Dovetail(6b)August 27, 2014

Oh wow! I just discovered these adorable things today, and I think I'm in love.

I've read that they like sun - but not too much, and can handle a chill - but not too much. I've fallen for a few hybrids, but I noticed they need to be a few years old to flower. Is this true?

I live in missouri, our summer is HOT enough and humid, but our winters do freeze. I could bring it inside in the winter, but it would be in full shade, or under my office lights. Would they be ok like this when dormant. Would they even go dormant since the inside is 70+~

Also, what is your favorite variety?
I like the look of the short fat round cacti rather than the long cylinder ones, but I'd like a variety that gets a wealth of blooms, or has frequent pups which would then flower.

I saw some are fragrant - Is the fragrance a GOOD one? (not like those corpse ones.)

Does anyone here sell some, or is the best place to buy still Huntington Botanical Gardens?

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I have dozens of hybrids, but none that match the descriptions of what you would like :-) The ones that come closest to the shape description are the Altman hybrids (at the BBS). But you don't know what color you're buying and most of the ones I have haven't flowered much if at all.

Definitely get a Echinopsis subdenudata. Mine is still round, no pups, but it loves to flower. It shouldn't get really big--I think a lot of Echinopsis get more column-like when they age. And since it's not a hybrid it really does have a lovely smell--only a few of my hybrids have any scent at all. It blooms at night so you have to be ready.

I do think age is important; I have several small hybrids that haven't bloomed for me yet. If you are willing to spend the money you can get a blooming size plant. Thousands of blooms on Ebay sells larger, blooming plants, but they are kind of spendy. There are other reliable sellers on Ebay, but the plants are usually smaller.

I live in the high desert; extreme weather in summer/winter so they have to spend winter in my sunroom. I think they like that period of rest in the winter so if you can find a spot that is cool, it doesn't have to be that light. I start having problems in March; the sunroom gets pretty warm, but there isn't enough light for them to grow properly, so many of my plants aren't too pretty :-(

I have to protect mine from the midday sun during summer, but yours may be okay if you acclimate them. You know better than I how intense your midday sun is.

They can take some cold if dry--I leave mine out until October and this year I had to put them out earlier in the spring and I had my best flowering year yet. We still have freezes in those months, but the day time temps are usually pretty mild. They are in an enclosed shade-cloth tent at that point.

It's hard for me to pick my favorite--my most valued are my two baby Schick "Southern Belle" plants. They are too small to bloom, but I'm hopeful and I watch them like a hawk. I also really like "Sleeping Beauty", "Antimatter" (in the pic) is another gorgeous one, but it hasn't ever pupped.
"Day Dream" and "Napea" like to multi-bloom, also.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2014 at 11:33PM
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Thank you so much for the reply!

I have such a hard time choosing. The antimatter flower looks ravishing! I love the petals on the southern belle. I so wish my work office had a window... It'd be covered in adorable flowering plants.

Napea was one I liked right away, and if it flowers well I might snag one of those. Oh choices!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 2:43PM
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Here is my Napea from a few years ago.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 3:38PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

'Flying Saucer', which is Echinopsis, Trichocereus, or a mix of both or one or the other.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 3:41PM
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*major drool* I killed some once....and decided that I didn't really have a place. I can envy yours though, right ? :)

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 3:52PM
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Oh notolover that napea reminds me of the flowers from "land before time"

hoobv - that Flying Saucer flower looks stunning! I love the pink on orange.

Do either of you have pups you might be interested in selling? I'd be happy to pay the shipping if it isn't too much.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 3:57PM
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Flying Saucer is magnificent, the biggest of all the hybrid flowers (missed mine blooming for the 1st time this year), but it isn't exactly a windowsill plant :-)

I don't think we can "sell" plants on the forum, but I will be happy to send you a few. I will have to check on the Napea and see if there are any rooted pups.

And I did see a Maria Piazza for you if you like that flower. It's small, but it has a lot of pups already so it is the shape you want. It has some spider mite scars, but the pups are filling it in. I can send you a pic tomorrow.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2014 at 10:44PM
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I don't mind a few scars. Everyone has some ^-^

I'd love a Napea if it's rooted, the Maria I looked up on Google looked stunning too!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 2:55PM
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Here's one of mine,and it's been blooming like crazy this year,every week there are new blooms.Soooooooooo pretty,wish the flowers lasted longer.

The pink one didn't bloom this year,don't know why,it still looks healthy.

Those are my only echinopsis i own,i have epidendrums,and epiphyliums though.Like anything that starts with epi.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 6:29PM
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Dovetail, they like our climate...if protected from too abundant spring or fall rainfall. And they will flower better if you leave them out for a bit of cooling (seems)....I intended to bring mine in when it got about 20F, and it slipped to 15F that night...and I lost them all.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2014 at 6:33PM
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Yikes--dbarron: I guess I'm taking a risk by leaving mine out longer, but the shade cloth protects mine somewhat. I've come back from vacation to find we had a weird snow storm and everything was still okay-thank goodness. Our coldest months are December and January

Kathi: love all your beautiful flowers. I like the long petals on the first one. And is the last one an Echinocereus? It is gorgeous!

Dovetail: bad news, zero pups on the Napea, but I can fix you up with a few others. Do you like the flower on this unknown hybrid?

Send me an email with your address. I won't be able to send them until next Saturday when I can get to the Post Office.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 9:07AM
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Not sure of the name of the last one,i call it my OWL cactus,as that's what it looks like to me when blooming.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 9:01PM
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Notolover - they made it!

I got them all planted the best I could. The garden store only had miracle grow cactus mix, so I got that and mixed it with 50% perlite, I used a sifter to get only the big pieces of perlite.

The daydream looks like he has mold on the bottom - but it could be fuzzy roots? I took some pictures.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2014 at 7:06PM
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Here is the setup for the other three. I had a pretty terra cotta pot I haven't been able to use because it's too shallow, so I thought it'd be prefect for the pink devil.

It was a bit chilly out, so I'm going to water them in the morning. Not freezing but it'll be in the low 50's tonight. The week is going to be mid 70's during the days though so I think they'll be alright.

For watering, I can mix vinegar + water and then pour it on the cactus itself rather than the whole pot? Or do you soak all the soil then don't water again until it's all dry?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2014 at 7:11PM
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Yep--Sorry--It does look like rot. I guess I didn't let it dry enough before I packed it. It may have got damaged when I pulled it out of the pot :-( Just toss that guy.

It looks like you may have overpotted the others. The "Pink Devil" does grow pretty fast, but they will all be slowing down. For now, if it was me, I would plant the other 2 in with the "Pink Devil". You can separate them when they start growing in spring.

The reason I told you not to use Miracle Grow is because it has peat in it--not the best choice for succulents. So just be aware of that; when peat gets dry it's hard to rewet it.

At any rate don't water them for about a week and keep them out of the sun for a few days and gradually acclimate them to their new environment. If they get too much sun at first, they burn.

I just mix the vinegar with the water every time I water. And I let my pots dry out in the mean time when they are actively growing. If you aren't sure of your pH, don't use too much vinegar. I got a pH test kit for aquariums. Some people say they aren't accurate, but if it works for fish I figure it's safe for plants.

Since your plants are in new dirt you shouldn't have to worry yet. Better not to guess.

BUT, You don't really want to be watering too much now. You want them to get ready for fall. They can only take the cooler temps if they are dry. If it gets lower than 40s bring them in. A frozen cactus is a very sad sight.

Leave them out in fall as long as you can and put them out in spring as early as you can. The cold weather helps flowering, but they will freeze if they are too cold for too long.

Inside, you'll want them to go semi-dormant (total dormancy would be ideal, but hard to do inside for me) so not too much light or heat in the winter. Some people don't water at all in the winter, but I live in a desert so I do, but only once a month and it's not a deluge.

Also, they are very susceptible to insect attack when they are semi-dormant so be on alert. Look at them everyday (I exaggerate for emphasis). Air circulation at this time is very important, too.

These plants will be good for you to learn with before you invest a lot of money on them. And we all have lost plants in the past. But the hybrids are pretty forgiving.


This post was edited by notolover on Sat, Sep 13, 14 at 22:41

    Bookmark   September 13, 2014 at 10:30PM
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Hi Dovetail, you're following the same path I took. Once I saw the large echi blooms I had to have them......all! Well, so far I've gotten all my baby Schicks from the Huntington and the rest off of eBay. My trichos are all from eBay and growing really well. Flying Saucer never fails to impress!!! Bloomed today as a final farewell to summer. Amazing plants, I am obsessed with this genus.

notolover, I didn't know that vinegar was part of the growing culture for echie's. And your flowers are amazing!! Antimatter, what a gorgeous display!!!! Napea - I can't wait til mine's big enough to pop some beauties. What's the last pic of the soft pink centered cream bloom?

Kathi, The yellow flower top is so pretty. Aaah, the pink white centered "Owl" is arresting (I'm going through my list of adjectives), let me know if you'll consider a trade of pups for that one. Seems, your collection is on my want list. ;]

Love seeing everyones lovelies. Encourages me when I see the dried buds fall off of my little guys.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2014 at 5:44PM
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aztcqn: The last one is unknown. It does have pups so remind me next spring if you want one. There is a cactus nursery in central CA called Poots House of Cactus--no mail order. They have a tour of their cactus on Youtube. Look for Poots Cactus tour. It really is a nice nursery if you like the hybrids.

The owner does a lot of hybrids; but the only thing on the label is which type it is and maybe the color. Tried to go this past spring, but because of the weird weather, the Echinopsis didn't bloom very well so we didn't go. I want to see the flowers before I buy anymore even if I was lucky with the ones I got in the past.
I don't really want anymore Trichocereus (although some of theirs stay small) because I'm getting too old to be moving those big pots around.

I've included a link about the vinegar water. I don't think Huntington uses vinegar. I do because my water is very alkaline and all my plants are in pots. There are a lot more articles if you do a search, but Elton is the one that has done the most research. This is the 2nd year I have used it and I think it does make a difference. I also started using the Ammonium sulfate, but only for a few weeks because I wanted to harden them off for the winter. They did seem like they were greener and pupping more, but it could just be my imagination. I know I had a few split and I don't like that.

I don't use vinegar water on the pig beds. They're mostly Opuntia so they grow and bloom enough without it.

My winters may be cold, but I think my summers are ideal for the E hybrids to bloom. I'm in the mountains (where many of their ancestors came from), it is brighter than bright, the days are hot and the nights are cool. I think they like it. But believe me, I have many that stubbornly refuse to bloom no matter what I do :-) Or they just tease me with the buds sitting there waiting for who knows what before they get any bigger.

Here is a link that might be useful: Acidifying your water

    Bookmark   September 14, 2014 at 8:35PM
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