As I promised in my previous blog I have decided to show you my cacti/succulent collection. I do apologize that I am one day late on uploading this post.
Over the past 12 months I have gradually added different species of cacti to my collection. Currently, I have 45 cacti plants and a few more on the way that I have been propagating over the last few weeks.
As some of the photos indicate, I keep all of my cacti inside a glasshouse (greenhouse). This is mainly because of the unpredictable weather conditions Australia is known for. I live in the southeast of Australia where our winters can be extremely wet and it usually hails quite a bit with some floods. In winter the glasshouse allows for a balanced temperature and climate for the plants. But the temperatures in summer can get so high so as to burn some plants. Summer is usually very dry and hot with temperatures that can reach 40-45 degrees (outside the glasshouse). Add an extra 3-5 degrees inside the glasshouse and it can become too hot even for the cacti and succulents. Usually in the summer months I try to place my shade cloth covering on the roof to help reduce the heat from the sun. I am considering installing a fan to help with the heat, but mostly to help with the air flow.
Every time I purchase a new cacti or plant I will re-pot it in a pot one or two sizes larger than the original. I personally like to use a succulent and cacti potting mix/soil and water my plants in with fertilizer if they require it. As you can see in the photos, I like to use bonsai rocks but I do not use them for visual appeal. Instead, the rocks are great to help stabilise any of the succulents and cacti that may be a little loose in their new pots. Usually I will feed them 1-3 times a year; twice throughout spring and once towards the end of summer. Often I will use a liquid fertilizer in the spring months. Spring is usually the season that most plants tend to get very hungry. This is mainly because three months prior, during winter, most plants are sitting dormant and do not require any feed/fertilizer. Liquid fertilizer is great for spring because it is fast acting and allows plants to absorb the nutrients that they require very quickly. How hungry the plants are will determine the amount of fertilizer I give them or when I will feed them.
I will usually next feed them towards the end of summer, coming into autumn. I will usually use a slow release fertilizer, such as osmocote all-purpose fertilizer, which will slowly feed the plants over a 2-3 month period.
With the seasons changing and as we are coming into autumn the weather is beginning to cool down, which we are grateful for after all the bushfires and lack of rain. Personally, I find autumn to be the best time in the garden. It is not too cold or too hot to be outside gardening. As some may say, it’s just right. I have a few things planned for autumn that I am extremely excited about. First is the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, towards the end of the month, and one other surprise that I will reveal at a later date.
Here are a few more photos for you too take a look at.
By Bonnie-Marie Hibbs