Friday, November 27, 2009

Cactus in the House & Garden Fair in Bangkok

There was the House & Garden Fair in Bangkok in the last month. In it, there was the cactus & succulent competition. Many cactus collectors always showed off their best cacti collection and exchanged the new tips & techniques in this Fair.

In fact, the award from the Fair didn't matter. The main point of the collectors is to present how excellent they are and update the news about the cactus & succulent.

I also uploaded some pictures of cacti and succulent.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It is said that Uebelmannia buiningii is probably the rarest and most endangered of all Brazillian cacti. It is so difficult to find or buy it in the market now.

Buiningii is a species of Uebelmannia cactus. It is spherical and sometimes elongated with greenish red-brown to deep chocolate bodies covered with very small waxy scales
is probably the rarest and most endangered of all Brazillian cacti. It is so difficult to find or buy it in the market now.

Frost Tolerance: Avoid any frost

Minimum Avg. Temperature: 60°F (15°C)

Sun Exposure: Light shade to part sun

Origin: Brazil (Minas Gerais: Serra Negra)

Growth Habits: Solitary, dark green stem, often with reddish tinge, covered with minute waxy scales, up to 4 inches tall (10 cm), 3.2 inches in diameter (8 cm); 16 to 18 ribs; close-set areoles; 6 to 8 spines of unequal length, up to 0.6 inch long (15 mm)

Watering Needs: Like humidity in the air

Blooming Habits:
The diurnal funnel-shaped yellow flowers come in summer. They are up to 1 inch long (2.5 cm), 0.8 inch in diameter (2 cm)

Friday, October 2, 2009

What kind of pot is suitable for Cactus???

Question: What kind of pot is the most suitable for Cactus?

There is no the most suitable pot for cacti. Everything and every material can be the good pot for your plants: plastic, ceramic, clay or something else. I ever recycled the stainless old pot and yogurt cups in my kitchen to grow cactus. They are healthy and grow OK. So the plastic pot can mean every plastic recycling package which can hold the soil and have the bottom draining hole. It reduces the plastic junk well.

Each kind of pot has its own advantages and disadvantages:

Plastic Pot
- Light weight, durable
- Cheaper
- has various sizes to choose
- doesn't look good comparing with another kind of pot
- not drain water well

- looks nice, can use as decorative in your house and garden
- expensive
- heavy to carry or move
- drain water well but the best is the clay pot.

Clay/Terra Cotta
- drain water well so you should water the plant in the clay pot more often than one in the plastic pot
- not too light or heavy weight
- broken easily

The kind of pot is not the big deal. The real key is to make sure that your pot has a lot of holes in the bottom to promote drainage as well as the good draining soil mix. It only makes sense to have a pot that is well draining too.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cactus Soil Ingredient

Do you have this question when you move the cactus to the new pot: what is the good soil ingredient for the cactus?

Soil is one of the most important factors for the healthy & beautiful cactus and good drainage is essential to prevent cactus roots from rotting. The beginners can buy the ready-mixed cactus soil from the local garden shops. However, when you're experienced growers, you will realize that no soil mix is ideal for all cacti species. It will be better and save more your money if you can make your customized soil for the cactus.

Here is the important soil mix:

1. Pumice is a relatively light weight volcanic rock that is porous. Pumice is not available in many areas. You substitute with pearlite, non-soluble cat litter, aquatic plant soil or Turface, chicken grit, or another similar substance. The goal is to provide an inorganic substance that allows water to pass through the mix quickly.

2. Coconut fibre or coir. It can help hold moisture and air while providing structure to the mix. Unlike peat, coir can easily be re-wet after it dries out and it does not compact. If you cannot find coir, peat can be used as a substitute, but you may consider using less of it

Here is the different recipe. You can adapt them yourself:

A. commercial potting mix (peat based)
bark mulch
3mm pumice sand
7mm pumice
all equal parts.

B. One part (75% sandy loam, 25% peat, plus limestone for a neutral pH, and slow release fertiliser)
One part aggregate (gravel or pumice or perlite)

2 parts packaged potting soil
1 part coarse sand
1 part peat moss or leaf mold
Optional: slow release 14-14-14 fertilizer or bone meal

D. 2 parts packaged potting soil
2 parts sand
1/2 part leafmold or peatmoss
Optional Bone meal and Limestone

It is especially recommended for cacti and succulents that need a dry soil, such as desert cacti, agaves, and aloes. This formula creates a mix that feels coarse and sandy. Yet, it drains very quickly and doesn’t retain excessive moisture.

I usually place small broken clay pot pieces in the bottom of the container. It is as for some drainage material. You can choose Styrofoam packing peanuts, or small gravel rocks work well.

Cactus Item

Let's relax with the cute Cactus items!

Are you dare to sit on this Chair???

Monday, July 20, 2009

Growing cactus from seed

Cactus has many ways to propagate and one of the exciting ways is to grow from seed. It's possible that the baby cactus will have the different colors or shapes from their parent plants. However, growing cactus from seed may be not easy for the rookies and here is the easy instructions and tips to follow :

1. You should have the cactus seed. It can be find easily on the online shop or Ebay. You may choose the basic cactus types like Gymnocalycium or Mammillaria. Their seeds are not expensive and easy to grow.

2. Mix your potting soil. Use a mixture of about half perlite or pumice, half potting soil. Or add 2 inches of sand on the bottom with 2 inches of equally mixed sand and peat on top. Or you can use the cactus soil sold in the garden shops.

3. Add soil to a shallow container with good drainage, and water the soil before the seeds are planted. Use a container with a depth of at least 4 inches and pure water.

4. Plant your seeds by shaking them on the soil's surface. Distribute evenly, then gently press into the soil to a depth that equals its width. Planting too deeply kills the plant before it reaches the surface.

5. Cover the seeds with no more than 1/8 inch of potting soil.

6. Place a transparent covering across the container. Plastic bag is my best choice because it's cheap, light and easy to find. Meanwhile, you can see the baby cactus through the clear bag.

7. Set your miniature greenhouse in a warm location. Ideally, the temperature should be no lower than 70 degrees F. Your seeds will begin to germinate in about 3 weeks. Certain cactus plants need up to 10 week.

8. Once the seedlings appear, use a spray bottle to mist them keeping them from drying out. Just once a week depending on the moisture in the soil.


  • Soak the seeds before planting for several hours or overnight (if you can see) The seeds will grow very quickly.
  • The seeds may germinate in one week, otherwise they may take significantly longer.
  • Put the pot under the light shade. The baby cactus don't need the full sunlight.
  • Repot when the cactus is at least 1/2 inch in diameter. This usually takes at least 3 months.
Let's have fun and enjoy to grow cactus from seed!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pachypodium saundersii
Scientific Name: Pachypodium saundersii N.E. Br.
Synonym: Pachypodium lealii ssp. saundersii

P. saundersii makes a great potted specimen with natural 'bonsai' like growth. The long branches can be cut back to maintain a more compact form. When grown in full sun, summer watering should be ample, and rapid growth will take place in larger pots. Mature specimens can be under-potted for affect. Pachypodium saundersii is probably the easiest and fastest South African Pachypodium to grow. Many botanists consider it a subspecies of P lealii. Since it behaves somewhat differently in cultivation

Frost Tolerance: Semi tender in Phoenix,
protect it on coldest nights, or keep it in container

Sun Exposure: Light shade to full sun.

Origin: South Africa

Growth Habits: Small, very slow growing caudiciform tree, typically 2 to 4 feet tall or less for any specimen of reasonable age

Watering Needs: Regular water in summer when the plant has leaves, in winter, keep dry, with only occasional water

Propagation: Seeds. In this family the fruits (called follicles) are produced in pairs. Each fruit may contain several dozen seeds, most of which will germinate if sown during the peak of summer.

Blooming Habits: P. saundersii has white flowers in the fall at the end of the summer growing season. They seem to need a cooler winter dormancy to bloom properly. They generally bloom at a younger age than other Pachypodiums, typically around 4-5 years old.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Aloe cv. Doran Black

Sun exposure: Sun to Partial Shade, Light Shade

Flower color: red-orange or yellow

Bloom time
: multiple times a year

Frost tolerance
: Protect from frosts and freezes

This is becoming a very commonly sold Aloe at home garden centers and is popular because of its nearly white coloration with green to black spots.
It has thick leaves and a rugged texture. Forms small clumps with coral flowers.

Rosettes grow to be around 8" to 11" in diameter and cluster freely. New pups (offsets) can be seperated into different containers or kept together to form cluster.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Visit the Cactus Farm & House

On last Sunday (March 29th), I joined the trip to visit the Cactus Farm and house. The first place is Deaw cactus farm which is very famous in Thailand. The owner, Mr. Deaw, has collected a lot of the hi-end rare cactus in his farm. So he has both local and Asian customers. Besides, he has the closed greenhouses, his plants are also very green and beautiful. However, visitors like us couldn't not stay in his greenhouses for long as the inside temperature was about 45-50 C or 113-122 Fahrenheit. In this chance, we had time to talk and discuss about the technique to plant the charming cactus like him.

Then we went to the house of cactus collector, Pae. All members in his family love cacti so planting the cacti is the family activity. The most favorite cacti of his father and himself is Ariocarpus. Pae's mother is retired and her favorite is Harworthia and succulent. So we can see the different plants in the same house. Luckily, Pae has the open greenhouse, so we could feel more comfortable.

As the area here is limited, you can see more pictures of this trip on the right side of my blog.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pseudolithos migiurtinu

In last year, I got 3 Pseudolithos migiurtinu from my friend. I was told that they can be rotten easily. I kept them under another plant so they got the shade light. Besides, I watered them about 2-3 times/week. (I live in the tropical country so it's summer now) They wre fine until yesterday. One of them was rotten. So poor! I also find the information about Pseudolithos migiurtinu and hope that everyone will not make the mistake same as me.

Pseudolithos is one of succulent species and its origin is in Yemen and Somalia. It likes the warm and dry climate. If you live in the cold area, you may need to have the warm green house for Pseudolithos.

The soil in the pot should be light: water can go through easily and quickly.

Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade, Light Shade (4-6 hours/day)

Bloom Color: Maroon (Purple-Brown)

Watering : 2 to 3 times a week during the hot summer, under very strong light (not full sun) and once a week during sunny winter days..

Pseudolithos migiurtinus is named from the Greek 'pseudo', false or fake
and 'lithos', stone, for the appearance of the stems. The genus has a restricted distribution of Somalia, Oman and Yemen. These plants constitute some of the most succulent species among the stapeliads. They are difficult in cultivation and are often grown on grafts with the stock usually beingCeropegia linearis.
Pseudolithos migiurtinus is one of the rarest of the succulent milkweeds (Asclepiadaceae). These plants, like most of the succulent milkweeds (stapeliads) are generally fly pollinated and conveniently smell like rotten meat or some type of manure. This species is usually single stemmed, so propagating them by cuttings is not a winning situation.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Flowers other than roses gifted on Valentines Day

The Valentine’s day is coming and the most common flower that everyone think of is Rose. However, there are other flowers that can be gifted on Valentine's Day. There is a reason why each of these flowers is given on Valentine's Day.

The giver is expected to have associated with each flower a particular meaning and the recipient is supposed to have got that meaning.

These meanings are not accepted by everyone. Yet there seems to be a consensus on this matter, which enables people to communicate using flowers.

The meaning associated with tulip is “love and passion”. This is, in some ways, similar to red rose, which means love, respect, and courage.

Yellow tulip, on the other hand, conveys the sense “hopeless love”.

Hibiscus indicates delicate beauty and heather suggests admiration and beauty.

If rose meant mere love, ivy means a more specific type of love, namely wedded love.

Lotus flower means “separated love” and lily of the valley means “let us make up” or “return of happiness”.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Mammillaria luethyi

Description: M. luethyi is a very tiny plant, but by far one of the most spectacular members of its genus, distinctive when not in flower because of the 'spination' (if it can be called that!) at the tips of the tubercles, and even more magnificent in flower.
Growth Habits:
Solitary or clustering.
Stem: 1.5 cm in diameter.
Spines: Short, soft and white, not prickly.
Origin: Mexico (Northern Coahuila: limestone slabs in Chihuahuan Desert)
Flowers: Large, rich magenta with a white throat.
The luethyi needs full sun!!! Poorer luminosity levels produce a green anaesthetic plant with open, far and wide spaced areoles
Watering Needs: Water sparingly, needs good drainage
Cultivation: The plant is often seen grafted, as most of the available stock has so far been propagated this way. Grafted plants grow fast and are very floriferous.
But it is relatively easy to cultivate plants on their own roots and no special care required.
Cuttings root very well but plants on their own roots are quite slow.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Mammillaria pectinifera

Mammillaria pectinifera (Syn: Solisia pectinata)

The species is classified as endangered because of habitat destruction, grazing of livestock, mining rock for construction, and dumping of rubbish. Actually the illegal extraction and trade of the plant doesn't seem to be a real threat, because artificial propagation is not a problem today, and many nurseries produce the species.

Origin : Mexico

Frost Tolerance: 20°F (-7°C)

Minimum Avg. Temperature: 50°F (10°C)

Sun Exposure: Light shade

Watering Needs: Rot prone, use shallow pot

Propagation: Seeds, or graft

Habitat: Grows in the Tehuacan Valley Matorral, Mexico, a desert/xeric tropical shrub basin, under bushes and other vegetation, on deep alkaline soils with relatively high surface stoniness and high water retention capacity.

The climate is semi-dry, hot, with summer rains and slight temperature oscillations.

Cultivation: Slow growing, this plant is very rot prone and temperamental when cultivated on its own roots, but it is easy to grow if grafted. Mammillaria pectinifera has a fairly large tap root, and should be kept in a deep pot with a very draining mineral substrate.

Watering during the active growing season (spring and summer), this will encourage steady growth. But be careful with watering, which all thick rooted species require (rot sensitive). Keep dry during the winter rest.

Fertilize every 2 weeks with diluted high potassium fertilizer when the plant is in bud. Light shade or full sun exposures.

Propagation: Direct sow after last frost. (seldom produces offsets)