From mid-April the cactus blooms come to life: a stunning photo gallery

Mammillaria, Turbinicarpus, Ancistrocactus, Echinocereus, Lobivia. These are just some of the many kinds of cacti that bloom in the month of April, in late spring. In this time of year, with the increase in temperatures and with the first waterings, it can be said that the cactus blooms really come to life to follow one another continuously until summer.

In this photo gallery we see some of the blooms of these days in my greenhouse. (…)

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Blooming cactus, a roundup of images and how to make artistic photographs

Looking for photographs for some upcoming articles, I came across some old shots of my cacti in bloom. With a good digital camera and the right perspective, able to bring out the natural shadow in the background, cacti in full bloom are truly unbeatable “models” for artistic photos. You only need to find an illuminated area, place the plant so that the background is almost completely in the shade, so as to be black or otherwise shaded, and that’s it. There are also those who place a cloth or a black card behind the plants, but if you can simply get the natural shade it is even better because it can give the photo those dark shades that a completely black background is not able to provide.

Let’s see everything in detail in this article and especially in these photographs. (…)

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How to make cactus and succulent plants bloom: what you need to know and what tricks to use

How to get cactus to bloom is one of the most frequently asked questions among succulent plant enthusiasts. Here are the precautions to take to make our cacti flourish.

Colourful, flashy, ephemeral. Cactus blooms are sudden bursts of energy. Often the buds develop in a few days to open within few hours, amazing the newcomers to the cultivation of these plants and, above all, those who are not familiar with succulents. In these last few years, I have noticed that there is a lot of misinformation about cacti, in particular about their blooms. Those who do not cultivate these plants can even be surprised that they can bloom, no more or less than the specimens of all the other plant families, forgetting that the flower is the basis of the reproduction of almost all plants. Others are impressed to learn that even cacti can bloom in abundance and several times during the growing season, thinking perhaps that the flowering of a cactus is an exceptional event, almost unique. Nothing could be more wrong: all the cacti regularly bloom, and if there are relatively stingy species, that can produce few flowers for limited periods during the year, there are also really generous species, able to give blooms several times for entire months (for example Echinopsis, Astrophytum, Strombocactus, Gymnocalycium, Trichocereus).

In the following article we see in detail how to make cacti and succulent plants bloom abundantly. (…)

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When and how fertilize cactus and succulent plants to have aboundant blooms

First of all: why should we fertilize our cacti and succulent plants? Let’s say right away that fertilization (or fertilisation, or manuring or mineral nutrition) is necessary for any plant grown in pots, since the amount of soil available is limited and, sooner or later, nutrients will begin to run low. Fertilizer nourishes the plant, enriching the soil of those elements which, through the time, are absorbed by the plant or washed away by the waterings. Succulent plants should be regularly fertilized to ensure that the right quantity of nutrients is always available during the growing season. For cacti and succulents, however, generic fertilizers should not be used. In other words, a fertilizer commonly used for ornamental, leafy or fruit plants is not at all appropriate for a cactus plant. It is necessary to resort to specific fertilizers, specially balanced for the succulents. Otherwise, the risk is to irreparably compromise the growth and the physical appearance of the plant, making it weak and radically different from the specimens of the same species that grow in the wild.

In the following article we will go deeper into the subject, let’s see what elements succulents need, how the suitable fertilizer must be composed and how much to fertilize during the year. (…)

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