Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Growing Square Cacti - Sort Of

Gymnocalycium ragonesei  

This is one of my favorite gymnocalyciums.  I like the body color.  I like the relatively small size.  And I like the low flat profile.  I have a couple of adult plants that regularly flower, and one spring I played cupid with a paint brush which resulted in several long, tubular fruit, and lots of seed.  I planted 25 seeds and ended up with 12 nice seedlings.  I gave two away and transplanted the remaining 10 into a 3.5 x 3.5 inch plastic pot.  Can you see the pot in the photo?  Barely.

Those seedlings grew, and grew, and grew.  But I was busy with other things and two years passed.  Last year I moved the pot of crowded gymnos outside for the summer, and they grew some more.  They spent the winter in my outdoor heated frame (I promise I'll discuss my unusual over-winter frames soon.)  This spring I began emptying the frame and what you see in the photo is what I found.  Not just crowded gymnos, but gymnos squeezed to the point of becoming square and triangular gymnos!  Of course I immediately repotted them -- no, not yet.  They look kind of "interesting" squeezed like that.  So....I have decided to display them, like they are, at the Washington, D.C. C&S Society Show in August.  I think the public will find squeezed gymnos "interesting".   After the show I promise they will all get their own pots, with lots of space, even the little triangular one in the bottom row.    


  1. Had to check out your blog Bob. This first image/story is an attention grabber. Amazing how well plants do when they are ignored?! Would love to see a photo of them all gussied up for the show!

  2. Hi Arid. Actually they will look the same for the show, an attention grabber as you so aptly said. After the show I will simple separate them and give them each their own pot. The bulk of them will end up at our local C&S society, National Capital Cactus and Succulent Society, on the raffle or sales table. I will probably keep two. All of the seedlings in the pot shown above have flowers, almost at the same time, and I'll post a blog about that sometime this coming week. Two keys to the good growth I get with these is lots of sun, they are getting 8 hours of direct sun each day, and a porous potting medium. My biggest failing in growing my plants is that I don't water often enough. :(

  3. Please post pictures when they're blooming!

  4. You wish is my command ellie T. I'll have a photo up in the next couple of days. Those little seedlings really bloomed their heads off.