September 2012

Plants30 Sep 2012 02:20 pm

Orostachys iwarenge is a fast growing groundcover with pyramidal bloomstalks. As you can see.

It seems like the common name, Chinese Dunce Cap, might be offensive, but it is the name and nobody I know has complained.

Videos - Instructional30 Sep 2012 08:24 am

Whippets29 Sep 2012 10:07 am


Whippets28 Sep 2012 11:02 pm


Nursery28 Sep 2012 04:05 pm

This customer has fit ten Agaves in the back of their truck.

They are 15ga. plants, and quite big for that, so it is a feat. Ten!

Berkeley Gardens28 Sep 2012 11:07 am

This is actually our own front bed with a Sunflower in late bloom, along with some Opuntia and Crassula (Prickly Pear and Jade).

Misc27 Sep 2012 03:27 pm

I don’t know why anyone wouold make such a cute porcelein girl and place her next to a skeleton, even if it is a cactus skeleton.

Porcelain Girl with Cholla Cactus Skeleton Birdhouse Friends

How odd.

Anyway, it’s for sale at that link above in case you care to try it out for size on your windowsill at your own home, far away from me.

Berkeley Gardens27 Sep 2012 01:24 pm

Lise sends along a picture of her cactus garden in bloom. It’s hard to tell from the small photo, but it appears she has both Cereus peruvianus and Echinopsis pachanoi.

They both have the same giant white flowers, but the Cereus is a night bloomer, with the blooms only lasting the one night, and is pollinated by flies. Whereas the Echinopsis is a San Pedro cactus and the bees love those during the warm daylight hours.

How-to27 Sep 2012 11:20 am

Keith sent me this photo of a Ferocactus pottsi and a carnivorous dinosaur and a fossil. He says this is the proper way to use a fossil in a cactus pot. Did he come up with this himself? Or did a customer ask him to repot this cactus along with adding the two toys?

I shall never know for sure. It is a mystery.

I wonder if that is a mammal fossil? It is a mystery.

Plants27 Sep 2012 10:14 am

Anigozanthos “Bush Ranger” is defintely, without question – don’t you start questioning me now… – my favorite of the red Kangaroo Paws. Better than “Kanga Burgundy”? Well, maybe nmot… But… Hey! Wait! Don’t you start questioning me now!

Anigozanthos “Bush Ranger”
Australian Hybrid PP6,478
Evergreen Shrub

Sun: Full Sun
Water: Little in Summer
Size: 18″ tall

Foliage reaches about 18″ and produces red flowers on branched 2 foot tall stalks covered with red hairs from spring-fall. Hardy to 28F.

Questions26 Sep 2012 11:54 am

About a month ago, I purchased 4 Candy Stripe clumping bamboo plants along with pots and soil. Recently, they have started dropping leaves. I increased water to 2x a week from the originally advised 1x per week.

What else should I be doing?


Your bamboo plants are having a little bit of transplant shock – which is perfectly natural and nothing to worry about. Stop the extra watering – these are drought tolerant plants and need to dry out between waterings. Only water more than once per week if its very hot or very windy. You should see new tiny leaflets starting in the next few weeks.

If you used the Bioturf organic fertilizer we recommend, you don’t need to do anything more. Otherwise I do recommend some high nitrogen organic fertilizer.

Misc26 Sep 2012 06:54 am

Well, not really a jacket, more like a safety vest.

Keith found this and wants me to get them for the crew at the store. Then they will be really visible whenever a customer needs help. Fluorescent colors are the best colors.

But most of all it’s the tie that makes us respect the cactus.

California Native Plants25 Sep 2012 02:45 pm

Eriophyllum lanatum “Siskiyou” was very popular in the spring, but not so much at the nursery this time of year. I wonder why? There are way more blooms now than there ever were then. So bright!

Eriophyllum lanatum “Siskiyou”
Oregon Sunshine, or Woolly Daisy
Native to California and Oregon
Evergreen Perennial Groundcover

Sun: Full to Partial Sun
Water: Low
Size: 12″h, spreads 3ft. wide

Pretty whitish to grey-green woolly leaves with stunning displays of yellow daisy flowers throughout the spring. Tidy and low-growing groundcover, blooms pop up to 12″h. Cut back after blooming. Hardy to 15F.

Questions&Reader Photos25 Sep 2012 08:54 am

Please can you you help with the following

I recently purchased a cactus (see picture Below) I was given to names either mammillarias – polythele and the succulent plant is a sedum or Crassula and Echinocactus

I was also told two different methods of feeding which are as follows:

1. As far as watering goes, you should give it a small amount, about half a mug every 10-14 days in summer and reducing down to a 1/4 mug every 20-28 days over winter.

from summer hill garden centre
2 Water once a fortnight March to October – suggest a cupful ( not a mug!!!)
October to March ignore it
Feed every month from March to October ( amount should be on whichever feed you get)
October to March do not feed

from Craig House Cacti

Please can you give me the correct name and how often I water it and feed it and
where I buy the feed

I am disabled and never looked after one.

Thank you, Mark

The cactus is a Mammillaria and the succulent is a Sedum. From the name of the nursery, I take it you are in Essex in England.

It’s going to be hard for me to give you exact instructions since I can’t tell what they are planted in. Terrariums are always a bit tricky, but it looks like maybe they are in small pots inside the glass surrounded by gravel. Assuming this is true, you want to make sure when you water that you only water right around the plant itself so that the water gets into the soil.

It won’t take a lot of water, maybe only a tablespoon per plant, but because it is so little water, you will need to water every week. You can water the cactus every 2 weeks in the winter, but the Sedum will want regular water year round. Make sure you don’t overwater – you don’t want any water sitting in the bottom of the glass.

As for feeding – Very little! since it’s in such a small terrarium. I would use a low strength liquid fertilizer like Liquid Seaweed (We use Grow More brand) and use only a tiny amount, no more than twice a year in spring and summer.
Good Luck,

California Native Plants24 Sep 2012 01:28 pm

Solanum umbelliferum “Indian’s Grey” is unquestionably (don’t you question me….) the prettiest of the native Solanums, although this closeup of the flower is a bit more graphic than a whole plant covered in these little blooms. It’s poisonous, and it’s low and shrubby too. The flowers will last for a very long time if you give the plant a little bit of water throughout the summer, otherwise it will stop blooming and go dormant instead. I recommend you cut it back in fall after it has finished its last little blooms. New growth through the winter will culminate in the pretty little flowers in the spring.

Solanum umbelliferum “Indian’s Grey”
Native to California
Evergreen shrub

Sun: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water: Moderate to low
Size: 2 ft. clumps

Small, slightly grey leaves give this airy shrub a glow in sunlight. Striking blue flowers start in early spring and can bloom through summer and fall. Dormant without water in summer. Hardy to 25F.

Questions24 Sep 2012 09:12 am

Hello Peter;

I have a question on what to do about my Euphorbia trigona – it had been ill about 2 years ago and was treated with Neem and then brought into the house and recovered nicely. It kept growing taller and taller and never branched. It finally threw two branches this summer and grew another foot taller…it is now 40 inches tall! It is still completely upright with a chop stick secured to the bottom 6 inches, planted in a 6” deep terra cotta and happy. Should I just let it continue to get taller and taller? OR should I cut it down to size and let the potted bottom half alone – will it sprout branches? Then I would re-pot the top half?

Is it a must to use a rooting solution? I did not use any kind of rooting solution when I put the top of the cleistocactus that rotted off (of course, I did remove all rot and then let the bottom dry for awhile) into some cactus soil. It seems happy and has started growing a new fluff of top furry hair J. Will it root without rooting solution?

Thanks for your time, once again, to help me figure all this out.


It’s just about too late in the year to take Euphorbia cuttings, so if you do want to cut it and re-root, I recommend waiting until next year and taking the cuts between May and August. We do ours on July 1. The Euphorbia cuts are easy to get to root without hormones so long as they are well callused over.

The pot its in is too small, so it would be happier in a larger pot. Probably a 10-12″ pot.

And finally, these Euphorbias can be grown much slower with much less water. It’s amazing how long you can go between waterings. I recommend about once per month to really slow down its growth, although if its in a sunny hot window it may need a little water every 2-3 weeks.

With regular water, these will top 8ft. pretty quickly. We’re often asked to come into people’s homes to cut them down before they hit the ceiling.

Photography22 Sep 2012 11:07 am


This photo of Parodia submammulosus is better, more vibrant than the one I blogged last month. Also, it’s nice to know they’re still blooming this late in the year.

Blogs21 Sep 2012 02:13 pm

I see that Plants are the Strangest People has a Stapelia in bloom. Very attractive! (To flies).

Misc21 Sep 2012 11:04 am

Here we have a very interesting specimen, a Star Wars Yoda Terrarium, by Megatone230.

Yoda Terrarium – Hanging Moss Zen Garden – Star Wars / Empire Strikes Back

Yoda… you seek Yoda!
Take you to him I will…

Whippets21 Sep 2012 10:17 am

Whippets like to rest up and watch out the window for passing bunnies.

The story of the whippet is often told in England in the pubs and pastie shops of Upper Brunswichshire. The story of the English whippet is famous throughout the British Isles, as told on the heath. For when the whippet tales are told on the heath the bunnies all cock their pink furry ears and watch the horizon for the splinter-fast racing form of the bunny-murdering hunter known as the whippet.

Oh the horror!

For the whippet can calculate the triangulated distances in the English distances of the Scottish plains along the coast of the Isle of Man. Hungry though the speedster may be, there is no whippet in Wales.

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