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Cactus/Cacti advice

BurtsnestBurtsnest Posts: 174
Hi all, I have had this Cactus/Cacti  for around 5 years, always in the house in a sunny position. During the hot weather I put it outside. A pink flower has appeared in the top.  Sometimes the flower pops out, other times it stays as it is in the photo. Will the flower always be there now or will it die off. Also any care recommendations whilst it's flowering. Thanks in advance. 


  • Wow! That's a vicious looking specimen! It's a shame,but the flowers do die off eventually,but you might get an extension to the cacti when it's gone.
    The whole truth is an instrument that can only be played by an expert.
  • BurtsnestBurtsnest Posts: 174
    Thanks @Valley Gardener yes it certainly does look vicious doesn't it and proved so when I tried to repot it.😂 The extension sounds interesting though.  Will have to wait and see.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384
    It looks like a gymnocalcium and is having a succession of flowers, each one dying off and being replaced by a new one.  At some point it will stop producing new flowers this year but might start again next year or nothing for several years.  They can be tricky to get to flower so just keep on doing exactly as you are now and it clearly appreciated being outside in the hot spell! :)

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • BurtsnestBurtsnest Posts: 174
    Thanks @BobTheGardener I'll do just that and keep my fingers crossed for next year  👍
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,143

    Firstly , my congratulations on being able to preserve your cactus for five-years ! :)

    The species you have is a fine specimen of Melocactus curvispinus ssp.loboguerreroi !
    (Now there's a mouthful)!
    This species originates from dryish but humid woodland conditions in Western S.America , mainly Colombia .
    Melocacti are regarded by cactus enthusiasts as notoriously tricky to grow , as they cannot tolerate cold at all !
    The crown (growing point ) of your plant is developing what is known as a cephalium ; this is a zone of modified hair and bristles from which the insignificant tiny flowers appear ; what you see 'popping-out' are the ovoid pink fruits (which are edible) .
    The main body of the plant will now stop growing , but the cephalium will continue to mature and form a cylinder of red hair above the 'cactus proper' , for want of a better term .
    Treat as you do normally ; obviously your growing regimen works for you ; one important point though ; all cacti respond well to neutral or slightly acidic water .
    If you've access to clean rainwater , that would be excellent  . Good luck ! ;) S

    PS  Google Melocactus for some amazing images !

  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,143
    PPS  Don't know where the 'S' came from :D
  • BurtsnestBurtsnest Posts: 174
    Wow! How interesting is that @Paul B3 thanks for all the information I'm now intrigued to know more and shall look up Melocactus to see. I think this has been a lucky year as from what you say it's had the heat outside plus the odd soak of rainwater (it's first ever) that have helped it do so well. I do have access to fresh rainwater so will carry on using it from now.  I do have a different cactus I bought at the same time and that has put a lot of growth too this year.  Your knowledge is amazing, thanks for sharing.  😁
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,143
    edited August 2018
    Please  stop that , you'll be making me big-headed!! :);
    used to work in the 1980's at a specialist Cactus & Succulent nursery .
    Picked up the odd snippet of info whilst there (!) ;)

    Glad to have helped .
  • BurtsnestBurtsnest Posts: 174
    @Paul B3 credit where it's due. 👍 I have a tendency to be drawn to them. I have a succulent that's grown quite a lot over the past couple of months. If I pop a picture on tomorrow could you possibly offer some advice on if and how to repot. The soil it is in doesn't look like the usual. 
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 3,143

    You may find this interesting ; S.American cacti in habitat !

    Click on A & M at the top , then English at the bottom .
    Amazing images of these marvellous plants in the 'wild' so to speak ; Enjoy !

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