Cactus & Succulent Update

Hello folks!  I measured the cactus and succulents on Tuesday to see how they had progressed. Yeah, I know it is Friday already and I am just now finishing the post. Some of them are going on their second winter and haven’t been measured since I bought them. Normally I measure the plants when I buy them, but the last group I did not measure. It may sound a little strange for someone to measure their plants, but some cactus grow so slow you can even tell they are growing unless you measure them from the beginning. We measure our babies when they are born, so why not out plants?

I bought the Adromischus cristatus (Key Lime Pie, Crinkle Leaf Plant) from Lowe’s on April 23, 2017. I didn’t measure it when I bought it home, but it was in a 2 3/8″ tall x 2 1/2″ diameter pot. Soon after I bought it, I repotted it into a 3 1/2″ tall x 4″ diameter pot. As you can see, it has grown to 1 1/2″ tall x 4″ wide. I am going to place this plant on the kitchen windowsill for the winter.


This Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ has done very well over the summer. In 2014, I gave up most of my plants including my first Aloe x ‘Lizard Lips’ I had bought in 2009. Luckily, I had given Mrs. Wagler of Wagler’s greenhouse a start, so in 2016 she gave me one back. It now measures 4 1/2″ tall x 10″ wide. It did well in my bedroom window last winter, so I guess I will put it there again for this winter.


I am not sure what the deal is with this Cereus hildmannianus subsp. uruguayanus (Fairy Castles). It was nice and green when I bought it from Wal-Mart on January 28, 2016, but then turned kind of yellowish over the first summer and is STILL like that. I thought it was dying but it is growing. When I bought it, it was 6 1/8″ tall x 3 1/2″ wide. Now it is 6 7/8″ tall x 4″ wide…


Well, even though the name isn’t correct any longer, the Echinobivia ‘Rainbow Bursts’ has always done very well. I bought this cactus from Wal-Mart on February 1, 2016, when it was in a small 4 oz pot and measured 2 1/4″ tall x 3 1/2″ wide. I repotted it into a 3″ tall x 4″ diameter pot and now it measures 2 3/8″ tall x 4″ wide… The sides of the pot are bulging so it needs repotting again. This is the plant I mentioned that “was” a cross between the Echinocactus and Lobivia generas. When the 2013 updated version of The Plant List came out, it said all the species in the Lobivia genus were transferred to Echinocactus and Rebutia. Today, I am able to open the Llifle website, which is continually updated, and it says all the Lobivia species are Echinocactus now. SO, I guess this is not an “intergenetic” cross after all… At least for now.


When I came home from Wal-Mart after buying several cacti, I noticed I had two Echinocactus grusonii (Golden Barrel Cactus). Then I noticed there were 3 species I had accidentally bought two of. Anyway, when I bought these on February 2, 2016, one was smaller than the other. The larger one measured 2 1/2″ tall x 2″ wide and now is 4″ tall x 4″ wide.


The smaller one measured 2 1/8″ tall x 2 1/4″ wide and now it is 3 3/4″ tall x 4 1/2″ wide. I can’t remember if I included the spines when I first measured it or not, but I did this time.


The Echinocactus grusonii is definitely one vicious looking cactus!


OK, don’t laugh! We have all had bad hair days. This is the Espostoa melanostele, Peruvian Old Lady… She measured approximately 2 3/4″ tall x 1 3/4″ wide when I brought her home from Wal-Mart on February 1, 2016. Now she is 5 3/8″ tall x 2″ wide, so she has grown A LOT! Strange as it sounds, it seems to have grown the whole top part because… OK, you see where it looks like an invisible rubber band is wrapped around it?  The whole part above that is new growth since I brought it home. Hmmm… Maybe I need to check to see if there is something wrapped around it.


Well, at least she isn’t bald on top.


Well, the photo of the Faucaria tigrina (Tiger Jaws) didn’t come out very well. I bought my first one of these in June 2014 and this one this past April 23. The first one was bigger, but this one has done very well and is now 1 1/2″ tall x 3″ wide. I took other photos but they were more blurry than this one… I put this plant on the kitchen windowsill.


The Gasteraloe ‘Flow’ has done very well and now measures a whopping 4″ tall x 6″ wide. I bought this plant unlabeled in July 2016 so I had to do some research to find the name. I am not 100% sure the name is correct, but it is close enough! I really like Gasteraloe’s! My first one was Gasteraloe ‘Green Gold’ which I gave up in 2014. I also bought a Gasteraloe ‘White Wings’ in July 2016, but it died over the past summer. Every year it seems at least one pot was adopted by ants. When I was taking photos, I found out it is this pots turn. SO, every time I water it this winter, the ants will come out. HOLY CRAP! Maybe I better remove the plant and put it in new potting soil and put the pot outside. Last year one of the Echeveria in my bedroom had ants and they would come out each time I watered or even touched the pot. They would eventually all go back to the pot.


The big Kalanchoe x laetivirens (Mother-of-Thousands) got a little weird (actually, very weird) this past summer and finally fizzled out. BUT, she left behind A LOT of kids. If you have ever thought about bringing one of these home, or a friend offers one to you, just remember they aren’t called Mother-Of-Thousands for no reason. The other thing you need to know, for them to do well and look like they are supposed to they need ample light. The first one I had did very well and had HUGE leaves.


The Mammillaria hahniana (Old Lady Cactus) quite a cactus! I bought it from Wal-Mart on February 1, 2016, when it measured 1 7/8″ tall x 2 3/8″ wide. Now it is 2 1/2″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide.


The Mammillaria hahniana has that spiral look like many cacti do. There are quite a few Mammillaria species that have the cottony looking fluff. Maybe they were running through a cotton field and got tangled up.


Although the label on this Lemon Ball Cactus says Mammillaria pringlei, the name has changed. It is now Mammillaria rhodantha subsp. pringlei. Just when you think you know someone, they go and change on you. The weird thing is that it was described as Mammillaria pringlei twice, which means it was given the same name by two different men. John Merle Coulter named it in 1894 then K. Brandegee gave it the same name in 1900. Then, in 1923, Nathaniel Lord Britton and Joseph Nelson Rose named it Neomammillaria pringlei.  Finally, in 1997, David Richard Hunt decided it was a subspecies of Mammillaria rhodantha. There are so many subspecies of Mammillaria rhodantha it is crazy!

I bought this cactus from Lowe’s on April 23, 2017, making it my newest Mammillaria. I guess I didn’t measure it then, but it now stands 4 1/2″ tall x 3 1/2″ wide.


This is the top view of the Mammillaria rhodantha subsp. pringlei showing all its buds. I don’t think I am going to take a whiff.


This is a “real” Mammillaria rhodantha and the plant that was just labeled “Mammillaria species” that I couldn’t figure out. Try looking at hundreds of photos of the vast number of Mammillaria species. Finally, I sent a photo to the owner of The CactusGuide and he told me what it was. I bought this plant from Wal-Mart on February 1, 2016, but don’t have a measurement documented. It now measures 3 3/4″ tall x 3″ wide.


I just noticed when I was taking photos that it also has buds. OH, I forgot to mention the common name for this cactus is Rainbow Pincushion.


I also accidentally bought two of the Parodia leninghausii (Yellow Tower Cactus, Golden Ball or Lemon Ball) from Wal-Mart on February 1, 2016. I only have measurements for one of them documented so I will have to go back to my old notes to check again. Anyway, the measurements I have says it measured 1 7/8″ tall x 1 3/4″ wide without the fuzz. The taller one in the above photo, which I am calling #1, now measures 4 3/4″ tall x 3 1/4″ wide.

It was also incorrectly labeled Notocactus leninghausii which was the name given to it by Karl Moritz Schumann in 1895. After that, it was also renamed Eriocactus leninghausii by Curt Backeberg and Julius Schäffer in 1942. OH, it gets more complicated… Actually, its first name was Piloscocereus lenninghausii by Friedrich Adolph Haage, spelled with 2 “n’s” which is why the correct scientific name is Parodia leninghausii (Haage) F.H. Brandt. Then when you go to check out that name, it changes to Parodia leninghausii (K. Schum.) F.H. Brandt, which The Plant List says is STILL an unresolved name. VERY FUNNY! One time, Haage also named it Pilocereus leninghausii. No wonder this cactus looks frazzled!


The other one, which I am calling #2, is a little slouched over. It measures 3 3/4″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide.


How’s that for a hair-doo? I think they want to be in their own TV show. These guys will have yellow flowers.


Then, of course, there is the Stenocereus pruinosus (Gray Ghost, Organ Pipe, Pitayo de Octubre, Pitaya). I also bought this cactus from Wal-Mart on February 1, 2016, and it measured 2 7/8″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide. Now it measures 3 3/4″ tall x 2 3/4″ wide, so it grew taller but not wider. This plant was mislabeled Lemaireocereus pruinosus, which is what it was named way back in in 1920 by Nathaniel Lord Britton and Joseph Nelson Rose. Umm, FIRST it was named Echinocactus pruinosus by Christoph Friedrich Otto and Louis K. G. Pfeiffer in 1837. Then Mr. Otto shortened it to Cereus pruinosus in 1846. Then it was named Lemaireocerus pruinosus in 1920 like I already mentioned. THEN, Sten0cereus pruinosus by Franz Buxbaum in 1961 (which is now the accepted name). But, it was also named Rathbunia pruinosa by Paul V. Heath in 1992 when he attempted to create a new genus. Alessandro Guiggi also attempted a new genus and named it Griseocereus pruinosus in 2012. BUT, Stenocereus pruinosus won.

As you can tell, I like doing plant name research. Maybe I should write a post about understanding plant names. That’s a good idea for this winter when there isn’t much to write about. What do you think?

Well, that’s it for this post. Until next time, stay happy, healthy, positive, prosperous and try and GET DIRTY!!!

4 comments on “Cactus & Succulent Update

  1. I especially like the first Adromischus – I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before.
    Plant taxonomy is fascinating because it tells you so much about the history of plant collecting. Now that genetic analysis is possible it’s really interesting to see how accurate the original collectors were, basing their classifications only on visual characteristics.
    Hard to get dirty today with gale for winds, so I’m processing some more of the apple harvest.


    • Jan, the Adromischus is a nice plant for sure. I am going to have to do some research about the genetic analysis. I guess it is like a DNA test for plants. The wind is blowing here today also and it is supposed to rain tonight but I still may get a little dirty. Good to hear you have apples to process, sounds AWESOME! Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim R says:

    Yes to doing a post about plant naming.

    You have a lot of interesting varieties. Do they get watered in the same way? Do you let rain water them outdoors? Are they kept indoors? What is your care and feeding routine?


    • Jim, during the summer months they get rain with everything else outside. When we have no rain I just pass the wand over the cactus once or twice and that’s enough. During the winter I hardly ever water them, though. I mix their soil so the water passes through it about as fast as it goes in. One lady on a Facebook group said that she only mists hers. When you have cactus and succulents, you should do a little research and see what kind of environment they like in nature. It may surprise you that many succulents do not like full sun. Watering over the winter is very tricky… If in doubt, don’t water. They don’t have much of a root system and therefore don’t need a big pot. You only need a pot big enough for their roots and do not want a lot of extra soil around them or below. That can make them rot. Truthfully, my pots are not exactly appropriate because some of them have to much soil, especially under the root ball. SO, watering too much inside over the winter would be a bad idea, so I don’t hardly ever water them and we get along just fine. I will start working on the post about plant naming. I am sure I will also learn a thing or two which is the kind of posts I like. Thanks for the comment, Jim!

      Liked by 1 person

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