04 June 2015

The cactaholic

I guess it just starts with one, which gets followed up by another, then another, and before you know it you're hooked.  Collecting cacti and succulents, that is.  I am no stranger to gardening, though.  Back in college, my friends and I worked part-time at the Library and growing african violets by the windowsill was a favourite occupation amongst the Librarians.  We brought home leaf cuttings and soon we were cultivating other plants and frequented the Orchidarium to feed this latest obsession.  I had a number of bonsai that I was quite proud of.

So growing cacti and succulents isn't really a new thing for me.  Even better, these plants are more forgiving and require less care so it's easy to become enamoured and attracted to collecting these.

As of last count, I have around 35 different kinds.  I will feature them all on this blog in batches.  And here's the first set.

Astrphytum ornatum var. marbellii

I was attracted to this cactus by its symmetrical, twisting shape.  Only in cacti can you find such amazing living sculptures.

Echeveria 'black prince'
A friend gave this to me.  I gave it some new soil towards the end of summer, and it rewarded me with a bunch of flowers.

Senecio repens
I was intrigued by this one.  It has short stems, from which these succulent leaves grow.  It is a slow grower though.  I thought it was dying when a couple of its old leaves dropped off, but some new ones are starting to come out.

I am not 100% certain that this is lithops (living stone cactus).  The images I have seen on the net are flatter than the one pictured below.  It does look intriguing though.  They say that lithops are amongst the cacti that you can easily overwater, so try resist the urge to water this one as regular as when I give the others a drink.
Update: I've found out the name for this one.  It's called split rock cactus, so named because it looks like a rock split in two (d'oh!).  Scientific name Pleiospilos_Nelii.

And that's it for the first batch!

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