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'Ferocactus wislizenii' The first cactus of my collection bought in 1961 for 2s-6d - History of the Collection

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'Ferocactus wislizenii' The first cactus of my collection bought in 1961 for 2s-6d History of the Collection I have been collecting Cacti for the past thirty nine years and now have approximately 350 plants in my collection. My very first plant was purchased when I was six years old from the Folkestone branch of Woolworth and it cost me 2s-6d . The plant was 'Ferocactus wislizenii' it was in a 50mm pot. Now the plant is the size of a large football and is in a 375mm pot. It is still growing well. The collection is housed in an aluminium greenhouse measuring approx. 2.1x3.0m. All of the plants are kept on timber slatted shelving on three levels. The plants are positioned to give maximum sunlight to species requiring it and some shade to others. The plant opposite is 'Epithelantha micromeris'. This plant is very slow growing and is therefore not a good plant for the beginner. However it is well worth a try once you have some experience. ...read more.


Some growers prefer to use a soil based compost, others choose a soil less or Peat based compost. Whichever soil type is important that the medium is kept well drained by adding gritty sand to the compost at the ratio of one part grit to two parts compost. Crocks must always be added to the bottom of the pot to ensure good drainage. I have used Arthur Bowers potting compost for many years now with great success. Shade loving species Zygocactus truncatus Watering and Feeding Success of growing Cacti depends largely on the correct watering. Over-watering can lead to Black Rot and must be avoided at all costs. As a general rule for myself (living in the South of England) I water throughout the Spring and Summer from early March to Early September. The frequency however will depend upon the weather. It is important to only water when the compost is nearly dry. For the Winter months the plants are kept completely dry. ...read more.


A min-max thermometer is essential to keep track on the temperature changes. I would not recommend the use of Paraffin heaters as they are difficult to control produce water as a by-product of the combustion. Cacti need a dry atmosphere during there dormant period The colourful flower of Pelecyphora aselliformis . Cristates A crest or 'cristate' shape emerges when the vegetative point grows very evenly but repeatedly divides into two. The crest curls while already growing in all sorts of curved shapes. Monster shapes almost always have to be grafted to stay alive. There are some specialists that only collect cristate cacti. Typical example of a cristate, Mammillaria scheidweileriana cristata There are many variations of cristate that occur in all shapes sizes and colour. As a general rule very few produce flowers, but are still attractive because of their unusual appearance. A freak form of the species Gymnocalycium mihanovichii is 'Gymnocalycium mihanovichii cv hibotan'. The unusual colouring is due to a lack of chlorophyll when the seed was germinated. Its survival depends upon its being grafted onto a robust stock such as 'Hylocereus'. Regardless of its peculiar existence, it nevertheless is able to produce attractive pink flowers. ...read more.

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