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Flowering Cacti

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#1 Choices


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Posted 28 November 2020 - 03:49 PM

So my collection has grown to close to 50, my question is. What makes a cactus flower? Meaning is it environmental? Pot size? Age? Nutes?

I’m still learning so excuse the silly question. But from what I understand flowering is not guaranteed yearly, as a perennial would. Thanks in advance!!
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#2 coorsmikey



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Posted 28 November 2020 - 07:54 PM

I wish I knew and also hope that someone like Skye or Boebs chime in with something clever. I don't think its a silly question but its definitely a good one to discuss. I have some that flower continuously, some in the same conditions that never flower, and some that flower when I mail them. IDK but sure would like to hear some solid advice on the subject.

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#3 Coopdog



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Posted 28 November 2020 - 08:30 PM

Been growing cacti for 7-8 years, maybe ten. Had one GINORMOUS flower one single time. The magical smell of it permeated the entire back yard area. It was magnificent. I have pictures in my gallery somewhere. Never happened again since. Not sure what prompted it. Usually they tend to flower more if they live outside in natural conditions year round I think. 

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#4 Skywatcher


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Posted 28 November 2020 - 11:09 PM

This is actually a really good question Choices. I wish I had a simple set of standard prerequisites ....
I have had some of my cactus plants in excess of 50 years. My Golden Barrel was in my care for 40 years before it got its first bloom. It now blooms throughout the spring/ summer/ fall with regularity. I have yet to figure out a perfect recipe to bloom for San Pedro. They seem to go by their own secret agenda.
I do get alot more blooms these days, so I'll share my best ideas as to why.

Age of the cactus must be mature. This varies from species to species. Faster growers become mature enough to bloom soonest, as short as several years. Extremely slow growers require much longer. When you get cuttings of the Trichocereus cactus, you can figure how old the parent was for the age and maturity.

Environment needs to be somewhat as needed for optimal growth. Slightly different for each species, but if you can aproximate their native conditions you will see them do the best.
Usually good light, and a watering schedule appropriate for the temperature range, (meaning enough to drink well when it is warm, but still have time to dry between watering's. and when it gets cool and especially during winter hibernation, very little to none.
I really believe most cactus require a winter rest period in cool to cold temps, to stimulate a bloom period when they wake in the spring.

I also have seen much better bloom production with a feeding schedule over the last 10 years. I feed a low nitrogen, with a higher potassium and phosphate content in the spring once the cactus are starting to become active again. I feed about every 2 months only during the warm months and stop all nutes at least a month before expected winter dormancy.

Even still, there are some cactus that are prolific bloomers, and some that may bloom once per season. I also have some that skip years sometimes.

Sorry this may seem non-specific, but each type has variables they like, and its hard to be more general in recommendations. I will say when I give cuttings or pups away, I am far more often than not to be rewarded with a flower and new pups....

This site seems to have a few suggestions for bloom production.....

Edited by Skywatcher, 28 November 2020 - 11:11 PM.
additional info

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#5 Alpoehi



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Posted 29 November 2020 - 07:25 AM

I cannot add anything to what was said in this thread. I want to promote blooms as well though.


I make an experiment with most of my cacti this year. I stopped watering all of them mid October for the whole winter. 

I keep them outside in a small greenhouse. All of these cacti have been outside for the whole year and they are hardened quite a bit.


I set up some sensor equipment to control temperature with heating pads.

Where I live cpl of days ago the temp dropped below 32 F for the first time, before it was 41 F for weeks.

Now I set temp to 37.4 F when it's frosty. 


I check them daily they are fine.


The reason is I want to promote blooms next spring. And I do not have enough space for them inside.

The cacti will start forming buds for there is not much for them to do in such dry and cold conditions.

That's at least what some growers I bought from told me.


Those cacti I bought bloom every year. But they have been kept cold and dry each year, for many years.


I think that's worth considering and I don't want to break that cycle on them.

Let's see what happens. 


Why I do that also, I want to have them as much natural daylight as possible and a continuous day-night cycle.

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#6 Sicshroom



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Posted 29 November 2020 - 12:54 PM

I have yet to get any flowers but this video I think maybe helpful to all of us

[Direct Link]

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#7 Choices


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Posted 29 November 2020 - 07:53 PM

Well i Hope in time with love and care. They will repay me. And thanks for the input
And response. Greatly appreciated!!

Edited by Choices, 29 November 2020 - 07:53 PM.

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#8 Coopdog



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Posted 29 November 2020 - 09:10 PM

The one time my San Pedro DID bloom, it started as a hairy knob in the middle of winter hibernation. I almost took it off as I thought it was a dust bunny for a while lol. It got harder and harder, and was about 3/4 of an inch across and still furry, not spiney. Not long after I put it out it grew into a weird looking bulbous thing about 7-8 inches long that opened into the most glorious bloom 6-7 inches across. 



Wow... I was going to link you to pics, but it seems 90% of my gallery is just gone. I had TONS of marijuana grow pics, and lots of other stuff. Even the picture that my wife took that got pic of the month is gone. :( That truly makes me sad. Those pot pics don't exist any other place. Now they don't exist at all. Maybe that is for the best, but it sure stings... :(


EDIT 2: managed to find a couple of them in my files. This one bloom made my whole backyard smell like heaven. This cactus is now shoulder height and still only this one bloom. This is also the slowest growing cactus I have, and it rocked my world with what should have been slightly less than a threshold dose. I have high hopes that it will do so again some day because that was the best cactus experience I have ever had. You can see the hairy base at the bottom of the bloom.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Cactus bloom1.jpg
  • cactusbloom2.jpg

Edited by Coopdog, 29 November 2020 - 09:22 PM.

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#9 Choices


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Posted 29 November 2020 - 09:12 PM

Oh man. I just recently reset
My phone and lost everything!! Lucky I had some pics on another server I was able to dl the ones i
Could back. Sorry tht does sting.
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#10 Alpoehi



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Posted 30 November 2020 - 06:01 AM

Sorry for the loss guys. I also lost pics but a few I could save on 3 different computers over the years.

Not active ones but some nice blooms.



ID unknown.

Hamatocactus sinuatus var. papyracanthus.png

Hamatocactus sinuatus var. papyracanthus



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