Cactus Blog Archives

Cactus Blog Writers

Peter Lipson
Hap Hollibaugh

Cardon


Pachycereus pringlei

Common Name: Cardón

Origin: Baja California

Description: Tall and spiny to 40ft. with 2ft. trunk, slow growing. Edible fruit, medicinal stems.

Temperature: Hardy to 25F

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Los Altos Euphorbias


We recently delivered a giant 9ft tall Euphorbia “Ammak” down all the way to Los Altos. At least we thought it was giant. It sure looked giant in our store greenhouse!

But as you can see it is the small Euphorbia there! They’ve been growing them for many years and the new one looks tiny! Nice.

Thank you for our new 9ft Euphorbia Ammak. She is settling in nicely next to her larger family members!

Best,
Lorilynn

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Prickly Pear Pests


Hi-

I got this guy from you a couple months ago. I’m worried it has developed a fungus. What do you think those dots are?

Thanks!
Stephanie

Stephanie,

That is Scale, a small hard-shelled insect that sucks the juices out of cactus. We recommend spraying with natural pyrethrins. We sell Don’t Bug Me which will kill them on contact. They have a hard outer shell so you can clean them off with a spray of rubbing alcohol which will break down the shell, and then use a soft brush to wipe them off. Be careful not to scrape the cactus.

Peter

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Umbrella Flower


Ceropegia sandersonii has giant umbrealla, or parachute-like flowers! Very unusual vining Stapeliad.

Common Name: Parachute Plant, Umbrella Flower
Origin: Mozambique, South Africa, and Swaziland
Description: Vining Stapeliad with massive unusual parachute-like flowers.
Characteristics:

Hardy to 45F
Part Sun
Low Water

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Crassula “Buddha’s Temple”


People ask if we have Crassula “Buddha’s Temple” available and for a number of years we’ve had to say “no”. Until now. We finally have a real crop ready, to size and on the floor and ready for sale. Nice! Hopefully we will be able to keep these growing on for years to come so that anytime anyone anywhere (Berkeley, Oakland and the San Francisco Bay Area) wants one we will have it available. Now and forever.

Nice!

Crassula “Buddha’s Temple”

Miniature square-shaped vertical stems to 8″, drops bottom leaves

Hardy to 25F
Part Sun to Part Shade
Low Water

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Los Angeles Area Cactus Show 


Were you wondering what to do next weekend? Are you going to be in Encino next weekend? You are in luck!

If your garden yearns for crazy, colorful, drought-hearty plants, the Los Angeles Cactus and Succulent Society aims to satisfy at its first Fall Sale Sept. 16 in Encino.

A variety of cacti and succulents are up for sale. (Calvin B. Alagot / Los Angeles Times)

I say, “Woot!”

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Dragonfruit Recipe


I found this delicious Dragonfruit Sherbet recipe from our local Berkeleyside!

It’s been a very hot weekend (Record heat throughout Berkeley, San Francisco and Oakland? Yes!) so it’s what you want. Right now.

Incredibly addictive, this sherbet offers a celebration of refreshing and complementary flavor in every spoonful. The cool dragon fruit is faintly milky, citrusy and herbal with its gentle infusion of lemongrass. Meanwhile, the strawberry layer offers a hint of tartness and a welcome trace of classic berry sweetness.

Dragon Fruit Sherbet with Lemongrass and Strawberry

Makes about a quart

1 1/2 ounces (about 1 1/2 stalks, depending on size) fresh lemongrass
3/4 cup canned light coconut milk (not full-fat)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces fresh ripe strawberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons light, somewhat neutral liquor of your choice, at least 80 proof (think vodka, light rum or a clear fruit brandy)
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds dragon fruit (about 3 medium dragon fruit)

As always, click through for the full instructions.

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Delicious Prickly Pear Fruit


That is some delicious looking large red cactus fruit, aka Tunas, Prickly Pears, Sabras, nōchtli and more names! This is on one of our larger Opuntia robusta plants. When they get in the ground they can produced a lot of fruit, just for you if that’s what you want, or for all your neighbors and friends too, if you have neighbors and friends. I always prefer to eat my prickly pears by blending them in with my margaritas. Delicious, and healthy!

Prickly Pear Margarita Recipe
Using Prickly Pear Juice
Restaurant Cocktail Recipe

Preparation time: 3 minutes. Serves 1

Ingredients:

2 ounces Tequila
3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce prickly pear juice
1/2 ounce Cointreau
Lime slice for garnish
Ice
Kosher salt

Instructions: Click through for the rest of the instructions!
Note that I always leave off the salt, because that’s just the way I prefer my margaritas, without salt.

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It’s an Echeveria


this was a gift but i don’t know what it is….could you possibly id it?

Greatly appreciated …mike

Mike,

Sure! It’s an Echeveria, possibly Echeveria “Gilva”.

Peter

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Stapelia with Scale Infestation


I bought two plants but am not sure what they are . one look like it was sufering from rot so I removed the bad sections and repotted in new cactus type mix. Wound up with two pots from one because root system was large. Some of the plant is whiteish, Is this sunburn?

Santi

Santi,

The one that is whitish is a Stapelia, the other is a Huernia, both closely related.

The Stapelia has an infestation of Scale, which is an insect that is feeding on your plant. As bad as it looks I would recommend removing all the white stems and taking cuttings from the green stems to replant them, letting the cut ends heal for about a week before planting them in new fresh dry cactus soil. I would spray the green stems you are keeping with a strong insecticide that can handle Scale. We sell a product called Don’t Bug Me. You will need to start over again with new fresh soil. Spray in the evening and out of direct sun to prevent sunburn.

You also might want to spray any plants that are near this one as a preventative measure.

The Huernia looks fine to me in the photo.

Peter

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Oakland Succulents


Hello! I purchased a few succulents there about a month ago. They were doing great but when I went to check if they needed watering yesterday (they did) I noticed two had brown edges and the aloe was spotty. I think this just means the two just need more water but can’t remember if the aloe was always spotted. I attached a photo of each. Am I correct?

They’re all outside on our east-facing deck and get full sun until mid-late afternoon. Is that too much? We’re in Oakland so cool evenings and mornings but warm afternoons usually.

Thanks!
Tyler

Tyler,

The 2 Aeoniums look fine – a little browning on the leaves could be from being moved to your location – i.e. similar to transplant shock, but it looks minimal so nothing to worry about. Also, Aeoniums are winter growers so they will tend to lose leaves throughout the summer until about October anyway, and then the rosettes will start to grow big and full again through our winter rains.

The Aloe looks like it got some sunburn when it got moved. Even though you are very close to us in Oakland sometimes a change in sun/heat/location can cause some stress. That is what the spotting is. It looks like the spots are healed over, so as long as they don’t get worse over time eventually you will see new leaves grow from the center and the old leaves will get replaced – succulents do lose bottom leaves regularly.

You might want to pro-actively spray the Aloe with organic Neem Oil (in the evening out of full sun) just in case there’s any fungal infection from the spotting.
You can also bring any of the plants or all of them in to the store and we can take a closer look in person. Let me know if anything changes either way!

Peter

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Euphorbia squarrosa


Coming soon!

Euphorbia squarrosa

Origin: South Africa
Description: Green spiny branches atop an irregular caudex which is underground in habitat. Green inflorescence with yellow and red centers.

Temperature: Hardy to 32F
Sun: Full Sun to Part Sun
Soil: Extra Chunky
Water: Low Water

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Dudleyas for Everyone!


Hi Peter

I was at Cactus Jungle this morning – here is a picture of my succulent that is unidentified. It has been in the ground three years in full sun has not grown much in that time. Looks like a chrysanthemum.

Thank you Hortensia

Hortensia,

That’s a Dudleya. We do have those here at the store, out on the floor, but they do not have as much red on the tips as in the photo. It is a very slow growing succulent that forms only small clumps.

Peter

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