Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cacti and Succulents in the Winter Window

Astrophytum Hybrid Collection

For the past four years I have been growing seedlings from astrophytum hybrid seed.  I have selected some of the more attractive types, with the hope of cross pollinating them to produce even nicer plants.  I didn't want to trust them spending the winter outside in the heated frames,  where I over-winter most of my plants.  Instead, I am over-wintering them inside the house on a shelf near a south facing window.  Many of these should flower next year and I will cross pollinate them and sow the resulting seed. 


Haworthia truncata Collection

I grow quite a few haworthias, but my favorites are H. truncata.  I have recently been growing them from seed I obtain from my older plants.   I didn't want to risk these in the outdoor heated frames, so they are also in the house on the shelf in the south facing window.  Although they don't get as much light as they would outside, at least they are available for me to work with over the winter.  The haworthias will often produce flowers in late winter and I'll cross pollinate some of the plants and hopefully get fruit and seeds.   


  1. they are all really beautiful. astros are one of my fave cacti ;)
    and since I got a truncata I start to like H. more and more :)

  2. Thank you Sanny. I really enjoy the Astros too. It's been fascinating watching the newest astro, Astrophytum caput-medusa seedling grow. You can see them here:
    But I think A. asterias is my favorite. So many patterns and no spines. I am now growing seedlings of some of the plants I cross pollinated this summer. I've even grafted some of the more promising ones and will do a blog on them soon.
    I've always like H. truncata and have some nice plants, but I would like to try and obtain a few new ones, especially some of the Japanese hybrids. Those are really spectacular.

  3. Very nice Astrophytums. It will be interesting to see the hybrids produced but that is a few years away.
    If you need more room can you just build another frame?

    1. Hi Alain. Sometimes if I get a promising looking seedling I will graft it onto pereskiopsis and have coaxed it into flowering in 18 months. I have recently grafted such a seedling and I feature it in an upcoming blog. It's very strange looking.

      No additional frames. In fact, I trying to go from three to two. My C&S collection had gotten to the point where I couldn't give all the plants the care they needed. I am trying to reduce the number of plants to a manageable level. I've started giving a lot of plant away at our local C&S society meetings. It is hard for me to do, but it has made me very popular at the meetings. :)