We take you with us on an exceptional “photo tour” in the Cactus Garden of Lanzarote

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. (…)

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Her Majesty the Copiapoa: a series of exclusive photos enhances the beauty of this extraordinary cactus

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. (…).

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Strange combinations of Nature: how did an onzuka end up in the pot of an old Thelocactus?

When many plants are grown in a relatively small space such as that offered by a greenhouse (however wide it can be), it can often happen to discover welcome surprises in the pots. Cacti whose flowers have been pollinated naturally by insects or self-fertile cacti, capable of doing everything by themselves, produce fruits which, once dry, split letting the seeds fall directly onto the soil at the base of the plant. This is how one can find specimens of a certain age surrounded by seedlings or small plants, in a sort of “potted” re-proposition of what commonly occurs in nature. In spite of what one might think by observing the precise procedures necessary for the reproduction of cacti, spontaneous sowing is a common phenomenon in cacti and is sometimes able to give real surprises, as has happened to me these days.

Here is a small report in the following article. (…)

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When the cactus “spins”: what is etiolation, how to prevent it and contain the damage

An etiolated cactus is a plant with an unnatural habit and which has suffered from a more or less serious lack of light. The phenomenon is unfortunately irreversible but it is possible to prevent etiolation and stop it.

Who hasn’t happened at least once to observe in some office, apartment or even non-specialized nurseries (or garden) those cone-shaped cacti with thin spines and pale green stem? Cacti with a rounded base and an elongated apex, tapered to the point of giving the plant an almost pyramidal shape. The novice grower may think that is the normal bearing of the plant, but the grower with some experience – or even just a critical mind – usually is horrified at such plants. If anything, he or she may be saddened, because he or she knows full well that that is not the normal bearing of the cacti at all, but simply the outcome of what is technically called “etiolation” or, commonly, “spinning.” By the way, the photos above and those accompanying this article are of plants in a nursery and not mine, I want to make that clear right away!

Why does this fate happen to some cacti? How to avoid cactus etiolation and how to distinguish it from normal growth or from growth that is simply dissimilar to normal? Is it possible to remedy the damage caused by spinning on a cactus? We answer these questions in the following article. (…)

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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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