Cactus & Succulents

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Latest Activity: Dec 10, 2014

Discussion Forum

christmas cactus 42 Replies

Started by Gina Morgenstein. Last reply by Lyn - Sydney May 5, 2014.

Does anyone here grow Euphorbia milii (Crown of Thorns)? 42 Replies

Started by Denise. Last reply by Janet Ruth Baron Jul 16, 2013.

Pereskia 5 Replies

Started by Wendy Hime. Last reply by Wendy Hime Nov 13, 2011.

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Comment by Keryn, USDA Zone 10 Australia on December 10, 2014 at 3:32pm

Totally agree with you Chuck, the bagged potting mix you buy from stores is still too fresh and has not broken down into soil yet.

I make my own potting mix,  I use 1 part soil, 1 part coarse sand, 1 part fine bark mulch.

 Depending on what I am potting, if its cactus I put more sand in it.

I find the bagged potting mix that you buy ( even if you pay top $ for it ) will not grow anything, dreadful stuff.

Comment by chuck goecke on December 9, 2014 at 8:57pm

Epiphyllums look and grow best when grown as a hanging basket plant.  Don't worry about putting them in a huge pot.  They don't need much of a pot, so the pot and soil don't have to be especially heavy, but over the years, unless you prune them(and propagate the prunings) they will get heavy.  

Since they are a long lived plant that you don't need to repot often, I like to make their soil one that is not like most commercial potting soil.  This is true of any long lived, rarely repotted plants, like palms, potted trees like citrus and conifers/bonsai, Cactus and succulents and woody lilies(Agaves, yuccas, etc).  

I like a mix that does not have a high organic content, but that is light, with porous ingredients,  Like expanded clay or shale pellets, Horticultural charcoal or Biochar, a little sand or grit, and some fine material like clay or silt.  

The problem with "potting soil" is that it is highly organic, with lots of compost, peat, ground bark or coco fiber.  These are great for short lived plants, that you want grow fast, and either replace or repot annually.  Those organic ingredients decay, shrink and break down in a few seasons in warm humid or tropical climates.  A long lived plant, potted in such soil, eventually has no soil left around its roots, or the soil pulls away the pot, and become very hard to wet.  The inorganic soils, which could be up to 20-40 percent just ground dirt, with grit and coarse porous things, don't shrink and long lived plants will be happy in them for a long time, many years.  Fertilizing is important, of course.

Comment by Keryn, USDA Zone 10 Australia on December 9, 2014 at 4:45pm

Epiphyllum, "Vista Gold" brought this last year and have it in a pot on the back fence at the back of my cactus garden. Gets full north sun, which is the hot sun for me. Being up high on the fence the snails are not attacking the plant. I brought 2 others last year and can,t wait for them to flower.

Comment by Keryn, USDA Zone 10 Australia on December 6, 2014 at 10:48pm

I am still learning the names, the flower below is an Epiphllum or cactus orchid. Suited to sub tropical and tropical areas, must be frost free.

Comment by Minako Sargent Fukuda on December 5, 2014 at 4:59am

this is a beautiful flower, I have some cacti I have not the foggiest idea of their name some flowered the other day pinkish this is a nice flower only they don't lst long!

Comment by Lyn - Sydney on December 5, 2014 at 4:53am

Keryn, that really is so lovely!

Comment by Keryn, USDA Zone 10 Australia on December 4, 2014 at 3:37am

Oh what a beauty, its a pity the snails will not stop eating the plant. I,ve tried everything.

Comment by Keryn, USDA Zone 10 Australia on December 3, 2014 at 3:24am

Hi Chuck, yes hoping they will multiply. We have not had any really hot days yet, so will have to see how they go. My winter won,t be a problem if they handle -40F. I brought it flowering, but the flowers you see are a second lot, so doing well.

Comment by chuck goecke on November 19, 2014 at 8:58am

Wow, Keryn, very nice!!!!  Lewisias have a reputation of being very hard to grow outside of their native habit.  Do propagate them, if you can, because I suspect part of the problem is that they may be short-lived outside of their Northern Rocky Mountain habitats.  Perhaps they grow best during your winter season.  In their habits, I think they like very dry, super drainage, and winters where they tolerate incredible cold(-40F or C), and cool moist summers.

Comment by Keryn, USDA Zone 10 Australia on November 19, 2014 at 12:28am

Really falling in love with lewisia, " Elise", can,t wait for it to have pups, so I can spread them around a bit more. Looks like its going to be a good flowering plant here.


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