Monday, July 2, 2012

Cacti from Home Depot

As with most people, my collection of plants started local at the big box stores. Cacti are easier to identify, unlike orchids or garden plants that hundreds of hybrids are made from, to the point where non labeled plants are impossible to ID. More serious hobbyists might snub these purchases, but here's why you should maybe check out your local stores, you never know what they might have. Costa Farms supplies to all the Home Depots around here, so if you are new to growing cacti they actually have a decent selection. They don't look so hot when they aren't cared for, sitting on a dark shelf in a Home Depot, but there's potential there.

This cactus looked terrible when I bought it. The second I saw it I knew what it was and how it was supposed to look. It's not as if it was diseased or pest ridden, just clearly sun deprived , dehydrated, and knocked around a bit from shipping and employees not trained to take care of cacti.

See? Looks not so nice.

The cactus above is probably Gymnocalycium friedrichii (or mihanovichii var. friedrichii depending on which taxonomy you agree with, I haven't figured out which is "official") Below is how it looks with full sun and regular water.

ID hopefully in a few days

This cactus is supposed to be a purple or red color, it isn't sunburned.

This one below, is sort of a "before" picture. I didn't take one when I first got it of how sad it looked too, but you can see it's light deprived. It's most likely just a too green Gymnocalycium mihanovichii.

Not quite as bad, but too green for my taste

Here it is again below with proper light and water.

ID to come shortly!

When these bloom, I'll be able to verify the ID's that were made. They are definitely Gymnocalyciums, those are easy to spot. If you can't tell by looking at the body of the cactus, the flower buds will give it away. Buds are always spineless, wool-less, bristle-less, smooth and scaled looking. I guessed on the species ID's and my guesses were verified on a forum, so we'll see if any of us are any good at ID'ing cacti, or if I labeled them prematurely.

EDIT 7/9/12 *Links to ID updates below*:
Cactus #1 ID
Cactus #2 ID


  1. Very nice and interesting. You must show the flowers, once open. LT

    1. Thank you! Hopefully they'll be open by the end of the week, I'll definitely have an update for these guys.