Cereus spiralis, Cereus forbesii spiralis, cereus spiralis, spiral cactus, twisted cereus cactus,

How to Grow Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ – The Spiral Cactus, Twisted Cactus, Cereus Spiralis

Hi Guys, In this Blog I will be talking about the wacky and wonderful Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ commonly called the Spiral Cactus and sharing info about how to care for and grow this unusual looking Cactus.

Cereus spiralis, Cereus forbesii spiralis, cereus spiralis, spiral cactus, twisted cereus cactus,
                                                                       Me with my Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ Cactus

ABOUT:

Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ Cactus is a fast growing columnar and then later branching cactus that over time forms into a ‘Candelabra effect’ from the base.

When young and grown from seed these cacti start off growing straight and then start to grow with a twist after 5 cm’s in height and can reach 13 feet high when mature.

Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ originated from an original cactus in Brazil and around 1980 a few cuttings from this original cactus were taken and imported into Europe. Nearly all Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ that are sold worldwide have been grown from seed or from cuttings.

This cactus is becoming more common in cultivation with many online and garden shops selling it.

Here is a special Video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to Care for & Grow Cereus forbesii ‘spiralis’ Cactus, and you can watch this video below:

LIGHT REQUIREMENTS

Mature Cereus forbesii ‘spiralis’ like full sun, and a sunny position or window or greenhouse is ideal, but young plants like to have more shade until they are more mature.  If you are growing these Cacti behind glass though you will need to protect them from intense midday sun on very hot days in Summer, this is to prevent scorch or yellowing of the cactus skin, and a shade cloth or light net curtain can be used over glass to protect these cacti from the very hot midday sun in Summer. If you only have a north facing window that never receives any sun or growing indoors away from windows then LED Plant Grow lights especially made for plants can be used to replicate the natural full spectrum light and sunlight that these cacti need to grow and thrive.

SOIL

Cereus forbseii ‘Spiralis’ need a very well draining cactus and succulent soil that is free draining and dries out fast in between watering’s, you can use any good quality cactus soil that is ideally low in peat, but I like to make up my own Cactus soil of 3 equal parts of Loam, Grit and Horticultural sharp Sand, you can also use Pumice or Perlite or Lava Rock instead of Grit, the most important thing to remember is that the soil drains fast and dries out fast in between watering.

Here is a video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to make Cactus Soil in 3 easy steps: 

WATERING

Spring and Summer water when the soil in the pot has dried out and reduce watering from late Summer, keep Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ cacti dry with little to no water over the Winter months, If your cactus starts to look shrivelled over the Winter months then a light watering can be given as long as the temperature you are overwintering your Cactus is above 10 Celsius /50 Fahrenheit, as temperatures lower than this can cause rot. 

FERTILISING 

Feed Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ Cacti twice a month in Spring and Summer with a good quality cactus and succulent fertiliser, you can also use a good quality Tomato feed used at half the recommended strength that they recommend for tomatoes, if you want to see what I like to use to fertilise my cacti and how I do it then check out this video I made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How I fertilise my Cacti and you can watch this video below:

TEMPERATURE

These Cacti like a minimum Winter temperature of 50 Fahrenheit / 10 Celsius and they are not frost hardy at all. The ideal temperature during their growing season in Spring and Summer is around 60 – 80 Fahrenheit / 15 – 27 Celsius, its best to protect these cacti from excess heat above 85 Fahrenheit / 30 Celsius because stems can scar and scab and yellowing can occur unless plenty of ventilation can be given, open windows and use circulating fans in very hot sunny weather.

RE POTTING 

Re potting is best done in Spring and Summer and when the cactus has outgrown its pot. Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ grow fast when they are given plenty of root space and you may need to re pot every one to two years. Once repotted its best to keep these cacti unwatered for a week to ten days to allow the roots to settle into the new soil and pot.

If you want to know How to repot a cereus forbesii spiralis cactus than check out this video I made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on Repotting a Cereus forbesii spiralis Cactus and you can watch this video below:

FLOWERING

Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ will produce White and pink blooms in Summer with buds a deep purple colour, red fruits form if the flowers get pollinated.

If you want to know How to get your Cacti to flower, then check out this video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to get your Cacti to Flower and you can watch this video below: 

PROPAGATION 

Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ can be propagated by seeds or from cuttings taken in Spring or Summer, Cuttings must be allowed to fully callus over for a few days or weeks first before planting. These cacti grow tall and branch out over time and these branches can be pruned off and taken as cuttings. Seeds will germinate after 2-6 weeks. If you want to know How to Grow Cacti from Seed then check out a video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to grow Cacti from Seed and you can watch this video below:

PESTS 

Mealy Bugs and Spider Mites, Thrips and Scale insect are the most common pests of all cacti, but Cereus forbesii ‘spiralis’ is very prone to Mealy Bugs and Scale insects, this is because these pests love to hide in between the twists on these cacti. Remove any pests that are visible with a q tip cotton bud dipped in rubbing alcohol / Isopropyl alcohol, and then once pests have been removed with the rubbing/isopropyl alcohol treat the whole cactus with a systematic insecticide spray or Horticultural Neem oil mixed with Horticultural soap.  Check out a video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to use Neem oil on Cacti as a pest and disease treatment, and you can watch this video below:

I hope you enjoyed reading this post on How to Grow and Care for Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ and for lots more tips and tricks on growing many different types of cacti & succulents then check out my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon and you can follow me on Instagram, Twitter and facebook at @desertplantsofavalon

Happy Growing Guys,

lyn 😀 

 

 

 

Uebelmannia pectinifera. Ubelmannia,

How to Care For & Grow Uebelmannia Cacti

Hi Guys 😀 In this Blog I will be talking about the Tropical Cactus Uebelmannia and How you can care for and grow this amazing and very unique looking cactus plant.

Uebelmannia pectinifera. Ubelmannia,
My Ubelmannia pectinifera Cactus Plant

I have made a special video for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to Care for & Grow Uebelmannia and you can watch this video by clicking HERE

ABOUT:

Uebelmannia Cacti are Tropical Cacti that are endemic to Brazil growing 650 -1,350 above sea level.

There are just 3 main species in the Uebelmannia Genus, 1, Uebelmannia pectinifera, 2, Uebelmannia gummifera , and 3, Uebelmannia buiningii, although more hybrids are slowly being introduced into the cactus market.

The most popular in cultivation is Uebelmannia pectinifera, and the rarest is Uebelmannia buiningii, U. buiningii is threatened by habitat loss in its natural environment, but is slowly becoming more poplar to grow in cultivation amongst cacti enthusiasts. 

Uebelmannia cacti have globular to cylindrical stems and have distinct ribs patterned with spines from their areoles . The colour of these cacti are bright green, green grey, or dark purple. 

They are slow growing cacti but can reach up to 3 feet over time growing from globular to more columnar.

These unique cacti were first introduced from South America in the mid 1960’s where it had a bit of a cult following.

Uebelmannia are still hard to find for sale and many that are for sale are often found grafted as they can be more difficult to grow on their own roots when young but when more mature will grow well on their own roots.

Because Uebelmannia are not the easiest to grow for beginners, its best to only grow these cacti when you are more experienced with growing cacti.

Uebelmannia pectinifera, Ubelmannia,
My Uebelmannia pectinifera Cactus Plant, these Cacti have have globular to cylindrical stems and have distinct ribs patterned with spines from their areoles . The colour of these cacti are bright green, green grey, or dark purple.

LIGHT REQUIREMENTS:

Uebelmannia like a very sunny position and a south facing position is ideal, these cacti love plenty of direct sunshine even in the Winter months.

SOIL:

These cacti need a VERY well draining soil and well aerated, I like to make my own soil mix up for these cacti that consits of 3 equal parts of loam, grit and horticultural sharp sand, they also prefer a soil pH on the lower side as high soil pH above 7.5 pH can damage their roots, however if you grow Uebelmannia that has been grafted they can take a soil that is higher in pH due to the rootstock that they have been grafted onto.

If you want to know How I make my own cactus soil for my Uebelmannia then here is a video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon and you can watch this video below:

REPOTTING:

Re Pot Uebelmannia in Spring and Summer, ideally in Spring at the start of their growing season. Only re pot when the cactus has outgrown its pot and re pot into a pot only slightly larger than the last one, as too much soil around their roots can encourage root rot. When re potted leave a week to 10 days until watering again to allow the roots to settle into the new pot and soil.

WATERING:

From Spring and Summer water well allowing the soil in the pot to dry out before watering again.

In Winter these cacti do not like to be kept totally dry for very long periods and I water my Uebelmannia once every 6 weeks.

Uebelmannia like a water with a lower pH ideally around the 5.5-7 pH, because of this clean unpolluted rain water is preferred over tap water, however if your Uebelmannia is grafted it will be able to take a higher pH water.

FERTILISING:

From Spring and Summer when they are actively growing Uebelmannia like to be fertilised once a month with a good quality cactus fertiliser that is diluted to half the strength that they recommend for desert cacti. 

Do not feed during the Winter months when their growth is slowed down and they are resting.

TEMPERATURE:

Because Uebelmannia are Tropical Cacti they can not tolerate any frost and need an absolute Winter minimum temperature of 12 Celsius / 55 Fahreneheit and ideally above 12 Celsius /60 Fahreneheit.

In Summer they can take very high temperatures as long as plenty of ventilation can be provided, open windows in greenhouses and doors in polytunnels on very hot sunny days in Summer. 

FLOWERING:

Uebelmannia produce tiny yellow flowers that form a cluster from the crown of the cactus, all Uebelmannia will flower when fully mature if given plenty of sunshine and the correct growing care.

PROPAGATION:

Propagation of Uebelmannia is from seeds but growing these cacti from seed is very hard unless you are an expert in growing Uebelmannia. Most young seedlings are often grafted onto other rootstock for their survival.

If you want to watch a video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to care for and Grow Uebelmannia cacti then you can watch this video below :

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

 

 

 

 

How to Grow Cacti & Succulents from Seed

In this Blog I will be talking about how you can grow cacti and Succulent plants from Seed and talking about the method I like to use to grow my cacti and succulent plants from seed and I have had great success throughout the years using this method.

how to grow cacti from seed
Photo: My Homalocephala texensis ‘Horse crippler cactus’ cactus seedlings just over a year old

Although there are many different ways to grow cacti and succulents from seed and there is no right or wrong way, In this Blog I will be showing you how to grow cacti and succulents from seed using the bag method.

I have included videos I have made for my Cacti & Succulent Plant You Tube channel called Desert Plants of Avalon that include step by step instructions on growing Cacti and Succulents from seed as well as a video on how to care for seedlings during their first Winter.

Why grow from Seed ? 

Growing from seed can be very rewarding as you get to see your plants grow from seedlings to mature plants over the years and although it can be very time consuming, knowing that you have grown your cacti and succulents from seed is a real buzz.

When is the best time to grow from seeds ? 

Cacti and Succulent seeds are best sown in late Winter, Spring or early Summer, this is because the days are longer and the temperatures are warmer, but if you have grow lights and additional heating then you can still sow seeds in Autumn and Winter too, the most important thing is that the seeds /seedlings are kept at a minimum temperature of 70 Fahrenheit  /21 Celsius.

cactus seedlings, how to grow cactus from seed
                                                        Photo:  My Rebutia muscala cactus seedlings at 8 months old.

What do I need to grow from Seed ? 

You will need :

Seeds, plant pots, transparent zip lock bags, a pen, plant labels or white sticky labels, 2 parts loam based seed sowing soil ( or any well draining soil ) 1 part grit or perlite and 1 part horticultural sand.

I have found that the clear fruit pots that you commonly see cherry tomatoes or strawberries sold in are perfect sizes to use as small seed pots and they fit perfect in the bags too as well being a great way to us as recycling,  just make sure that you thoroughly clean them first before using them for seed sowing.

How do I grow Cacti and Succulents from Seed ? 

If you want to watch a step by step video on How to Grow cacti and Succulents from seed then check out my video I have made for my You Tube channel called Desert Plants of Avalon below: 

Thoroughly mix up the 2 parts seed sowing soil with the 1 part perlite OR grit with the 1 part Horticultural sand. You can use the amount of soil mix to the amount you need depending on the size of your seed pots.

If the soil you are using has stones or lumps of bark chippings in it etc its best to remove these by running the soil through a gardening sieve first.

thoroughly mix up the seed sowing soil with the perlite or grit and the horticultural sand, you can remove any hard stones or bark chippings etc by running the soil through a gardening sieve first before mixing.

Once you have thoroughly mixed up all the soil with the perlite or grit and sand then its best to sterilise the soil by either microwaving it or heating it in the oven, this is optional but its something I like to do as it helps to reduce fungus and bacterial attacks on the young seedlings after they have germinated.

If you are sterilising the soil in the microwave then put all of the soil mix into the microwave on high setting for 3 minutes stopping half way through to thoroughly sir the soil mix with a clean spoon, its important that the soil mix is extremely hot as this is what will kill any pathogens and to sterilise your soil.

If you are sterilising your soil mix in the oven bake the soil mix at 180-200 F. /82-93 C for at least 30 minutes, or when the temperature of the soil mix reaches 180 F. (82 C. you can test the temperature of the soil by using a cake thermometer. 

Allow the soil mix to cool down before putting into the seed pot/s.

Once the soil mix has cooled down put the soil mix into the seed pots and place the seed pots in a tray or trays filled with 2-3 inches of clean water, if using rainwater it may be best to boil the water first and allow to cool down so any pathogens that could be in the water are reduced.

Leave the pots in the water until the soil mix in the pots is completely soaked with the water, this can take up to an hour or more but its important to be patient so the soil mix is thoroughly moist all the way through the soil.

Write the name /s of the seeds you will be sowing on the Plant labels / white sticky labels that you will be putting on the bags, and also the date you are sowing the seeds.

Make sure your hands are thoroughly clean then sow the seeds evenly across the surface of the plant pot/s. If the seeds are very small its best to sprinkle them on like pepper as evenly apart as possible but with larger seeds such as Opuntia or Aloe seeds you can place them onto the surface individually and gently press them down. 

Once you have sown the seeds you can very lightly sprinkle some horticultural sand on the top of the soil but make sure the sand is moist. By using sand this can help to minimise moss that often likes to grow on the soil that the young seedlings are growing in due to the soil always needing to be kept moist.

Place the seed pots into the clear plastic bags and make sure to release all the air inside the bags first before sealing the bags. 

Place the bags in a bright well lit location that receives some sun but not intense sun or intense heat.

Keep the seedlings inside their clear bag/s for a minimum of 3 months but you can keep them in the bags for longer than this if the seedlings are still small, I have kept seedlings in the bags for up to 10 months if they are still small and the soil inside the bags is still moist.

echinopsis subdenudata seedlings, cactus seedlings, domino cactus seedlings, sea urchin cactus seedlings,
My Echinopsis subdenudata cactus seedlings commonly known as The Sea Urchin Cactus or Domino Cactus. These seedlings are one year old.

After Care: 

NEVER open the bag/s until after a minimum of 3 months this is to continue to keep the seedlings and soil sterile, however if you notice your seedlings have fungus or any other problems sometimes opening the bag/s may be inevitable.

The young seedlings should not dry out in the bags for up to 3 months, this is because the clear bags act like a mini greenhouse and there is no room for the excess water inside to evaporate, and young seedlings do not take up large amounts of water, however if you notice the soil inside of the bag/s looks like it i drying out then you will have to open the bag/s to water before the 3 months.

After 3 months you can gradually unzip the clear bags over a few days to allow the seedlings inside the bag to acclimatise to the drier air outside of their bag/s in their new environment after a few days you can then take them out of their bag/s completely.

If after the 3 months your seedlings are still small then they can still stay in the bag/s for many more weeks or months if the soil inside the bag/s is still moist, sometimes I will leave my seedlings up to 9 months in the bag/s if there is no need for them to come out of them.

cactus seedlings
A selection of my cacti and succulent seedlings all grown by using the bag method.

How do I care for young cacti and succulent seedlings during their first Winter ? 

This can be confusing to many people because we are told as cacti and succulent growers to keep our plants cool and dry over Winter, but what do we do with young seedlings especially during their first winter ? because a cold and especially dry period could kill them off as the are still so young and their roots will still be fine and developing.

I strongly recommend that you overwinter your young cacti and succulent seedlings indoors at a minimum temperature of around 15 C/ 60 F for their first Winter. I would also still continue to water them lightly just enough to stop the delicate root hairs from drying out.

In their natural habitats in Winter young cacti and succulents would be growing under the shade of larger plants and vegetation where they would naturally be receiving more humidity and warmth than their mature parents that are  more exposed to the elements, therefore in nature in their natural habitats in dry arid deserts even in the Winter young seedlings would still be receiving moisture from the humidity on the lower grounds of the vegetation for their young developing root systems. 

After their first year you can continue to treat them as you would more mature cacti and succulents depending on their size and what type of cactus or succulent they are.

Here is a video I have made for my You Tube channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to care for Cacti and Succulent plant seedlings during their first Winter and you can watch this video below : 

If you have watched my video on How to Grow Cacti from Seed that I have made for my You Tube channel called Desert Plants of Avalon then check out the video below I have made on the update : 

Good luck with growing from seed Guys and more importantly HAVE FUN 😀