Probably the last Geissorhiza aspera flower of the season. It’s a lovely colour for sure. This plant is loaded with fruits, which should be full of seeds! 

Hello, these are not my cacti but I was wondering if you could ID the giant fuzzy octopus in the front?  Thanks, I love your blog!

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Hi, thank you!

That looks like it’s probably Cleistocactus winteri, due to the prostrate growth habit. It looks a little odd, because it’s been growing in less than ideal lighting. Quite a nice plant anyway. :)

Happy growing!

I’m enjoying all these Conophytum flowers at the moment, particularly this flower on Conophytum marnierianum. The warm, rich colour of this flower isn’t all that common on my others plants, so it makes a nice change.

Some excellent Faucarias from the mesemb show on saturday. Sadly none were in full flower.

Tiny, delicate flowers on a night-flowering Conophytum species, Conophytum obcordellum. They have a lovely, strong scent, similar to the smell of lilies.

Back to my own plants for now: this is a really cool before and after shot of a Conophytum uviforme plant breaking dormancy. You can see the plant in the first picture looking more or less dead, but that’s just how they look in their dormant state in Summer. After a month and with a little water, a number of heads burst out of the dried skin of the old leaves. I’d say this is what makes Conophytums so fascinating.

I definitely have a soft spot for Conophytums. They’re just so beautiful and fascinating. :)

Some of the many exceptional Conophytum plants which were at the mesemb show. Hopefully someday some of my plants will grow up to be as big and beautiful as these.

biodiverseed:

Can anyone confirm as to whether or not I managed to find Echinopsis pachanoi /Echinopsis peruviana in the supermarket? Please say yes.

My seeds have only just been sown.

cactguy, cacticonnoisseur, cactusmandan

'fraid not. Appears to be Pilosocereus azureus instead. Pretty nonetheless. :)

(Reblogged from biodiverseed)

More Lithops? More Lithops. I’ll post some Conophytums and other mesembs from the show tomorrow.

The big mixed Lithops planting category had to be one of my favourites. They look great when they’re all potted together in the same big pot. Big clumps of Lithops look great too! It’s hard to guess how old each of the multi-headed plants (each clump is one plant) are, but I’d hazard a guess that they’re older than me.

Yesterday I went to the North-West Mesemb show, which is an awesome plant show for things like Lithops, Conophytums and other ‘living stones’. Needless to say there were some awesome plants! 

Let’s start off with a selection of lovely Lithops.

Anonymous said: Since autumn is already here, I am wondering if there's anything else one can do for potted cacti (first time owner), if you answer this thank you very much

Hi!

I’m going to guess you live in a temperate climate, so the thing to start doing now is to start tapering off how much water you give your cacti. I don’t think I’ll be watering any of mine again this year. This helps them to enter dormancy. If you’re overwintering your cactus indoors, then it’s best to keep them in the brightest, coolest spot available, as well as stopping giving them water. However, if they start looking too dehydrated you can give them a tiny amount of water. Usually they’ll be totally fine though.

Happy growing!

Anonymous said: Hi Dan, This is Kiran from India.. I recently came across you blog and loved going through it! I have a cacti and succulent greenhouse with around 150 species. I have two questions - my cacti never seem to flower though they look healthy. They get abundant sun, in fact so much that I have a net roofing to filter out the sun during the hot Indian summers. What am I doing wrong? The second question is that is it good to use coco peat in the potting mixture for cacti? Thanks!

Hi! Thank you. :)

It’s hard to say really without more information. However, I think one of two things could be preventing your plants from flowering. They might be too young to flower, or it might be too hot where you live for them to get the right cues they need to flower. A lot of non-tropical cacti need a cool, dry winter dormancy period for them to flower properly. They need to be kept below at least 15 degrees Celsius during this dormancy period, so perhaps your climate is problematic. This is especially applicable of cacti which originate from alpine or temperate regions, like Rebutia, Sulcorebutia, Weingartia, Opuntia and many others. You might have better flowering from cactus species with a more tropical distribution, like Discocactus, Melocactus, Gymnocalycium, some Echinopsis and many of the epiphytic genera like Hylocereus and Epiphyllum.

Cocopeat works well in a potting mix, but it does hold a lot of water, so I tend to use it sparingly, if at all. I don’t currently use any in my cactus mix, but I do use cocopeat in my bulb mix.

Hope that helps! Happy growing!

I noticed this inflorescence forming on Haemanthus deformis the other day, which is quite an exciting thing to see! I’ll have to keep an eye on it until it opens.