Old Lady cactus care

Just got a tiny Old Lady cactus and have a couple questions. I already killed two aloe vera plants through over-watering and am not looking forward to a repeat. Firstly, into what size pot should it be repotted? Or will it not get any larger? 

Watering. From online research I've read to water it once a week to only when the soil is dry, to don't water during the winter (it's sitting inside under a grow light), to wait a week or so after repotting to water. Please advise. Thanks!


  • Buzzy2Buzzy2 Posts: 84
    Yes dont water till the end of March, when it starts growing. I don't know if anyone else will agree with me, but those flowers dont look right to me!
    Wrong time of year and they should flower around the plant, and not on top!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 26,712
    Are you in the UK taragem? As buzzy says, we wouldn't water at this time of year here.
    They don't really need watering until the warmer weather comes in.  :)
    I'm not sure why it's under a grow light, they usually just need a reasonable source of light. 
    I can't comment about the flowers, although I seem to remember having some which only had a few flowers at the top. I don't have enough knowledge on them I'm afraid. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,115
    I may be wrong, but the flowers look suspiciously like helichrysum stuck on with a hot glue gun to me 😕.

    My daughter has a few cacti, we never bother watering them much overwinter and they've survived for a few years so far. Maybe down to luck more than skill 😀.
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 14,569
    I think you’re right Kitty, bit of a giveaway as there are no other buds on it.  They do all sorts of horrible things with cacti. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,115
    Yes Lyn, if you zoom in the glue is visible on the right hand side.
    Deceptive to sell them like that I think 😡.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,022
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Thanks for the replies. I emailed the distributor of the cactus about the fake flowers and got this reply:

    "We would prefer not to do it, but as you pointed out, they sell 3 to 1 over the ones without the flowers so our customers require us to put them on. We’ve had several people accuse us of being deliberately deceptive which couldn’t be farther from the truth, so instead of using the natural strawflower, it looks like we will be switching to an obviously fake, plastic flower so there’s no question. Too bad, if we have to do it, it is at least nicer to use something that looks at least representative of a real cactus flower – oh well!"

    "Removing it can cause some damage which is why we try to keep a supply of “un-strawflowered” plants available in the stores as well for people who would prefer them without, but that doesn’t always work out. Damage to the plant is not life threatening, but may cause a scar as cactus don’t repair damaged tissue. There’s a couple of things you can do. If you leave it on, it will eventually mostly slough off, but we’re talking a LONG time. The other thing to do is to snip it off with a pair of small, sharp scissors – like manicure type. You can trim it down all the way to the lump of glue and then nip most of that off as well, or cut the spines under it to remove it completely. If yours is a particularly hairy one, some of the hair from above may eventually over time, hide the bald spot."


    Bob Reidmuller

    Resident Horticulturist – Altman Plants

  • I suppose that reply is fair enough providing the customer is aware - if the seller is genuine and feels his customers prefer "flowering" cacti, then a written notice describing the plants as "Live Cactus but fake flowers" would save any problems.
    If the buyer doesn't know anything about Cacti, I can see it is an easy trick to fall for.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 56,323
    I suppose it depends whether the seller thinks he’s selling plants of interior decorations  :/
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • It was probably a favourite on whatsit Lewellen-Bowen's makeover progs ;)
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