So happy with our new Polytunnel & Spring is coming

Hi Cacti and Succulent Growers, I hope that everyone is having a wonderful start to 2024 so far, I had a wonderful end to 2023 by putting away and arranging all of my cacti and succulent plants into our wonderful new Polytunnel that we got at the end of October, and I have been busy planning ahead for all of the plant jobs I want to do for the growing season and I am really looking forward to the upcoming Spring, I am itching to start watering my Cacti, but its still only February and I have to be patient haha.

My partner Hans and I are so happy with our new polytunnel that we got from Polytunnelsni here in Northern Ireland, its 12 feet wide and 18 feet long, and its got a clear cover making it so much lighter inside than our previous polytunnel that had a green cover, it also passed the test last month in January when we had two very severe storms with up to 70mph strong gale force winds, the polytunnel never moved an inch and passed the strong storms with flying colours.

I am so looking forward to seeing how my cacti and succulents grow this spring and summer with the extra light inside this new polytunnel.

Here are some photos of the plants inside our new Polytunnel and I will keep you all updated how the plants grow and flower this year inside this new tunnel.

I had a wonderful time putting all the plants away and re arranging them all inside our new Polytunnel

Me in my absolute element putting all the plants away and re arranging them all in the polytunnel.

This new Polytunnel is a fantastic height 7ft high, making it so much better for all the cereus cacti.

My Plants really are really loving their new home.

The Polytunnel has Crop bars making it perfect for the hanging cactus and succulent plants.

I am so looking forward to seeing how the plants grow and flower this Spring and Summer with the extra light.

This Polytunnel is 2 feet wider than our previous one and its amazing how much more space there is inside.

Me on the day the polytunnel was put up, I was like a big kid haha, Wayne from Polytunnelsni and his assistant did an amazing job of putting up the polytunnel and we are very happy with it.

If you haven’t done already then please consider subscribing to my Cactus and Succulent You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon, I share lots of tips and tricks on how to care for your Cacti and Succulents.

We are through the other side of Winter now its February and that means YIPPPPPPEEEEE! yes Spring is soon coming haha.

Sending you all lots of love and PLANT POWER from the Emerald Isle.

Its Schlumbergera ‘Thanksgiving & Christmas Cactus’ Season

Hi Guys,

I hope you all had a wonderful Spring and Summer growing Season of 2023 and you had lots of fun looking after and growing your Cacti and Succulents this Summer, or maybe you are living in the southern hemisphere and its your Spring now and you have all of the growing season ahead of you.

I have been extremely busy this Fall /Autumn with our wonderful new Cactus and Succulent Polytunnel, but I will share a Blog post about our new Polytunnel when all the plants have been put away in there, but for now I want to share with you a few photos of my Schlumbergera truncata cacti commonly known as the Thanksgiving or the Christmas Cacti that are blooming so beautiful right now, its always such a pleasure to see the blooms on these Schlumbergera at this time of year when all of the desert cacti are resting.

My Schlumbergera truncata ‘bright pink flowering’

I am amazed at how much earlier this year my Schlumbergera have come into bloom, last year it was a late start for them and I had many of my Schlumbergera only coming into bloom in January and February, I have noticed a few other growers saying the same too.

I always love to cross pollinate the flowers on Schlumbergera to make my own Hybrids and I have had great success with getting seed this way, although its much faster to propagate these plants from their clades ( leaves ) its so much fun to grow them from seed and always exciting to see what flower colour your cross pollinations will turn out to be, I have grown many from seed and they start to bloom from about 4-5 years when grown from seed.

Cross pollinating the flowers of my pink and orange flowering Schlumbergera.

Check out the video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon of my Schlumbergera Cactus Seedlings that I have grown from seed from my cross pollinations and you can watch this video below:

If you want to know how to cross pollinate Schlumbergera flowers to get seed then check out the video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to Cross Pollinate Schlumbergera flowers and you can watch this video below:

Schlumbergera put a lot of their energy into producing flowers, and once they have finished flowering its not unusual for Schlumbergera to wilt and look a bit limp, this is normal as the cactus goes into a bit of a rest period straight after flowering and this is when watering should be reduced, after my Schlumbergera have flowered I cut right back on watering them and let the soil in their pots dry out that little bit longer before watering them again, once Spring arrives and they start to grow new clades ( leaves ) I water more regularly and water them every time the top surface of the soil has dried out, never overwater your Schlumbergera as even during the Spring and Summer they like their soil to dry out slightly in between watering, and although they can survive weeks without water they don’t like to go weeks and months without water like the desert cacti can.

Check out the video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on Why your Schlumbergera cactus goes limp after Flowering, and you can watch this video below:

Here are some photos of my Schlumbergera that are blooming beautiful this month ( November 2023 )

My Schlumbergera truncata ‘Gold Charm’

My Schlumbergera tendenza ‘Orange Brazil’

Schlumbergera Enigma Thor Wild

My Schlumbergera ‘Enigma’ Thor Wild.

My Schlumbergera truncata ‘Yellow flowering’

My Schlumbergera truncata ‘red flowering’ this Schlumbergera is at least 70 years old.

My Schlumbergera truncata ‘pink and white two tone’

My Schlumbergera truncata ‘White Flowering’

If you want to know How to Care for and Grow Schlumbergera then do watch the video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon below:

Wishing everyone a wonderful upcoming Winter and a blooming amazing plant powered Holiday season ahead.

Strombocactus disciformis, Strombocactus, rare cacti, rare cactus for sale, rare cacti for sale, rare cactus plants,

How To Grow Strombocactus disciformis – RARE CACTUS

Hi Guys,

In this Article I will be talking about the wonderful and unique Strombocactus disciformis Cactus and how you can care for it.

I have made a special care video on Strombocactus disciformis for my Cactus and Succulent You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon and you can watch this video by clicking HERE

A little bit about Strombocactus disciformis 

Strombocactus disciformis is a unique and rare species of cactus that comes from Mexico, there is only one species in the Strombocactus genus and that is Strombocactus disciformis, but there are two sub species varieties of Strombocactus disciformis: Strombocactus disciformis that has cream coloured flowers and Strombocactus disciformis ssp. esperanzae that has deep pink coloured flowers.

Strombocactus has a turnip like taproot similar to Ariocarpus and Lophophora cacti, they are globular and have tubercle like ribs almost resembling a small pine cone in appearance, they are very small growing and due to this many are often sold grafted to help to speed up their growth, sadly in their natural habitats in Mexico Strombocactus are at threat to the illegal collection of rare cacti for the commercial plant trade.


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My Strombocactus disciformis, grown from seed. Strombocactus have tubercle like ribs almost resembling a little Pine cone in their appearance.


Strombocactus like a sunny position and a south facing window indoors or sunny position in the greenhouse is ideal, avoid north facing windows or a position that doesn’t get much sun because these cacti need strong sunshine to thrive, if you only have a window or position that doesn’t get much sun during their active growing period ( Spring and Summer ) then a special full spectrum Plant LED Grow light can be used to replicate the full light spectrum these beauties need to grow and flower.

Grow Lights for plants
Full spectrum LED Grow Lights especially made for Plants can be used if more sunshine is needed.


These cacti can take very high summer temperatures as long as they have plenty of ventilation, make sure windows and doors are open and cool fan/s are running during hot stuffy days.

In Winter keep these cacti at a minimum winter temperature of 5c / 41F with no water to be given to them at all over the winter period, if you live in an area where temperatures can fall lower than 5c /41F bring your Strombocactus indoors into a dry and bright window or location for the winter months.


Water sparingly from Spring to the end of Summer ( April to September )  and only water once the soil has totally dried out in their pots, these cacti can go a lot longer in between watering’s than many other types of cacti due to their large turnip like taproots, these cacti store water in their tuberous root and if the soil stays too damp for too long they can be very prone to rot, I give my Strombocactus a light watering about once a month from April until mid September when I stop watering completely until the following Spring.

These Cacti need a totally dry overwintering with no water to be given at all from mid Sept until April.


Fertilise Strombocactus with half the strength of Cactus feed in Spring and Summer, I usually give my Strombocactus a feed after the second watering in May and then again when I water in July, because these cacti are extremely slow growing feeding is not an absolute necessity, but it can help to encourage better growth and more chance of flowers, especially because these Cacti are often left to grow in the same pot for a good few years due to their slow growth.

Soil Mix: 

Strombocactus need an extremely well draining gritty cactus mix and are very prone to rotting if they are planted in a normal house plant soil, a good quality well draining cactus soil that drains freely and dries out fast is an absolute must, I use a mix of 3 equal parts of loam ( John innes number 2 ) grit and Horticultural sharp sand, but every grower has their own preferences for cactus soil, the most important thing is that it is very well draining and dries out fast within a day or two after watering.

If you want to know How I make my own Cactus soil and How you can too then check out the video I have made for my Cactus and Succulent You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How To Make your own Cactus & Succulent Soil, and you can watch this video below:


Repotting is always best done in the Spring and Summer months but avoid repotting when the cactus is coming into bud or bloom, repot into just the next size pot up and do not be tempted to pot up into a much bigger pot thinking your Strombocactus will grow faster and larger because these Cacti have their Turnip like taproots that are very sensitive to excess moisture that can hang around if these cacti are planted up into too large a pot, I am often being asked why I say to under rather than overpot a cactus when in their natural habitats Cacti are growing with plenty of space to grow their roots, but the difference is in their natural habitats cacti often grow in crevices and in very dry arid landscapes where any rainfall dries out within hours and so does the substrate they are growing in and the air humidity around them, but in cultivation its a very different story.

When repotted keep the cactus dry with no water for at least 2 weeks to allow any roots to heal and for the cactus to settle into its new soil and pot.

Flowering :

Strombocactus disciformis produces cream flowers from spring to summer, and Strombocactus disciformis ssp esperansae produces bright pink flowers from spring to summer, the flowers are about 3-4 cm in width and grow from the apex of the Cactus. Sorry I don’t have any photos to show you of their flowers as I am still waiting for my Strombocactus to flower and I can’t use others photos online, but do have a little ‘google’ at ‘Stombocactus Flowers’ online and you will see how beautiful Strombocactus flowers can be.


Strombocactus is propagated from seeds in early Spring and although very rewarding to do, a lot of patience is needed as they are extremely slow growing, these cacti will often flower from 10 years old when grown from seed.

If you would like to grow Strombocactus or any other Cactus from seed then I have made a special video for my Cactus and Succulent You Tube Channel  called Desert Plants of Avalon on How To Grow Cacti from Seed’ and you can watch this video below:

Pests & Diseases:

Like all Cacti Strombocactus can be prone to Mealy Bugs and Spider mites, both these pesky beasts can be treated with rubbing / Isopropyl alcohol by dabbing any beasts and their woolly nests with a small brush like an Artists paint brush dipped in rubbing/Isopropyl alcohol, Spider mites can be treated by spraying the cactus with with rubbing / Isopropyl alcohol in a hand held mist sprayer, Horticultural Neem oil mixed with Horticultural soap is also very effective both as a preventative and as a treatment for beasts on cacti, both rubbing alcohol and Neem oil treatments need to be repeated a number of times over a couple of weeks to completely eliminate all traces of beasts and their eggs, its also very important to treat all cacti and succulents and other plants you have in your collection at the same time.

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A Mealybug infestation on a Cactus. Mealybug is a very common Pest for every type of cactus, Horticultural Neem oil or Rubbing /Isopropyl alcohol helps to keep these beasts under control.

The most common form of disease with Strombocactus is root or base rot, these Cacti need a very well draining gritty cactus mix due to their turnip tuberous roots, very careful watering in spring and summer and a totally dry overwintering should prevent any chances of rot.

I have made a special care video on Strombocactus disciformis for my Cactus and Succulent You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon and you can watch this video below:

Thanks so much for reading and Happy Growing to you all.