Tag: astrophytum

The pollination experiment was a success! Well.. mostly.

My experiment with cross-pollinating my Astrophytum ornatum and Astrophytum coahuilense kind of worked. I used a cotton swab to collect pollen from both flowers and rubbed it on the middle part of both stigmas. Then it was just a waiting game, hoping the flowers didn’t just pop off, like they do when they haven’t been pollinated.

A couple of days later, the flower dried up and fell off my Astrophytum coahuilense. But the one on my Astrophytum ornatum seemed to stick around. I noticed that the bottom of the flower kept swelling up, too. I think my experiment was a success! Mostly.
Now.. I don’t actually know if a cross between a coahuilense and ornatum is a thing. Or even if the seeds would be viable. I’ll make sure to take pictures of the seeds and my attempt to germinate them. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the result was a heavily fluffy and spiny cactus?

Astrophytum coahuilense with its first flower!

This is so cool. I’ve had this Astrophytum coahuilense for 5 years and even though I got it with what looked like a flower bud, it never bloomed for me. My cacti have all been asked to bloom during bank holidays and weekends so I’m home to see it and they usually listen to me.

Astrophytum coahuilense looks almost like an Astrophytum myriostigma, but the “fur” grows closer together and it feels fluffier. It has no spines on its furry body, but the flower bud is both fluffy and spiny. It also grows super slowly. In the 5 years I’ve had it, it has only grown a couple of cm taller. Maybe because the little hairs block most of the sunlight.

Now what I’m trying to do is cross pollinate my Astrophytum coahuilense with my A. ornatum. I have no idea if it will work, but it’s a fun experiment. I found a cotton bud and mixed the pollen from the two flowers, making sure to hit the stigma in the process. I’ll make sure to update you if it worked.

Blooms everywhere

The weather has been kind of nice lately. Several of my cacti and succulents have bloomed already, now including my big old Astrophytum ornatum. As you can see in the bottom of this picture, my slightly discolored Astrophytum coahuilense is developing its first flower bud, too. I’ve had that one for 5 years and it’s finally happening!

4 years of Astrophytum ornatum growth

This Astrophytum ornatum has been with me for 4 years now. This cactus is probably the fastest growing Astrophytum, but it only really shows when I look at the pics from when I bought it. It’s been in the same pot with the same soil for all of these years and I think it loves it because it blooms almost every month from spring to fall, every year.

Mine lives on my frost protected balcony all year and it gets to experience the cold months in winter and direct sunlight in summer. It’s pretty much impossible to kill. It loves water and it can handle months of drought. In fact, I can forget about it and just leave it completely dry in fall and winter and then immediately drown it in water in summer with no repercussions whatsoever.

Astrophytum myriostigma, 3 years + 9 months

While repotting these three babies, I realized how massive they have become. It really took them a while to start growing, but now I’m not so worried about them.
These were actually my first ever attempt at growing cacti from seeds. And it didn’t go well. Most of the seeds germinated and I ended up with just about 50 seedlings, but all but these three died from damping off. This is apparently a common problem with Astrophytum seedlings, especially Astrophytum myriostigma.

But look at my three remaining plants now!

Astrophytum asterias “super kabuto”, 3 years + 6 months

I’ve been growing cacti from seeds for a few years now and not all of them have been a success. This Astrophytum asterias “super kabuto” is now 3,5 years old, but it still looks like a tiny seedling. Its growth stalled entirely when it was a couple of months old and it never really caught up. Recently it decided to grow again from the top of the stalled growth and I’m happy about that. Let’s just see how long I get to keep this straggler.

This year’s last Astrophytum ornatum flower

This year’s last cactus flowers have just started to open after a couple of weeks with rain and awful weather. I managed to capture a nice pic of my Astrophytum ornatum in bloom, moments before the rain started pouring down once again. I guess even cactus and succulents enjoy a nice cold shower once in a while!

This is by far the biggest flower I’ve seen on this cactus. I’ve been feeding all of my plants extra much this summer, which is probably why most of my plants have started to explode with growth.