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Beginner Gardening: Cactus inquiry...

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Forum: Beginner GardeningReplies: 4, Views: 39
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Hannibal, MO
(Zone 5a)

September 9, 2012
8:29 AM

Post #9269780

Happy Sunday everyone...well, I work at a large retailer in the garden dept. We sell Cactus and Succulents, and have hesitated buying them because very often they begin to look unhealthy. I believe it is most likely due to the soil material they are shipped in. The other day I found these two, a "Baby Toes" and a Hibotan...both with peculiar blooms and thought they would make an interesting and fun little display. My question is- these were the only 2 of each we had in stock that were "blooming"...are "blooms" rare on these? And, is there anything I could do to promote more?

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Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

September 9, 2012
3:43 PM

Post #9270100

Cactus are like most other plants in as much as, they have a flowering season only when mature enough to make flowers, I have to grow these plants as indoor plants here in UK and enjoy the flowering season as much from them as I do from my outdoor garden plants.
What I find with flowering Cactus is they only require a small amount of watering, never let them sit in a saucer of water but when I give water, I water from the bottom (place the pot into a large saucer for about 1 hour, remove the plant from the saucer and allow it to drain and then sit the plant back onto the growing spot it likes. They like very bright sunlight but not directly onto the plant, I also give the plants a mist say 2-3 times a week in the growing season and this is like the desert due and also helps prevent the build-up of dust.
I also like to remove any flowers that have finished flowering and the flowers look a bit sad, you either need to ware gloves or use tweezers to nip off the dying flowers, firm but not crushing the plant is best.
IF you need to pot the plants on to a larger pot, you can buy Cactus ready mixed soil or make your own, I mix ordinary compost 2 parts, 1 part fine grit and 1 part Horticultural sand bought from garden centre, either use a page from the news paper and fold it into a taper about 2 inch wide, this you need to wrap around the plant like a sling, shake the old soil off the roots and repot the plant by gently placing it into it's new pot / soil, water from bottom and firm the plant into the soil with a gloved hand, I like to dress the top of the pot / soil with more grit to prevent any moss growing or water splash IF on an odd occasion I need to water from the top if I've neglected the plants. after flowering is finished is best time to re-pot , soft brush the plant to remove any debris depending on how prickly the plants are.
There is a Cactus thread on the site if your interested but I just learned as I went along and have had the same Cactus for over 20 years and gave away lots of their babies to friends, these babies flower quicker than plants from seed but again, depending on the type of cactus you have.
There a\re also books on the growing and care of Cactus in book stores too.
Enjoy and have fun, these plants can be with you and the next generation with care and sometimes neglect as my old dad would have said, as more are killed with kindness that anything else. Good luck. WeeNel.
Hannibal, MO
(Zone 5a)

September 10, 2012
9:13 AM

Post #9270813

Thank you!!!!
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

September 10, 2012
11:43 AM

Post #9270960

Most welcome, just remember we all find our own way to tend plants so just gave you mine. Good Luck. WeeNel.
Ainaloa, HI

October 13, 2012
11:12 AM

Post #9303995

I got a baby toes plant from a plant sale -- adorable! Within days it was withering and the little toes were falling off. Can this plant be saved? I transplanted it into my small potted succulent garden. It's so delicate and dying fast. Can I do something to get those little toes to re-root?

Is it a cactus or a succulent?

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