Wednesday, December 27, 2006

When your cactus has the trouble with the mice

Have you ever got the experience? When you get up in morning, you find that the lovely cactus was bitten. Yes, now the mice becomes your problem.

And how to control the mice? Briefly, mice can be trapped live using special live-traps placed near walls, and the mouse released at a great distance from the house. If you do this, inspect the traps often and put a piece of carrot in the trap to provide moisture, or the mouse may die of dehydration before you find it. Alternatively, there are conventional traps which kill the mouse and a range of poisonous baits on sale in most good hardware shops. A cat is also said to be an effective biological control for mice. Rats are really a matter for professional exterminators, but a range of poisoous baits are available to control them.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Repoting your cactus

It's glad to see our cactus growing up but when the pot is too small to the plant, we should repot it. However, repoting needs to be done very carefully, otherwise it may have the bad effect of cactus root. Besides, it somestimes looks inconvenient to do it because of its spine. The good time to repot is in spring when the plant is enjoying the active growth. Here I'll present you the easy steps to change the pot. The cactus in the picture is Echinocactus grusonii whose spine is long and strong as well.

1. Fold up a newspaper to make a collar to fit around the cactus while removing it, both to protect your hands and its delicate spines.

2. Hold the ends of the newspaper collar together while you ease the rootball from the pot. Gently lay the cactus on crumpled newspaper.

3. Choose a slightly larger pot and set the old one inside it. Fill the gap with cactus compost, tapping it down with a finger to firm it lightly.

4. Very carefully remove the inner pot from the compost. This will leave a hole of just the right size and shape to fit the cactus rootball.

5. Pick the cactus up gently, still inside the newspaper, holding the ends tightly together, and lower it carefully into the prepared hole.

6. Trickle a layer of grit around the cactus. This not only sets it off effectively but helps water to drain quickly through the compost. If any of the compost or grit has become trapped in the cactus spines during the operation, brush it off with a decorator's paintbrush.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Harworthia - a Fantastic Succulent

Harworthias are small relatives of the aloes. They are rosette succulents from South Africa. The flowers are small, white, and very similar between species. Haworthias are grown for their patterned leaves - in fact, almost every specimen is a little different. This gives collectors an almost infinite choice of plants. This variability makes the taxonomy of the genus a nightmare, but a conservative estimate places the species at about 50.

Since these plants are small they are predominantly pot plants. Haworthia minima has pointed dark green leaves with white warts, while the window-leaved species such as H. retusa have clear areas in the leaf tops. H. truncata with its two-ranked leaves that appear chopped off is one of the most unusual species.
Haworthias need excellent drainage for their thick roots, but fairly frequent water during their growing season (which varies among species). Bright light is appreciated, but full sun is too bright in most areas.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

E-magazine for Cacti Amateur

Here I want to introduce you an interesting website about the Cacti: Cultivar It has two versions: English and Russian (because the webmaster is Russian.) The website provides the e-magazine, articles and photos about the cacti which collect and summarize from around the world. Moreover, you can find the To get the updated e-magazine, you can subscribe free of charge and here is the link of the latest e-magazine: Issue (3) 36 2006

From my opinion, this content in the magazine is interesting because
it comes from the various sources such as from Russia, USA, Canada. It's glad to learn the new information from the different places. Meanwhile, the website looks attractive and easy to understand due to the shown photos of the cactis with their science name.--Posted By Cactus Fans to Cactus Fans