cacti, cactus plants, desert plants of avalon, Succulents, succulent plants,

Can you Grow Cactus Plants in a North Facing Window ?

Hello Cactus and Succulent growers,

In this Article I will be talking about ‘Can you Grow Cactus Plants in a North facing Window ?’

cacti, cactus plants, desert plants of avalon, Succulents, succulent plants,
Cactus Plants are Sun Worshippers but is it still possible to grow them in a sunless north facing window ?

When we talk about growing Cactus plants in cultivation, we often think of them being sun lovers and needing the sunniest window or position in the garden to thrive, and while this is true for quite a lot of the desert growing Cactus varieties, what do you do if you don’t have a sunny window to grow Cactus plants on and all you have is a sunless window ? and on my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon I am often being asked ‘Can you Grow Cactus Plants in a North Facing Window ?’

well the answer to this is both a Yes and No

It all depends on the type of Cactus/Cacti that you want to grow in your north facing window, although the majority of Cacti do love a sunny position there are also Cacti that grow very well in a more shadier position, in fact some cacti actually prefer a more shadier position and will grow and flower much better in either a north or east facing window.

So then what Cactus plants can be grown in a north facing window ? 

The Schlumbergera ‘Holiday’ group of Cacti commonly known as the Christmas and Thanksgiving Cacti and also the Rhipsalidopsis Cacti commonly known as the Easter Cactus can be grown very happily in a north facing window, and I know from experience that these ‘Holiday’ Cacti will definitely grow well and flower in a north facing window as long as the window is bright and the light is not overshadowed by larger buildings, I have had my ‘Holiday’ Cacti flower for me in north facing windows, its important to remember though that ‘Holiday’ Cacti are very light sensitive and its the shorter days/nights that trigger blooming for them, and if you have your ‘Holiday’ Cacti in a part of your home that you have the lights on after dark, this may prevent your ‘Holiday’ Cacti from blooming, and a good tip is to place a box carefully over your cacti during the evenings you have your lights on, this will block out the light from your cacti and mimic the natural darkness outside, then remove the box when you turn the lights back off again.

Schlumbergera buckleyi in flower, Christmas Cactus in flower
Schlumbergera buckleyi in flower, Christmas Cactus in flower, these Cacti will grow and bloom quite happily in a north facing sunless window.
Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri, Schlumbergera gaertneri, Easter Cactus in flower
Rhipsalidopsis gaertneri, Easter Cactus in flower, these Cacti can grow and bloom in a north facing window

Rhipsalis is another group of Cactus that will grow very happily in a north facing window too, these Rhipsalis Cacti are epiphytic and grow in their natural habitats in Rainforests where they are shaded from direct sunshine, and the majority of them will grow and flower happily in a north window as long as it is bright enough, but in my experience there are some Rhipsalis such as the Rhipsalis pilocarpa that will not flower as readily in a north window and an east facing window may be better if you want to have blooms, but they will definitely grow well and survive in north facing windows, or you can add a plant LED Grow Light over the plants and have the light on for about 3 hours a day during the daylight hours to mimic the sunshine outside for a higher chance of blooming on your Rhipsalis Cacti.

Rhipsalis baccifera in flower
Rhipsalis baccifera, most of the Rhipsalis will grow and even flower in a north facing window.
Rhipsalis crispata in flower
Rhipsalis crispata in flower, this Rhipsalis will grow and flower well in a bright but sunless north facing window.

What about the Desert Cacti ? 

The Desert Cacti unfortunately can’t be grown and will definitely not flower in a north facing window without the help of additional plant Grow Lights, they can however be overwintered in a north facing window for the Winter rest period from September to April with no problems at all, as long as they can be kept cool and dry with no water given to them during the Winter months, watering the Desert Cacti during the winter will encourage thin spindly growth and possible rot, and as long as you can move your Desert Cacti to a sunny window or position during the Spring and Summer for their growing period, then its perfectly fine to overwinter Desert Cacti on a north facing window, however I would still recommend adding a plant LED Grow Light for Desert Cacti in north facing windows over the winter to give them a boost of artificial ‘sunshine’ as this will help to encourage more blooms on your cacti in Spring and Summer.

Grow Lights for plants
If all you have is a sunless north facing Window and you really want to grow Desert Cacti then you can install a Plant LED Grow Light, these are available on AMAZON, the Grow Light in this photo is one by ‘Mars Hydr0’ 

But what if I only have a north facing window and I can’t move my Desert Cacti outside for Spring and Summer ? 

Well the good news to this is that there is always a way around everything haha, and if all you have is a north facing window and you don’t have any sunny windows or a garden or balcony to move your Desert Cacti in Spring and Summer, then what you can do is install a LED Plant Grow Light/s there are many excellent ones on AMAZON, but personally the ones I would highly recommend for growing Cacti would be the top notch quality Grow Lights from Mars Hydro or Spider Farmer, both of these companies produce excellent plant LED Grow lights and are available to purchase on AMAZON, and although they can be pricey to buy initially, they are a fantastic investment for your Cactus plants, and I know a lot of you may be worrying about the cost of having Grow Lights on for your Cacti especially with all the recent rising costs with electricity, they are very cost effective as most of these Grow Lights will give off 1000 Watts of bright artificial sunlight but only consume 50Watts of actual electricity, and if you are placing these lights in a north facing window that is bright but sunless, you only need to have these lights on for around 4-6 hours a day to mimic the amount of direct sunshine these cacti would normally receive in a sunny window, by the use of grow lights you will definitely be able to grow your Desert Cacti in north facing windows and you will get them to flower for you too. 

I hope you found this Article helpful and here is a video below that I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on ‘Can you Grow Cactus Plants in a North Facing Window ? ‘ 

For lots more Tips and Tricks on How you can care for Cacti and Succulents then please do check out my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon by clicking HERE

Thanks so much for reading and wishing you ALL a fantastic Plant Powered day or evening.

 

 

 

How To Get your Cacti To Flower ALL Year Round

Hi Guys 😀 

We all love to see our cacti flower, and I am often being asked if its possible to get a cactus to flower not just in the Spring and Summer but also in the Autumn and Winter too, and how lovely would it be to experience a display of cactus blooms all through the year.

Sulcorebutia in flower, Sulcorebutia cactus, red flowering sulcorebutia
How lovely would it be to see a display of Cacti Flowers all through the year.

Now all Cacti have their own flowering seasons, and the majority of them do have their flowering seasons during the Spring and Summer only, but there are also many Cacti that have their flowering season in the Autumn and Winter, think of the Christmas and Thanksgiving Cacti ( Schlumbergera ) these cacti produce and abundance of blooms from October until February often blooming more than once during the Winter season, and some of the Epiphytic cacti such as Rhipsalis are Winter bloomers and Rhipsalis also has the advantage of re blooming again in the Spring and Summer too.

Christmas cactus flowers, Christmas cactus, Schlumbergera buckleyi,,
Schlumbergera buckleyi The Christmas Cactus blooms from late November until early February
Christmas cactus, Schlumbergera truncata, red flowering Christmas cactus, Christmas cactus red flowers, Xmas cactus,
Schlumbergera truncata, the Thanksgiving Cactus blooms from October till December

Is it possible to get an individual cactus to flower all year round ?

Now as I mentioned above all cacti have their own flowering Season, but it is possible to artificially force a cactus to flower out of season by using LED Plant Grow lights and leaving them on in Winter for around 15-17 hours a day, this will make the cactus think it is Spring and Summer and will encourage the cactus to come into bloom, this is why Desert Cacti that are sold in flower in Winter in garden shops have been forced to flower at the wrong time by the plant nurseries by the use of grow lights, and of course many cacti are sold with fake plastic or paper flowers stuck onto them just to get a quick sale. However I strongly advise against forcing your cacti to flower out of season because this can weaken your cactus, cacti really need to have a resting period, they need this so they can put their natural energy into producing blooms and growth in the Spring and Summer, by forcing your Desert cacti to bloom in Winter when they should be resting is a recipe for disaster long term.

Mammillaria carmenera, Mammillaria carmernera flower
Mammillaria carmenera a beautiful Spring and Summer bloomer

So then How do you get your Cacti to flower all through the Year ?   

Well I suggest that you grow a variety of different types of Cacti such as Desert Cacti, Holiday Cacti like Christmas and Thanksgiving Cacti ( Schlumbergera ) and Epiphytic Cacti like Rhipsalis, and you will have Cacti that flower for you ALL year round.

Rebutia albipilosa flowers, Rebutia albipilosa
Rebutia albipilosa, a gorgeous striking bloomer with bright orange blooms in spring

Cacti really do surprise us with the most BEAUTIFUL of Blooms.

Echinopsis subdenudata, sea urchin cactus,
Echinopsis subdenudata a prolific bloomer in Spring and Summer and even early Autumn.
Rebutia perplexa, Rebutia perplexa flowers
Rebutia perplexa produces a stunning bouquet of pink blooms in Spring
Gymnocalycium pflanzii. Gymnocalycium pflanzii blooms
Gymnocalycium pflanzii a stunning Spring, Summer and early Autumn bloomer

Here is a video that I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon where I talk about How you can get your Cacti to Flower ALL year round.

If you want to know How to get your Cacti to Flower then watch my video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to Get your Cacti to Flower  

If you want to know what Cacti are the best and easiest to get to flower then you can watch my video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on the Top 10 BEST Flowering Cactus Plants

I hope you enjoyed the read and wishing you all a blooming lovely day.

Myrtillocactus geometrizans cv. Fukurokuryuzinboku, Myrtillocactus geometrizans

How To Care for Myrtillocactus geometrizans ‘Fukurokuryuzinboku’ The Booby Cactus

Hi Guys 😀 In this Cactus care Blog I am talking about the very unusual and very wacky and yes a little bit naughty of a cactus called Myrtillocactus geometrizans var. ‘Fukurokuryuzinboku’ also known as ‘The Booby Cactus’ 

I have made a special How To Care for video on Myrtillocactus geometrizans var. ‘Fukurokuryuzinboku‘ also known as ‘The Booby Cactus’ on my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon and I have linked the care video at the end of this Blog 😀 

Myrtillocactus geometrizans cv. Fukurokuryuzinboku, Myrtillocactus geometrizans
Myrtillocactus geometrizans, Myrtillocactus geometrizans cv. Fukurokuryuzinboku, also known as Blue Candle Booby cactus, Breast Cactus, Titty Cactus.

ABOUT :

Myrtillocactus geometrizans Fukurokuryuzinboku is a monstrose cultivar of the more commonly seen Myrtillocactus geometrizans, but this Cactus has more unusual shaped ribs along with areoles that resemble nipples making this cactus appear like it has little breasts in appearance, this is why this cactus is often nicknamed as ‘The Booby Cactus’ or ‘Titty Cactus’.

Myrtillocactus geometrizans Fukurokuryuzinboku is a rare plant to find for sale and is only available from specialist cactus nurseries and online cactus nurseries but is now becoming more popular to grow in cultivation, it is definitely one of the more expensive cactus plants to buy.

It is a Japanese cultivar that can grow up to 4.5 metres high ( 178 inches ) and 10 cm wide in diameter ( 4 inches ).

LIGHT :

This cactus definitely like a nice sunny spot, however when these plants are still young ( less than 3 inches in height ) or if taken as cuttings they are best placed in a less sunnier position, however when cuttings have fully rooted and the plant is taller than 3 inches in height they love to be placed in a sunny position as long as ventilation can be provided. If grown on a very sunny south facing window in the middle of summer then a shade cloth may be placed over the window to allow indirect sunshine onto the plant this will prevent scorch or yellowing of the stem.

SOIL : 

A very well draining cactus soil is an absolute must for these cacti as soil that stays wet for too long will encourage rot, a good quality well draining cactus and succulent soil mix is to be used and not any other type of houseplant soil. I like to make my own cactus soil up for these cacti and use a mix of 3 equal parts of Loam, Horticultural sharp sand, and Grit. Here is a video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How I make my own cactus soil and you can watch this video below:

WATERING : 

From Spring until mid Fall / Autumn these cacti love to be watered very regularly always allowing the soil in their pots to fully dry out first before watering them again, this is a better guide I like to give to people because when it comes to watering all cacti, one size does not fit all haha, as it can depend on many different factors for example the temperature, the climate etc, but as a good rule of thumb during their active growing period of Spring until mid Fall I recommend to water every time the soil in their pots has fully dried out.

In Winter these cacti like to have a winter rest period and no water should be given from late Fall / Autumn  until Spring. Its normal for these cacti to shrivel as they use up their water stores during winter and their little ‘breasts’ will start to shrivel haha ‘however if you are overwintering your cactus indoors in a heated room and notice that the cactus is looking a bit too shrivelled you can go ahead and water just enough to plump up the plant again, but avoid doing this if growing your cactus in a cooler environment e.g a greenhouse or polytunnel etc, due to the cooler temperatures and higher air humidity levels of a greenhouse or polytunnel or other outdoor structure, its better a few wrinkly ‘boobs’ than  rotten ones haha, and your cactus will soon plump back up again in Spring when normal watering resumes.

Clean Rainwater is always best if you have access to it, but if not then let your tap water sit for 24 hours to help to dissipate some of the chemicals that are present in tap water.

FERTILISING : 

From spring and Summer feed these cacti once every 3 weeks with a good quality cactus and succulent fertiliser. Do not feed at all in Winter when these plants are resting.

TEMPERATURE : 

Myrtillocactus geometrizans Fukurokuryuzinboku can not take frost and in Winter this cactus must be kept above 10 Celsius / 50 Fahrenheit, many growers would recommend that they can take lower than this if kept totally dry over winter but personally I would not recommend it as Myrtillocactus has a tendency to scar and scab and at the worst case rot in low temperatures during the Winter months when they are dormant, especially in my climate in Ireland and the UK where the air humidity is very high outdoors in winter, if you live in a more arid winter environment and country then its possible these plants can take lower temps in Winter but avoid frost at all costs.

During the Spring and Summer these cacti can take very high temperatures as long as plenty of ventilation can be given. If growing behind glass, e.g in a sunny window or greenhouse or conservatory, sun room etc, then windows must be open or and a fan / doors etc for ventilation during very hot and sunny days.

Myrtillocactus geometrizans, Myrtillocactus geometrizans cv. Fukurokuryuzinboku, Blue Candle Booby cactus,Cactus, Breast Cactus, Titty Cactus,
Myrtillocactus geometrizans, Myrtillocactus geometrizans cv. Fukurokuryuzinboku, Blue Candle Booby cactus,Cactus, Breast Cactus, Titty Cactus,

RE POTTING : 

Its best to re pot these cacti during their active growing period in Spring and Summer and only when the plant has outgrown its pot, as with all cacti its far better to under pot rather than over pot because too much soil around their roots can stay damp for too long and may encourage the chances of root rot.

FLOWERING : 

Myrtillocactus geometrizans Fukurokuryuzinboku will bloom when mature from about 60 cm tall in height ( 24 inches ) The flowers form in Spring and are small white flowers.

PROPAGATION : 

Propagation of Myrtillocactus geometrizans Fukurokuryuzinboku is from cuttings taken in Spring and Summer. Cuttings need to fully dry ( callus ) over for a couple of weeks or more until a hard white callus has formed at the base of the cut before planting up as cuttings. Cuttings of these cacti need very warm weather above 18 Celsius / 65 Fahrenheit to root for the best success, additional heat with a heat mat can help with rooting these cuttings if your Summers are cool and damp like mine in Ireland and UK.

Seed propagation of Myrtillocactus geometrizans Fukurokuryuzinbokus is not recommend, this is because this cactus is a monstrose variety of the original Myrtillocactus geometrizans and any seeds germinated will grow as normal Myrtillocactus geometrizans cactus plants and will not grow with the little ‘breasts’.

I have made a video for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to care for Myrtillocactus geometrizans Fukurokuryuzinboku aka The Booby Cactus and you can watch this video below :

I hope you enjoyed reading and learning lots about this very bizarre and wacky cactus.

Check out my Cacti and Succulent You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon for lots more tips and tricks on many different types of cacti and succulents and also for lots more info on how you can care for your Cacti and Succulents.

Thanks so much for reading and sending you all lots of HAPPY GROWING.