Aporocactus flagelliformis

Its been a Blooming Lovely Cactus Season so far

Hi Cactus and Succulent growers,

I hope that you are all having a wonderful growing season so far and enjoying this wonderful time of year, I have been keeping super busy with all the wonderful plant jobs to do at this time of year, re potting, keeping on top of watering and feeding and checking regularly for signs of pests,

We had a very slow start to Spring in Ireland and U.K this year with way below average temperatures for March and April and even May, but thankfully from June the warmer temperatures and the sunshine arrived, and with the much needed sun and warmth it has really given my cacti and succulents a blooming good boost.

Pilocereus pachycladus
My Pilocereus pachycladus ‘Blue Torch Cactus’ blooming amazing this year.

I have seen more buds and blooms this Spring and Summer alreadyon many of my cacti and also some buds on my cacti that hadn’t flowered for me for the past few years, I have quite a few of my Trichocereus cacti that are coming into bud again for the first time in 5 years and also my very old Opuntia aciculata cactus has come into bud for the first time again in TWENTY years YAY.

Opuntia aciculata, Chenille prickly pear Cactus
My Opuntia aciculata, Chenille prickly pear Cactus coming into bud again for the first time after TWENTY years.

Last Summer we had a very hot and dry Summer in Ireland and U.K and Europe with heatwaves, and then that was followed by an extra cold and long Winter, I think the combination of the heatwaves last Summer and the extra cold winter may have given the kick start for the Trichocereus to come into bud again, but whatever the reason I am a happy Cactus Lady to see buds and many blooms already this growing season.

Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri, Schlumbergera gaertneri, Hatiora gaertneri
My Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri ‘Easter Cactus’ blooming gorgeous, this cactus was a cutting I got from a friend a few years ago, my friend had taken this cutting from her late Grandmothers very old Easter Cactus.

If you want to know how to get your Cacti and Succulents to Flower then do watch the video I have made for my Cactus & Succulent You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How To Get your Cacti & Succulents to Flower, you can watch this video below:

If you want to know what are the Top 10 best Flowering Cactus Plants to grow then do watch the video I have made for my Cactus & Succulent You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on The Top 10 BEST Flowering Cactus Plants to grow, you can watch this video below:

Not all cacti only flower in Spring and Summer, they are many varieties of Cactus that also flower in Winter too, and if you want to have Cactus flowers all year round, then do watch the video I have made for my Cactus & Succulent You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How To Get your Cacti To Flower ALL Year Round, you can watch this video below:

Here are some photos of some of my blooming lovely cacti that have flowered this Season already, I hope you enjoy their beauty, and for lots of blooming lovely videos of my Cacti and Succulents as well as lots of care tips on growing these awesome plants then do please Subscribe to my You Tube Channel Desert Plants of Avalon.

Aporocactus flagelliformis
My Aporocactus flagelliformis ‘Rats Tail Cactus’ in shocking pink beautiful bloom this Spring 2023.
Mammillaria hahniana, Old Lady Cactus
Mammillaria hahniana, Old Lady Cactus in beautiful flower, Spring 2023.
Epiphyllum Madeline
My Epiphyllum Madeline blooming for the very first time for me with a stunning lemon yellow flower.
Gymnocalycium mihanovichii
My Gymnocalycium mihanovichii with a stunning pink bloom.
Aporocactus malisonii
My Aporocactus mallisonii blooming amazing with a bright red flower.
Gymnocalycium chubutense
My Gymnocalycium chubutense in twin beautiful stunning bloom.
Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri, Schlumbergera gaertneri, Hatiora gaertneri
My Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri, ‘Easter Cactus’ in multiple shocking pink stunning flower.
Epiphyllum Mrs G. Bheam
My Epiphyllum Mrs G. Bheam always put on an incredible flower display every Spring.

Wishing you ALL a fantastic Summer 2023.

The Funky Cactus

The Funky Cactus – A Boutique Store for Funky Flora.

Hi Guys 😀

If you LOVE Cacti and Succulents and Houseplants and you live in the U.K then I have some very good news for you, I have been asked to be an affiliate for the most INCREDIBLE Cactus and Succulent and Houseplant Store called The Funky Cactus.

The Funky Cactus

I am so happy to let you know that there is a very Special 20% discount offer on all purchases from The Funky Cactus via my Affiliate link HERE: https://thefunkycactus.co.uk/desert-plants-of-avalon/ for all of my UK Followers available until 26th May 2023.


The Funky Cactus is an amazing boutique store based in Leeds England, and is owned by a super Funky Couple called Nicola and Tony who are passionate about plants, as well as an awesome shop and website they also have an Etsy shop, The Funky Cactus have an outstanding track record for providing a great customer experience.

The Funky Cactus have a really awesome selection of Cacti and Succulents and Houseplants as well as beautiful Terrariums and pots, so do go and check out their incredible range of exotic plants that they have for sale and because there is a special 20% discount offer via my Affiliate link until the 26th May 2023 go and click on the link and grab yourself a bargain or two.

As an Affiliate for The Funky Cactus it means that I get a small commission with each purchase that goes through my Affiliate link: https://thefunkycactus.co.uk/desert-plants-of-avalon/ and by following the affiliate link it really helps to support me.

The Funky Cactus
Affiliate link for your special 20% discount offer available until 26th May 2023: https://thefunkycactus.co.uk/desert-plants-of-avalon/

I have filmed a special unboxing video for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon, where I unbox awesome Cacti and Succulents from The Funky Cactus, and you will see just how healthy and beautiful the plants from The Funky Cactus are, do watch the Funky unboxing video below.

Wishing all you plant growers a Funky Cactus Powered Day.

cold damage on cactus, Matucana cold damage

Cold Damage on Matucana Cactus- The causes & How to prevent.

Hi Guys 😀 

In this Article I will be talking about cold damage on Matucana Cactus plants, what causes it, what it looks like and how to treat it and to prevent it from happening again.

For lots of Tips and Tricks on growing Cacti and Succulents please check out my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon and don’t forget to Subscribe.

A little bit about Matucana Cacti

Matucana are a genus of Cacti that are mostly globular, but can become more columnar as they age, these cacti are mostly solitary, but some may form clumps as they mature.

There are approximately 20 species of Matucana in this Genus

Matucana are only found growing naturally in their habitat in Peru, they grow at altitudes from 6,000 to 13,000 feet in the Andes Mountains, and although these cacti are getting more popular to grow in cultivation, in its natural Habitat in Peru it is getting more critically endangered.

The flowers on Matucana are very beautiful and can be red, pink, yellow or orange, but red is the most commonly seen flower colour, ( see image below ). These cacti will flower from about 3-5 years old when grown from seed. 

Matucana, Matucana madisonorum, Matucana madisonorum flowers, Matucana flowers,
My Matucana madisonorum cactus in beautiful red flower, note how more columnar in shape it is compared to my other Matucana on the left, these cacti are globular but can grow more columnar as they mature.

Stay tuned for a special care video on Matucana coming up in the next few weeks on my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon, where I will be sharing care tips and tricks on How to grow Matucana.

Cold Damage on Matucana & the Causes

I grow quite a few Matucana in my collection and although ideally they prefer to overwinter at a Winter temperature no lower than 10c / 50F , I do find that as long as my Matucana cacti are kept totally dry with no water given at all from mid September until April then they overwinter in my Polytunnel with no problems at temperatures no lower than 5c /41F .

However this Winter was a bit of a different one and I know there will be a lot of other growers that will agree with me, this Winter was unusually a lot colder in December in the U.K and Ireland and I know a lot of growers in Europe and in the U.S also experienced colder than normal temperatures this Winter, with mnay below freezing day and night temps, due to these very low temps my electric heater in my polytunnel struggled to keep the minimum temperature inside of the polytunnel at 5c /41F and instead the air temperature inside my polytunnel stayed around  2-3c / 35-36F  for most of the two weeks of very cold weather we had in December, on a positive note the temperature kept above freezing in my polytunel and the majority of my plants seem to have come through pretty much O.K except for one of my smaller Matucanas, a Matucana Madisonorum.

After the icy cold weather I checked over all of my cacti, and I noticed yellowish orange patches had appeared on top of my smallest Matucana madisonorum, at first I thought it was a fungus, the most common one being Rust Fungus and I decided to bring it inside the house and isolate it and treat it with a systemic fungicide spray, but after checking out a few cactus groups on Facebook I realised that there were quite a few other growers also experiencing this on their Matucana cacti too, especially Matucana madisonorum, many of these growers had grown these plants for years and just like me this was the first year they had encountered these strange yellow/ orange patches on their Matucana, my Friend Ziggy on You Tube also had exactly the same thing happen on his Matucana madisonorum too, so now we all know that its was due to cold damage and what caused the cold damage was the temperatures dropping too low for this particular type of Cactus. 

cold damage on cactus, Matucana cold damage
These unsightly yellow /orange markings appeared on my Matucana madisonorum Cactus during the very cold freeze in U.K and Ireland During December 2022.

How to treat 

As soon as you notice this type of cold damage on your Matucana cactus move it inside to a warmer position straight away, a bright position in a room with a temperature above 10c /50F is best, because this is due to cold damage it will not spread to your other plants, but if you are not 100% sure that what your cactus has is due to this cold damage then it may be best to isolate it from your other plants, there is nothing you can use to get rid of the yellow /orange marks, but moving the cactus into a warm room or position will help to heal up the markings and the good news is this unsightly looking yellow/orange blotching is only on the epidermis of the cactus skin and is more of an aesthetic problem and should not infect the inside of the cactus, the yellow /orange blotches will eventually go white and in time the cactus should make a great recovery.

How to Prevent 

The best way to prevent this from happening again to your Matucana cactus is to overwinter it at a winter temperature ideally no lower than  8-10 c / 48-50F, if your greenhouse /polytunnel is unheated then its best to bring inside your Matucana if colder than average winter weather is predicted.

The majority of my Cacti including my Matucana seem to overwinter perfectly fine if kept at an absolute minimum temperature of 5c /41F and kept totally dry all through the Winter, but this Winter was an exception due to the extra cold temperatures we experienced, all my other Matucana seem to have got through the cold weather all safe, but they are a lot more mature ( 15 -20 years old ) the little one that got cold damage was around 5 years old.

I have made a video on my Cactus and Succulent You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon showing you what Cold Damage looks like on Matucana Cacti and you can watch this video Below:


For lots of Tips and Tricks on growing Cacti and Succulents please check out my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon and don’t forget to Subscribe.