Questions


Questions25 Aug 2014 10:30 am

Here’s a photo of my Aloe plicatilis. I don’t think it’s going to survive.

Dead Aloe

Kim

Kim,

That Aloe has already not survived. Sorry.

Peter

Questions&Reader Photos10 Aug 2014 10:53 am

Nova Scotia calling. Hey guys, great website.

I wonder if you can identify this succulent a friend gave me. He got it in Italy and I am at a complete loss.

Halifax-20140808-02843

When he first sent a photo of it I thought it was an Aichryson or Aeonium.

When I got a piece I think maybe not, maybe an Echeveria hybrid???:

Hope you can help.

Will make a point to visit the nursery this winter.

Thanks

john

john,

That looks like a Sedum palmeri

Peter

Berkeley Gardens&Questions06 Aug 2014 04:56 pm

dasylirion

I stopped by wanting to find out what this is.
From: Janice

 

Janice,

That is a Dasylirion wheeleri, and we do have a number of Dasylirions, including that one, in stock.

Peter

Questions&Reader Photos09 Jul 2014 10:08 am

Hello!

Love your website, can hardly wait to come into store!

We are trying to figure out what the plants are called surrounding the trees in the attached picture!

image

Do you carry these plants?

Thanks a lot,

Danielle

Danielle,

Those are Agave “Blue Glow” and we do carry them and have them in stock in a number of sizes!

Peter

Cactus&Questions30 Jun 2014 06:54 am

From the Cactus Jungle Facebook Page comes a Cactus Question:

Question: Echinopsis hybrid. My friend brought him to Florida. Any idea what the brown growth is all about?

echinopsis

Barbra Ann

Barbra Ann,

Nice flowers! The cactus is an Echinopsis eyriesii – Easter Lily Cactus. It’s called “barking” and the cactus is forming bark at the base of the plant with age.

Peter

Questions28 Jun 2014 09:26 am

Hi,

I was looking at your very helpful blog and was wondering if you had any insight to the below. My cactus recently had a bit of scale and once I removed it with a tooth brush it began to discolor with brown/black spots. I’m not sure if this is caused by the scale or if it is rotting and what my next steps should be. I bought some organic neem oil and treated it on Saturday evening but wanted to see with you if you think this is the right approach or what you would recommend. (I have attached a photograph for your reference) do you think there is any possibility this cactus could live?

photo-1

Additionally I have another cactus potted in the same pot which appears to be healthy but I wanted to see if you think it is ok to leave it or if I should repot the ‘sick’ one.

I look forward to hearing from you and thank you in advance for your help!

Olivia

Olivia,

I can’t tell what is going on from the photo. That wouldn’t have been caused by the scale. Generally we don’t recommend using a toothbrush since the bristles can be too firm – a soft paintbrush dipped in alcohol is sufficient to remove scale. It is possible that the skin of the Cereus was damaged and now has a fungus or other rot-related issues, but I can’t be sure. Neem wouldn’t have caused it unless you sprayed in direct sun, but it would help with any fungal issues. Or it can also be something entirely unrelated to the scale removal.

I would definitely separate the two plants, clear off all the soil from the clean one’s roots, and plant in a new pot with fresh cactus soil. If you live near Berkeley you could bring it in and we can help you with that.

Peter

Questions&Reader Photos27 Jun 2014 08:12 am

Hello Peter,
I was wondering if you could help me take care of my plants and maybe give me some advice! So as you can see I love plants, especially cacti and perennial plants. In every picture you can see that the soil is wet because I just watered them all today. Can you tell me how often each one needs to be watered?

I would also like to know whether they should be outdoors or not? I have a garden where I could put them but I would rather have them with me in my room. I recently put 6 and 7 outside but I am worried about that ‘burnt look’ they have going on now… Maybe the transition was a little too abrupt since they used to be inside. I never changed the soils, could you tell me if I should and how to?

Can you also tell me if they look healthy or if one of them needs special care? For the ones that stay in my room, I try to let as much sunshine in as I can, but I think maybe they would like to be outside. Also some parts of 7 died and I don’t know what to do with the remaining parts, does it mean that the whole cactus is going to die too?

I don’t know that much about cacti but I love them and would hate for them to die, so please help me! I’ve had the euphorbia 5 for a few years, I keep it inside the house and it looks really happy to me, it has grown a lot! Most of the others are new and I can’t tell if they have grown or not.

I live in Paris and it is rather hot and sunny during the summer and spring, but it can get really cold in the winter.

Also, if you know their names I would love to learn! THANK YOU so much, I LOVE your blog, I really hope you get a chance to reply and maybe help me.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7
Albertine

Albertine,

When you bring plants outside they need to be “hardened off” to the sun, which means bringing them slowly out into sunshine over the course of a week or longer, or they will get a sunburn.

All plants can be grown outside, it just depends on your local climate. Here in Berkeley or San Francisco we can grow those outside, but I am not sure in Paris. There is a cactus shop there that might know better for your particular locale.

The plants that I know are:

1. Euphorbia ferox

2. Don’t know

3. Opuntia microdasys

4. Ferocactus, too young to know the species

5. Euphorbia – could be trigona

6 and 7. Mammillaria

Generally you can water them every 2 to 3 weeks, but they look like they’re not getting a lot of sun, so maybe every 3 weeks is best.

Peter

Questions&Reader Photos23 Jun 2014 07:15 am

I was wondering if anyone may know what type of Echeveria this is, see attachment. It was about 6 inches across and standing about 4 inches up. Deep, dark red/brownish color and leaves were thick.

009

cindy

That would be Echeveria “Fireball”

Peter

Questions12 Jun 2014 01:20 pm

I am not sure what is going on with this Alluaudia. It seems to be having issues.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Michael

Michael,

That’s not good. I don’t know what it is. I would isolate the plant first. Then try dipping a paintbrush in rubbing alcohol and lightly rubbing to see what happens. But since I don’t know what it is, I can’t really help.

I’ll post it on the blog tomorrow and see if we get any responses there.

Peter

Questions12 Jun 2014 09:10 am

I recently became the caretaker of these plants. They have not had much
sunlight and I am acclimating them back into full sun over the next few
weeks. I am keeping them under a mesh tarp to let them get diffuse sun
and I plan to put them into larger pots with some fertilizer (3-3-3). Is
there anything that you can help me with based by just looking at the
picture or do you see any thing I should change with my plan? I am
guessing they are mostly some form of Euphorbia erythraea forma
variegata but am not really sure.

euphorbia ammak

Thank you for your time,
Rich

Rich,

Aside from the Opuntia which is the only cactus, the white ones are Euphorbia “Ammak” and the green ones are either the green version of “Ammak” or are probably Euphorbia trigona.

Depending on where you live they may need to be indoor. They are only hardy down around 32F, so we recommend them indoor in the SF Bay Area in the Winter.

Fast draining cactus soils for all of them. The cactus needs some good sun. The Euphorbias can handle light shade to full sun.

Do not fertilize a lot or these will grow into giant trees too quickly. Very little water – every 3 to 4 weeks should be fine, although more if it is sunny and hot.

Peter

Questions30 May 2014 09:41 am

Hello,

Yesterday I bumped my cactus, Mr. Popcorn, and on of his arms fell off/over. I’m not sure why…is this rot? What should I do about it?

IMG_2228

The soil is the soil he came with, with a little from the woods that I got several weeks ago and mixed in. Do I need to get a special kind? Also, could you tell me what kind he is? I’ve tried researching it but I’ve had little success.

IMG_2236

Here are some pictures.

Thank you so much!
Monica
P.S. Does he look healthy? Should he be greener?

Monica,

Your cactus is a Mammillaria elongata. The soil mix is too rich, and looks too wet. The arm has fallen over because of rot which was caused by too much water. Generally we recommend a fast draining cactus soil, no forest products. Water about every 3 weeks, and only a little more often in summer if it is in a hot and sunny location. Make sure the soil has completely dried out before the next watering.

You’ll need to cut out the rotted arm, digging out any rot in the soil too. I recommend spraying the base of the remaining plant with Neem Oil which is a natural fungicide and should help keep the rest of the plant from rotting.

Good luck

Peter

Questions24 Apr 2014 10:34 am

I have had this aloe in my backyard in Concord for almost 20 years. I have rarely watered it, because it was doing fine on its own. this winter after the big freeze, it was damaged. I have enclosed 2 pics. the plant is about 2.5 ft high, flowers almost 4 ft. What if anything should I do about its leaves? I trimmed some the dead tops off, is that the right thing to do? Would this plant survive being transplanted to a container? ( I know , no guarantees! ) its way in the back of my yard hidden behind a big rosemary bush.

aloe

Thanks for any advise!
Jeff

Jeff,

The Aloe looks fine overall. You can trim the ends if you want, but its not necessary – eventually they’ll take care of that themselves.

You might want to fertilize it this spring. We sell an organic fertilizer for succulents, Cactus Meal, or you can use a Kelp Meal too.

It should survive being transplanted, but it will take a hit since you’ll have to trim back the roots when digging it up. You might want to divide it when you get it out of the ground. Also, make sure to use a fast draining cactus soil.

Peter

Questions15 Apr 2014 10:32 am

Hi Peter!

I bought this succulent from your store last year while visiting on vacation. I was wondering if it doesn’t look healthy to you. I’ve been keeping it on my back porch where it gets some shade and its watered every 1-2 weeks. Would love to hear your thoughts and advice.

photo 1

Thank you!
Jen

Jen,

The little Sempervivum looks OK. It’s probably not getting enough water since it’s still in the fiber pot, which dries out much faster than if it were in a terra cotta pot. Also, I can’t tell exactly from the photos but it may have bugs in the center. If it does you should spray it with an organic insecticide like Neem Oil.

Peter

Questions14 Apr 2014 09:26 am

Hi folks,

I got this guy a couple of years ago but just thought to check it’s species now. I’m pretty sure it’s the monstrose variety of O. subulata, though mine’s a lot more gangly than most images I’ve seen.

photo-1

I live in Calgary, Canada, so this is a houseplant. We have long, miserable, dark winters, so this thing’s stalks grow in alternating thick and thin segments in tune with the sun’s position in the sky (the sun’s only up for about 7 hours on dec. 21, and very low in the sky). I’ve got it in a sun room with floor to ceiling east, south, and west windows, so it gets as much light as a plant can get in Canada without being outside or in a greenhouse, but I find it still gets gangly and topples over. I’m wondering if there’s anything I can do to encourage it to “wood up”, or if I’m better off just pruning the stalks that get so long they fall over.

Also, would you recommend allowing this to spend the summer outside? We’ve got about 3 months of guaranteed safe night time temps, but when I try doing that with my epiphyllums, it seems like our summer is just long enough to trigger much more robust growth than I can achieve inside, but not long enough for any new branches to fully mature. I usually find that anything that grows outside on those guys falls apart inside, melting completely by mid January. Not sure if I’d see something similar here.

Anyway thanks in advance, you’ve got a great and very useful blog!

Adam

Adam,

Two things you can do to keep your O. subulata monstrose’s growth more regular.

1. Repot into a bigger pot.

2. Reduce water to every 6 weeks when there is less direct sun.

These are hardier than the Epi’s and can take colder night-time temps by about 10 degrees F., so you might be able to have it outside for 4-5 months or so. And then when you bring it back inside reduce watering a lot.

Peter

Questions&Reader Photos29 Mar 2014 08:28 am

Hello Peter,

You were giving me some advice there at the nursery a few days ago about
possible choices of cacti and succulents for some planting that I’m hoping
to do here at my place in Kensington.

One of my neighbors has a succulent (I think)that I like very much. It’s
shown in this photo.

Echeveria Fireball

Can you identify it? Are these things available?

Your advice will be much appreciated!

Yours sincerely,

James

James,

That is an Echeveria “Fireball”, a very nice succulent. And we do not have any growing right now. We may have some by mid summer. We do have a lot of other Echeverias that are that big, even if not that red.

Peter

Questions19 Mar 2014 10:34 am

My Sick Euphorbia Lactea

My cactus is sick. A few weeks ago it was fine and beautiful, maybe a few tiny (pin prick or freckle sized) raspberry red dots on it, then – BAM – I looked at it yesterday and could barely believe it was the same plant. I don’t know what to do to treat this plant and protect my other plants.

20140312_190734 20140314_121706

It has strange rings (brown filled with raspberry/pink edges) and brown spreading patches. I’ve already looked online a little and couldn’t find anything like it.

Is it terminal and I should start chopping off branches to try to grow a new plant before the disease spreads to the entire plant? Do I isolate and treat all the plants in the one pot or is this a Euphorbia-only fungus? Isolate all the plants within a ten foot radius?

Also, will I get a response via email or will I have to check the blog? Both?

Katie

Katie,

It looks like a virus from the ring pattern. I don’t know what caused it but it could have been from a sunburn – if the plant was put out into direct sun after having been inside or protected, or if it got turned around. If the infection is on one side of the plant only then that indicates it was caused by a sunburn.

You can try to treat it – I can recommend Oxidate by Biosafe, which is a ready to use disease control, or Neem Oil, both of which we carry. But the prognosis is only 50/50. If the plant survives it will have scarring.

Go ahead and isolate the plant in the meantime.

You can also check out the blog now – the answer is there too. Share with friends!

Peter

California Native Plants&Questions18 Mar 2014 08:42 am

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Dudleya brittonii, the Giant Chalk Dudleya from Baja California. Now don’t argue with me here – I have an answer for any objections you might have to my answer below.

Q: How do you differentiate between a dudleya and a echeveria?

-Mary
(via Instagram)

Mary-

They are very closely related! But Dudleyas are California native and summer dormant, while Echeverias are Mexican and winter dormant. Also Echeveria flowers are more brightly colored.

Peter

Questions09 Mar 2014 11:28 am

Hi,
Your blog came up in a Google image search for plant identification. I was hoping you could tell me a name for attached photo.

succulent1

Thanks so much,
Kathryn

Kathryn,

Well the picture is extra tiny, but I think that’s an Agave attenuata.

Peter

Questions17 Feb 2014 10:56 am

Aeonium Cyclops flower

Aeonium Cyclops flowering

Hi

I think I know the answer to this but thought I’d ask anyway. Is there anything I can do propagation-wise with the flower?

Aeonium Cyclops edit

Thanks -
Karen

Karen,

Sorry but there’s not much you can do with that once it starts blooming. If there were other branches going, you could cut off the flowering one and the others would have a better chance of survival. You can still cut it off and it’s possible you would get branches from the cut end, but Cyclops is not a prolific brancher, so you might be better off just enjoying the bloom stalk.

Peter

Questions08 Jan 2014 12:02 pm

Dear Peter,
Hello. My name is Brian, and we met today as I bought an aloe plant at the register. While I was there, I asked you about my sansevieria plant’s health.

Sansevieria

Attached is a picture of my plant currently. I water this plant every four weeks/month. When I feel the new leaves, they feel kind of soft and not very turgid. So, I would like some advice about what to do to make my sansevieria better. Thanks, and I hope to hear from you soon.
Sincerely,
Brian

Brian,

Your Sansevieria looks OK. Overall it probably wants more sun, or some sun, but they are very resilient for a few years with very low light levels. If you were to give it more sun then you might want to water a bit more often.

I think the plant will just look like this in these conditions, and that’s OK.

Peter

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