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Thread: Astrophytum myriostigma?

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    Hi, I have questions about the Bishop's Cap. There's a chance that I may not be able to get a VFT, so my next alternatives are cacti. Unfortunately, my mother (we're from China) says that having spiny or sharp plants is bad feng shui. (part of the reason why I may not be able to get a VFT) So, I thought that cacti are pretty cool, too. So, I need help on these kinds of cactus. I've borrowed some cacti books from the library and found out that a type of globular cactus that is spineless is the Bishop's Cap. I'd prefer to have a globular cactus. Questions:

    1. Is it really spineless? One book said that it has millions of tiny spines that look like white dots, but it also said that there is a form of it that is completely spineless, and a nice dark green color, too.

    2. Is the care of it relatively easy? Do I need a lot of sunlight?

    3. Would a commercial cactus soil be good? And what kind of compost would I give it, and how much, how often?

    4. How big would it eventually grow? How big of a pot will I eventually need if I get one of these?

    5. How long will it live?

    6. Does it need a dormancy period?

    7. How available are they? Will they sell these types in home improvement stores like the Home Depot or Lowe's?
    Anything good in life is either illegal, immoral, or fattening. ~Pardo.

    \"I think we should always make certain we have chocolate. One never knows when it might be necessary.\"

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    1. Is it really spineless? One book said that it has millions of tiny spines that look like white dots, but it also said that there is a form of it that is completely spineless, and a nice dark green color, too.
    > All cacti have spines of some kind - but in this plant they are minute and usually hidden.

    2. Is the care of it relatively easy? Do I need a lot of sunlight?
    > Mmm - yes - but they like lots of sun and a dry winter without frost.

    3. Would a commercial cactus soil be good? And what kind of compost would I give it, and how much, how often?
    > General soil based compost with 50% added grit or perlite would be best. A pot just a bit bigger than the plant, and some people like to add a bit of limestone.

    4. How big would it eventually grow? How big of a pot will I eventually need if I get one of these?
    > you will do well to get it to 8" - so never very large.

    5. How long will it live?
    > Could live a very long time - I've seen plants from seed sown in the 50s.

    6. Does it need a dormancy period?
    > Hold off the watering from Sep/Oct to Mar/Apr and keep it a bit cooler.

    7. How available are they? Will they sell these types in home improvement stores like the Home Depot or Lowe's?
    > Maybe - but seed is readily available.
    My favourite 'spineless' cactus is Lophophora williamsii - but it is mostly illegal in the US - there are some forms of it that are listed under another species name - try looking at Mesa Gardens catalogue. Growing from seed is great fun and although it can take time is really rewarding.

    Good luck
    Chris

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    If you go to Home Depot or Lowes, they have a section for cactus and succulents. There are many in the cactus family that don't have spines.

    You're fom China? do you speak Mandarin or Cantonese or Szechuan? Why am I feeling very hungry, all of a sudden? [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img]

    Check this thread out:

    Cute succulents

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    Hm. Would you be able to feel the spines if you touched the cactus? (What really makes me mad is the fact that she has aloe in the house, christmas cactus in the house, and yet she still says sharp plants are bad feng shui. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/mad.gif[/img] ) And, I went to the Mesa Gardens website (Wow, New Mexico. Shipping would be really expensive, seeing as I live in NJ), and I saw that they had A. myriostigma v. nudum, and it is completely, well, "nude" with no white specks. Can you buy seeds for a certain variety? I guess that's a stupid question, but sometimes it seems like you hafta cultivate the seeds in a special way to get a certain variety. Is this true? Also, it is true that after many years, the plant will become columnar? I really like the cute little globular cacti...

    By the way, jimscott, I'm learning to speak mandarin, and can understand a little Cantonese. I have no idea what Szechuan is....

    Also, what about Astrophytum Asterias? Is this harder to grow, and less available than A. myriostigma?
    Anything good in life is either illegal, immoral, or fattening. ~Pardo.

    \"I think we should always make certain we have chocolate. One never knows when it might be necessary.\"

  5. #5

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    Asterias is somewhat more difficult - and prone to losing its roots in the winter. The nudum varieties do come pretty much true from seed - and are worth a go. If you move to succulents the choice is much wider, and can include pachycaul plants that have a swollen root (look up Kedrostris in google pics). Some of these are spineless.
    btw - look at the christams cactus at the joints - spines!

    BR
    Chris

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (VFT_lover123 @ April 28 2005,10:31)]By the way, jimscott, I'm learning to speak mandarin, and can understand a little Cantonese. I have no idea what Szechuan is....
    That was a play on words. While Mandarin & Cantonese are real languages, they and Szechuan are also styles of food found at many Chinese-American restaurants. Are you from Hong Kong or Taiwan? Do you know what "10 year sauce" is?

    I guess Christmas cactus is too pointy?

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    What I meant by my last post is that for some reason, my mom has aloe AND christmas cactus, both of which are spiny, but she doesn't allow me to have a nice little globular, plain, spiny cactus. Or a venus flytrap.

    jimscott, my dad is from Hong Kong, and my mom is from Fuzhou, which is a city on the eastern coast. I used to like to joke around that I was part British because Hong Kong used to be part of Britain.

    So, Astrophytum Myriostigma it is, then. I actually only want one plant, and when you buy seeds, it's usually at least 10 seeds per packet. I'm not really a hobbyist, or a collector. I just wanted a unique plant to have on my windowsill. Would I have to just plant all of the seeds, and move them all over the house? It'd look sorta weird having the same plant all over the place....

    And I will look at more succulents.
    Anything good in life is either illegal, immoral, or fattening. ~Pardo.

    \"I think we should always make certain we have chocolate. One never knows when it might be necessary.\"

  8. #8
    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    At our Home Depot, there are bazillions of succulent varieties. So it sounds as if you have been dealt with the old, "Do as I say, not as I do" double standard. I am sorry (and serious for once!)

    Have you had the American version of Chinese food? Any good? Once I move away from NYC/Long Island, I couldn't find a decent egg roll. Do you know of 10 year sauce?

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