Another beautiful Astrophytum flower. My Astrophytums are flowering very well this year, probably due to all the recent hot, sunny weather. 

Astrophytum asterias

Anonymous said: How do you pollinate your cacti? How can you repot them when they have so many spikes(don't know the official word for them lol)? I'm sort of a beginner at cacti and succulents so sorry if I have a lot of questions

Hi! :)

If I decide to hand pollinate my plants, I either use a paintbrush to transfer the pollen from one plant to the stigma of another, or I might try and do the same with the tip of my little finger. I leave my greenhouse open to pollinators, so Bees, wasps, moths and butterflies also play their part in pollinating my plants for me (which has given me an unreasonable amount of assorted hybrid seed this year).

Here’s a link to my crash course in repotting cacti: http://cactusmandan.tumblr.com/post/82904653391/can-u-show-us-how-u-transplant-ur-cactus

Using newspaper is good for plants you can’t handle by hand, and I double-up ‘stab-proof’ nitrile gloves if I’m repotting a lot of Opuntiads, to protect against glochids. Otherwise I just tend to use my hands. You get used to be spiked after a while. :P

Happy growing!

How about some more flowers. This time from a Gymnocalycium! I don’t have that many Gymnocalyciums in my collection, but I have been sure to choose some of the nicest. I think this species is one of the nicest Gymnocalycium species, with a nice flat, brown body and lovely whitish flowers.

Gymnocalycium ragonesei.

1000 Followers! WOW!

I never thought that this blog would get so big, so fast. :D So I’d like to thank each and every one of my followers for your support and motivation! You’re all awesome. :) I hope to continue posting cool plants and stuff, although I am starting a placement year in early September, so I’ll be moving away from my plants. I’m sure I’ll be able to figure something out though, since I’d be a relatively short train journey away. :) I’ll look into taking a few of my more high-maintenance plants with me as well. Stay tuned. ;)

Once again, thank you all!

This lovely couple were in flower today. I think it’s the first time they’ve ever synchronised their flowering. Since the flowers only last for a day or two it makes it fairly unlikely for them do flower at the same time. Hopefully I’ll get some fruits from this pair. I did a little hand pollination then left them for any pollinators to work on, so hopefully I’ll get lucky!

Turbinicarpus lophophoroides

A tiny little Cumarinia odorata flower. The flowers aren’t really the main attraction to this species, rather the nice red, hooked central spines are. Pretty to look at, but if you get hooked, they don’t let go easily!

Cumarinia odorata

Aaah, I do enjoy receiving new plants, particularly if they’re nice and sought-after species. :) This lot arrived in the post today, just a week after I placed the order for them! Very speedy, particularly considering they came from the Czech Republic. Some very nice plants here!

Overview. Back row: 2 plants of Mammillaria haudeana (Sonora), 2 Obregonia denegrii (Tamaulipas), Strombocactus corregidorae (Queretaro). Front row: 4 different ecotypes of Echinocactus horizonthalonius (Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon and 2 from Coahuilla) and Escobaria abdita. The actual locality data is more specific, but I’ve cut it down to State for simplicity. :)

Anacampseros fruits are beautiful. They look like delicately crafted cages with the seeds held inside until they’re blown out by a gust of wind. I managed to harvest the seeds before the wind too them though. :)

I think this is Anacampseros retusa, but I’m not certain yet.

One of my favourite plants was in full flourish today as well. One reason why this is one of my favourites is the fact that it’s an intergeneric hybrid between Leuchtenbergia principis and Ferocactus fordii. Intergeneric hybrids are very interesting, in that they’re relatively unlikely! What is even more weird about this plant is that it has produced viable seeds in the past, suggesting that Leuchtenbergia and Ferocactus are very closely related genera (since hybridisation can produce a sexually viable hybrid). Unfortunately the seedlings from crossing this xFerobergia and a Thelocactus resulted in very weak seedlings, which would’ve needed to be grafted upon germination to survive. I may experiment further though. Regardless of how biologically interesting this plant is, it’s also exceptionally beautiful. :) My large Leuctenbergia principis is preparing some flower buds, so perhaps I’ll be able to make an interesting hybrid of my own!

xFerobergia cv. ‘PRIFOR’ (Leuchtenbergia principis x Ferocactus fordii)

Not quite a cactus or a succulent, but this lovely plant was in flower today in my collection. It is a geophyte, however, so could survive months of drought underground if need be. Yellow isn’t such a common flower colour amongst the cacti in my collection, which are usually pink in colour. That makes this so much more special, besides the fact this is the first time this plant has flowered for me! :)

Hypoxis villosa

jonezbonez said: What kind of soil mix do you use for lithops? I have one that needs to re potted badly but I'm afraid to put it in something that could kill it.

Hi! 

The soil mix I used is the same as I pot all my cacti in, composed of roughly 20% topsoil (or you could use coir/compost/loam etc. if you wanted) and 80% mineral aggregates (I use a combination of clay cat litter and grit). Generally, Lithops want a soil mix which will retain a little bit of water, but is very light and airy at the same time. Pumice is a great aggregate to use since it holds a lot of air, due to it’s open porous structure. The cat litter (hard-fired molar clay pellets, similar to Turface in the US) I use has similar properties to pumice. :) It might take a little experimentation, since climate will impact on what you should use as well.

Happy growing!

Well I’ve made a meagre attempt at growing some Lithops from seed and to my amazement I have a handful of seedlings! I just threw some seeds on the top of a pot full of my usual soil mix and kept it watered. They’re not much to look at yet since they’re just green blobs. It’ll be exciting to see how they develop. :)

Lithops coleorum

flora-file:

little help here (by flora-file)

I bought these two unmarked cacti at Ikea and need some ID help. Can any of you cactus experts (cactguy or cactusmandan) help me out here?

Ferocactus glaucescens and Mammillaria spinosissima as I believe you’ve already figured out. :)

(Reblogged from thehopefulbotanymajor)

Here’s one of the many reasons why I grow cacti from the genus Eriosyce. ;) Delightful pink flowers. The body is an interesting reddish-brown colour as well. I’ve been making an effort to treat this plant meaner since it used to look comically bloated with the slightest amount of watering. It could possibly do with a little water, but I like the almost melting-chocolate look it has to it.

Eriosyce crispa v. huascensis (Huasco, Chile)

I often find that my own seed-grown plants look a lot better than plants I’ve bought or received from elsewhere. I think it could be that the plants have consistent growing conditions, that they aren’t damaged by being transported or some other reasons. This seedling is particularly handsome. My cat decided to help me take some pictures too. She’s very pretty as well. :)

Gymnocalycium pflanzii