let air dry and after a week or so of drying and healing, repot the cuts in fresh soil and a clean pot. You can use rooting hormones if you have it or liquid kelp to help speed up the rooting process or just let it root on its own, though it may take more time. Keep warm and the soil on the dry side the first month.

Good luck,


By the way, here’s a picture of a healthier one growing in Iowa. You have to scroll down for the photos.

Nursery25 Aug 2011 02:47 pm

I’ve been busy today creating a mobile website for our bamboo.

Our regular, full-service Bamboo Bay Area website.

And our newest addition to the website family, our Mobile Bamboo site. Try it out on your phone. Let me know what you think.

So now with the mobile site, our bamboo signage at the store has QR codes.

Like this one:

That’s another way to get to the mobile site without typing anything. Point your camera at the screen and click.


California Native Plants25 Aug 2011 10:27 am

Here are 2 new additions to our California Penstemon collection.

Firecracker Penstemon eatonii is red and firecrackery. The flowers are kinda aimed down rather than aiming out and up.

Azure, or Sky Blue, Penstemon azureus var. angustissimus is a local Northern Cal. native from the areas around and about North and East of us in the Bay Area. Blue, or purple, depending on how you see this range of colors, is always a nice addition to the flora of the neighborhood.

The Azure Penstemon has a more typical weedy stem and light foliage for a Penstemon, whereas the very exciting Firecracker Penstemon has denser thick green underfoliage and thick bloom stalks.

P. azureus is endemic to Northern California while the more common P. eatonii can be found throughout the West including into Idaho, for crying out loud.

Plants24 Aug 2011 11:02 am

Helianthemum “Wisley Primrose”

The only Helianthemum that has sold for us is “Mesa Wine” and yet here we are trying again with a yellow Sunrose. Give it a shot, you’ll like it. These are easy low growing wide spreading shrubby flowerful perennials. Pretty yellow flowers. Nice grey leaves. What’s not to like? Get with the program!

Maybe I could entice you with Zone 7 hardiness?

News24 Aug 2011 09:53 am

A cactus-themed restaurant in Ohio is getting a Food Network makeover on Restaurant Impossible.

The Food Network will be in town to film an episode of Restaurant: Impossible at The Mad Cactus. Credit Debbie Palmer

I wonder if Chef Robert Irvine will let those cactus coat stands stay? Probably not. But then, if you remove the cactus from the Mad Cactus, will they have to rename it?!?

Stay tuned!

News24 Aug 2011 09:12 am

They’re dreaming of making the biggest cactus park in the country.

The Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society is creating a park full of prickly pear, cholla and other desert plants at the Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Department’s headquarters.

A cactus park in the desert may sound redundant but the society, in partnership with Pima County, wants residents and visitors to better understand and appreciate the rich diversity of these desert plants and their value to humans, animals, insects and the environment.

The society wants to make the 9.4-acre Prickly Park at 3500 W. River Road the largest and most complete collection of prickly pear and cholla in the United States.

That’s gonna take a lotta cactus.

What should they call the park? How about Thats a Lotta Cactus Park. Or maybe Cactus and More Cactus Park.

I have dozens more of these names, so don’t get me started. Like Tumbleweeds and Cactus on the Park.

Now, if you start to add in puns too, then there are literally hundreds of possibilities. But Hap doesn’t like puns, so this blog has sworn off them.

Blogs23 Aug 2011 03:42 pm

Recently popping up on flickr is a nice photo of the nursery by Yumtan.

Spiny column cacti, agave and proteas all in one clean shot, with the bamboo in the background.

Travel23 Aug 2011 11:03 am

We’re at Annie’s (it’s my day off…) And what do I photograph and blog? Not the natives, not the succulents. No. The chickens!


Blogs22 Aug 2011 02:04 pm

Plantgasm has a great closeup video of spider mites in action. If you go for that sort of thing.

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