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Avatar for germanyjulie
Mar 21, 2014 4:47 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Julie Widis
Cypress, Texas (Zone 9a)
I have had this cactus for several years and it used to bloom many beautiful yellow flowers, but last year all I got were the red "buds" but no blooms. I don't do anything except water this once every two weeks or so, so perhaps it's because it's needs fertilizer. I'm certain it's needs to be trimmed quite a bit because they are many that are pointing downwards rather than up and also wondering if the graying at the lower center of the plant is normal or if points to a problem. Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Avatar for growitall
Mar 21, 2014 4:57 PM CST
Name: Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Plant Identifier
I don't have an answer to the non-blooming but if the "red buds" you're referring to are visible in your photos, they are actually fruit from the last bloom (not flower buds). Trimming your cactus shouldn't be necessary.
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Mar 21, 2014 5:48 PM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: Ukraine Region: United States of America Bird Bath, Fountain and Waterfall Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Beautiful Opuntia? Cactus! I agree with growitall, those red things are the fruit. Flowers appear before the fruit so you must have missed them. Smiling
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


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Mar 21, 2014 5:49 PM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: Ukraine Region: United States of America Bird Bath, Fountain and Waterfall Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
germanyjulie: I forgot to say Welcome! to All Things Plants!
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Avatar for germanyjulie
Mar 21, 2014 5:54 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Julie Widis
Cypress, Texas (Zone 9a)
Yes that rings a bell..them being fruit. I can promise I haven't missed the flowers as it sits just off of my office and I'm always checking it. I kept thinking that the red would then bloom my yellow flowers but didn't happen. We've had a brutal winter and it's only just past having freezing temps. I've lost a few cactus for the first time.
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Mar 21, 2014 5:57 PM CST
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Avid Green Pages Reviewer
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Garden Ideas: Master Level Cat Lover Birds Region: Tennessee Echinacea
I have as well, sad to say, including a few Opuntias. I've never had that happen before but this was our coldest winter in more than 30 years.
I garden for the pollinators.
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Mar 21, 2014 5:57 PM CST
Plants Admin
Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Forum moderator Irises Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level
Many species of cactus are somewhat erratic bloomers, they bloom when they feel like it and sometimes take a year (or several) off between blooming periods. The grey color at the bottom is normal, it's just older stems that the plant is no longer using for photosynthesis. It's sort of analogous to a tree trunk at this point, mostly structural support for the rest of the plant.

Fertilizer is more likely to kill your cactus than help it, they are adapted to a low nutrient environment. Unless you live in an extremely dry climate, I'd say the same thing about watering.

Other than that, I agree with Lori, the red buds are fruits and trimming the cactus probably won't be beneficial.
Avatar for germanyjulie
Mar 21, 2014 6:07 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Julie Widis
Cypress, Texas (Zone 9a)
Well thanks so much! Nothing I love hearing more than leave that plant alone..lol! That why I love xeriscaping so much. That one cactus was a gift from my husband that brought about an entire redesign of our front yard landscaping. One plant never cost so much! Thanks so much for all of the input ladies! I have another cactus I purchased and was told it was something (which I can't remember now) but it clearly was not based on the photos so I will post a photo soon to see if anyone can tell me what it might be. Thanks again!
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Mar 21, 2014 6:08 PM CST
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Avid Green Pages Reviewer
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Garden Ideas: Master Level Cat Lover Birds Region: Tennessee Echinacea
Hurray!
I garden for the pollinators.
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Mar 21, 2014 6:17 PM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Give PEACE a chance!
Adeniums Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox
Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder
Lovely looking cactus! Lovey dubby Yeah, weather has been temperamental all over..sometimes plants just cope..agree with the comments above..leave it be. It should come back nicer eventually, as temps continue to warm up, then give it a drink, and should perk up once more. The graying thing is just the plant corking..showing its age..nothing to be worried about. It would be bad if the plant goes mushy..that will be a problem if it happens.
Avatar for germanyjulie
Mar 21, 2014 6:24 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Julie Widis
Cypress, Texas (Zone 9a)
Would mushy represent overwatering or a different problem?
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Mar 21, 2014 6:26 PM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Give PEACE a chance!
Adeniums Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox
Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder
Overwatering mostly, or poor drainage around the plant.
Avatar for germanyjulie
Mar 21, 2014 6:33 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Julie Widis
Cypress, Texas (Zone 9a)
Here are some pics of a cactus currently in one of our garages until we redesign another area out front AND until I know what this is. Also wanted to know what everyone thinks if the Ocotillo cactus. My daughter and I made numerous drives from here to LA and they are everywhere and I just love them.
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Avatar for germanyjulie
Mar 21, 2014 7:03 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Julie Widis
Cypress, Texas (Zone 9a)
Just remembered what the person who sold it to me said she was told is was..I believe she said it was supposed to be a beavertail cactus.
Avatar for growitall
Mar 21, 2014 7:14 PM CST
Name: Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Plant Identifier
Ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) is a wonderful plant of the desert - love seeing it! - though it isn't actually a cactus.

The other cactus in your garage is another Opuntia species, as is the original one you asked about. (I'll let the cactus experts take it beyond that!)
Last edited by growitall Mar 21, 2014 7:39 PM Icon for preview
Avatar for germanyjulie
Mar 21, 2014 7:24 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Julie Widis
Cypress, Texas (Zone 9a)
Oh my goodness really!? I'm wanting to find out how big it will get and if it blooms etc. Thanks!
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