Plants10 Feb 2015 09:04 am


Crassula “Springtime”

Thick-leaved cultivar to 12″ with pink flower sprays in late winter/early spring.
Hardy to 20F 
Full Sun to Part Shade
Cactus Soil
Low Water

Whippets06 Feb 2015 10:37 am

whippet beds

Jaxx and Amica down in Santa Cruz got a giant new Whippet Cave. They like it.

Cactus&National Parks05 Feb 2015 03:57 pm


Genn sends a photo from the Arizona desert. And it’s a crested Saguaro!

Plants04 Feb 2015 08:22 am


Aeonium “Schwartzkopf”

Beautiful black rosettes, very dark in full sun, 3 to 5ft. tall
Hardy to 25F 
Full Sun to Part Sun
Cactus Soil
Low Water

Berkeley Succulents03 Feb 2015 10:11 am


Arctostaphylos morroensis
Morro Manzanita

Native to California
Evergreen shrub

Sun: Full Sun
Water: Low, summer-drought
Size: 6t x 8w.

Endangered in its native range in Southern Cal., it grows well coastal gardens throughout the state. Lavender flowers with red berries.

Plants03 Feb 2015 07:08 am


Aeonium “Frosty”

White-edged green leaves; delicate rosettes to 8″

Hardy to 25F 
Part Shade
Cactus Soil
Low Water

Berkeley Gardens31 Jan 2015 10:47 am


New growth on the Opuntia basilaris v caudata in January means this drought has gone on long enough.

Whippets30 Jan 2015 11:02 am



Cactus30 Jan 2015 09:05 am

Stetsonia coryne

I see the Stetsonia corynes are ready to be potted up, but we like to wait for spring before we subject cactus to the vagaries of the transplant process since they’re dormant in winter. On the other hand it’s a very very very dry winter right now and after 4 years of drought it doesn’t really matter. Pot ‘em up! But soon, one year, anytime now, soon enough, we will be out of this drought and then there will be another wet winter and we will have to relearn how to be careful with the potting of the cactus in the winter months again.


San Francisco29 Jan 2015 08:18 am


Rhode Island St

Aloe ciliaris and some Aeoniums too.

Berkeley Succulents27 Jan 2015 10:17 am


Aeonium “Voodoo” is a big-head version of the classic “Schwartzkopf” or Black Rose Aeonium. Big head indeed. These are it’s winter colors. Nice!

Cactus26 Jan 2015 10:37 am

It’s only a link since the video can’t be embedded. Unembeddable!

Time-Lapse of Two “Cabaret” Cactus Flowers Opening from Greg Krehel on Vimeo.

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?


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

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.


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.


Whippets23 Jan 2015 10:16 am

whippet dogs


Berkeley Gardens20 Jan 2015 08:15 am



Puya Raimundii at UC Botanical Garden is starting to list, indicating the end is near. The Chronicle/Sam Whiting

The Puya Raimondii that bloomed mysteriously last summer after a 24-year wait at the UC Botanical Garden, is showing signs of fatigue six months later… The blooms that came up last summer were tiny and white on a bud that was 15 feet high.

It was a spectacular show while it lasted. Buh Bye!

Plants18 Jan 2015 07:28 am


Begonia “Ramirez”
Shade-loving, 3ft. Large soft green leaves w/red undersides.

Hardy to 28F 
Part Shade
Orchid/Jungle Soil
Moderate Water

Questions14 Jan 2015 12:31 pm


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



The plant is a Dasylirion longissimum – Mexican Grass Tree.


Plants11 Jan 2015 05:05 am


Gasteraloe “Midnight”

Gasteria x Aloe intergenic hybrid with narrow dark/green spotted leaves; to 18″
Hardy to 25F.

Misc09 Jan 2015 04:55 pm


Rikki’s looking after the dogs and Jason apparently finds it hard to get comfortable when we’re away. Hahaha!

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