A Conversation for How to Look after Cacti


Post 1


This is by-far the most comprehensive guide to cacti care I've ever seen! Thank you for loads of great ideas - like the one about putting rock in the tops of pots. One thing I've always hated about my cacti is that the dirt in the pot looks so ugly, I am definitely going to try the rock thing. And the fish tank water, too -- well, when I get a tank that is (which has been on the list of 'things to do' for a few years now).

I'm a gardener of very little education, some guesswork and quite a bit of luck. I look forward to seeing how your tips improve the health of my cacti smiley - biggrin

I had thought that your interest in cacti was a product of your residency in Texas, I suppose now that it goes a bit further back than that. Thanks for sharing your vast knowledge smiley - ok


Post 2

There is only one thing worse than being Gosho, and that is not being Gosho

It goes all the way back to fourth year in secondary school (early 70s) when I was a mere stripling of a young Gosho smiley - bigeyes

Thanks for those kind words. I think it always shows when someone writes an entry about a subject they know well as opposed to something they've just researched.

You can use anything as a top dressing, from sand to gravel to small pebbles (but not pebbles from the beach - you'll never get all the salt out and salt ain't good for cacti). I came to Texas to marry Mrs Gosho - the fact that cacti grow here too is a bonus, although I always knew I wanted to live in a place where cacti grow outdoors smiley - biggrin Actually, I do still have to bring them in ocassionally during the winter cos it gets as cold here as it does in most of the UK, but not for quite so long. Every three or four years they get an ice storm here, and this past winter we even had a few flakes of snow smiley - snowballsmiley - wow Winter only lasts about three months though, and I find some of my plants here coming into flower at the beginning of March instead of in May.

I joined the local cactus society too - should have gone to the monthly meeting tonight but forgot all about it smiley - doh

Like yourself I know very little about gardening. The last summer I was in the UK I grew a few carrots and some onions, and the summer before that I even got a few soya bean plants to produce a modest crop smiley - blush But cacti suit me right down to the ground because they just get on and do their own thing. They're the cats of the world of pot plants. Have you any idea which cacti you have?


Post 3


I've only got one that's probably a true cactus, it's a ball shaped thing with spines that needs to be repotted - it's still in the pot I bought it in. I've also got what's called a Christmas cactus which I always thought was so named because it would flower around Christmas time, but mine seems to flower at all times of the year. Earlier this year I bought one called a Spring cactus which is similar to the Christmas one, but the 'leaf' sections are shaped a little differently and the flowers are different. It hasn't bloomed since I bought it, I guess I'll have to wait until next spring smiley - winkeye

I've also got a couple of plants that I'm not sure what they are, they have flat leaves, not like a cacti or a succulent, but they have spines all along the edge of the leaf. All the leaves spider out from the center of the plant and it tends to grow out instead of up. The first one I bought was a nice green color with white on the leaves, the second was kind of a rose color. When I got the second one home and set it on the counter I noticed the one I had in the window was kind of a rose color as well, and after a few days on the counter the rose one I bought had faded to white again. I got them both from the cacti section of the garden department though, so I assume they're all related.

Grandma was always a whiz with cacti, she even had some growing out in the yard for awhile. I don't know how they made it through the winters, we get a bit more snow than you do smiley - smiley. Before she sold her house she had a cactus out by the back fence that she had brought home from Texas and managed to keep alive outside in Missouri. I don't think she dug it up when she moved though, I wonder if the new homeowners have bothered to keep it up?


Post 4

There is only one thing worse than being Gosho, and that is not being Gosho

Those 'spider-like' plants sound like Agaves, or maybe Aloes. How big are they in circumference? Do they look anything like these? http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~jankol/

I like the sound of your grandma smiley - smiley

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