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Cacti and Succulents: strange blue columns.

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Forum: Cacti and SucculentsReplies: 9, Views: 116
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kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 6, 2013
7:46 PM

Post #9511231

The lady at the nursery gave these to me for 2 bucks today when I asked what they were and she didn't know. These were the only ones. I have no idea where to start... Euphorbia? They are about 5 to 6 inches tall.

Thumbnail by kinym   Thumbnail by kinym   Thumbnail by kinym
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mcvansoest
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 6, 2013
8:05 PM

Post #9511257

Looks like tephrocactus articulates var. inermis to me, aka Pine Cone Cactus.
kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 6, 2013
8:23 PM

Post #9511275

Excellent! Thank you... I'm so happy to have it. Googling it was fun. The flowers look gorgeous. It's going to be fun to watch it change.
mcvansoest
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 7, 2013
9:34 PM

Post #9512718

Mine has never flowered - well let me classify that, I have never seen it flower - I suspect I might have missed it. It takes full sun in AZ so is a pretty tough plant. It is also easily propagated from cuttings, I have had several pieces fall off and when stuck in the ground you have another plant. The regular Tephrocactus articulates is also a very nice plant.
kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 7, 2013
9:39 PM

Post #9512726

Thank you for the info... I'm glad it can take some heat. Fun, crazy looking plant.
helenchild
Decatur, GA

May 8, 2013
1:07 PM

Post #9513508

2 bucks is a steal! Congratulations on the acquisition! Better read up on the care, I think they are touch about too much water and not enough drainage.
Good luck.
kinym
Carmichael, CA
(Zone 9b)

May 8, 2013
1:29 PM

Post #9513540

Thank you!
Anniesfollies
Carlsbad, CA
(Zone 10b)

May 16, 2013
4:44 PM

Post #9523145

A year ago I splurged and bought a beautiful one of those in a 12" pot with about 8-10 'columns' with multiple branches. It was doing great until it rained. It basically fell apart - the columns rotted off at soil level. Turns out they need lots of heat and very little water. The nursery where I bought it stopped carrying them because everyone had the same experience, and they've said they won't grow here. I still have about 6 branch pieces that broke off the ones that rotted just propped in empty pots with no soil. None of them have sent out any roots, they are just sitting there. Any suggestions? Perhaps I should list them in my Have list and trade them away.

Baja_Costero

Baja_Costero
Baja California
Mexico
(Zone 11)

May 16, 2013
6:19 PM

Post #9523234

I have had success potting up the pieces in rocky soil (bottom buried 1cm or so) and watering very infrequently (say every 3 weeks) for the first few months. The growth of the plant seems to be quite seasonal (here) and it's pretty obvious when a plant is well rooted because it sprouts new growth above ground. At that time you can step up the watering. They tolerate our winter rain no problem (in rocky soil) and enjoy regular water year round, but I let them dry out in between to avoid problems.

Random info bit: the root word "tephra" refers to the color of the plant, like ash.

This message was edited May 16, 2013 5:29 PM
mcvansoest
Mesa, AZ
(Zone 9b)

May 16, 2013
6:33 PM

Post #9523253

I am with Baja_Costero, Anniesfollies, try some very well draining gravelly cactus mix, and give them some good sun. Last summer I made the fatal mistake of overwatering one of the regular tephrocactus articulates plants and found the base rotted away a few days later. Took all the other parts stuffed them in the ground here and there or just in small pots and now I have more of them than I know what to do with. Some of them are going nuts, see attached. It has gone 100+F somewhat early here and remained it with exception of a few days a week or so ago, so I have been watering them relatively frequently cause the pots are so small and dry out so quickly, I just always make sure that they are indeed dry, before watering again.
They are very nice plants both the pine cone and the paper spined versions and have very nice flowers.

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