Last of the new arrivals!

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Steve Johnson
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Last of the new arrivals!

Post by Steve Johnson »

Well, Saturday was the big one -- 7 beautiful plants from CoronaCactus raring to get started on my new plant bench. Let's have a look...

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Fissuratus is the only Ario I tried growing in my younger days. Emphasis on "tried", since I gave up after managing to rot them. Hmmm, I dunno -- something about heavily composted cactus mix that wouldn't dry out? My pumice/DG mix has made a huge difference since I started using it last year, so I think this fissuratus might actually make it. May seem over-potted in a 3" standard pot, but the depth looks just right to accommodate that honkin' taproot. (As we speak, I'm taking diligent notes on what I looked up here -- http://www.cactiguide.com/forum/viewtop ... =2&t=27501" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.)

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A wonderful selection, and I love its diminutive form in contrast with my hypogaea and tenuissima. Don't let the pic fool you -- that's a 2.5" pot!

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The hesteri I got from M2G was my first-ever Coryphantha, so here we are a week later with my 2nd. Haven't tried growing Coryphanthas before, and it's nice to have these representatives of the genus in my collection at long last.

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Beautiful form and skin color -- in a 3.5" standard pot, and those deep roots really need it! Given its Atamaca heritage in common with my E. odieri, I'd like to know if it'll also need regular but infrequent watering only when the weather is warm and sunny. If that's the case, the cool, cloudy Springs I usually see in my area indicate that watering should be very infrequent or not at all until June. (My Spring weather was pretty crappy this year!)

Okay, I just showed you the little guys. Now here are a few that look like monsters by comparison:

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Going strictly by plant size, it looks like the Strombocactus might actually be a bit under-potted in its 3.5" pot. But there's not much going on below-ground yet, so the roots will have to grow in more. With that said, they grow more wide than deep, and I think Darryl called it right for being an Azalea pot. I have never tried growing a Strombo before, so I'd welcome some watering advice for the species from those of you with more experience. By the way, this very interesting cactus came with a little flower bud. I'll have to see if it develops into a flower.

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Columnars are under-represented in my collection because I simply don't have the space for anything really big. However, I do love Echinocereus, and having another go at rigidissimus rubsipinus inspired me to search for a companion species. Since I'm having success with my current rubispinus, I hope to see great things out of the pectinatus. By reputation it should be a little easier to cultivate, too. Darryl recommended a 3.5" Azalea pot for this plant, although truth be told I was a tad skeptical. But Darryl called that one as well -- more wide than deep, and the pectinatus looks really good in its new home.

And last, but not least:

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I thought it would be along the lines of my Sulco callichroma in terms of size, but man was I wrong!

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Am I complaining, though? HECK NO!!! That's a 5" pot, and the only cactus in my collection which takes a bigger diameter is my Cephalocereus senilis. I had to pull off a whole bunch of spent flowers, but the ones that were left confirmed the flower color I was looking for. Just a gorgeous plant, and I'm so looking forward to all the flowers next Spring. Wait a minute -- what's all this then? A new bud at this time of year? Yes, and a nice little bonus if the aranacea gives me its first flower off-season. Here's a view from the top:

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I think this was my most challenging transplant to date for a couple of reasons:

1. The offsets aren't firmly attached, and I could just see a couple of them breaking off if I wasn't really careful. But I was, so the plant is intact pups and all.

2. I normally center my cacti when I repot them. This time I couldn't see it working, so I approached the matter by providing decent margins between the pups and the edge of the pot. At least the roots weren't crowded in the process, although I think even the Azalea pot seemed awfully deep for them. Am I handling the situation right, or am I making a newbie mistake? Yeah, I
know -- worry, worry, worry. :P Anyway, I take some confidence from growing skills I didn't have until last year, and I believe this gorgeous addition to the plant bench will grow well for me over the years.

Now all my new additions are settling in. The M2G and MG cacti will get their first watering this weekend, then watering for the CCN plants a week after that. Their first order of business will be to get started on new root growth. Even with it being Summer and all, I'll have to be careful about not overdoing it on watering frequency. Time to put those skills of mine (such as they are) to the test. Now I'll leave you with some flowers...

My first Mammillaria guelzowiana flower:

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I can't take credit for this one, but a host of new buds are coming in -- those flowers will be all mine!

My Coryphantha hesteri from M2G, with 5 buds that came from out of nowhere earlier this week -- I think this cactus likes me!

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Next, here's my CCN Frailea castanea that came in December. Think it's joining veteran status here as the bud is about to pop:

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I'll end this presentation with a flourish -- blooms from 2 of my 2011 "veterans" (Gymno ochoterenae vatteri and Mamm grahamii) with the blossfeldiana getting ready to close up shop for the evening:

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Happy growing, everyone! :D
Last edited by Steve Johnson on Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
If you just want photos without all the blather, please visit my Flickr gallery.
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Arjen
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Re: Last of the new arrivals!

Post by Arjen »

nice additions! good looking flowers too!
With apologies to the late Professor C. D. Darlington the following misquotation springs to
mind ‘cactus taxonomy is the pursuit of the impossible by the incompetent’ - Fearn & Pearcy, Rebutia (1981)
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sabotenmen
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Re: Last of the new arrivals!

Post by sabotenmen »

Steve, congratulations on these fine additions! I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but you have good taste! The Ariocarpus is awesome. I would have used smaller gravel as top layer (if at all) to do its shape justice, but that’s my personal opinion. The Eriosyce is simply a jewel! The Strombocactus is a piece of art. The Echinocereus looks really healthy. Columnars sure eat up a lot of space, I have two Pachycereus pringlei that are getting taller by the day and may give me some headaches in the near future, but they’re impressive and provide some contrast with all the globulars. You seem to be really happy with your pumice/decomposed granite mix, it sounds a bit too much like hydroponics to me, but I really hope it will work for you! As a side note, when I look at the root balls of your plants, it really looks like they were grown in an organic mix :lol: and on the roots of the Copiapoa I even see what looks like remnants of peat :P , but I may be mistaken. My compliments to Coronacactus, it looks like it’s a nice enterprise to deal with. Okay Hendry, you and I again have some nice pics to look at and to drool over =P~ , Sabotenmen
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CoronaCactus
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Re: Last of the new arrivals!

Post by CoronaCactus »

They look great in their new homes, Steve!
The Frailea flower either never opened or you may have missed it, that's a seed pod.

The Copiapoa may have had a little peat, still being a seedling it may have still been in it's starter mix. Most of the others were in 70/30 or 60/40 potting soil/pumice. Haven't got around to repotting all 3000+ cacti into our DG/pumice mix yet 8) Might never get around to it! but i figure if they are healthy and growing well, there's no rush.
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Steve Johnson
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Re: Last of the new arrivals!

Post by Steve Johnson »

CoronaCactus wrote:They look great in their new homes, Steve!
The Frailea flower either never opened or you may have missed it, that's a seed pod.

The Copiapoa may have had a little peat, still being a seedling it may have still been in it's starter mix. Most of the others were in 70/30 or 60/40 potting soil/pumice. Haven't got around to repotting all 3000+ cacti into our DG/pumice mix yet 8) Might never get around to it! but i figure if they are healthy and growing well, there's no rush.
Fraileas need a lot of heat to flower, so I guess it wasn't hot enough for that. Such being the case, it looks like the castanea was up to its cleistogamous self then. I'll just let the seeds spill out into the pot and see if they'll germinate from regular watering. If they do, maybe a few will survive long enough to give me the next generation of castaneas. A Darwinian approach, I know, but now I have some space to encourage them into their own pots when they're bigger.

You prep the roots of your cacti really well when you ship, and I can't imagine that there would be a problem if there's a touch of peat in the Copiapoa. Great plants you offer, my friend, and I'm so pleased with what I have! :D
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iann
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Re: Last of the new arrivals!

Post by iann »

Ariocarpus and Copiapoa are slow. Not especially difficult I think, but if you stick them in a pot and expect them to perform after a week or two then you'll be disappointed. I feel they take several months to really settle down from bare root. Plus neither reacts well to a rich organic soil. A. fissuratus is one of the slowest, but also one of the toughest. Hard to scorch and they love heat. That Copiapoa is not one of the toughest and it can definitely be scorched. Grows pretty fast once it has settled and if you keep it moderately watered in steady warmth with some sun. Always trying to drop below soil level, after a year or two you might suddenly discover it has been incubating a whole crop of pups underground. Definitely don't let the Eriosyce sit in wet soil for too long, otherwise it is tough enough and produces nice flowers (early summer, probably too late this year).
--ian
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Re: Last of the new arrivals!

Post by sabotenmen »

I can't imagine that there would be a problem if there's a touch of peat in the Copiapoa. /quote]
Steve (and Coronacactus), it was not meant as a point of criticism when I mentioned the peat on the roots of the Copiaopa, (I should have elaborated). I only wanted to point out that it's apparently possible growing plants even like Ariocarpus and Copiapoa in partly organic soils and not only in a pumice/DG mix(hence the smilies). I myself use (a little) peat in my mixes .I'm sure you will not have any problems with your Copiapoa ,at least not because of that tiny amount of peat on the roots.My post must have looked really stupid (especially because of the smilies), I'm sorry.Sabotenmen ,(hot) Japan
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sabotenmen
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Re: Last of the new arrivals!

Post by sabotenmen »

iann wrote:Ariocarpus and Copiapoa are slow. ).
I recall reading in one of my books that it can take up to 50 years for an Ariocarpus fissuratus to reach a diameter of 6 inches, so Steve can put his patience to the test for the next couple of decades! :lol:
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Steve Johnson
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Re: Last of the new arrivals!

Post by Steve Johnson »

Thanks for your feedback, guys! I'll be content just to let the Ario and Copiapoa work on establishing their roots over the rest of Summer, then I should see some new growth next year. My Astrophytum asterias taught me patience in that regard, so I know how it pays off. Don't know if the Ario would be mature enough for flowering yet, although it'll be something to look forward to. Maybe in about 5 years? I can wait.
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Re: Last of the new arrivals!

Post by CoronaCactus »

sabotenmen wrote:I can't imagine that there would be a problem if there's a touch of peat in the Copiapoa. /quote]
Steve (and Coronacactus), it was not meant as a point of criticism when I mentioned the peat on the roots of the Copiaopa, (I should have elaborated). I only wanted to point out that it's apparently possible growing plants even like Ariocarpus and Copiapoa in partly organic soils and not only in a pumice/DG mix(hence the smilies). I myself use (a little) peat in my mixes .I'm sure you will not have any problems with your Copiapoa ,at least not because of that tiny amount of peat on the roots.My post must have looked really stupid (especially because of the smilies), I'm sorry.Sabotenmen ,(hot) Japan
No problem! I didn't take it as criticism, no need to apologize :P
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Steve Johnson
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Re: Last of the new arrivals!

Post by Steve Johnson »

CoronaCactus wrote:
sabotenmen wrote:I can't imagine that there would be a problem if there's a touch of peat in the Copiapoa. /quote]
Steve (and Coronacactus), it was not meant as a point of criticism when I mentioned the peat on the roots of the Copiaopa, (I should have elaborated). I only wanted to point out that it's apparently possible growing plants even like Ariocarpus and Copiapoa in partly organic soils and not only in a pumice/DG mix(hence the smilies). I myself use (a little) peat in my mixes .I'm sure you will not have any problems with your Copiapoa ,at least not because of that tiny amount of peat on the roots.My post must have looked really stupid (especially because of the smilies), I'm sorry.Sabotenmen ,(hot) Japan
No problem! I didn't take it as criticism, no need to apologize :P
Ditto from here too, Sabotenmen.
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sabotenmen
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Re: Last of the new arrivals!

Post by sabotenmen »

Steve Johnson wrote:Thanks for your feedback, guys! I'll be content just to let the Ario and Copiapoa work on establishing their roots over the rest of Summer, then I should see some new growth next year. My Astrophytum asterias taught me patience in that regard, so I know how it pays off. Don't know if the Ario would be mature enough for flowering yet, although it'll be something to look forward to. Maybe in about 5 years? I can wait.
Flowering size is about 1.5 inch in diameter when grown in a sunny place with less than average water, flowers in fall.
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