Cactus Blog Archives

Cactus Blog Writers

Peter Lipson
Hap Hollibaugh

Rare Terrestrial Orchid


We’ve started growing Eulophia callichroma, an African pseudobulb terrestrial orchid found from Tanzania to Swaziland, presumably low-water – and we’ll see! But we’ve already got our first plant to flower, so that’s a good thing.

It’s a tiny flower and that’s the best picture I could get without lights and a tripod, which are elsewhere right now. But you can surely get the gist of it!

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Carnivorous Plants and Convergent Evolution


Nature has the story.

(B)y studying the pitcher plant’s genome — and comparing its insect-eating fluids to those of other carnivorous plants — researchers have found that meat-eating plants the world over have hit on the same deadly molecular recipe, even though they are separated by millions of years of evolution.

“We’re really looking at a classic case of convergent evolution,” says Victor Albert, a plant-genome scientist at the University of Buffalo, New York, who co-led the study…

(C)arnivory has evolved repeatedly in plants, probably to cope with the nutrient-scarce soils in which they grow, Albert says. “What they’re trying to do is capture nitrogen and phosphorus from their prey.”…

(T)he new study is important because it demonstrates how this convergence can occur down to the molecular level, …says Aaron Ellison, an ecologist at Harvard Forest in Petersham, Massachusetts….

Gaining the ability to eat an insect is of little use if a plant cannot first entrap one, and here evolution has come up with more diverse solutions, Albert notes.

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Customer Complements! 


​Peter,

I received the wreath yesterday, thank you. 

I am giving it as a Christmas gift, but it really is so beautiful, that I hate to part with it.

Tell the gang at Cactus Jungle I said “great job”

Enjoy the holidays and all the best for the new year.

Mary

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Pachypodiums in Winter


Hi there, I have gotten many plants from you through out the years. One of the plants I have, got damaged. Just noticed it at an angle this AM.

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I am hoping you can kindly help me again like in the past. Can I (and how), propagate the fallen portion? It has fresh growth on top, but lower portion looks/feels soft but intact. I’m including some pics if that helps. Any suggestions would be great. Thank you for your time with this.

Stan F

The branch comes off a Pachypodium saundersi. Generally it won’t root at this time of year, and if you do get it to root it won’t form the fat base like the original plant. It is a branch, so like many plants if they lose a branch usually you can just toss them after making sure the main plant is OK. In this case, the branch looks thin, which may be due to it wanting more direct sun or less water. If you want to try to root it, cut it further up until it is dry and firm and then let it heal for a couple weeks. Use a rooting hormone – we sell “Dip ‘n Grow” – and place in dry cactus soil. Use bottom heat since we’re going into winter – that would be a heating pad, or place on a warm but not hot heater at home.

Peter

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Succulent Wreaths 


In stock now, at your local Cactus Jungle. Local, if you live near us. And that would be Berkeley . California! 

Otherwise you can buy them online and we’ll ship them. To you! In the US. To Europe too? No, not to Europe too. Not to South America. Not to Africa. And not even to Australia. How about Alaska and Hawaii? Probably not. Mostly just the continental US. Maybe Canada, early in the season, while it’s still warm enough. I don’t know! Give it a try! 

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We Get Questions


Hi,
I keep this in a sunny window, lately I’ve been seeing this brown shriveling in some sections of the plant. I water weekly with Schultz cactus food in the water. Any suggestions on how to bring back to health? Possibly I’m watering too often? Thanks very much.

img_1777

Jim

Jim,

You’ve got a couple different problems. One is that you are watering and fertilizing too much, causing the plant to grow too fast, rather than slow and healthy growth. Less water and a lot less fertilizer. Second, you appear to have mealie bugs on the plant. You’ll need to spray with an organic pesticide, like a Neem Oil.

You can prune off the dead branches and leaves and the rest of it should survive fine.

Peter

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Clumps of Blooming Airplants


Tillandsia stricta “Green” is huge. And it has purple blooms! What more could you want? You could want for nothing more. I assure you.

People ask us how do you take care of airplants? And I tell them to keep them in bright indirect light, a little direct sun is OK but not too much. Mist 2-3 times per week, or dunk in water once per week – I usually run my under a faucet weekly and then shake it off. Always make sure they dry out within about 4 hours of watering them or they might rot. And finally you should add nutrients to the water once per month. We use an organic Liquid Seaweed at low strength.

Easy!

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Rock Cactus 


Ariocarpus fissuratus is a geophytic star-shaped cactus from Texas. This one is pretty old, and the most perfect flower I’ve ever seen on an Ariocarpus. Won’t generally bloom unless they’re 10 plus years old. I’d guess this one is closer to 20.

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Whitesloanea crassa


My mature Whitesloanea crassa has gone nuts just before winter sets in. Blooms all around.

Origin: Somalia

Description: Rare caudiciform stapeliad; dry and warm in winter. Can grow to 10″ tall. We grow them with weekly water during the hot part of the year and monthly or less in the winter.

Hardy to 32F
Full Sun to Part Sun
Low Water

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