Joyce's Diary - September 2006
Most of my largest cacti have had their last good watering before the winter. The plants in smaller pots that dry out more quickly will probably need another watering before the cold weather sets in. There are exceptions to this – Mammillaria plumosa will flower over the next few months and I tend to give it a little water about once a month throughout the winter. I also give a little water from time to time to members of the Parodia family and to Leuchtenbergia principis.
Lithops are at the peak of their flowering season. In an idle moment last week I decided to count how many flowers were open. I gave up counting when I passed three hundred. Most of the flowers are yellow, some are white and a few are yellow and white. Many are so big that they completely hide the plant bodies. The flowers start to open mid afternoon and close again with dusk. I shall water the Lithops sparingly until the end of the month, except for optica rubra which does not produce its flowers until the end of the year and will need a little water until then.
Most of the plants that enjoyed the summer out of doors have now been taken in. The rest will need to be under shelter before the frosts come. The large Oreocereus which spent last winter outside has rooted down into the garden soil through the bottom of its pot. It is looking very healthy indeed so I shall leave it where it is and let it take its chance for another winter.
While so many plants are preparing for winter dormancy, others are putting on a growth spurt. Brighamia is producing new leaves and its flower buds are starting to show. It will be another month before the flowers open but they will be well worth waiting for.
Back to Diary Index