Characterized by its “lunar” landscape, the island of Lanzarote is an integral part of the Canary Islands, located off the coast of West Africa. The Canaries are under the dominion of Spain and are renowned for their always mild climate, splendid beaches and volcanic landscapes, especially on Lanzarote. Just the ideal climate has favored the creation, on this small island that extends over less than 900 square meters, the creation of a “Cactus Garden” famous all over the world, a real paradise for lovers of succulent plants.
Follow us on a “photo tour” through these botanical wonders. (…)
Continue reading “We take you with us on an exceptional “photo tour” in the Cactus Garden of Lanzarote”
Were it not for the fact that national newspapers and international agencies report the news, one would have to think of yet another fake news. Instead, unfortunately, everything is true: the anomalous heat wave that has been hitting Arizona in recent weeks – not unlike the heat bubble that gripped Italy until a few days ago – it’s hitting hard the giants of the desert, i.e. the “Saguaros”. Hard to believe, but even the symbolic cactus, the cactus par excellence, is unable to cope with the excessive heat that is oppressing Arizona, an American state which also has its symbol in the Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea). In other words, plants that have evolved to cope with drought for thousands of years are literally falling apart, ravaged by temperatures.
Here, in this article, is what is happening as reported by authoritative sources such as TGCOM24 and AP (Associated Press). (…)
Continue reading “In Arizona the extreme heat is killing the giant “Saguaros”, the “Kings of the desert””
The gray stem, the black thorns, the compact and perfect shape in its “simplicity” make the Copiapoa, in particular of the species of the cinerea group, a real masterpiece of Nature. Among cactus enthusiasts these plants represent a real jewel, to the point that, unfortunately, around and to the detriment of the Copiapoa a black market has been created for years that moves millions of dollars all over the world. A market that involves the extirpation of specimens in habitat – in spite of the laws for the protection of the species – subsequently destined for illicit trafficking, with serious damage to the environment and for the entire Copiapoa genus. More reason, when buying a specimen of this cacti it is essential to rely on specialized nurserymen, avoid online auctions and, above all, observe the plant carefully. The expert eye almost always knows how to distinguish the specimen grown from seed and the one taken from the wild.
And if it is true that the Copiapoa grown in their habitat have colors and thorns capable of fascinating even those who are not fond of cacti, it is equally true that with correct cultivation even specimens obtained from seeds can become splendid and incredibly attractive plants. Just to enhance the beauty of the stems and thorns of these plants, I have elaborated some photos of my specimens, cutting them out and making them stand out against a black background. The results are exceptional, as shown in the gallery contained in the following article. (…).
Continue reading “Her Majesty the Copiapoa: a series of exclusive photos enhances the beauty of this extraordinary cactus”
After an almost non-existent, anomalous and ugly spring (at least here in Italy), the temperatures have risen considerably and we are heading towards summer. In some respects, the most delicate period for cacti and succulents, i.e. the transition between the end of winter and the vegetative restart, is now behind us and the next few months will be rather “quiet” for those who cultivate these plants. In fact, the main commitments will concern watering and fertilization, since repotting should by now be completed and treatments against pests and parasites can be given when necessary and not systematically. Even in the period of full vegetation of cacti and succulents, however, there are pitfalls and there are some elements and factors of cultivation to be taken into due consideration.
We see them in detail in the following article (…).
Continue reading “Towards summer: useful tips for taking care of cacti and succulents and avoiding nasty surprises”
Surfing the Internet shows how easy it is now to find retailers of plant-growing materials. It is also true specifically for cacti and succulent plants: online, from skilled nurserymen to businesses that deal only in materials such as potting soil, pots, labels, etc., it is easy to get everything you need to grow. But what to do if we don’t want to buy online? If we need large quantities of materials, and shipping can only go up to a certain weight? If we prefer to provide directly by buying potting soil (everyone may have their reasons for this or that choice)? Do we rely on the ready-made potting soils usually offered by any well-stocked nursery or garden? Or is it better to do it ourselves, assembling the various materials as peat, pumice, and sand, based on our needs?
In this article we see how to make a proper substrate for use with any genre of cactus and, with appropriate adjustments, with succulents, in general. We will make it, and this is the point of this article, with materials that anyone can now easily find in any place (…).