Saturday, August 18, 2012


Echinopsis in flower in my garden

Overhead view of Echinopsis flower

View of entire Echinopsis plant and flower
     Last summer I bought a cactus plant from Bainbridge Gardens primarily because it had a lot of buds on it and was about to bloom.  I knew nothing about it.  It was grown by Monrovia and was labeled as Echinopsis oxygona.   It bloomed spectacularly last summer and now, as you can see from the pictures, it is blooming again.  This is the first bloom on it this summer, but it has a lot of buds on it, so hopefully there should be a lot more coming.  Based on my experience with this plant last summer, these blooms do not last much more than a day, so it is important to photograph them right away!
     I have read on the internet that this cactus is from Brazil,  Uruguay, and Argentina, and that it is fairly hardy, but I do not think it would be hardy here.  My speculation is that it would be too wet in the wintertime here for it to survive over the long run.  Anyway,  this plant is ideally suited as a pot plant and I can easily winter over cactus type plants in my sunroom because they can be kept dry over the winter.  I generally do not water my cactus plants in the winter while they are in my sunroom and they seem to do just fine.
     This is by far the most spectacular bloom I have had on any of my cactus and so I have decided that I need more of these.  Apparently Echinopsis generally have spectacular flowers and they come in many other colors. So I have been busy this morning bidding on various Echinopsis on eBay.
     I treat almost all of my cactus, agaves, puyas and other dryland plants which I grow in pots the same-- in the winter in my sunroom I do not water them.  In the summer, I do water them regularly and I do fertilize them regularly with Fox Farm.  I also pot them up to larger pots as needed.  I use a cactus mix for their potting soil to which I sometimes add more sand and grit.  The commercially available (retail) cactus mixes I do not think much of.  Specialty Soils which is a wholesaler near us which sells to most of the growers around here makes up an aloe mix which I think is very good for all these dryland plants and that is the best mix I know of.


  1. Huh. Sure looked like a pink Cereus to me at first! So, when you say it's hardy, do mean hardy to zone 7 with a southern exposure?

    1. Hi Susan- wikipedia says it is hardy to at least 14 degrees F., but I have not personal knowledge as to its hardiness. Linda