Trichocereus, Trichocereus cacti, Trichocereus UK

Trichocereus UK the awesome online shop ‘For Crazy Cactus People’

Hi Guys ๐Ÿ˜€ 

In this months article I will be talking about the most incredible online cactus shop for all of us crazy cactus people called Trichocereus UK ( trichocereus.co.uk )

Trichocereus for sale, Trichocereus cacti, Trichocereus, San pedro cactus, San pedro cactus for sale,
Trichocereus UK the awesome online shop for Crazy Cactus People.

Trichocereus UK is an online Cactus shop for Crazy Cactus People that is run by a wonderful gentleman called Byron who is passionate about growing cacti and has over 6,000 cactus plants WOW.

Byron has a really incredible selection of extra special Trichocereus and Lophophora cacti as well as amazing large cuttings and cactus seeds of Trichocereus and Lophophora for sale, and if you love these extra special cacti as much as I do then you have to check out Trichocereus UK ( trichocereus.co.uk. )

Byron is a professional plant supplier and issues plant passports with each sale, which is a new UK legal agreement for long distance sales.

The fantastic news is that for all my readers and for my followers on my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon there is a 10% off Coupon for my followers who purchase from Trichocereus UK : please mention ‘PlantsOfAvalon’ and the 10% off will be applied at Checkout.

Trichocereus for sale, Trichocereus cuttings, Trichocereus cacti, Trichocereus cactus,
Trichocereus Uk have an amazing selection of many hard to find for sale Trichocereus including awesome Trichocereus cuts.

As well as their website Trichocereus UK also have a wonderful Facebook page where you can like and follow their page here is the link to their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TrichocereusUK

I was very lucky to have been sent an awesome box of Cacti from Trichocereus UK to unbox and review and all I can say is WOWSERS haha, I unboxed two GORGEOUS big chunky Cuts of Trichocereus peruviana and Trichocereus pachanoi and a stunning Trichocereus scopulicola and a beautiful Lophophora williamsii Seedling and all the Cacti were truly incredible healthy specimens and all arrived very well packed and in perfect condition, I can highly recommend Trichocereus UK to you all. 

Trichocereus, Trichocereus cacti, Trichocereus UK
Me very happy with my gorgeous new Cacti from Trichocereus UK, two big chunky cuts of Trichocereus peruviana and pachanoi and a gorgeous Trichocereus scopulicola and Lophophora williamsii seedling.

I have made an unboxing video for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon where I unbox the incredible Cacti I received from Trichocereus UK, I really was like a big kid at Cactus Christmas haha, you can watch this video below:

Sending all your Crazy Cactus People love and happiness and PLANT POWER from across the Emerald Isle.

 

 

 

How To Prepare for Cactus Winter Care and Dormancy

Hi Guys,

welcome to this months Article that is all about How to prepare your Cactus plants for their Winter rest.

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere like I do then its that time of year again when the growing Season is coming to a close and we have to think about the Winter plans for overwintering our cactus plants.

If you live in the Sothern Hemisphere like Australia then you are now into your Spring ( lucky you haha ) and you will be all set for the upcoming growing season ahead, but if you are like me and live in the Northern hemisphere  and in Spring and Summer and early Autumn you grow your cacti either outdoors in your garden or balcony or in a greenhouse or polytunnel, then during the Winter months you will need to protect any of your cacti that can not tolerate the cold temperatures and rainfall that we get here on this side of the planet.

The Weather
Don’t let your Cactus turn into a Snowman this Winter haha. Make sure you start overwintering your cacti NOW before the frost arrives.

What Cactus/Cacti do you grow and where? this is very important on how low the temperature can go for them in Winter.

There are so many different varieties of cacti and they all vary so much in their minimum Winter temperatures, because of this it is very important to know what type of cactus/cacti you are growing, the minimum temperatures cacti can tolerate in winter can vary so much depending on where they are growing, for example cacti that are being overwintered cool and dry in a dry arid desert climate with low humidity can survive much lower temperatures in winter than cacti that are being overwintered in a climate that is rainy and high in humidity in Winter, such as where I live here in Ireland and UK.

It is the high humidity that can cause the biggest problem in winter for cacti, my climate in Northern Ireland is mild temperature wise in winter and we rarely have a deep frost, but the air humidity is nearly always around 80% and high humidity and cold is not good for cacti.

There are some extremely cold hardy Opuntia cacti such as Opuntia humifusa that can tolerate being covered in freezing Snow if the overall air humidity around them is dry.

Opuntia variety happily surviving covered in heavy snow in Winter BUT the air humidity is also low.

If you are not sure what types of cactus/ cacti you grow then there is a very good website for cactus identification called CactiGuide.com as well as a plant ID App called PlantSnap but if you are still unsure of the type of cactus you are growing then its best to stay on the safe side and overwinter your cactus/cacti at a minimum winter temperature of 10c /50F as this is a safe all round temperature for nearly all of the cacti varieties.

What is the best temperature to overwinter Cacti ? and do they need Sunlight during Winter ? 

Most of the Cacti like to be overwintered cool and dry ideally at a temperature between 5 โ€“ 10 Celsius /  41 -50 Fahrenheit, this encourages them to stop growing and they get to rest over the winter and also encourages blooming in the Spring and Summer of the following year, light is not such a necessity during the Winter as the cacti will not be growing and only resting, and you can overwinter cacti in a sunless unheated room, some growers including myself like to use additional grow lights in the winter for their cacti, especially for any cactus seedlings they are growing, light is still important for young cactus seedlings as cactus seedlings will need to continue to grow during winter, however light is definitely not a necessity for the mature cacti, because mature cacti are not growing during the winter, and I personally know many growers who overwinter their cacti in garages and cellars, and as long as they re introduce their cacti slowly to the light in the spring, ( e.g by protecting them with shade cloth for the first few days to acclimatise them to the higher light levels of Spring ) they have great success with overwintering their cacti this way and still manage to get a wonderful display of blooms in the Spring and Summer on their cacti. 

Rebutia perplexa, Rebutia perplexa flowers
Many Cacti will produce blooms in the Spring and Summer if given a cool and dry rest period in Winter. (Cactus above is my Rebutia perplexa )

Cactus dormancy

Cacti dormancy is triggered by the shorter day length and also the drop in temperatures, because cacti naturally slow down their growth as the days get shorter and the nights get colder as the Winter approaches, its important to stop watering your desert cacti well in advance as dormant desert cacti will not need water during the winter.

What about the Christmas & Thanksgiving Cactus or any Winter blooming Epiphytic cacti ?

the reason why I say desert and not all cacti is because there are some cacti like the Schlumbergera ( Christmas and Thanksgiving cactus ) and some of the Rhipsalis Epiphytic cacti that will still need to be lightly watered during the Winter as they are Winter flowering, there are also certain cacti like Uebelmannia and Melocactus that dont like to be kept totally dry over the whole of the winter and appreciate a light watering once every 4-6 weeks in Winter, these types of cacti also need more warmth in Winter than the other cacti do, and need a minimum winter temperature of 10c / 50F. It really helps if you know the type of cactus you have, and if you are unsure what type of cactus you have then as previously mentioned do check out CactiGuide.com to help with ID, there are also apps to help with cactus identification such as PlantSnap.

Stop Watering your desert cacti NOW! 

I stop watering all of my cacti except my Epiphytic cacti from mid to late September, this is to allow plenty of time for the soil in their pots to totally dry out before the Winter approaches, the larger the pot the earlier you should stop watering, as cacti in large pots with lots of soil will hold on to more moisture in their soil, it really is important that the soil in their pots is dried out before the night temperatures get to low, If you have your cacti in a greenhouse or polytunnel or a covered balcony etc then stopping watering from late Summer early Autumn is the first thing to do to get your cacti prepared for the Winter, but if you have your cacti outside in the open in the garden then you need to move your plants to a covered position to keep the rain off them, by the time you bring your plants inside the house or greenhouse to overwinter the soil should have dried out, if you still have damp soil in pots you can use a few sheets of absorbent kitchen roll or newspaper tucked underneath the drainage holes of the pots to encourage the soil in the pots to dry out faster. 

When do I bring my cacti inside for Winter ?

Its important to bring your cacti inside before the chance of any night frosts are forecast, this can depend on the country you live in, here in Ireland and the U.K we don’t usually need to worry about frost until late October / November time.

If you are overwintering your cacti inside the house then a cool and dry unheated room ideally no warmer than 15c / 60F is best, any warmer than this can prevent your cactus from going dormant and you can have issues like etiolation ( stretched out growth ), If you are not able to overwinter your cacti in an unheated room and can only overwinter them in your living room, bedroom or kitchen etc, then I would still keep them as dry as possible and only water them if they show signs of excess shrivelling, keeping them dry may not prevent them from going into a proper dormancy if the room temperature is warm but it will still help to prevent them from growing stretched out.

During the Autumn and Winter months I heat my polytunnel at a minimum Winter temperature of 5 Celsius / 41 Fahrenheit and I have a thermostat control that switches on if the temperature drops below 5 c / 41f inside the polytunnel, I also use a dehumidifier that is especially for cold and damp environments like greenhouse, polytunnels, garages, cellars etc, I use the dehumidifier on the wet and windy days to keep the humidity no higher than 50% inside the polytunnel, on the dry winter days I will open up the door in the polytunnel to allow plenty of air circulation as air circulation is important if you have your plants in a closed environment and the temperatures are cool, with the heater and the dehumidifier this allows me to keep a large proportion of my cacti safe over the Winter to overwinter them during their Winter rest period, but also still warm enough for the winter growing cacti such as  the Schlumbergera cacti commonly known as the Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti that still continue to grow and flower during the Winter.

Schlumbergera buckleyi in flower, Christmas Cactus in flower
Some of the Epiphytic Cacti varieties such as Schlumbergera (Christmas & Thanksgiving Cactus) and Rhipsalis will bloom during the Winter months when all the other Desert Cacti are having their overwintering rest, its important that you still continue to keep these Epiphytic cacti watered over the Winter.

I hope you found this Cactus Winter Preparation Article helpful, and for an in depth video on How to Overwinter Cacti and Succulents then do check out the video I have made on my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How To Overwinter Cacti and Succulents, and you can watch this video below: 

If you want to know what heater I use for heating my Greenhouse/ Polytunnel then do check out this video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How I heat my Polytunnel Greenhouse in Winter, and you can watch this video below:

If you want to know what dehumidifier I use to keep the air inside my Greenhouse /Polytunnel dry in Winter, then check out this video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon, on installing the dehumidifier and you can watch this video below:

If you want to see my complete Greenhouse/ Polytunnel set up then check out this video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on my Cacti & Succulent Polytunnel set up and you can watch this video below: 

Thank you so much for reading and for lots more tips and tricks on growing Cacti and Succulents check out my You tube Channel Desert Plants of Avalon and don’t forget to Subscribe <3 

 

 

Cephalocereus senilis, Cephalocereus, hairy cacti, hairy cactus, woolly cacti, cacti that have hair, hairy cactus plants,

Why do some Cacti have Hair ?

Hi Guys ๐Ÿ˜€ 

In todays article I am going to be talking about the hairy cacti and why do some Cacti have Hair ?

I have also made a very special video for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on ‘Why do some Cacti have Hair ?’ and you can watch this video below or by clicking HERE:

We have all seen those hairy cacti that are often seen in Cactus growers collections and often sold for sale at most Cactus nurseries and garden shops, these hairy and wacky looking cactus plants are often called ‘old Man’ or ‘old Lady Cactus’ and you have one or two or more of these hairy cactus plants already in your collection, but have you ever wondered why these cactus plants have hair ? and why do only some cacti have hair and not the others ? 

Well in this article I will be explaining the reasons why, but first I am going to mention the most common types of Cacti that you often see that are ‘Hairy’.

1, ESPOSTOA

Espostoa with lots of woven woolly hair
Espostoa with lots of woven woolly hair

Espostoa are a genus of columnar cacti and there is 16 different types if species that in their natural habitats come from the Andes of southern Ecuador and Peru. Espostoa grows at an altitude of between 800m and 2500m. The genus is named after Nicolas E. Esposto, a renowned botanist from Lim.

 

2, CEPHALOCEREUS 

Cephalocereus senilis
Cephalocereus senilis with lots of wild and wacky white hair.

Cephalocereus are a genus of columnar cacti of which there is said to be over 100 different species but only 5 are accepted. Cephalocereus are native to central and southern Mexico, in its natural habitat it is threatened by extinction but is a very common cactus in cultivation. The genus  comes from the Greek word “kephale” meaning “head”and the Latin word”cereus”meaning “wax taper (a candle) or torch

3, OREOCEREUS 

Oreocereus produce white woolly hair
Oreocereus produce white woolly hair

Oreocereus are a genus of columnar cacti from high altitudes of the Andes in south America. This cactus is most commonly known as ‘The Old Man of the Andes’. The name Oreocereus means “mountain cereus”, formed from the Greek prefix oreo- and the New Latin ‘cereus’ meaning wax taper ( a candle) or torch.

4, CLEISTOCACTUS ( most )

Cleistocactus colademononis Cactus,Cleistocactus colademononis flowers, Cleistocactus colademononis blooms,
Cleistocactus colademononis in flower, this wacky Cactus produces lots of trailing stems full of white fluffy hair.
Cleistocactus Seedlings with woolly hair
Cleistocactus Seedlings with woolly hair.

Cleistocactus are mostly columnar Cacti native to the mountainous regions of South America. Although most Cleistocactus are columnar growers some Cleistocactus will be ‘hairy’ such as Cleistocactus colademononsis and Cleistocactus winterii these Cleistocacti are trailing cacti. Clesitocactus are found in Uruguay, Bolivia, Argentina, and Peru. The name Cleistocactus comes from the Greek ‘kleistos’ meaning closed due to the tubular flowers that do not open up like other cactus flowers and instead remain thin and tubular to attract small humming birds as well as bees to pollinate the flowers. 

5, MAMMILLARIA ( some but not all ) 

Mammillaria bocasana Cactus, Mammillaria bocasana flowers, hairy cacti, hairy cactus hairy Mammillarias,
The Mammillaria bocasana cactus produces white fluffy hair.
Mammillaria glassii with white fluffy hair in stunning pink bloom
Mammillaria glassii with white fluffy hair in stunning pink bloom, 

Mammillarias are small cacti often globular or short with cylindrical stems growing either soliatory or in clumps ( pups ) Some Mammillaria will be ‘hairy’ like the Mammillaria bocasana and Mammillaria glassii and Mammillaria Senilis. Mammillaria are the largest genus of the Cactus family, there are around 250 different species of Mammillarias that come from Mexico and in southwest USA.  The name Mammillaria comes from Latin mammilla meaning “nipple”, referring to the tubercles that are a very distinctive feature of the genus. 

So then Why Do Some Cacti have Hair ? 

Cacti produce hair to protect themselves from the elements in their natural habitats, including the harsh intense suns rays and also to protect themselves from the cold nights that can sometimes drop to below freezing, the difference in cultivation is that these Cacti would not be exposed to such extreme temperature drops from over 100F during the day to below zero at night, well hopefully not in our homes and greenhouses anyway haha.

Cactus Plants that don’t produce hair or only produce very little hair are Cactus plants that can tolerate the harsh sunshine levels or they may grow naturally in their habitats surrounded and sheltered by vegetation that protect them.

Some cacti also produce hair to capture what little moisture and dew may be in the air especially in the early mornings, some Cacti can actually absorb water from the hair-like wool and needles.

There are some species of Cacti that don’t have hair on their plant bodies will produce hair when they are producing flower buds, Cactus varieties such as Echinopsis and Trichocereus will do this, they produce the hair on their buds to protect the developing bud from excess sun.

Other Cacti like Pilosocereus and other types of columnar Cacti from all over South America, develop the woolly/ hairy, โ€œcephaliumโ€ when they have reached maturity to flower, they produce this woolly hair at the area where the Cactus is going to bloom, the ‘hairy’ cephalium helps to protect the developing buds from harsh intense sunshine.

There are also some other Genus of Cacti that produce white hair too such as some of the Opuntia ‘Prickly Pear Cacti like Opuntia Polyacantha erinacea  

Some Cacti produce 'Hairy' buds
Some Cacti like Echinopsis produce ‘hairy’ buds, this hair helps to protect the developing buds from strong sunshine.
Pilosocereus produce white hair when they are mature enough to flower
Pilosocereus columnar Cacti produce a Cephalium with white hair when they are mature enough to flower, this woolly Cephalium helps to protect future buds from the strong intense sunshine.

Is Cactus Hair really Hair ?

Cactus hair may look like hair and even feel like hair but is Cactus hair really hair ? well the answer to this is no, and that is because real hair as in Human and animal hair is made up of a protein called ‘Keratin’ and Cactus hair is actually modified spines that develop from a group of cells called ‘Spine Primordia’

But what if my Cactus isn’t meant to be hairy but has bits of white woolly hair on it ? 

Now if you are sure that your cactus is not one of these ‘hairy’ ones then you may have a problem and thats because there is something else that can be mistaken for hair and that is the dreaded Mealy Bug ‘Beasties’, these pests will produce white woolly nests on your cactus plants and love to hide their woolly nests in between the spines and often on the areoles ( the area where spines emerge ) where they are very hide to see, if mealy bugs are the reason your none hairy cactus is suddenly getting ‘hairy’ then you will need to take immediate action and isolate the cactus/s from your other collection and remove any bugs and their woolly nests with rubbing alcohol and a brush and treat with either repeated weekly treatments with horticultural Neem oil mixed with a horticultural soap or use a Systemic insecticide for dealing with Mealy Bugs. If you have a greenhouse/polytunnel you can also use the predatory mite Ladybug called Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, but these predatory Ladybugs need a warm tropical temperature of at least 16c / 60F to reproduce, but these predatory Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Ladybugs can still be very effective against Mealy Bugs if they are used during the warm Summer months in a greenhouse /glasshouse /polytunnel. I have made a video on my Cactus and Succulent You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to treat Mealy Bugs on Cactus, including a special video on ‘How to treat Mealy Bugs on very hairy and or spiny Cacti‘ and you can watch this video by clicking HERE:   

Mealy Bugs on a Ferocactus
Mealy Bugs on a Ferocactus, If you notice woolly nests on your none ‘Hairy’ cactus it could be Mealy Bugs and you need to act fast.

I hope you enjoyed this Article on ‘Hairy Cactus plants’ and if you don’t have any hairy cacti in your collection then why not add one of these beauties to your collection.

If you want to have a look at the different types of ‘Hairy’ Cacti that I have in my Cactus Collection then please do check out the video below that I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon.

If you have always wondered why Cacti have Spines ? then please do check out the video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on ‘Why do Cacti have Spines ? ‘

For lots more Tips and Tricks on How you can care for and grow your Cacti and Succulents then please do check out my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon and please do Subscribe ๐Ÿ˜€