Sharp 1inch spikes on a round foot high cactus

Sharp 1inch spikes on a round foot high cactus

Drought Smart Plants reply: Boy, that's one you wouldn't want to accidentally sit on!

I have to warn you, cacti are not my strong suit, so please don't hold me to what I come up with - I could be wrong!

To start with, all cactus plants, no matter which genus and species, have all developed to be a water storage tank, with an alarm system.

This is the place where many people go wrong, and overwater these plants with all good intentions, but they are specially designed to go long periods without any water at all, and if they remain wet too long, it's usually fatal.

Make sure that they have a chance to go completely dry between a good drink - they're much happier that way.

They also need to be in a bright warm environment, preferably on the dry side (not humid).

Judging from the research I've been able to do (there are many, many different kinds of cacti) this one appears to be a type of Echinocactus, one species of which is the Golden Barrel cactus, but there are numerous other types too. The main identifying characteristics are 'large cylindrical cacti with prominent ribs and stout thorns', if you look in the Sunset Western Garden book.

They recommend that you water fairly often in the summer (once every two weeks) and allow them to dry out considerably in the winter months.

Never water a newly repotted Echinocactus, the roots will rot before they start to grow, and that means the death of the plant.

Using these watering techniques, you will most likely see brilliantly coloured blooms in the summer, once they come out of dormancy from the dry winter.

Happy Cactus Gardening!

Look at these pages too:

Cacti and Succulents

Cactus Plants

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