Can you tell me about grow lights? (I think you have some if not, sorry!) Heading into winter I want to get some for my succulent collection, but trying to research/look into it seems to all be about professional scale hydroponics or marijuana set ups… I have seen some really cheap lamps and some for hundreds of dollars – do you have any advice or recommendations? It's just really confusing to me. Thank you!
I don’t know A LOT about grow lights — I just started using them this past fall. And like you, my research was a lot of sifting through info about marijuana setups and giant, professional grow spaces. Here’s what I learned from my own small setup:
What I have is pretty basic: two 36” x 18” shelves, each with one light fixture holding two linear 6500k fluorescent bulbs. You want bulbs that are a temperature between 5000k and 6500k, which mimics daylight. These are sold as either ‘daylight’ bulbs or ‘grow’ bulbs.
The plants (all succulents except for a coffee plant) are between 3” and 6” away from the bulbs, depending on how tall they are. I have all the echeveria and graptoveria propped up as close to the light as possible — and some of those damn kids STILL etiolated. -_- I may try covering the sides of the shelves with Mylar next fall to bounce some of the light back to the plants. Mylar is a reflective material that basically “recycles” unused light.
There’s also some business that you may have come across talking about foot candles, which are units of measurement used to tell us how strong the light is per square foot. Beyond knowing that succulents and cacti are happiest between 6,000 – 10,000 foot candles, I don’t know very much. There are a few apps you can download to measure this for you (I haven’t personally looked into any of them yet).
Aaaaand that’s the extent of my knowledge. I hope this was at least moderately helpful?
I think my cat made my plants 'sick?' I had an incident with my boy, an old aquarium full of succs, and a very ill-fitting lid ^^; ofc there were some casualties, the rest are allright but I believe my cats claws nicked a few of the plants' leaves. Since then, they've had some weird symptoms ranging from minor discoloration to little black and brown spots to huge, nasty lesions. Is there anything that I can do or did I doom my photosynthesizing babies? (and should I send any pics?) thanks!
I don’t think they’re necessarily DOOMED, but it sounds to me like they have some nasty injuries!
If the marks have turned hard/corky, that means they’ve scarred over and while it’s not pretty, it does mean the plant has healed itself. If any of the marks are oozing, discolored, or look like they’re spreading, this could indicate infection. I would remove any particularly funky-looking leaves. Again, not pretty — but it’s better for the overall health of the plant.
For future ref: any time a plant gets nicked or cut, it helps to coat the wound with some cinnamon powder to prevent infections / encourage healing.
Hello! I was just wondering if you had any tips for caring for a Haworthia Attenuata. This is my first time getting this little guy and he's still just a baby so I don't want to screw it up
haworthias are pretty simple:
they actively grow during spring and fall — at those times you should water deeply until you see water dripping out of the drainage holes, and then don’t water again until the soil is *completely* dry. during high summer (july and august) they are dormant and shouldn’t be watered, and in winter they should be watered rarely, about once per month.
provide gritty, fast-draining soil. lots of pumice or gravel! the most important thing to remember about haworthias is that they like bright light, but not full sunlight. morning sun or afternoons in bright shade are ideal.
Hi!! So I was given a Venus flytrap as a present and for the most part I know how to take care of it, but I do have a few questions? 1. How long can it go without eating? I can't make it to the store till Tuesday. 2. How do I remove the black traps? 3. Should I move it to a bigger pot, so it can eat? Can it still eat if it's still in the cylinder thing it came in? Thank you!! ☺️
1. They don’t HAVE to eat. as long as their water and lighting conditions are being met they will be fine!
2. You don’t need to remove black traps, they will fall off eventually on their own. but if they really bother you, you can snip them off with a small scissors.
3. I’m not sure why a bigger pot would help with eating? But if it looks crowded you can certainly repot it.
4. If by “cylinder” you mean a clear lid – you should gradually start to remove it for longer periods of time until your plant can go without it. Lids aren’t really good for them.
Hello there! I've got a baby toes plant yesterday and my question is: how I know that it is a fenestraria or a frithia? It has no blooms just the toes so it doesn't help. Thank you!
Hello! the leaves of frithia have a kinda rough texture, and the top windows are flat and shaped like elephant feet, which is what they’re commonly called. fenestraria leaves are completely smooth and the top windows are domed.
Ive had a lithop plant for about two years and its split every year but its never flowered. Is that normal?
It’s normal for a lithops in cultivation that isn’t having its natural growing conditions mimicked. They are BITCHY plants who want specific things and won’t behave unless you give them those. exact. things.
The important thing is that your plant is splitting every year, which means it’s getting watered properly and is for the most part happy. you can try to encourage flowers by applying just a bit of fertilizer at the start of whatever season it is that your plants begin growing (spring or fall). apply it at ¼ strength with your first couple waterings.
Hello!! We’ve had this cactus for about a year now, a friend had gotten the clippings off of his main cactus and give us some of them and the big boy is the only survivor, but I really want him to be able to grow more and get little buddies! Any tips? (Ps I have no clue what kind of cactus it is)
Some basic cactus care:
– full sun. cacti can handle all day sun with enough watering, but they may need to be protected from the strong, midday light
– gritty soil. your mix should contain at LEAST 50% grit (such as perlite, pumice, turface, lava rock, crushed gravel, etc.).
– you can either mix a granular fertilizer into the soil every spring, or you can use a water soluble fertilizer diluted by ½ every few weeks during the growing season.
– water deeply during the summer, but let the soil dry out between waterings.
– gradually stop watering during the fall, and stop completely in winter.
– keep the cactus in a cool/cold but not freezing location over the winter. don’t water it until spring. it might look sad, but it’s fine!
– gradually start to water the cactus around mid-spring. by summer time you should be deeply watering again.
Aaaaaaand that’s pretty much all you need to keep your cactus happy. They’re very easy to care for once you get the basics down. ☺️
What's your soil mix? I used half soil and half perlite and it sucked.
Don’t worry man i got you covered: Succulent & Cactus Mix
Hi there! I absolutely love that setup you've got going with the plants in the window! It's beautiful! I was just wondering where you got those window shelves from? I've looked everywhere online and I don't seem to be able to come across any…
thank you! i got the shelves from a company called Beautiful Views. you can find them on both Etsy and Amazon.
they’re a little pricey, but each set is handmade and WELL made. they come with all necessary hardware (even a small level!), and they are STUPID easy to install. they ship quickly, too. i’ve bought a few sets over the years and would recommend them to anyone and everyone.
I love your blog and was wondering why do you let your fly traps only keep one flower stalk??? I've had a few and never trimmed it, does it serve a purpose or just asthetic??
it’s personal preference, mostly. during the time when most flytraps flower (february through march) my plants are still indoors. they’re in a bright southwestern window, but still not getting the full sun they need to produce the BIG, BEEFY traps i love. flowering takes additional energy from the plant that it would otherwise use to make traps and leaves; so i get rid of the flowers in favor of more, bigger traps.
but if you really enjoy the flowers and don’t mind a few smaller traps, or if your plant is in ideal conditions and isn’t bothered by flowering because it’s getting plenty of sun and bugs — leave the flowerstalks. it doesn’t really harm or help either way. 😀