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Flowering Cactus

From:

http://www.gardenersworld.com/forum/problem-solving/how-can-i-stop-slugs-and-snails-eating-my-hosta/983366.htm

Phaidra

Yesterday at 23:37

Hi Danae

I was interested in this particular thread as my hostas too have been badly eaten by slugs this year.  I must admit when I saw the photo of the cactus I thought to myself, somebody doesn't know what a hosta looks like!  However, after reading your post I realised that my assumption was entirely wrong.  I note, though, you don't include a picture of your hostas so I imagine they are every bit as unsightly as mine are at the moment!  Copper pots might, indeed, be the solution, who knows?

 Your cactus, though not a hosta(!), is astoundingly beautiful.  Goodness, it's huge.  I've had one for the past 5 years, very similar type to yours, but, though hardy, hasn't managed to flower yet and it's not a fast grower either.

I see you have it indoors.  Isn't it hardy?  As for those plant eating nasties, I'm not only certain they wouldn't approach such a fully "armed" potential victim, but being indoors they wouldn't have access to it, I imagine. 

Perhaps you could reveal your "tricks" for getting such amazing results with your cactus?  PLEASE don't say it thrives on judicial neglect, as I have tried that but mine is still not flowering. image

Hi Phaidra, I thought it best to start a new thread regarding the subject of cactus, for fear of seeming to hijack the hosta thread!  I'd posted the photo there originally just to..prove that, though hopeless with hostas, I could still achieve a little something!

I'm so glad you like my cactus.  Yes, I keep it indoors as it's heavy and too "thorny" to handle.  That should, normally, mean no pests could try and eat it but I was totally surprised, just a few days ago, to find a vine weavil impaled on its spines!  I think it'd come from the pot of patio roses I'd recently bought and left there before planting out.

As I have confessed before, I'm not much of a gardener but some things do grow despite of me!  Of course, I'm not a cactus expert either but what I do is: always keep it on a sunny windowsill; from 1st October to 1st March do not give it even a single drop of water; from March to October I water it weekly, adding some diluted liquid fertilizer with every watering.  Perhaps the reason yours isn't flowering is because you don't let it have a dry season?  I heard somewhere cacti need a dry spell and then,truly, thrive on neglect.

Hope this helps.

Perhaps people who have cacti and look after them differently could add their comments too?

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Posts

  • arneilarneil Northern Ireland Posts: 270

    i do the dry bit then water in summer , flowers for me but very short flowering period , still worth it , mine is a bright orange one image

  • I  don't know why that link isn't working but I think this one does: http://www.gardenersworld.com/forum/problem-solving/problem-solving/how-can-i-stop-slugs-and-snails-eating-my-hosta/problem-solving/how-can-i-stop-slugs-and-snails-eating-my-hosta/problem-solving/how-can-i-stop-slugs-and-snails-eating-my-hosta/983366.html/

    I know what you mean, Philippa, of course.  If you entirely ignore anything you'll get nothing.  The key word that I ommitted, which needed to precede "neglect", was "judicial".  If you can merrily leave a plant entirely alone on a south facing windowsill for five whole months a year, I think you could perhaps justifiably say you're judicially neglecting it?  At least that's what I do and my cactus flowers several times each summer; and, trust me, I'm a rather hopeless gardener!

    Arneil, my cactus flowers last just about 48 hours but the joy their transient beauty gives me is immense. Any chance of a photo of your orange cactus?

  • soulboysoulboy Posts: 429

    Is it perhaps anything like this one?

    image

    image

  • Tat's beautiful, Soulboy.  Does it flower regularly and do the flowers last or are they well and truly ephemeral? 

    Do you by any chance know its botanical name, please? I should like to look it up.

  • soulboysoulboy Posts: 429

    It's a beaut' isn't it? It flowers every year, almost to the day, although this year it only produced one flower. The flower lasts a week or two. I can't remember it's botanical name but if you join one of the cactus forums someone will certainly ID it. I think it might be Parodia haselbergii, previously Notocactus haselbergii.

    http://forum.bcss.org.uk/

    http://cactiguide.com/cactitalk/

  • PhaidraPhaidra Posts: 506

    Hi Danae

    I have to admit that though I had heard of the need for cacti to have a dry season, I quite naturally I thought that would be the summer season!  As my cactus is hardy, I always left it outside all year round obviously preventing its winter dryness and thus its refusal to flower.  It makes sense, now!

    Is there anything very particular needed about its compost?  I have it in ordinary multi purpose stuff with grit on the top.  It hasn't killed it but it may have further contributed to its failure to bloom?

    Soulboy, your cactus is very eye catching!

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,153

    image This was dumped on me last year. I repotted it, it went outside and fed and watered once a week, left in a sunny spot. It was kept in a cool conservatory over winter, not watered until March, we started watering it once  a week and this happened. Worth the investment in a bottle of cactus feed.image

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • imageHi Phaidra

    I'm sure all is not lost.  Look how Fidgetbones' specimen has performed wonders with some proper care.

    I have kept my cactus in the same pot with the same compost for about 5 years.  It just is impossible to handle because of its size and its brutal spines.  The original compost I put in was multi-purpose with a lot of grit and a handful of horicultural sand - for good measure!  Apparently, they don't like soggy feet.  On top I put quite a lot of grit.  That's what Monty and Carol do, so it can't be wrong.  When I feed it I use an ordinary liquid fertilizer that I also use for everything else.  It doesn't seem to object!

    Last edited: 15 June 2016 18:37:54

  • Sorry, wrong picture.  You can't see the top of the pot!

    Last edited: 15 June 2016 18:45:23

  • Let's try again!

    Last edited: 15 June 2016 18:51:00

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