Cactus and Tender Succulents forum: Good beginner cactus

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elbee
Feb 1, 2016 7:51 PM CST
I got my first few succulents and I am amazed at how addicting they are. They are just all so darn cute. I was thinking about getting a cactus and have been looking around at my local Lowe's, Home Dept, etc. Here are a few that I like, common names only, sorry: Golden Ball cactus, mini cinnamon cactus, blue candle cactus, star cactus, mammillaria elegans,and the Thimble cactus. Are any of these good for beginners that don't get huge? And if they flower pretty that is always a plus. Thanks so much in advance. Also, if you have any of these cacti and want to share a picture that would be awesome.
God bless.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Feb 2, 2016 11:04 AM CST
Hi elbee, those cacti sold in bb stores are oftentimes small so, good for starting cacti lovers. They typically would grow bigger depending on their container or if you start planting them inground. But in containers, they stay smaller. They are rather slow growers, so it takes a good while before you need to repot. Handle them with care, always wear your gloves and if you do need to repot, you can wrap the plant with some newspaper so you can grab it safely as you change your container. Good luck and go for it!

Just remember, during winter, most of them are dormant, so water very, very sparingly, and really keep dry. They will resume active growing in Spring to Summer, then they will need watering, but again allow to dry. When you repot, always use containers with drainage holes and use cacti mix. I often add more pumice or perlite in my cacti mix, got to keep them as gritty as I can. They need fast draining media.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Feb 2, 2016 1:19 PM CST
I think I would start with the mini cinnamon cactus (because it will stay small and is forgiving of overwatering). I would avoid the last two on your list as they are mammillarias and are often touchy about water and overdoing it. I've never had luck growing a golden barrel indoors and the blue candle will get several feet tall. I'm not sure what the star cactus is - Astrophytum or Stapelia? I would consider Stapelia a succulent. If its Astrophytum, that would be your best choice as they are easy and smaller than the Opuntia (mini cinnamon cactus).

Daisy

elbee
Feb 2, 2016 1:42 PM CST
Thank you guys! I'll let you know what I go with. Here is a pic of the star cactus


Thumb of 2016-02-02/elbee/889ea2

God bless.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Feb 2, 2016 1:58 PM CST
Oh! I love that shape! Lovey dubby Lovey dubby Pretty pretty! And pretty thorny!! watch your fingers! Keep that on the dry side for now, if you will get it. Smiling
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Feb 2, 2016 2:01 PM CST
Check this link elbee, it looks like this one: http://www.cactus-art.biz/schede/ASTROPHYTUM/Astrophytum_orn...

elbee
Feb 2, 2016 2:16 PM CST
Yep that looks like it. I didn't buy one yet. I want to put another pot of succulents together as well.
God bless.
Name: Sondra
NE Houston, Texas (Zone 9a)
Cat Lover Region: Texas
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SALL20
Feb 3, 2016 12:40 PM CST
This is a picture of my thimble cactus in the middle, with a feather cactus in the upper right. As you can see, the thimble cactus is very low growing.
Thumb of 2016-02-03/SALL20/6efa13

Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Feb 3, 2016 2:41 PM CST
That looks really nice! Very well done!
One word of warning though: your thimble cactus will try very hard to take over that bowl... grows fast and will get taller...
Here is mine starting to overflow the front of the hanging basket I have it in and crowding out some of the other cacti barely visible in the background:
Thumb of 2016-02-03/mcvansoest/1b8add
It started out from a clump that was not even quite the size of your very nice clump.

Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Feb 3, 2016 2:47 PM CST
That sure is very pretty Thijs! Cacti on steroids! It sure likes your growing area! Lovey dubby

Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
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plantmanager
Feb 3, 2016 3:09 PM CST
mcvansoest said:That looks really nice! Very well done!
One word of warning though: your thimble cactus will try very hard to take over that bowl... grows fast and will get taller...
Here is mine starting to overflow the front of the hanging basket I have it in and crowding out some of the other cacti barely visible in the background:
Thumb of 2016-02-03/mcvansoest/1b8add
It started out from a clump that was not even quite the size of your very nice clump.



I love your idea to put it in the hanging basket! I bought a small plant, and it's grown so quickly that it outgrows every small pot I use. Hanging it would be perfect in my greenhouse. Mine has been blooming non stop since I got it. They seem like wonderful little plants.

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Name: Thijs van Soest
Mesa, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Feb 3, 2016 8:00 PM CST
Thank You! Thank You!

Yes these are very quick growers, in hindsight I should have just given that plant a basket all by itself. Mine do not flower year round it shuts off when it gets hot and starts again when it cools down... I have several plants that are filling out small pots made with pieces of this plant that fell off... been giving those away... very rewarding plant and unlike many Mammillarias in the climate here not difficult to grow at all.

I get these hanging baskets from Amazon - Fiskars (if you want I can dig out the link). They come with metal hanging hardware, so now I just have to replace the basket every 3-4 years when the plastic wears out due to the UV exposure, which should be less in a greenhouse. Any other hanging baskets with string/rope/plastic hanging hardware never last very long (but are cheaper so I get those and just re-use the ring and chain from these), I will come home and find the bowl overturned on the ground some day and the cacti scattered around.

Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
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plantmanager
Feb 3, 2016 9:23 PM CST
Thanks for that info, Thijs. I've done that too. I keep the chain and hardware and replace the baskets. UV does tend to ruin plastic before too long.
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Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Feb 13, 2016 5:55 PM CST
Bachmens has better cacti IMHO they don't glue flowers on them today I got a old man of the Andes and a golden barrel cactus
Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Feb 16, 2016 6:21 PM CST
Any updates on the cactus perchices if you made um photos would be nice too

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