I visited Cactus Jungle more than 2 years ago, and I picked up two plants: Orbea (Stapelia) variegata and Faucaria felina (I also picked up a bonus snail that has lived with O. variegata). The F. felina had a little accident a year ago (or rather, when I was in a 4-car collision on a highway while toting a few flats of plants to my new apartment, most of the plant’s growths were severed and it’s been languishing ever since), but the O. variegata is doing well. It isn’t as vibrantly colored as when I purchased it, but I also cannot give it the light it needs on a regular basis, so it makes do with what it can get. And that seems to be enough here in the swamp that is DC! These are the first blooms on this plant. Yeah, they stink, and I love them.
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?
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.
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.
Hey there, guys… Sorry to bother you, but does the tagged specimen look like a positive id for Eriosyce occulta? The tag says that but it looks like more a copiapoa to me.
The untagged one looks like an eriosyce, too, perhaps?
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks again! Joey
It’s not a Copiapoa. It’s probably an Eriosyce that has been greenhouse grown. The spines at top are black, and you can look for a taproot when you replant it. Or wait until it flowers for a final ID. There are others it could be like a Coryphantha, but it would be a rare Coryphantha with black spines, so it is most likely the Eriosyce.
I don’t know the untagged one, but I don’t think it is E. occulta. I’ll post it to the blog, but you may have to wait until it flowers – send us a picture when it does!
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.
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.
You were giving me some advice there at the nursery a few days ago about possible choices of cacti and succulents for some planting that I’m hoping to do here at my place in Kensington.
One of my neighbors has a succulent (I think)that I like very much. It’s shown in this photo.
Can you identify it? Are these things available?
Your advice will be much appreciated!
That is an Echeveria “Fireball”, a very nice succulent. And we do not have any growing right now. We may have some by mid summer. We do have a lot of other Echeverias that are that big, even if not that red.
You may recall that I came in a few weeks ago with some photos of my Agave celsii, which had sent up 7 flower spikes. I was asking what to do now that the spikes were beginning to rot and you suggested taking the whole plant apart, which I did. I managed to rescue three pups, which are now planted and hopefully at least one of them will begin to replace the plant that is no more.
At the time, you asked me to send you some photos, for your blog. I am sorry to have taken so long to get around to this, but here they are.
A few months later, an A. paryii also bloomed – in some ways even more spectacular.
Thanks again for all your help.
And a lot of pictures were sent. Click through to see all of them. Read More…
Devon sends along a photo of a Tillandsia arrangement, put together from stuff found here at the Cactus Jungle, and I would say that is a very nice use of the materials. This seems like a challenge to Rikki and Nicole.
I’m giving my family all plant arrangements for Christmas, and for my sister I put together some air plants I got from you folks. I’m very pleased with how it turned out, so I’m sending you a couple pictures of the completed arrangement. The shell and glass stand are from you all as well. The plants are T. seleriana, T. harrisii, and T. juncea ‘red-green’. I think she’s going to like it!
I hope you can help me out with an unusual repotting problem.
A well-meaning friend of ours recently sent us a “cactus garden” as a gift from an online website, pictured below:
Any idea what the different species are? The online vendor simply labeled them all as “cacti”.
Well, the various cacti and succulents are doing fine so far, but now I think they are starting to crowd each other out. I was hoping to repot them, but the potting soil that they used is as hard as concrete! I can barely dent it with a hammer!
Yes, it is that hard. I can’t even pull the wood chips out of the soil!
I have no idea what crazy concoction they are using as a soil. The directions that came with the garden only say that, “The cactus soil is a blend of nutrients combined with a hardening compound. It was scientifically developed to provide a healthy growing environment for cactus while also providing protection during shipment. Although it appears hard and impenetrable, the soil does absorb water and distributes it throughout the planter.”
Have you ever run into this strange potting medium before? If so, are the poor plants going to be okay in that stuff as they grow? And if not, what is the best way to get them out safely so that I can repot them?
Finally, it is currently winter here in southern California, and the cacti are sitting outside on our back porch. Should I wait until the spring growing season before attempting to repot them? And how much space should I give them?
Thank you for all your help!
Jonathan, You have 3 cacti and 3 succulents. This type of potting is not intended as a long term solution, so yes they do have to come out of the concrete (and they do add gypsum, i.e. concrete, to the mix to get it to harden). So basically you will be rescuing the plants.
If they are healthy now, I would wait until spring. If they look desperate, then go ahead and get them out now.
I don’t have any secrets for rescuing them – get the whole thing out of the pot and chisel them apart as best you can trying to save some roots where possible, but allowing for the fact that these may be cuttings you are starting with once they are out.
Pot them in dry fast-draining cactus soil, keep dry for a couple weeks. I would try a 4″ pot for each plant, if I am judging the size correctly.
Please find attached the 2 cacti that I cannot ID without help. Let me know if I have something worth dividing, planting or tossing.
The one with the smaller stems is Parodia leninghausii. This will have a lot of beautiful big yellow flowers. These can safely be divided and propagated in the spring.
The more sprawling one is probably an Echinopsis, but I wouldn’t be able to ID the species until it blooms. It’s probably easy to propagate from stem cuttings. Both look like they need to get out of the wood boxes and into something bigger. I would generally wait until March to repot these.
Hi Peter, We were wondering about these two cacti given to us by friends. The tall one on the left seems to want to branch (we got a cutting off a 3-4 foot tall potted specimen). The short guy we think is a gymnocalyceum, and have always been a bit puzzled by its odd coloration (kind of dayglo yellow and pink). It was potted in fine sand and really suffering when we got it 2 years ago. Not sure what either of their specific needs are (minimum tolerated temp, sun exposure, etc).
Thanks for your help! Marion
The tall one is a Cereus. The short one could be a Gymnocalycium, but I wouldn’t know for sure until it blooms. The coloration seems to be an effect of the sun and probably the soil too. It can handle less than full sun, and may need to be repotted into fresh fast draining cactus soil in the spring.
In the San Francisco area I would recommend watering every 2 to 3 weeks through the summer, less in winter. They are probably hardy down to about 30F.
hi — i’m in northwest Wisconsin. wondering if you can identify a vine-type cactus, as far as I remember I got at a garage sale. Attached is a photo. I came home on my lunch hour today to take a photo of the single flower that had bloomed — good thing I did, cuz I just looked at it and the flower is drooped and lifeless. Evidently they only last a day?
I’ve had it about 4-5 years I think. It was root-bound so I divided it a few months ago. Some of the spikes are 3 feet long, long and narrow. There are others that are narrow, then form into a paddle, then get another narrow spike on the end. There are also rows of brown strings that form on the spikes, point toward the light. It’s in an east window.
Hope you can find the time to answer me.
The cactus is an Epiphyllum, or Orchid Cactus. It is possible it is one of the night-blooming varieties – the blooms only last one night – although most epiphyllums will bloom during the day for 2-3 days. The brown strings are aerial roots – it is looking for tree branches to grab onto.