Questions


Questions01 Mar 2015 10:43 am

Hello Peter,

I’ve got a challenge for you with this Crown of Thorns plant. The plant is obviously not as healthy as it was when it was attached to the roots. I cut off the top because it had these weird growths on it. If I had to guess, I would call them galls. What do you think?

close2 full P1050419 top

Elizabeth

Elizabeth,

Uggh! It looks like a virus that is mutating the tissue. It should be disposed of right away. Sorry about that! The bottom parts of the plant may or may not be infected, so give it a chance, but if the stuff shows up then dispose.

Peter

Questions&Reader Photos26 Feb 2015 10:52 am

Hi,
Bought plant year ago and you repotted. Plant is on balcony in Mission Bay SF. Watered 4-6 cups every 2 1/2 weeks; fertilized in Sept.

IMG_0751

Lower leaves of plant gets soft and shrivels so I cut off. However, as plant grows, the lower leaves continue to get soft and shrivel; is this normal? Also, some of the leaves get these brown spots as you can see in the lower leaves in the photo. What is this? From water? In strong rain and wind over a number of days, I cover plant with a plastic bag; is this necessary?
Thank you for your help!
Mary

Mary,

Your Dudleya is looking great! All succulents lose bottom leaves, and Dudleyas are no exception. They do get the brown spots and if its on a bottom leaf that will be falling off soon then there’s nothing to worry about. On upper leaves the problem is that Dudleyas prefer not to have water sitting on them, so in the ground it is often best to plant them at an angle so the winter rains roll off. Not as possible in a pot, but generally a little water on top won’t hurt the plant more than the occasional spots. Or bring it under cover when we get those too-rare rains these days!

Peter

Questions&Reader Photos25 Feb 2015 09:57 am

Here is another round of mystery cactus and succulents. My sister went to Ojai and went to a nursery there and brought back these wonderful plants for me.

image1

Thanks so much Peter.

Lan

Lan,

The plants are…

Top row: Adromischus, probably a Crassula, and Ruschia

Bottom row: Sempervivum “Oddity”, crested Sempervivum and Austrocylindropuntia.

Nice!

Peter

Questions&Reader Photos24 Feb 2015 01:52 pm

We have this little plant sitting in my shop and my coworker and I have no idea what sort of succulent it might be! It has what looks like roots coming out from places on the stem (even from the little one) but they might not be roots?

IMG_0752 IMG_0753

Thank you!

Tea M. from California

Tea M.,
It’s a fuzzy little Kalanchoe, probably Kalanchoe tomentosa that is not getting enough light – it wants more light! They can get aerial roots coming off the stems so that when they fall over they will root from right there.

Peter

Questions&Reader Photos25 Jan 2015 10:36 am

Thank u Peter for responding so quickly. I must admit i am sort of surprised that you wouldn’t have a market for such a handsome looking guy but there you go.

alright thanks again maybe you’ll see it someday sitting on the street corner forlorn, unwatered and untouched by neither human nor dog wandering by. Give It a fond glance wontcha?

Barbara

And what got Barbara to get poetic on us? Why this particular Euphorbia tirucalli right here:

Euphorbia tirucalli

Barbara asked if we wanted it since she has new grandkids and the plant is pretty poisonous, and we declined to take on this 5ft. tall x 4ft wide Euphorbia, attractive as it is. If anyone else local wants a referral to Barbara for this plant, let me know and I’ll pass along your information. Hopefully together we can forestall a “forlorn, unwatered and untouched” Firesticks.

Questions23 Jan 2015 01:11 pm

Hello!
I’m writing you from the Netherlands. I was looking for a Dutch website that could help me out with my problem, but there doesn’t seem to be any.
I landed on your very helpful site, so I very much hope that you can help me out.

IMG_2206

I have a ammak since my birthday last August. It used to be standing in a light room, with no direct sunlight. After a while I started seeing green “fresh” looking tops arriving and took that as a good sign: that cactus seemed happy. (I must admit, I don’t know anything about cactus plants). I haven’t given it any water.

Recently I moved to another place. Bringing the cactus with us in the truck must not have been fun for him. It was a bumpy ride. Once it got to the new house, it was moved around a little bit and ended up behind some boxes in order to protect it. The house was freshly painted and smelled horrible (chemical) for weeks. It still does a bit.

Meanwhile. The ammak seemed to do fine, but after not paying too much attention to it for about a week, today, I suddenly noticed that a couple of his arms are turning brown!!!!

I’m soooo scared that something horrible is going on with him!

It seems that these cactus plants get “rot”, but as far a I can tell, that normally starts from the bottom. In this case, the discolouration mostly affects his arms and also his leg a bit, but there on the leg, there are mainly brown edged and just a bit of discolouration. I did notice that a couple of areas on the arms are also more “wrinkly” / mush, but not much. I also read about a fungus/virus.

Do you think that’s what’s going on?

I very much hope you can help me out!!
Thanks so much in advance!!

Maaike Eline

Unfortunately it doesn’t look good. I was surprised in your email when you said you hadn’t watered it since August. And then after the move that you kept it hidden behind boxes (where it presumably didn’t get light.) The move is going to be tough on any plants, but no water and no light is not something that a plant can survive.

In general if you get another one to try again I would recommend watering every 3 weeks. They should be in a very bright room or get a couple of hours of direct sun.

Peter

Questions14 Jan 2015 12:31 pm

P_00011

I need the name of this cactus, can you post this picture? Maybe someone will give me the name of it. Thanks,

Ted

Ted,

The plant is a Dasylirion longissimum – Mexican Grass Tree.

Peter

Questions19 Nov 2014 10:35 am

Hello,

If I remove the thorns from my cactus plant will the plant die, re-grow the thorns or continue to live without them?

Thank you

Vaddot

It should do just fine and continue to live without them.
-peter

Question? yes. Answer? yes.

Success!

Questions&Reader Photos10 Nov 2014 11:21 am

Hello Peter
Are you abel to tell me the names of these three succulents? Much tnaks!
Ann

The pictures and the IDs are below! Scroll down! Scrolling….

Ann,

Your plants are:

Anacampseros rufescens

1. Anacampseros rufescens

Aloe

2. Aloe, possibly Aloe barbadensis, or Aloe Vera, but maybe a hybrid.

Echeveria Perle von Nurnberg

3. Echeveria “Perle von Nurnberg”

Enjoy!

Peter

Questions20 Oct 2014 04:30 pm

PastedGraphic-1

Any idea what this might be ….?

None of the owners seems to know; it’s been a pass-along plant among neighbors. Sadly, I’m not a neighbor or I’d snag one.

Cheers,
Walt

Walt,

We don’t know the species but we think it’s some type of Kalanchoe.

Peter

Questions&Reader Photos23 Sep 2014 11:07 am

Hello,

I’ve spent hours looking at pics online and can’t identify these cacti/succulents I recently acquired. Can you possibly identify them? Also, does the large brown swath on the prostrate plant indicate damage or a slow demise of some sort?

image image(2) image(3)

Thanks for any help you can give.

Newbie Leigh

The plants look like they need more sun, so it’s hard to ID them for sure. The one that is laying over is probably an Opuntia or less likely a Quiabentia. The brown is past damage and looks like it is fully healed.

The tall green one is maybe an Echeveria, like Echeveria setosa, but stretched vertically because of not enough sun.

The blue one is a Senecio, probably Senecio mandraliscae.

Peter

Questions&Reader Photos10 Sep 2014 09:52 am

Hi Peter,

Are you able to offer advice on Haworthias? I have a Haworthia chocolate pictured below that is losing leaves one by one. Not sure if it is going to stop or not, and if this is normal for a healthy C. chocolate. The dying leaves will turn a bright red color while losing their firmness, then became a pale red, and even more soft before drying up completely. Any thoughts?

photo 1

Attached here is a picture of the specimen with leaves showing this activity.

I’ve searched the internet for information, but haven’t been able to find much about it.

Thank you for all of your help and time here.

David

David,

Given the natural brown coloration it’s difficult to tell for sure, but I think that it is just losing bottom leaves, which is normal for succulents. Maybe it’s been a bit more water than it wants? Hard to say from the photo. In moderate direct sunlight you should water every 1 1/2 weeks through the summer and in lower light less than that.

Peter

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

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