Cactus Blog Archives

Cactus Blog Writers

Peter Lipson
Hap Hollibaugh

Extended!


Our PodArt Art Show, by Natalia Szidon, has been extended thru the end of the year!

Here’s the original postcard, but you can ignore the end date – it’s been extended!

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Art Show Opening


Hand turned wood bowls from local artist Mike Newlin, Nov. 16 – Dec. 24, 2018 at our Marin store in San Anselmo.

Opening night party is Friday 11/16 4p-6:30p

Delayed! Due to smoke in the Bay Area the Opening Night Party has been rescheduled to:

Friday Nov 30, 4-6:30p

Fun and snacks and drinks and wood bowls for everyone!

 

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Identifying Cactus


Hello,
I found your blog online and it had been very helpful to me. I am really grateful that you answer questions from people that are not your customers, as well! I recently got a pot with three small cactuses in it and am having trouble identifying them. I have attached a few photos. For reference, the center cactus is about 2″ tall. What do you think? I am particularly curious about the one on the right as I can’t find anything similar searching online. I would like to know about their care requirements and if they are suitable to continue growing in the same container.

Thank you,
Regina

PS – I am aware that the l little red flowers on the center cactus are fake. I’ll remove them eventually…

Regina,

The left is a Mammillaria and the right is a Euphorbia (probably E. meloformis) while the one in the center, after the paper flowers are removed, is maybe a Myrtillocactus although it can be hard to be sure when they are young.

They can grow together in that container for a couple years and then they will outgrow it and need to be separated. Care depends on where you live, but the 2 cacti need a lot of direct sun – at least half day, while the Euphorbia is less. Not a lot of water, but the watering depends on whether the pot has a hole. Either way, make sure the soil is dry between watering, probably every 2-3 weeks.

Peter

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European Euphorbia Questions


HiYa, Greetings from Germany.
We are looking for an expert advice and hope you might be able to help. Our Euphorbia has on the bottom of the main stem a blackish discoloration. It is not soft or in anyway different texture from the rest of the cacti 🌵. We just worried it is some kind of rot. Do you know how best to proceed? Leave it for now or cut it and replant?

 
Kind regards

Mel

It looks like the start of rot. The soil looks too rich for the Euphorbia, so it may be taking too long to dry out after watering. You can use a systemic fungicide now and wait to see if it gets worse, or you can take the cuttings now to be sure. I recommend cutting just above the first branch, and taking that branch as a separate cutting. Spray with Hydrogen peroxide to help the ends heal, dust with Sulfur Dust. Wait a week and then plant into new fresh fast draining cactus soil. Be careful with the milky white latex sap as it is caustic and you do not want it near your eyes or lips.

Good luck!
Peter

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Glued Rocks and Rescuing Plants


I have had euphoria lacteafor almost 9months. It has glued rocks to support and has no hole in bottom of pot. Should I transplant it to another withhold and if so, how to do it? No change or growth in 9 months.

Thank you for information you can provide!

Norma
Pensacola, Florida

Norma,

If it is a crested lactea then you won’t see much growth anyway – they’re very slow! But yes, please do repot – no drainage and glued rocks can be a disaster for plants – please rescue your plant ASAP!

If you are not sure how to repot it, maybe there is a local nursery you can visit who has cactus soil, and tips for repotting into a larger pot with drainage?

Peter

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Cacti in the UK


Hello

I’m hoping you could give me some advice, I live in the UK and bought an Echinocactus grusonii a few months ago. The guy told me to water once a fortnight and add Baby Bio plant foot or tomato feed in each alternate. The first few times I watered it it was fine but this time I think I’ve killed it. Within a day of feeding the spines have started to die around the base, it’s got dead looking patches and darker green patches that look like water marks. It doesn’t feel squishy but the bottom looks like it’s shrinking in on itself.

Have I broken it? Can it be saved?

Thanks in advance
Victoria

Hi,

It’s hard to tell for sure from the photo, but it is not looking great. I think there may be 2 different pests, but again it’s hard to tell from the photos. The base looks like it has started to rot, in which case it is too late to save it. But if it is firm, maybe I am misreading it. If it is firm, you can try to use a systemic fungicide, and spray the rest with an organic pesticide. Not sure what’s available in the UK, but we use Bonide Infuse and Monterey Take Down Garden Spray.

In general we would suggest watering every 4 weeks (every 2 fortnights?) for the cooler parts of the year, and every 2-3 weeks when it is hot and sunny. Do not fertilize regularly with any tomato fertilizer – it’s too strong for cacti. Use an organic low strength granular all-purpose (like Down to Earth All Purpose) and use it at lower strength than recommended. Use only twice in a year – spring and mid-summer. Let the plant grow slow and it will be healthier.

Peter

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Cactus Jungle, Marin Grand Opening



We are having our Grand Opening for our new Marin store in San Anselmo, CA all weekend long!

Cactus Jungle, Marin
130 Sir Francis Drake Blvd
San Anselmo, CA 94960
415 870-9930

March 16-18 San Anselmo Grand Opening Schedule of Events:
Open 10a-5p

March 16 – 30 Berkeley and San Anselmo
• 30% OFF Pottery Sale – All outdoor terra cotta, glazed and concrete pots and planters are 30% Off, handmade artist pots not included.

San Anselmo Grand Opening:
March 16 – 18

• Free Coffee in the morning and wine/beer/cider late in the day.
• Snacks all day, including Vegan and GF options.
• Plant Raffles each day, come by and see what we’re raffling off!

March 16, Friday
10a-5p Cactus Jungle Staff available for repot help at our Potting Station.
Do you have a plant that you keep meaning to repot, but keep putting it off because you’re not sure what to do? Bring it in and our staff will help you pick the right soil, the right pot, and show you how to repot it!
3pm Cactus and Succulents 101 with Peter Lipson
Ever wondered why succulents are, well, succulent? Do you know the difference between a cactus and a succulent? Have you been pondering why we love these plants so much? Get answers to these questions and more that you didn’t even know you had with Peter, one of the owners of Cactus Jungle.

March 17, Saturday
11am Houseplants 101 – How to select and care for your houseplants with Kali Lader
Learn all about the latest trends in houseplants, how to pick them for your home and how to keep them alive through quality care.
3pm Propagating Succulents 101- Magic! With Anne Smith
Come talk to our Production Manager, Anne, and learn some of the tricks of the trade of propagating succulents! Learn how to take cuttings, root them out, and go from a single piece of plant to a big healthy succulent.

March 18, Sunday
3pm Dangerous Plants: How to handle plants that fight back with Hap Hollibaugh
Hap, Owner of Cactus Jungle, will show you how we repot and propagate our most spiny and stabby of plants as safely as can be done!

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Jester


Leucadendron “Jester”

Sunshine Conebush

Origin: South Africa

L. salignum “Jester”

Evergreen Shrub
Dense, vigorous growing shrub with strongly, brightly, visibly variegated leaves. Red bracts are great for arrangements. Good for coastal gardens.

Temperature: Hardy to 25°F

Sun: Full Sun

Water: Low

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Succulent Roof


Hi there, just want to share a sight from a walk yesterday. This is one of those free little libraries, but with an awesome roof composed entirely of succulents, on both sides. It’s off Colusa in North Berkeley.

Pretty neat, eh?

Doris

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Cactus Jungle Opening Nursery in Marin


Cactus Jungle comes to San Anselmo
Cactus Jungle, based in Berkeley, is branching out with a store on the former Sunnyside Nursery site in San Anselmo.

By PJ Bremier, Marin Independent Journal

In San Anselmo, it’s a new nursery for the New Year. That’s the good news for Ross Valley gardeners as Cactus Jungle is moving into the vacant former Sunnyside Nursery location in San Anselmo.

Sunnyside, which operated from 1940 to 2015, was a local favorite known for its good selection of plants, helpful staff with deep knowledge of plants and its own Marin growing grounds. Then Armstrong Garden Centers opened there, but closed this summer.

That makes Cactus Jungle, based in Berkeley, only the third nursery there in more than 75 years…

Click through to read the rest. Find out when we’re opening! Find out what we’re planning!

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The Future is Cactus


According to Earther.com:

We’ll All Be Eating Cactus in the Future Thanks to Climate Change
by Katie Valentine

…the prickly pear cactus, a humble plant that, according to a new book co-published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, can serve as a lifesaving crop for many countries…

“It’s actually a fairly amazing crop that can grow in most dry areas of the world,” Makiko Taguchi, a cactus expert at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, told Earther. “And the dry areas of the world are expanding in some places.”

Oh, and it’s delicious!

Prickly Pear Margarita

Ingredients

coarse salt as needed
2 fluid ounces tequila
2 fluid ounces sweet and sour mix

1 fluid ounce triple sec
1 fluid ounce lime juice
1 fluid ounce prickly pear syrup

Click thru to see the rest of the instructions.

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We Get Sick Cactus Questions


hey there…. i was wonder if you could help me with my cactus…. we had mealie mites and i used a insecticidal soap. then this started to happened and fast. could it be corking? i don’t think its root rot. i dealt with that before. is there something we can do to save it?

Could we cut the bad out of the cactus and callus it and replant? the tops don’t seam to be infected..

thank you for any help you can provide!!!
Gene

 

It looks to me like you have 2 plants with the same problem. After the infestation, which the soap didn’t fix, the plants would have been susceptible to infection.

I would recommend getting the 3 of them out of that soil, and repotting the 1 healthy one on its own. You can take tip cuttings of the other 2 if you can cut above the infection. When you cut, if the flesh is clean and white then you can let it callous over for a week before planting. Since it’s winter I recommend Sulfur Dust on the cut end to help prevent fungus. If the cut end is not clean then keep cutting upward til you get to clean flesh, or if the infection is all the way through the plant then it is not saveable.

Peter

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Cactus Cupcakes 


Are you wondering why no nobody in New York has offered a holiday cupcake party with a cactus and succulent theme? Cupcake Decorating Workshop by The Sill has you covered, if you are available and in New York next Tuesday only. Nice!

I wonder if they teach you how to make delicious cupcakes, or just how to decorate any old cupcake.

You will learn how to decorate cupcakes like a pro. 

OK! No good cupcakes, only decorative frostings. I mean, I assume they don’t prevent you from using delicious cupcakes, but it’s hard to say for sure. 

And what if you’re a beginner…. 

This class will be good for beginners who want to explore their interest, and for semi-professionals who want to develop new skills in buttercream design.

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