Saturday, April 07, 2012

Cactolândia 2012!

Hiya! Welcome back on my blog and... Well.. It's only about cacti this time, so see for yourself if you really want to read it all. =)

First I would like to comment that the seedlings of last year are doing really well, but that I won't put any photo's of them in this blog, because it's not about them this time.

(edit: I've decided to add an index to my blog, just about this year's seedlings, just for those who've ended up here googling)


  1.  The beginning, sown at 1-4-2012 and one week later.
  2. 15-4-2012, 2 weeks old.
  3. 22-4-2012, 3 weeks old.
  4. 29-4-2012, quite the same.
  5. 20-5-2012, 7 weeks old.
  6. 17-6-2012, 11 weeks old.
  7. 20-5-2013, more than 1 year old.

April the 1st is always THE day in the year to sow for me. This year didn't differ from the last, so in October last year, I already started to check the internet for seeds. What species I'll grow this time? Hmm... This one looks nice! -CHECK- And this one is cool! - CHECK- And then you end up with a large list that looks like this:

  • AZTEKIUM ritteri
  • BLOSSFELDIA liliputana
  • FRAILEA asterioides 'castanea'
  • TEPHROCACTUS articulatus
  • BROWNINGIA candelaris
  • TRICHOCEREUS aff. candicans
  • PACHYCEREUS pringlei
  • LOPHOPHORA williamsii - v caespitosa, La Perdida ( Peyote )
  • SELENICEREUS grandiflorus
  • SELENICEREUS hondurensis
  • PILOSOCEREUS gounellei
Yeah... I know! That's a large list and I've ordered 20 seeds of each! Holy crap! But this isn't the time to worry... 10 years later I'll have enough time for that kind of "stress". Hmmfff....

Okay! Where was I..... Yes, I've ordered these seeds and did that on the following websites:
ADBLPS from France and Koehres-Kaktus from Germany, both of them seem to be very professional in what they do. (just check out their sites and see for yourself)

ADBLPS - Check out the differences between A. ritteri and T. articulatus (first row on the right and last row on the left).


Now let me tell you something boring about the substrate I use. If you don't grow cacti or never will grow, I suggest you to skip this part and... Well... Actually you should already have skipped a lot! Maybe you're really reading the wrong blog! Anyway... To continue...

On the website Cactiguide I've really found a lot of information! Huge articles about any subject and of course the biggest on-line cacti-encyclopedia. And then there is also a forum connected to the site, where you can ask anything cacti-related. A MUST-READ for anyone that has read my blog till here, because... Seriously, you are doing this to yourself!

The ingredients that I use:

  • Cocopeat (50%)
  • Perlite (30%)
  • Gravel (20%)
I've just mixed it up and put it in the oven for about 45 minutes to be sure that anything living is now dead and then added some water. (use something to put it all in, otherwise your oven will be a big mess and... How the hell do you think to get it all out?!)

This year I'm using plastic buckets to grow them in. Simply dessert-buckets from the supermarket, how cheap can it be. =)

I always just throw the seed on top of the substrate and then gently mix it just a little bit with my fingers. I've read somewhere that the seeds need moisture, substrate, sunshine and about 25 degrees Celsius. Since last year, I use a bottom-heater and I am satisfied about the results. By the way: my bottom-heater is an old heater used for a water-bed. It works perfect for me and I got it for free!

6 days later (which is actually today for me), I've made some photos of each bucket. It's amazing to see how quick these slow growers pop out of the ground! I've always been fascinated about cacti. Already when I was a little kid. Plants and animals always have triggered my interest, but cacti in special, because of their simplicity and their slow growth. Any other plant will change every week, but a cacti is like a piece of art that slowly develops itself into a bigger piece of art. =) Another reason for liking these plants is that they really don't ask much. six months a year you give them once in the two weeks water and once in the 2 or 3 (older cacti even 5) years you have to re-pot them. That's it! Well... I guess everyone has something that fascinates him, don't you? Some people like soccer and spend their entire Sunday watching television, others spend thousands of €'s on cars, so I guess the few time, money and energy I spend on this hobby is kind of justified when you compare it to other hobbies ;-).

Here I am, promising photos and all I do is travelling through my mind... Here they are:

Blossfeldia liliputana and Aztekium ritteri - Can you see them? I can't! They might be out there, but then they're really small.
In the front you can see Frailea asterioides 'castanea'. These ones popped up only two days after I've sown them. On top of the photo you see Epithelantha bokei.
Nothing yet... Check out those seeds. For cacti this isn't the regular size and I've read that this one takes a while till it germinates...
Echinopsis candicans
Pachycereus pringlei - Also popped up kind of quick (three days). I can't forget about the size of his uncle in the wild... Pfff...
LOPHOPHORA williamsii - v caespitosa, La Perdida - Similar to the normal Peyote and actually it's the same specie. They just look a bit different.
Selenicereus hondurensis
Selenicereus grandiflorus, also named 'Queen of the Night', because of the huge flowers.
Pilosocereus gounellei
Browningia candelaris - One at the moment, but my experience with B. microsperma tells me that within 3 weeks the rest will pop up.

The buckets will become more crowded during the upcoming three weeks, because normally cacti seeds germinates within four weeks and sometimes you can find a new one even after one year.

This is it for now... Time to sit down, relax, have a cup of coffee and smoke a pipe. Life's sooooo sad.....