Easy, flowering houseplant. Wants bright light, and to stay on the dry side. To encourage yours to flower again put it in more light and give it some fertilizer every two weeks to promote new growth. Kalanchoe are triggered into flowering by going through a "short day" period, that is at least 8 weeks of 8 hours of light and 16 hours of darkness. In the winter time it will get this automatically if it's in a room without artificial light. If you want to stimulate more flowers at this time of year you have to cover the plant with a box for 16 hours a day to prevent it from getting light. (Do not use a plastic bag.) Or you can just let it grow this summer, and let nature stimulate the flowers which will appear sometime after February.
Like other members of the Euphorbia family (poinsettia, crown of thorns), pencil cactus exudes a milky latex sap that can be irritating to skin and toxic if consumed. This succulent tolerates a wide range of light conditions, but is happiest in full sun or very bright indirect light. Soil should be allowed to dry out in between waterings. Water when the soil feels dry down to your first knuckle. NOTE: If you come in skin contact with the sap be sure to wash it off with soap and water as soon as possible as it can cause a pretty nasty burn on some people. Likewise if you get it in your mouth or eyes seek immediate medical attention. If cutting or pruning the plant be sure to wear long sleeves, gloves, and eye protection.
Ferocactus wislizenii, native to the deserts of Texas, Arizona, Baja California and Mexico, forms thick cylindrical columns to 6' in height with time. The central spines, usually reddish-brown, are wide and flattened. It is believed that the spines were used in the past as fishhooks. The flowers are variable; usually yellow to a beautiful, glowing deep orange. Requires extra drainage in soil mix, as can be attained with the addition of extra perlite or pumice. Bright light to full sun. Can be grown in a container on a warm, bright patio or in full sun in a garden landscape. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Can tolerate temperatures below freezing for brief periods, but is best to protect from frost to prevent scarring.
Often described as having the most beautiful foliage and form of all sedums, this plant looks great all summer long and then really comes into its own in fall. It is a low, spreading species that forms a rounded mound, sending out horizontal branches from the central crown. The 3/4" round, blue-green leaves are borne in "threes" around the stems and each leaf is narrowly outlined in deep pink. During the hot summer months, this pink edge intensifies. Because of its thick, succulent leaves which can store water, sedum is drought tolerant. It will grow in average to poor soil as long as it has good drainage. Plants grown in rich soil tend to be lanky and open. Should be grown in full sun to light shade, and is cold hardy to Zone 3. Good for hanging baskets too.
Glottiphyllums are native to the southern parts of South Africa and are another member of the strange family of Mesembryanthemums. They are characterized by soft, strap-like leaves that look like a dog's long, panting tongue, and have large yellow ice plant-like flowers. The plants are generally low-growing and form clumps of compact rosettes. They are considered very easy to grow and are quite tolerant of growing conditions. Over watering (while not recommended) will not kill them; rather, they will simply become more ample and fleshy. Their leaves are long, semi-transparent, and very glossy green. They are nearly stemless and often prostrate. Full sun to light shade. Drought tolerant. Hardy to USDA Zone 9, best to protect from frost.
Native to Africa, flowers are very showy, star-shaped, and wildly colored form pale gold to red-black, and can be vividly patterned with rich burgundy speckles and transverse lines. This is a member of the Stapeliad family that includes Huernias, Carallumas, Orbeas, Stapelias, and others, and their main natural pollinators are flies. They mimic the smell (and in some cases the look as well!) of a dead animal to attract the flies. Requires porous soil with adequate drainage. Bright light and ample airflow. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Water less during extreme heat and during temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Will tolerate extreme heat as long as light is not intense. Prefers winter temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Protect from frost.
This is a Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, native to Madagascar. It has thick, glossy green leaves that are smooth-edged or lobed depending on the cultivar. A popular gift plant, it blooms primarily in winter through spring with clusters of tiny flowers in hues of orange, red, pink, cream, yellow, pink and salmon. Indoors needs bright indirect light and moderate water. Fertilize with a slow-release food formulated for container blooming plants. Water when the soil feels dry down to the first knuckle or pot feels lighter. Do not over water. Outdoors, provide bright filtered light / partial shade, especially in the summer. Does not tolerate frost. Like poinsettias, these plants require specific numbers of dark and light hours to bloom and are difficult to re-bloom in the average home.
Opuntia rufida minima monstrose is a miniature cactus of the group known as "Prickly Pear". This form of Opuntia rufida is considered a "minima monstrose" form as it only grows to approximately 10" in height, and the "pads" are less flattened than those of the normal sized species "Cinnamon Cactus". The "mini-pads" are covered with minute cinnamon-colored spines called "glochids. Take care not to touch "glochids" ("dots" of minute spines that detach readily and can cause irritation to the skin and eyes). Requires porous cactus soil with adequate drainage. Prefers bright light and ample airflow. Water thoroughly when soil is dry to the touch. Water with caution in winter, as the plant can lose its roots if the soil stays cold and wet for extended periods. Protect from frost.
Native to South Africa, is a fascinating plant with nearly spherical grayish-green stems with transverse bands of different shades of green. Often, especially in bright light, these bands can be an attractive contrasting purplish-bronze. Great conversation piece. Known as the "Basketball" plant. All Euphorbias contain a white sap that can be irritating to eyes and mucous membranes. If contact is made with this white sap, take care to not touch face or eyes before washing hands with soap and water. Responds well to warmth, with its active growth period in the late spring and summer months. Porous soil with adequate drainage. Requires bright light for best appearance, and should be given a winter resting period at which time less water should be given. Protect from frost.
Chamaelobivia 'Rose Quartz' is a hybrid (genetic combination) between Chamaecereus ("Peanut Cactus") and Lobvia . This "peanut" cactus has an upright growth habit, offsetting and blooming profusely. Flowers are to 3" in diameter, rose-colored, and tinged with purple highlights. Not only is 'Rose Quartz' very appealing, but also very resistant to insects such as mealy bugs, and to pathogens such as "soft rot". Requires porous cactus soil with adequate drainage. Prefers very bright light and more temperate climates with good airflow. Becomes dormant in stifling summer heat as the original Chamaecereus is native to the cooler mountainous regions of South America. Water thoroughly when soil is dry during active growing season. Protect from frost.