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Echeveria, Echeveria plants, Echeveria Succulents, Echeveria Succulent Plants, Echeveria flowers, Echeveria blooms, Echeveria flower, Echeveria bloom,

Top 5 Succulent Plants To Grow for Beginners

Hi Guys 😀 

In this Blog I share with you my Top 5 Succulent Plants To Grow For Beginners 😀 

There are many Succulent Plants that are wonderful to grow but these are my recommendations on what I think are very easy for beginners to start with, and in this Blog I will be sharing links to pages and videos that I have wrote on this website and also videos I have made on my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon to help newbies to grow and care for these incredible succulents.

Echeveria, Echeveria plants, Echeveria Succulents, Echeveria Succulent Plants, Echeveria flowers, Echeveria blooms, Echeveria flower, Echeveria bloom,
Me with some Echeveria plants that I could not resist buying from my local Supermarket.

1,ECHEVERIA:

Echeveria, Echeveria plants, Echeveria Succulents, Echeveria Succulent Plants, Echeveria flowers, Echeveria blooms, Echeveria flower, Echeveria bloom,
An Echeveria in beautiful flower at Dublin Botanic Gardens.

Echeveria’s are one of the most beautiful Succulents to grow, they grow with a rosette appearance that always remind me of a flower. There are many different types of Echeveria that are easily available for sale at many garden shops, and plant nurseries. 

If you can provide them with plenty of sunshine in Spring and Summer and a well draining soil, and a cool and mostly dry winter rest period then they will readily flower all through the Spring, Summer and often into late fall /Autumn too.

Graptopetalum and Graptosedum are also excellent plants to grow for beginners and resemble Echeveria and the care for both of them is the same as Echeveria.

graptopetalum, graptopetalums, graptopetalum succulents, Echeveria, Echeveria plants, Echeveria Succulents, Echeveria Succulent Plants, Echeveria flowers, Echeveria blooms, Echeveria flower, Echeveria bloom,
My Graptopetalum Succulent Plant, this plant resembles Echeveria and the care is the same.

I have made a video on my You Tube channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How To Care For Echeveria and I share lots of tips and tricks on How to care for them and you can watch this video below:

2, GASTERIA:

Gasteria, Gasteria's, Gasteria succulents, Gasteria in flower, Gasteria flowers, Gasteria blooms,
A Gasteria in flower at Dublin Botanic Gardens, many Gasteria have wonderful variegated fan like leaf arrangements.

Gasteria’s are wonderful small growing compact plants that are ideal for people who do not have the space for large growing plants. The are often variegated and have wonderful patterning to them. Gasteria’s are also more shade loving than many other Succulents, making them ideal for growers who do not have south facing windows or positions, although many Gasteria’s can also tolerate full sun too as well as more shade. 

Provide Gasteria with a bright position and a well draining soil and they will also readily flower from spring and Summer and into the Fall / Autumn.

I have made a video on my You tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to Care for Gasteria and you can watch this video below:

3, HAWORTHIA:

Haworthia, Haworthia's, Haworthia plants, Haworthia succulents, Haworthia attenuata, Haworthia attenuata - fasciata, Haworthia succulents,
My 36 year old Haworthia attenuata – fasciata plant, one of my very first succulent plants. This plant was just a small Rosette and has over the years formed into a wonderful large bowl arrangement with many Rosettes.

Haworthia plants are very easy to grow and also nice and compact making them ideal for growers who do not have much space for the larger growing succulents. Haworthia is also perfect for people who don’t have sunny windows or positions as Haworthia prefer to be grown in more shade than many other Succulents, and although they appreciate some early morning sunshine, they can be grown in a bright position with indirect sunshine, or even a bright well lit position that does not receive any sun, although these plants will flower more readily if either a couple of hours f morning sun or indirect sunshine can be provided.

The rosettes form into little clumps over time and will eventually fill a bowl with their rosettes, the rosettes can also be separated from the parent plant and be planted up individually.

The flowers are not the most impressive on these plants but their foliage and rosette appearance to the leaves make them very attractive to grow for their foliage and ease of care.

Haworthia, Haworthia cooperi, Haworthia's, Haworthia, Haworthia plants,
My Haworthia cooperi Succulent plant

Haworthia like all Succulents like a very well draining soil mix and to dry out in between waterings, and prefer to be kept more cool and dry over the Winter.

4, ALOE: 

Aloe arborescens plant, Aloe plant, Aloes, Aloe succulents, Aloe plants, Aloe arborescens,
Our Aloe arborescens plant, this particular Aloe can grow very large over time, however there are many Aloes that stay small and compact, this genus is very varied. Photo by Hans Muller

Aloe Plants have to be one of the most famous of all succulent plants to grow, the most well known being the very common Aloe Vera, Aloe Vera is commonly always seen for sale at almost any garden shop or plant nursery, its a very easy and fast growing succulent with many well known medicinal and skin care uses.

There are many different types of Aloe plants, some are smaller and some can grow very large over time, making them ideal specimens for growers who love larger plants or have greenhouses or conservatories. Many Aloes especially the many hybrids now available will stay small and grow into clumping rosettes, and because this genus is so varied it makes it ideal for growers who love either small growing or very large growing Succulents.

Aloes do need lots of sunshine otherwise they will grow thin and leggy. However if growing Aloes behind glass or in a greenhouse its best to provide some shade in the strong midday sun in Summer. Aloe plants need a very well draining soil, water only when the soil has completely dried out in the pot before watering again, keep the soil dry during Winter with occasional watering if growing Aloes indoors in winter.

I have made a video for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How To Care For Aloe and you can watch this video below:

5, CRASSULA:

Crassula, Crassula falcata, Crassula Falcata, Crassula falcata propeller plant, Propeller plant,
My Crassula falcata plant in beautiful bloom, Photo by Hans Muller

Crassula is a very large and very varied range of many Succulent plants, the most common one being the Jade Crassula Ovata, also known as the Chinese Jade Money Plant. Crassulas are wonderful plants for beginners and also perfect for growers who want to see flowers in Winter, as many Crassula will flower in Winter as well in Summer and quite often Crassula’s will prefer to have a bit of a dormancy in mid Summer when everything else is in flower and growth.

Crassula like a sunny position to encourage them to flower, they also need a well draining soil and the soil to dry out completely in between waterings,

There are many small growing Crassula that are ideal for a nice sunny windowsill and also many crassula like the Crassula ovata that grow large into a tree over time.

If I had to pick just one Crassula to grow I would chose the Crassula ovata, its a classic favourite and easy to prune and keep in shape and if you want to know How to get your Jade Crassula ovata to Flower check out this video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How To Get your Jade Crassula Ovata to Flower and you can watch this video below:

I hope you found my Top 5 Succulents to Grow for Beginners Blog helpful and if you want to watch a video that I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on the Top 5 Succulent Plants To Grow for beginners you can watch this video below:

Thank you all for reading Guys and Happy Growing to you <3 

 

 

 

 

Aztekium, Aztekium hintonii, Aztekium cactus,

How To Care for Aztekium Cactus

Hi Guys 😀 

In this Blog I share my tips and tricks on How to care for the Aztekium Cactus.

Aztekium, Aztekium hintonii, Aztekium cactus,
My 23 year old Aztekium hintonii grown from seed ( not by me ) 

I have made a video on my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants Of Avalon on How To Care for Aztekium, and you can watch this video HERE:

ABOUT AZTEKIUM:

There are just three species of Aztekium, 1, Aztekium ritteri, 2, Aztekium hintonii, and 3, Aztekium valdezii.

Aztekium valdezii has only recently been discovered from 2011.

The Aztekium Cactus grows in its natural habitat in Mexico growing on steep cliff faces that consist of mostly gypsum and some limestone gravel.

Aztekium is extremely slow growing and forms into little clumps over many years, it is one of the slowest growing cacti both in natural habitat and in cultivation. 

I have grown my Aztekium hintonii for over 23 years, I got it as a young seedling that was grown from seed from a Cactus Grower in the U.K called David Quail, it was the just size of my thumbnail and in all of that time it has grown only about 2 inches in height and width.

Because of their extremely slow growth and difficulty to grow when young on their own roots, these cacti are often seen for sale grafted onto other more hardier cactus stock, but once established on their on roots they can survive long term as long as a very careful watering is maintained and a very gritty well draining soil is used.

Aztekium, Aztekium hintonii, Aztekium cactus,
My 23 year old Aztekium hintonii

HOW TO CARE FOR:

LIGHT:

Aztekium like most cacti need bright light with some sunshine to grow healthy, however these cacti prefer to be protected from very strong midday sunshine and prefer more shade than a lot of the other types of Desert Cacti, and Aztekium would be best positioned where they can get either early morning or very late afternoon sunshine.

WATERING:

Aztekium prefer soft water that is not alkaline and clean rainwater is best to water these cacti with. Its best to avoid watering these cacti with water than has a pH higher than PH 7, as hard alkaline water can cause damage to the roots. If you use tap water check that the PH is not higher than PH 7 and allow the water to sit for 24 hours to allow the chlorine and other gases to dissipate.

If you are growing Aztekium that have been grafted, then the pH of the water is not as much a concern as most cactus stock used for grafting Aztekium are mostly Trichocereus or Pereskioposis, and these cacti are not so sensitive to water PH, however careful watering should still be given with all Aztekium cacti.

Water Aztekium from Spring through Summer ALWAYS allowing the soil in their pots to fully dry out before watering again.

Keep Aztekium totally dry throughout the Winter rest period with no water from Fall / Autumn and Winter, introduce water again from Spring when their active growing period returns.

SOIL:

The soil used for Aztekium must be extremely well draining, this is very important especially for Aztekium cacti that are growing on their own roots, especially when they are young as they can be very prone to rot, which is why they are often seen grafted.  If grafted onto hardier root stock such as Pereskioposis and Trichocereus they are far less prone to rot and grow faster, but as with all cacti except the epiphytes, the more well draining the soil the better.

Some growers of Aztekium like to add lie to the soil, but I have had success over 23 years of growing this cactus with my well draining soil mix that I use for most of my arid loving cacti.

Avoid using peat and houseplant soils for these cacti as they need a VERY well draining and gritty soil.

I like to use a soil mix of 3 equal parts of loam, horticultural sand and grit for my Aztekium hintonii, For more information on How I make my own Cactus soil click HERE:

FEEDING:

Feed Aztekium once a month in Spring until mid Summer with a good quality cactus fertiliser. Because these cacti are extremely slow growing its best to use the fertiliser at half the strength they recommend for normal cacti.

FLOWERING:

The flowers on Aztekium are very tiny and white or pink or lilac coloured, they grow from the top of the cactus when the plant is mature often after many years. 

Aztekium forms a woolly tuft and fine spines from the crown of the cactus when the plant is mature enough to flower.

I have not had my Aztekium flower for me in 23 years, but I hope one day to see flowers, patience is definitely the key when growing cacti haha, but I have heard of many growers who have had their Aztekiums flower after 10 years or less.

Grafted Aztekiums will flower much sooner than if grown on their own roots.

TEMPERATURE:

In Spring and Summer Aztekium can take high temperatures but they must be protected from extreme heat and strong midday sunshine, especially if they are grown behind glass in glasshouses or windowsills, and they like to have plenty of ventilation.

In Winter its best to overwinter Aztekium cool and dry above 5 Celsius / 41 Fahrenheit

PROPAGATION:

Propagation of Aztekium is done by seed that are very dust like, but it is extremely difficult and slow to grow from seeds, although germination rate can be high at first lots of seedlings will often die within the first few months of germination. 

I have never tried to grow these from seed myself but when my Aztekium flowers for e in the future and I get seed I will definitely have a go at trying to grow this amazing and unique little cactus from seed.

If you want to grow Aztkium from seed or any other type of cactus from seed read my page on this website Growing Cactus from seed  by clicking HERE

Here is a video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants Of Avalon on How To Care For Aztekium Cacti and you can watch this video below:

 

Thanks so much for reading Guys and Happy Growing to you all <3 

 

 

Puna clavarioides, Dead man's fingers, Mushroom Opuntia, Maihueniopsis clavarioides, Opuntia clavarioides, Opuntia ruiz-lealii,

How To Care For Opuntia Puna clavarioides -The Dead man’s fingers Cactus

Hi Guys 😀 

In this Blog I will be talking about a rather unusual and very unique little Cactus called Puna clavarioides also called The Dead man’s fingers Cactus, Mushroom Opuntia, Maihueniopsis clavarioides, Opuntia clavarioides, Opuntia ruiz-lealii, Opuntia Puna clavarioides.

I have filmed a How To Care For video on this Cactus on my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon and you can watch this care video HERE

Puna clavarioides, Dead man's fingers, Mushroom Opuntia, Maihueniopsis clavarioides, Opuntia clavarioides, Opuntia ruiz-lealii,
My Puna clavarioides aka Maihueniopsis clavarioides.

ABOUT :

This weird and wacky Cactus is the type species of the genus Puna  also known as the genus Maihueniopsis. 

The Puna genus of cacti are some of the most diverse cacti of the opuntiads and are closely connected to Opuntia, Tephrocactus and Austrocylindropuntia.

These Cacti are all part of the very large group of the Opuntioideae Family of Cacti. The Opuntioideae  Family of Cacti are commonly known as ‘The Prickly Pear’ 

Puna clavariodes is a low growing geophyte cactus that grows in clusters up to 15 cms tall, with conical shaped stems of reddish brown to dark green to grey colour that emerge from tuberous roots.

In natural habitat this Cactus is found in Argentina growing in high altitude on rocks and sand between 2,000 -3,000 metres above sea level in a very dry arid environment.

The Puna clavariodes Cactus although part of the Opuntioideae Family of Cacti does not have glochids that are more commonly associated with the Opuntioideae.

The flowers on this cactus are a yellow /green colour and about 4 cms in length.

This Cactus is rare in cultivation and therefore not commonly seen for sale and when it is for sale it is more commonly sold as a cristate form that is often grafted onto a grafting stock cactus such as Trichocereus spachianus.

CARE & CULTIVATION:

LIGHT:

Puna clavariodes  likes a bright and sunny position all through the year, but can tolerate some light shade too but these Cacti grow better in full sun as long as they are protected from very strong heat.

A bright sunny greenhouse or a south facing window is ideal if protected from heat and sun scorch from glass on very hot Summer days.

WATERING:

Water well in Spring and Summer but ALWAYS allow the soil in the pot to fully dry out before watering again as these Cacti are very prone to rot if kept too wet due to their tuberous root systems.

Clean rainwater is always preferred if it is available, but tap water is ok as long as the Ph of your water is not too high ( above 7,5 pH ) Its always best to let tap water sit for 24 hours before using it to allow some of the chemicals to dissipate. 

Keep this Cactus totally dry over the Winter dormancy period with no water given whatsoever.

SOIL:

Puna clavariodes likes a very well draining mineral soil as this cactus is very prone to rot due to the tuberous root system and a well draining soil is a must. I like to use a soil mix of 3 equal parts of a Loam based soil with with Horticultural sand and grit. Check out my page on this website on GROWING MEDIUMS for more advice on How to Make Your Own Cactus Soil.

RE POTTING:

Re pot only in Spring and Summer when this cactus is actively growing, this is because it is a slow growing cactus and because of the tuberous root its best to keep this plant in a clay pot that is deep enough just to cover the tuberous root, it is always safer to under rather than over pot.

Do not water this cactus for the first 2 weeks after re potting to allow the roots and tuber to acclimatise. 

FERTILISING:

Feed Puna clavariodes in Spring and Summer every month with a Cactus fertiliser diluted at half strength, this is because this cactus is a slow growing plant and does not require lots of fertilising.

FLOWERING:

Puna clavariodes flowers in Spring and Summer with yellow blooms. A dry winter rest period will help to encourage blooming the following year.

TEMPERATURE:

Puna clavariodes likes to be kept above 5 Celsius / 41 Fahrenheit in the Winter months, but can take lower temperatures than this if growing this cactus in a very dry arid climate.

Protect this Cactus from very high Summer temperatures above 32 Celsius / 90 Fahrenheit.

Here is a video that I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants Of Avalon on How To Care For Puna clavariodes and you can watch that video below:

Thank you so much for reading and HAPPY GROWING GUYS 😀