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Updated: November 7, 2009 9:20 AM

Tips from our Members

On this page you will find general, specific, or just plain interesting tips, tidbits, and comments on cacti and succulents!

Please submit yours, as it benefits the whole club.

Tips are organized by subject category. Click on a category and you will be taken to the appropriate area of the page.



  • Cactus - Identification, care, and anecdotes
  • Succulents - Identification, care, and anecdotes
  • Diseases and Pest Eradication
  • General Comments

  • Cactus - Identification, care, and anecdotes

  • Tips for new cacti hobbyists
    When adding to your collection of cacti, I would not purchase any specimens smaller than ones in four inch pots.

    1. Cacti (unlike other succulents) generally take a long time to grow. If you purchase a plant that is smaller than a four inch plant, it may take years to grow and flower.

    2. If you overwinter your cacti, those that are smaller tend to have a much higher mortality rate.

    3. Plants in four inch pots cost no more than one or two dollars more than smaller plants. The extra money spent is well worth the decreased number of funerals you will have for your cacti.
    - Eric Soll, cactus funeral avoidance practitioner (01/22/03)

  • Succulents - Identification, care, and anecdotes

  • Stapelieae - some trivia about my favorite tribe of stem succulents. Many of you have noticed the foul odor of the flowers in quite a few of these plants. That is because they rely on flies to assist with pollination. What better than "eau du carrion" to attract flies?

    Something else quite interesting, common to flowers in this family (Asclepiadaceae), each pair of pollen bodies is joined by a yoke...which gives them the appearance of tiny saddle bags. The fly lands, becomes "drunk" from the perfume, and his foot slips. Regaining his balance, the hairs on the fly's leg pick up a "saddle bag" of pollen and off he flies. Pretty cool, eh?

    Jean Clements-Macak (11/07/02)

    Diseases and Pest Eradication

  • To get rid of those pesky mealybugs, it was listed last year in our club newsletter to use Isopropyl Alcohol with water, mixed 50/50. Now you have to figure out how to apply the mixture.

    I use a spray bottle, that way you can adjust it to be a fine mist or a stream to get into the difficult areas. This method of application also allows it to evaporate quickly...remember to always label your spray bottle as to their contents, and with this one....Do Not Smoke while performing application! :)
    Nancy Nurse (Nancy Patterson)

  • More on Public Enemy #1...the mealybug. I have seen members spray their cacti with Formula 409, straight from the bottle. I suspect it is both the alcohol and the soap that does these buggers in. Well, I've tried it and it seems to be working. The only drawback is that you need to repeat the treatment periodically.
    Jean Clements-Macak (11/06/02)

  • General Comments

    • Dear Fellow Club Members: As a pretty new member to Cascade Cactus and Succulent Society, I wanted to say a hearty thank you to all established members.

      As a member of other horticulture based clubs over the past years I appreciate especially the people who bring plants. To see and share their beauty with the rest of us. I appreciate the trouble and time that those who set up meetings take. Thank you to all of you who make me feel welcome and that every meeting i have gone to so far has been a learning experience.

      My cacti and succulents thank you too. For all the assistance and tips on overwaterwatering and soil I have gotten. They were hoping I would look for help.

      Timothy Peterson

    • Thanks to members tips Ihave Lobivia budding up. Had huge orchid cacti flowers which pics I will send to the webmaster for posting. Have succulent crassula's blooming that were goners before I met you all. - Nancy Nurse (Nancy Patterson)



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