Cactus Blog Archives

Cactus Blog Writers

Peter Lipson
Hap Hollibaugh

We Get Broken Aloe Questions


Q: Hi,<br />
We had a misfortune today with our Aloe plicatilis that we purchased from you guys. We came home and it had broken from the pot. The root and part of the trunk is still attached in the potted soil. I placed it in water, but I am not sure if it will survive!!!<br />
Please help!<br />
Thank you<br />
Tanya<br /><br />A: Tanya,<br />
<br />
I am sorry to hear your Aloe is damaged, hopefully it can be saved. Please take it out of the water, succulents like to be dry when healing from an injury.<br />
<br />
Let it dry off and clean any part of the stem that is broken with household Hydrogen-Peroxide. Give it a week or two in a warm dry place and re-pot in dry soil. You can use a stake to hold in upright while it regrows roots. It may take a few months to grow new roots. Do not water for two to three weeks after replanting.<br />
<br />
You can also bring it buy the nursery and we will see what we can do to speed it on its way to recovery.<br />
<br />
Take care,<br />
Hap<br /><br />

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Link of the Day


<a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1850&amp;entry_id=1669" title="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/sf/flower-box-awards/sf-flower-box-award-rand-at-wickson-oakland-043078" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/sf/flower-box-awards/sf-flower-box-award-rand-at-wickson-oakland-043078′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Apartment Therapy</a> has some great photos of a cactus and succulent garden in Oakland. Now why didn’t I find that garden and take pictures of it? A friend has a garden right around the corner, and nobody ever told me about this one. Hmmpph.<br /><br />

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They get Fungus Questions


The Worthington Daily Globe (ND) gets questions about fungi. We should all get questions about fungi. I like questions about fungi, how about you?

Q: I have a home outside of Palm Springs, Calif. Several years ago, I purchased a couple of cactus plants on a lark…. 

In the past few months, I have noticed… one plant… has tan/brown ringlike circles on three ridges. There is one lone circle at the base and the rest are at the top. Is there something that I should be doing to prevent further destruction?

Oddly enough, I did not expect to find a cactus resource hosted by someone in North Dakota. I have never visited your campus, but my brother-in-law is a member of the football coaching staff.

A: You have a home in Palm Springs and a brother-in-law on our Bison football coaching staff. What a nicely tangled web…. I suspect, from what you have told me, that your cactus might have a systemic fungus infection. If you could send some photos, it would make my guess more certain.

Yes, it’s true, photos do help. Did you know that the Bush Administration is planning on shooting down a failing satellite with unproven star-wars technology? Experts scoff at the idea.

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My Latest Instructional Video


<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/tAW-ARr2Zk4&rel=1"></param><embed width="425" height="350" adblockframename="adblock-frame-n7" adblockframedobject2="true" adblockframedobject="true" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/tAW-ARr2Zk4&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"/object><br /><br /><br /><a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/archives/1668-guid.html#extended">Continue reading "My Latest Instructional Video"</a>

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Link of the Day


<a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1848&amp;entry_id=1666" title="http://madeinmississippi.blogspot.com/2008/02/savoring-spanish-succulent.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://madeinmississippi.blogspot.com/2008/02/savoring-spanish-succulent.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Made in Mississippi</a> visits the cacti of Spain and falls in love. Pictures and printmaking follow.<br /><br /><br />

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Friday Whippet Blogging


<a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5hcGFydG1lbnR0aGVyYXB5LmNvbS9zZi9wbGFudHMtZmxvd2Vycy9jYWN0dXMtanVuZ2xlLTA0MjA0Nw==&amp;entry_id=1634" title="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/sf/plants-flowers/cactus-jungle-042047" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/sf/plants-flowers/cactus-jungle-042047′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Apartment Therapy</a> came by and took this picture of Benjamin relaxing in the sun on a cold day.<br /><br /><img width="405" hspace="5" height="540" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/whippets/2-520cactus3.jpg" /><br /><br />Photo by Shayna Roosevelt<br /><br />

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They Get Questions


The Las Vegas Review Journal takes questions from their readers about cactus. Good deal all around.

I have a question about my cacti. They have been wilted or thin for about 8 months. I bought them in October 2006 and planted them in the ground. Then, about March 2007, I placed them into containers…. They were wilting somewhat before I replanted them. 

What is wrong with them? Do they have a fungus? Also, I forgot what kind of cactus they are.

A: Your cacti do look pretty bad. All of the pads are shriveled like flattened raisins. Cacti like this are usually suffering from water stress: not applying water often enough.

It also can be a sign of root or pad rot developing below ground. Keeping a soil too moist can rot roots and the pad below ground. That, too, is water stress since there are not enough roots for the cactus to bring water to the pads.

These problems are remedied by making sure the soil you use drains easily after irrigating and scheduling your irrigations less frequently.

If the pads and roots appear to be healthy, then the plants are, most likely, not getting watered often enough. Water plants in the ground less often than the same plants growing in containers. The smaller the container, the more often you will need to water. If those same plants were in small containers like yours, I would be watering them every couple of days.

Now, there’s a lot more if you follow the link. It’s quite the extensive discussion of water stress in cacti in Nevada.

 

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Grand Rapids Succulents


The Fredrerick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, MI had a christmas show recently and used our photo of our succulent wreaths on one of their banners.<br /><br /><img width="288" hspace="5" height="432" border="0" src="/blog/uploads/misc/meijer_wreath.JPG" /><br /><br />It’s very nice indeed. I hope all you Michiganders (I voted for Michiganians, <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1847&amp;entry_id=1665" title="http://www.micaucus.com/michigan_caucus/2006/12/from_wiki_michi.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.micaucus.com/michigan_caucus/2006/12/from_wiki_michi.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">but I lost</a>) get to visit the park this spring.<br /><br />The park is well known for their modern art collection. I like the di Suvero and the beautiful Goldsworthy arch.<br /><br />

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Link of the Day


Nice succulent garden photos by <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1844&amp;entry_id=1662" title="http://www.epiforums.com/showpost.php?p=22055&postcount=1" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.epiforums.com/showpost.php?p=22055&postcount=1′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">jjk on the EpiForums</a>. Seems to be from a community college in Honolulu. Nice Pachypodium specimens, Alluaudias, and blooming Agave attenuatas plus much more.<br /><br /><br />

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Hawaii Succulent in the News


Tourists flock to the state for the gardens. This article comes direct from the source, <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1846&amp;entry_id=1664" title="http://www.summitpacificinc.com/2008/02/kauais-north-shore-is-horticultural.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.summitpacificinc.com/2008/02/kauais-north-shore-is-horticultural.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Kauai News</a>. I think they want you to print this article in your own local paper, to generate more tourists for the state.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">The Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens in Kilauea doubles in dramatic man-made landscaping and horticulture….<br />
<br />
Had we been magically transported to the Sahara? I wouldn’t think a cactus could survive all the rain and moisture on Kauai’s north shore. But a huge array of succulents and cacti from around the world seemed to thrive in the artificially arid conditions.</span><br /></div><br />That’s all. Not much going on, I guess.<br /><br />

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Chicago Succulents


The <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1845&amp;entry_id=1663" title="http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=125845" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=125845′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Chicago Daily Herald</a> (never heard of them) says you should plant some pretty succulents together in a mixed pot, and then you’re an artist! Woohoo!<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;"><span style="font-weight: bold;">Plants as Art</span><br /><img width="200" hspace="5" border="2" align="left" src="/blog/uploads/misc/42399.jpg" /> Rita Randolph could probably make a beautiful container with dandelions….<br />
<br />
Gardeners striving to be container artists can learn a lot from her.<br />
<br />
Her multitude of planters range from those featuring mother-in-law’s tongue to edibles, succulents, grasses, vines and monochromatic selections….<br />
<br />
If you never thought of mother-in-law’s tongue as a beauty, you haven’t followed Randolph’s advice:<br />
<br />
&quot;It needs friends. It’s always stuck in the back of a container.&quot;</span><br /></div><br />You know, journalism is very different than blogging. They write these articles, and we leach off them for our blogs. They write about bizarre things like how using sansevieria makes a planter into art, and I post them for you. I guess what I’m trying to say is that they’re sincere and I’m not.<br /><br /><br />

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We Get ID Questions


An interesting mystery:<br /><br />Q: Hi! <br />
Bumped into your website today, and saw that you answer cactus/succulent questions, so I figured maybe you could help me ID this plant. It’s a seedling that is growing in the pot with my haworthia. It was already in the pot when I bought the haworthia a year ago, so all I know is that it’s over a year old. When I got it, the seedling was, I think, less than half an inch tall. It had two small round leaves at the very bottom (would those be cotelydons?), and one of them is still there, but the other fell off. No other leaves or spines though. Now it’s a bit under two inches tall, and it did most of the growing in the summer. I don’t know how to describe the plant, besides that it’s flat, so I attached two pictures. I also dug it out a while back, to see what kind of roots it has, and it pretty much has just one root that goes straight down, about half an inch long. Not much in terms of small rootage. It seems to do fine with the same light and watering that the haworthia gets, but then I have no idea what it is and what it’s supposed to look like… For all I know it was supposed to be 10′ tall by now, and all covered in deadly spines or huge pink flowers. Or deadly pink flowers. Or something.<br />
Do you know what it could be?<br />
Thanks in advance!<br />
-Lena<br /><br /><img width="324" hspace="5" height="432" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/plant_id_1.jpg" /><br /><br />A: Lena,<br />
I love cool mysteries! But I have to say I am not sure if I can help you. My best wild guess is perhaps it is a Pedilanthus of some sort, perhaps one of the Pedilanthus tithymaloides sub species. Perhaps it will get some sort of leaf or bloom in the spring and we can try again.<br />
<br />
Hap<br /><br />

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Link of the Day


The latest picture from the <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1842&amp;entry_id=1660" title="http://www.humanflowerproject.com/index.php/weblog/learning_to_read_the_la_landscape/" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.humanflowerproject.com/index.php/weblog/learning_to_read_the_la_landscape/’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Human Flower Project</a> features the Huntington Gardens.<br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><br /><img width="400" hspace="5" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/jill-la-jack450.jpg" /></div><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Jack Nokes, el mero chofer, relaxes in the cacti and succulent gardens at the Huntington<br />
Photo: Jill Nokes<br /><br /></span></div>

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We Get Questions


Q: Hello- Do you carry a form of cactus called a “forever flower” it has small pink flowers oval leaves and grows tall and skinny. If you are familiar I would like to know the full scientific name and where they are from. If you can help out with these info. that would be great.

thanks for your time.

Kendra

A: Kendra,

I am not familiar with “Forever Flower” as a common name, however from

your description I am guessing you are talking about Euphorbia milli, a

very cool succulent native to Madagascar. It is in the family

Euphorbiaceae, so it is not a cactus, but a similar looking succulent.

There are a number of hybrid clones that come in a rainbow of bloom

colors and sizes. They are wonderful plants as they bloom almost

non-stop year round. We grow the standard species, as well as some of

the “Thai hybrids” that have larger, showier blooms. Links here, here, here and here.

Please look over the links and see if this is the plant you are

interested in.

Hap

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Indoor Cactus


The <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1843&amp;entry_id=1658" title="http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2008/jan/31/cactus-plants-can-thrive-in-office-setting/" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.venturacountystar.com/news/2008/jan/31/cactus-plants-can-thrive-in-office-setting/’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Ventura County Star</a> says you can grow your cactus indoors, even though in Ventura County (CA) they would grow quite nicely outdoors. Except during the mudslides.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;"><img width="400" hspace="5" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/20080130-172332-pic-221376343_t600.jpg" /><br />Many small cacti produce enormous blossoms indoors. The Mamilaria clan, center, blooms in wreathlike garlands of tiny flowers. Gymnocalycium, right, often thrive in shade in the wild, but take on vivid coloring in the sun.</span><br /></div><br />I don’t really understand that caption to that photo, but then I’m not a journalist. That’s an Echinocereus bloom we’re looking at.<br /><br />

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New Jersey Sports News


A little bit of extra super bowl news from the <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1836&amp;entry_id=1657" title="http://www.nj.com/sports/ledger/index.ssf?/base/sports-1/1201930505121520.xml&coll=1" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.nj.com/sports/ledger/index.ssf?/base/sports-1/1201930505121520.xml&coll=1′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">New Jersey Star- Ledger</a>.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;"> CACTUS FACTUS<br />
<br />
The Fishhook Barrel Cactus can help (it’s often called the Compass Cactus because large plants tend to lean toward the southwest) and hurt (drinking the pulp water from the cactus can lead to diarrhea). The cactus usually grows 2 to 4 feet and often has an orange-ish flower when it blooms in late summer. </span><br /></div><br />OK. It’s strange what qualifies as sports news when the super bowl gets played in the desert.<br /><br />

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Sissinghurst Cactus Dahlias


This is a mystery post. I don’t know what a cactus dahlia is, but they like them in London, as the <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1832&amp;entry_id=1656" title="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/main.jhtml?xml=/gardening/2008/02/02/garden-dahlia102.xml" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/main.jhtml?xml=/gardening/2008/02/02/garden-dahlia102.xml’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Daily Telegraph</a> has a whole article about cactus dahlias at Sissinghurst.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">There are two very old dahlias in the coral-pink-orange range that I can recommend. The first is the cactus variety ‘Pontiac’. I first saw this in the bright and intensely colourful cottage garden at Sissinghurst and I’ve now grown and loved it for years.<br />
<br />
It has far fewer petals than most cactus dahlias and is all the nicer for it.</span><br /></div><br />I’ve done some research for you on this strange topic and found out that, &quot;<a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1833&amp;entry_id=1656" title="http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/hil-8500.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/hil-8500.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Cactus dahlias</a> have somewhat tubular shaped petals that curve backwards for over one-half of their length.&quot; <br /><br />Alright, I still don’t understand. Is the word &quot;cactus&quot; just a modifier? Does it have any meaning? Let’s try <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1834&amp;entry_id=1656" title="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dahlia" onmouseover="window.status=’http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dahlia’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">wikipedia</a>.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">The American Dahlia Society recognizes 19 distinct bloom forms:<br />
<br />
<strong> Formal Decorative<br />
</strong> Informal Decorative<br />
<strong> Straight Cactus<br />
</strong> Semi Cactus<br />
* Incurved Cactus…</span><br /></div><br />Ahhh… it’s a label to distinguish certain elements of the dahlia blooms!<br /><br />
From <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1835&amp;entry_id=1656" title="http://www.sunnygardens.com/garden_plants/dahlia/dahlia_0953.php" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.sunnygardens.com/garden_plants/dahlia/dahlia_0953.php’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Sunny Gardens</a> I’ve borrowed a photo:<br /><br /><img width="260" hspace="5" height="260" border="0" src="/blog/uploads/misc/0953.jpg" /><br /><br />Now we know what one looks like.<br /><br />

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Florida Cactus


The University of South Florida Botanical garden has some lovely cactus in their collection. From the <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1831&amp;entry_id=1655" title="http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/jan/27/pa-a-perfect-place-to-get-away/" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/jan/27/pa-a-perfect-place-to-get-away/’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Tampa Bay Tribune</a>.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">I had the pleasure to encounter three… curators as they busied themselves among a prickly display of cacti and succulents….<br />
<br />
Edelman and her fellow cacti curators Bob Gallion and Emily Laurenti volunteer their time and expertise twice weekly. Their duties range from keeping the exhibit manicured and healthy to preparing cuttings for public sale. But most important to them is the opportunity to share their knowledge with greenhorn and green thumb alike….<br />
<br />
But most of all, the USF Botanical Gardens is a great place to take a load off. Shade abounds, as do secluded nooks replete with quaint wooden benches and fragrant solitude. I paused for a sit among several dozen species of bromeliads, some in bloom while others waited out the winter for warmer days.</span><br /></div><br />Nice.<br /><br />

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We Get ID Questions


Q: Hey there–<br /><br />I have two cacti whose scientific names have evaded me for a while. The first one I saved from Walgreens– he’s grown from a little under half a foot to a little over a foot or more. The other one I got at a Lowes, but didn’t come with a tag saying what kind of cactus.<br /><br /><img width="324" hspace="5" height="432" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/IDRalph.jpg" /> <br /><br />The large green one in the photos attached is the one I’m most curious about, seeing as the other seems easier to find and identify.<br /><br /><img width="304" hspace="5" height="432" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/IDLoretta.jpg" /><br /><br />Thanks!<br />Natalie<br /><br />A: Natalie,<br /><br />&quot;Ralph&quot; is a Cereus hildmannianus monstrose, commonly called &quot;Fairy Castle Cactus&quot;. &quot;Loretta&quot;; is a grafted Gymnocalycium mihanovichii &quot;Hibotan&quot;, or Moon Cactus or Ruby Ball. It’s grafted because it does not have the ability to make it’s own food, as the chlorophyll was irradiated out of it, to make it that &quot;out of this world color&quot; the green hylocerues below the red ball is feeding the mutant above… the true species is sort of a terra cotta red with a green stripes. <br /><br />I hope that helps<br />Take care<br />Hap<br /><br />

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India Cactus


The cactus came out for the horticulture trade fair in <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1830&amp;entry_id=1654" title="http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/Mother-in-laws_Chair_Ouch/articleshow/2736295.cms" onmouseover="window.status=’http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/Mother-in-laws_Chair_Ouch/articleshow/2736295.cms’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Hyderabad, India</a>.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;"><img width="200" hspace="5" height="256" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/misc/photo.cms.jpg" /> <br /> Taking the cake is a 50-kg prickly globe of Chinocactus called ‘Mother-in-law’s Chair’… on display at a stall set up by Buddha Purnima Project Authority…<br />
<br />
Though Deccan plateau is not a natural habitat, the desert plants can survive in any environment.</span><br /></div><br />I think it’s a good thing that large barrel cacti are available in India, although I don’t know why.<br /><br />

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Campaign Video Quote of the Day


<object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/3gwqEneBKUs"></param><embed width="425" height="350" adblockframename="adblock-frame-n7" adblockframedobject2="true" adblockframedobject="true" src="http://www.youtube.com/v/3gwqEneBKUs" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"/object>

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Baltimore Cactus Comedy Gold


The <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1829&amp;entry_id=1650" title="http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/football/bal-sp.supervignette29jan29,0,5188069.story" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/football/bal-sp.supervignette29jan29,0,5188069.story’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Baltimore Sun</a> escapes the freezing frigid northeast to visit Arizona in winter.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">There are hundreds of varieties of cacti and succulents dotting the arid landscape that surrounds the Phoenix metropolitan area, including the classic saguaro cactus that can grow to heights of more than 50 feet. For some strange reason, however, cactus climbing has never caught on here.</span><br /></div><br />The travel reporter’s a comedian. We don’t feature too many cactus jokes here on cactus blog because most of them are pictures of saguaros that are, shall we say, rather Freudian in their implications. So here you go, a nice clean joke printed in a major newspaper.<br /><br />

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They Get Cold Weather Questions


It’s Spring in California. It was hot yesterday. Warm in the monring, sunny all day, and hot in the afternoon. The plants loved it, and so did I. I’m not bragging, mind you, but there’s freezing temperatures all across the upper midwest today, and I pity you all. <br /><br />From the <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1828&amp;entry_id=1649" title="http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=709527" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=709527′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel</a>:<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Q.I have a very large cactus (Euphorbia Tree) that normally thrives in our sunroom.<br />
<br />
We had several very cold days and it got much too cold in that non-insulated room.<br />
<br />
All of the new growth on the cactus has either shriveled or turned light greenish-yellow and is droopy. This cactus stands about 6 feet. What can I do to revive it?<br />
<br />
A. If the damaged areas continue to deteriorate or show no signs of improvement, it is time to do some pruning.<br />
<br />
Remove the dead portions back to a healthy stem. If older parts of the plant are firm and normal color there is a good chance you can save the plant.<br />
<br />
Prevent future cold damage and continue to give it proper care and time to recover. </span><br /></div><br />Colder days indeed. After winter damage, when spring finally arrives in your part of the country, we recommend a good dose of kelp meal.<br /><br />

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Italy vs. Scotland


A columnist for the <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1827&amp;entry_id=1648" title="http://www.shetlandtoday.co.uk/Shetlandtimes/content_details.asp?ContentID=25024" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.shetlandtoday.co.uk/Shetlandtimes/content_details.asp?ContentID=25024′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Shetland Times</a> writes about the ongoing competition between Tuscany and Shetland, Italy vs. Scotland, and seems to think that Tuscany may be winning, what with their better climate for growing cactus.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">After 30 years in Shetland we could probably put up with a touch of Tuscan winter damp, and there’s nothing wrong with alcoholic neighbours during their sober spells.<br />
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The turf around the house is dotted with the marbled leaves of Arum italicum and there are bound to be other treasures. Cyclamen for one, and wild narcissi. I could grow my collection of cacti and succulents as they should be grown. Planted deeply into well-drained sandy soil where they can reach the heights and girths they want to be, rather than remain dwarfed by the straightjackets of containers.</span><br /></div><br />It’s a pleasant enough article, you should go read it. And it is true, the climate in Tuscany is perfect for cactus, whereas Scotland – not so much. Darkness, dreariness, fog, rain, old castles with tiny windows. Of course, I’ve never been to Tuscany. No wait, that’s not true. I spent a week there once. But that was in Firenze, back when I was an architecture student, not out in the countryside where they grow all that cactus.<br /><br />

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They Get Questions


The <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1826&amp;entry_id=1647" title="http://www.azcentral.com/home/garden/articles/0126swgarden0126.html" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.azcentral.com/home/garden/articles/0126swgarden0126.html’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Arizona Republic</a> is taking questions, and it’s all about the kalanchoes today.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Question: About a year ago, I propagated a cutting from a very colorful kalanchoe. The cutting has gone very well, filling a 12-inch pot, but producing no blossoms. How can I encourage this fickle kalanchoe to produce flowers? During its short life, the plant has been in a patio receiving, perhaps, four to five hours of sun.<br />
– Bill Ispirian, Scottsdale<br /><br /><img width="250" hspace="5" height="400" border="2" align="left" src="/blog/uploads/misc/012608garden-autosized258.jpg" /> Answer: There are many species of kalanchoe plants. These succulents produce a profusion of long-lasting blooms. Most are cool-season bloomers and flower in winter and spring.<br />
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Kirti Mathura, Desert Botanical Garden horticulturist, said those sold at the garden will bloom yearly and do well as patio container plants. Others sold in retail outlets often are forced to bloom so they are available throughout the year.<br />
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If you want to experiment, keep your kalanchoe in a cool, dark place. Some growers use either a piece of shade cloth (available at plant nurseries) or even a box to cover their plants.<br />
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By covering them up to 14 hours a day in a cool place, you may be able to force the plant to produce buds.<br />
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Once they bud, remove the covering and place in a well-lighted area. Kalanchoe prefer a well-drained soil rich in organic material. Watering once a week should do it, but let the soil dry out before watering again. While it is in the dark, water only half as much as you normally would.<br />
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Mathura said you can fertilize your plant, but use a fertilizer that contains more phosphorus than nitrogen to promote blooming. Too much nitrogen promotes more leafy growth, she said.</span><br /></div><br />Now you know. I like that phrase. It’s very compact.<br /><br /><br />

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Arizona vs. Arkansas


Someone from Arizona moved to Arkansas and misses the cactus.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">We now have the gentle waves of DeGray Lake practically lapping at our back deck, not to mention more than two acres of grass to mow. In Tucson, we were greeted each morning by the outstretched arms of a giant saguaro cactus outside our front window.</span><br /></div><br />This is big news in the <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1825&amp;entry_id=1646" title="http://www.siftingsherald.com/articles/2008/01/25/news/news2.txt" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.siftingsherald.com/articles/2008/01/25/news/news2.txt’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Arkadelphia (AR) Siftings Herald</a>. And why shouldn’t it be? We have a big competition here in the US for residents. Every state is battling with every other state for new and better people to come to their state and fill out the ranks. And here we have a classic example of AR beating out AZ for one key person, notwithstanding all the fantastic cacti one can find in AZ. It’s a mystery worth pondering. <br /><br />I wonder what the people in AK think? Well, I can tell you that they regretted losing 2 of us to CA 12 years ago. It made all the local papers, and generated so many letters to the editor they had to set aside a page just to print the whole controversy. True story.<br /> <br />

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Friday Whippet Blogging


<img width="432" hspace="5" height="370" border="2" src="/blog/uploads/whippets/lulu.jpg" /><br /><br />Benjamin met another whippet, Lulu, at the park. She was fast and in motion. She’s pretty.<br /><br />

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Michigan Blooming Cactus


They grow them old in Michigan. The <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1823&amp;entry_id=1645" title="http://www.dailypress.net/page/content.detail/id/500901.html?nav=5001" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.dailypress.net/page/content.detail/id/500901.html?nav=5001′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Escanaba (huh? What’s an escanaba?) Daily Press</a> is all over the story of the 100 year old cactus in Hermansville. I’m guessing these small towns are in the UP, maybe even near the <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1824&amp;entry_id=1645" title="http://www.flickr.com/photos/93114883@N00/122200480/" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.flickr.com/photos/93114883@N00/122200480/’;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Mackinac Bridge</a>.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><img width="250" hspace="5" height="188" border="0" src="https://cactusjungle.com/blog/uploads/misc/500901_1.jpg" /><br /><span style="font-style: italic;">For more than 100 years, a Christmas cactus has been blooming in Hermansville. In 1925, Pauline Meyers gave the post office a cactus that had been gracing her home for years. Mrs. Lottie Bultman, sister to William Anderson, who founded the William Anderson Sports and Recreation club in Hermansville, was postmaster at the time the cactus was given. Another cactus was later presented to the post office by Sven Anderson; it, too, bloomed over the Christmas season and is 57 years old.<br />
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Lottie Bultman took care of the cactus until 1929. Since then each postmaster has watered and nurtured the cactus. Debra LaFave, current postmaster, now attends to it. Many cuttings have been given out to local residents and the cactus blooms are eagerly awaited each Christmas by local patrons at the Post Office.</span><br /></div><br />Well, nice going and congratulations to the Meyers/Bultman/Anderson families and the Postmaster too.<br /><br />

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French Canadians in the Desert


The <a href="https://cactusjungle.com/archives/blog/exit.php?url_id=1822&amp;entry_id=1644" title="http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/travel/story.html?id=f80c8cdd-9e28-452f-9676-3123303844b0" onmouseover="window.status=’http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/travel/story.html?id=f80c8cdd-9e28-452f-9676-3123303844b0′;return true;" onmouseout="window.status=”;return true;">Montreal Gazette</a> visited Arizona and all they got was a lousy T-Shirt.<br /><br /><div style="margin-left: 40px;"><span style="font-style: italic;">Visiting Arizona for the first time, I found the arid hot landscape as different from Canada as the surface of Mars and, initially, about as inviting….<br />
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As I peeled away the layers, the desert revealed itself as a place of delicate and unusual beauty….<br />
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The bleakness is punctuated by towering saguaro cacti whose limbs reach skyward as though calling for rain.</span><br /></div><br />I’ve been to Montreal and had a good time there. I wonder if the Phoenix paper has written a travel article about Montreal recently? I’d like to read that.<br /><br />

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