'fairy castle cactus with pink straw flowers' care?

sparkimusprimeFebruary 15, 2006

I have been told I have the touch of death when it comes to plants. A few years back my mom got me a little potted cactus plant, it was about 2 inches tall, and I have no idea what kind it was or anything, I just know I killed it by over watering (once every 2 weeks or so)

My fiancee got me a cactus at the store when we were shopping tonight because it has little pink flowers on it (I love pink) and I have said that I wouldnt mind getting some plants for my new place. I initially was talking about plastic plants (because I kill every green thing I touch apparantly) but this was the cutest little thing ever, and I just felt drawn to it.

I came home and spent a good 3 hours looking on google for images of my cactus, and trying to find a how to, for how to care for it. I think that that sparked a new interest in me for having alot of different cactus plants, (and I fell in love with cacti when living in arizona a few years back)but I think I need to first figure out how to care for the one I have.

I know this probably sounds like a stupid question but I am seriously afraid that I'm going to kill it somehow, and I really dont want that because it really is a beautiful plant. I have never seen anything like it, even in pictures. the only pics I have found have the purple straw flower on the top, and not pink. This was the only pink one at the store. so I don't know if thats rare or not.

Id also like to move it into a bigger pot, as the little one its in now looks like it might crowd the little guy.

Its about 6 inches tall, there are three main branch looking deals, with several smaller branch deals at the base of it, and the tops of the three taller branches have little pink flowers with petals that feel like onion peels,smell LOVELY, and its 5 sided with sharp spines that look like little tiny wiskers.

anyone have any tips? Is what I'm looking for really referred to as a fairy castle cactus? how often should i water it, and how much? what about plant vitamins or whatever? how do I transfer it to another pot with out killing it?

thanks in advance for any help any of you can be.

ps. sorry if this topic has been posted before, I didnt come across it when searching through.

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dufflebag2002(Calif. 91607)

Less water is more. I noticed where you live, that is the problem and not you. Cactus come from dry locations. You may need to water only once a month, do not water unless the soil is really dry. Your pot, the size, the humidity and heat in the room, so many things will come into play. If I am to help, you will need a pencil and/or a chop stick made of wood. Put either one down into the pot, (clay), let sit five minutes and if it comes up damp do not water, if it comes up bone dry, then you water, but thoroughly. Most cactus can take temperature down into the high 20tys if dry. I hope this was enough to help you. Many cacti are able to go 2-3 mo. with out water at all, just keep this tip in mind before you water again. Norma

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 1:24AM
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rpw53(south Florida)

The flowers are fake and are glued on...
Forget about plant vitamins, any good balanced fertilizer applied at half or quarter strength will do fine...

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 8:02AM
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jview(Z7a NY)

All of the above information is correct but I would just like to add that if you really like the pink flowers you can leave them alone, just don't expect more to grow. If you become hooked on cacti you will eventually come to prefer the natural beauty of these plants and their real flowers - but all in good time. And one more thing, give your little friend plenty of sun light and fresh air. May you have a long and joyful relationship.


    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 10:18AM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

There are many easy cacti with pink flowers. Most Mammillaria will produce rings of small pink flowers and are easy to grow inside. A few Notocactus produce larger pink flowers and are also good indoors. For really showy pink flowers, look at Echinocereus (not so good indoors) and Echinopsis.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 12:23PM
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If it is a fairy castle cactus (cereus tetragonus), don't let it get direct sunlight, either in summer or winter, only bright indirect light. Can you post a pic so we can see it? Very little water as mentioned above. Only when the pot feels completely light and dry. And wait till it starts to warm up in your area to repot it as spring is the best time. Get good cactus soil and a clay pot one size larger than it's in now. Less is more with cactus plants.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2006 at 4:32PM
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I was also just looking for information on my own little guy. It's also about 7" tall.

I blinked when I read the glued part, but alas, sure enough, my red flowers are glued on.
Well, I guess I shall never fear of trying to recreate flowers.

As I'm living in the land of rain, much like Seatle keeping it dry will be a challenge. My roommate has been keeping cactuses as well here, they seem to be doing alright.

I guess I'll wait until spring, repot, and perhaps we can trade notes?
Just how fast do these grow? I don't think I can accomadate a 6'-27' cactus tree . . . Though, truthfully, the notion tickles my imagination!

So - just how big has anyone's cactus tree grown?

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 7:49AM
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I don't find mine a fast grower, and it can always be reduced in size by removing a joint by joint. Water very little in the winter, but water weekly very thoroughly in the summer. I give mine very little fertillizer. The potting mix gives the plant enough food for a year. Mine grows year round out side but I live in a very hot climate during the summer months, and must use a shade cloth of 30% Cacti are new world plants, used to high temperatures in the summer or cold temperatures in the winter months. However many will only grow under bushes where they are comfortable with partial shade(Nurse plant). Because of the sun it will turn a nice pink color here. Don't let it freeze, the plant is a succulent and full of water, that is the reason it doesn't need much water in the winter months. Norma

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 12:14AM
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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

They will grow very slowly in pots, somewhat faster in open ground or a large container. Don't panic about this one taking over your house. This particular cactus is sensitive to strong sun, more so than most, but that is partly why it does so well as a houseplant.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 10:55AM
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About indirect sunlight; what exactly does that mean?

    Bookmark   January 1, 2007 at 8:32PM
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indirect means put it anywhere except a south faceing window. if you can see the sun its self outside your window its a direct sunlight. I just bought 2 fairy castle cacti today. one with white flowers and one with red. i was very dismayed to find that they were glued on. I was wondering if that glues on flower tells you how that particular cactus flowers will look, if thhy flower at all. can anyone tell me if these flower, and if so how often. Also another tip. I have a tendency to over water like you do. So i stopped doing it completely. Now i just mist my succulents with a misting bottle once every 2 weeks [except my jade which is 3 times a week] and u can give 1 or 2 tablespoons of water in the bowl once a month or longer. its hard to starve a cactus from water.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2009 at 10:56PM
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Baised on this picture what Cactus plant is this?
What is this plant called?

I got this plant as a gift and I did not have a name tag or information tag.

I am looking forward to caring for this plant the right way.

In the picture the left picture is a top view and the right picture is a side/ front view.
The part on the table not in the pot is the part that broke off of the top of the cactus when the plant accidently fell.
Will the top part grow back?

Can I plant this broken off part to get another Cactus plant?

What soil is used to pot this Cactus plant?

How much water do I use? Cup, 1/2 Cup, 1/4 Cup, 1/8 Cup of water?

How often do I water this plant? Once a day, Once a week, once a month, once a year?

If Daily how many times a day do I water this? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6?

Does it belong in the window?
Does it belong in the shade?
Does it belong away from the window?
Does it belong in a dark room?
Does it belong in a room with light?

What is the seasonal care?

I will keep this inside my apartment in a pot.

How big should the pot be? small, Medium, Large?
Does the pot need holes on the bottom?

Should this plant be dry, Moist, Damp?

Are e flowers fake and glued on?
Are the flowers real and grow on the Top by sap?
Does this cactus produce sap on top?

A friend told me the flowers are real and grow out of the top and are held onto the top by sap since this kind of cactus produces sap.

What happens if the Top of the cactus comes off by accident? Does it grow another top part?

How tall is this plant supposed to be in Feet?

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 6:17PM
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A lot of your questions are answered already in this thread. Maybe you can refine your questions to those that haven't been answered after you've read what's already been written. The flowers are still fake.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:42AM
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paul_(z5 MI)

don't let it get direct sunlight, either in summer or winter,

I would have to disagree, in part, with mes. An issue here is how very different mes' growing conditions will be compared to yours. Here in Michigan, our winter sun is very weak and rare. Direct winter sun may actually turn out to be desirable during the winter.

Herein lies the issue for you or anyone else getting advice on how to grow your plant. Many folks here will be very happy to tell you what works for THEM. Unfortunately, that same care might not work for YOU because of how different your growing conditions might be compared to theirs. For example, Mes444 is growing in zone 8 which is a far cry from zone 5/6. In zone 8, sun intensity does not vary over the course of seasons nearly as much as it does for us in the lower number zones.

This is not to say that their advice is worthless and should be ignored, but rather you must consider what their conditions are like compared to yours. The greater the similarity, the more likely what they do may work well for you. Even then, you may find that you need to tweak your cultural habits to better fit your conditions.

indirect means put it anywhere except a south faceing window.

This is not an accurate statement. Direct sun can be achieved in an east (morning sun) or west (afternoon sun) facing window as well.

I was wondering if that glues on flower tells you how that particular cactus flowers will look,

Nope. The look and color of the strawflower has absolutely ZERO to do with what the real flowers will look like. They are simply chosen (in some cases like the green ones -- dyed) in a diverse array of colors to to help sell the plants.

For many of the other questions brought up here, I would recommend using the search function for this forum using terms like "soil", "soil type", "watering", "potting" and such. It will require some research, but there are numerous forum posts on these topics.

Happy growing!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 1:53PM
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