Just a quick hello all the way from New Zealand and thanks for all
the helpful info on your site. (great photos too) Its been very helpful
starting me off with san pedro.
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Funny guy. I'd like also to put (or putt) Ortho (& Scott's outta business). Enlightening commentary.
I highly agree with your regimen; I include all of those except the yucca extract, which I was about to obtain. Googling it brought me to your website.
Can you elaborate further on what you like about the product (or any other available potent or pure yucca extract) and how it works (other than simply adding "micro-organisms") ? What compounds might be inherent and how are they assimilated or utilized by the plant ?
Awaiting your response with a chuckle--Thanks !
The yucca extract, ThermX 70 was purchased here:
Peaceful Valley Farm Supply also has it:
What is ThermX?
ThermX is a concentrated plant extract and meal containing
steroid saponin. This natural compound is found in certain
desert plants like Yucca. Steroid saponin helps these plants
overcome the adverse growing conditions of the desert. When
placed in the root zone, ThermX helps crop plants in much the
How does ThermX work?
Action in Soils: Steroid saponin is a natural wetting agent that
reduces surface tension. This action enhances better:
Water penetration into the soil
Subbing of beds
Drainage of excess water from the root zone
Action on Plants: Under stress conditions, steroid saponin
increases the plant's ability to utilize water more efficiently,
Improved seed germination and stand establishment
Increased water uptake
Improved fertilizer uptake
Both websites offer the stuff I use and explain
it. Read the Peaceful Valley descriptions for Kelp, Yucca, etc., etc.
It's all pretty standard for organic growers to use these; I started 20
years back growing many varieties of tomatoes, basil, and peppers for
the local Farmer's Market. I sold next to several major organic farms
that supplied Whole Foods in the Bay Area. That was great
experience--but I always highly recommend
Eliot Coleman's books.
I just got in the habit of using liquid kelp, fish emulsion, etc. I'd
use a hose end mixer and spray heavy applications over the entire plants
every week. They produced tons of produce month after month--even
setting tomatoes in October/November in the mild climate of Mountain
I'd spray the same stuff on my San Pedro --learning that if you treat
them like produce they love the attention!
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Beautiful site! Thank you!
Monday, November 05, 2007
Just wondering how the peruvianus seeds I sent you were doing. Last I heard from you you were pretty happy. Send some pics when you've got some time. Pete.
They look like last time only a few months older. How about I photo them
in the spring?
Thursday, September 27, 2007
|Hello. I'm from Chile. I was searching information about Chileans Trichocereus (now Echinopsis) and I found your website... I think that is not easy to find Trichocereus glaucus f. pendens RITTER from Arica, Chile -not from Peru- (now called Echinopsis glauca f. pendens).
In case that you want to exchange some seeds I have some of Trichocereus deserticola, from Huasco, Chile and also T. chiloensis, from Santiago near my house.
greetings from Chile,
Florencia & Juan
Your website photos are truly the most beautiful, spectacular, mystical,
and professional I have ever seen. They make me want to hop a plane to visit those incredible natural locations where you find
As for the nomenclature stuff with Echinopsis...UGH! There is a place in
Hell for those who destroy the Trichocereus family and lump it into the
other. It is about as ignorant as calling every breed of dog a mutt.
My friend Elton Roberts refers to the "lumper dumpers"1
—as a derogatory way of dismissing them —I completely ignore the Echinopsis
dumping as rank stupidity. The old Trichocereus category is just
1) lumper dumper is a derogatory term for
those who revise classifications by "lumping together" varieties and
"dumping them" into a new category.
|From: "Mike" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2007
Hi. I'm located in Toronto, Canada, and have been growing Tichocereus
Pachanoi since the mid 70's, all peices taken from a good sized mother
plant I was able to aquire then. I just ran across your site by accident
while looking for some gel rooting hormone, and have to say that you've
done some absolutely beautiful cactus landscaping.
Those are wonderful healthy looking plants. Unfortunately our cold
winters and relatively short summers don't allow for true cactus gardens
as everything has to come indoors in the winter, and it can be a chore
at times to keep them healthy.
Also, my wife isn't too happy about always having to help cart
everything indoors till next spring.
I'll be starting some new Pachanoi and Peruvians( at least I hope
they're peruvians) seedlings shortly to get them ready for an outdoor
summer planting next year, but I've got to say I'm pretty envious of the
job you're doing down there and the beautiful set up you have. I hope
I'm not bothering you, but again just wanted to say it made my evening
to see your photos, and it's great to read your tips on proper
Thank you so much! I live alone and work hard to farm these plants. City
dwellers have no idea how much work and concentration it requires. So
thank you Mike. Hey! Please check back for the upcoming night time farm
tour by photo flash with little Raccoony. I'll post a photo spread
|These poor guys were in containers since I moved
from Mountain View 3-years ago. I finally fulfilled my
promise to plant them and they are very happy now.
|Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2007
From: Scott Tucker <email@example.com>
I sent a thank you e-mail for a beautiful San Pedro I received a couple
weeks ago and I can't help but thank you again this time for the
Peruvian Torch. I recently purchased a cutting from another distributor,
exact same variety, but side by side your's puts theirs to shame. The
two are the same size in height but the girth, spines and general
appearance is so much healthier with yours. I can only hope I can treat
mine with the love you obviously show for your cacti.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Thank you very much for creating this fantastic website. This is definitely the most authoritative website for San Pedro and Peruvian Torch.
Sunday, September 02, 2007
Very impressive site...I don't know if I can ask this question here...I had a 6' peruvianus which couldn't support itself anymore and fell over. I cut it into 24" pieces--can they be replanted? or is it only with the growing tips?
I'd first wonder why a 6' specimen couldn't support itself. It should be
growing in what they call a "tree pot". A large Peruvianus needs a lot
of root space--not the constricted space of a flower pot type container.
Yes, you can root the column sections as shown on this site. The growing
tip roots fastest/easiest but column sections will also root if you are
patient. It can takes months to root a section but this time of year it
may require all winter until next spring.
You may slice it up into as small as 12" cuttings (24" is fine). I
highly recommend clonex gel be applied to the cuts that will be in soil.
It is late in the year to root so use a fan to speed up
drying/callusing (4-5 days).
Get some potting soil from a garden center and a bag of perlite. I
recently saw that Home Depot has 3.5 cubic foot bags of perlite for $18.
Mix the potting soil 50-50 with perlite. Don't add any water.
Set the cuttings (after 4-5 days in front of an electric fan) in the mix at
least 2-3 inches deep. The night time soil temp has to stay warm for
rooting (70 degrees is ideal), but protect from direct sun in the day
(or you will sunburn cutting). Download my rooting
sheet for a guide. It may not root until spring or 2008 since it is so
late in the season.
You probably won't need to water the cuttings until spring. Lift
up the pieces monthly to look for root buds. Mist the cuttings in the
evening when their stoma open to help prevent dehydration if you see
them looking like Karen Carpenter (anorexia).
If they do root during the winter, water lightly until
Friday, August 03, 2007
Hi! Your site has been a wealth of information and I really appritiate all the hard work you've done puting
From: "PETER JONES" <SANCLANDSCAPE@msn.com> /Subject:
RE: Rivers Source /Date: Sun, 8 Jul 2007
Loved your review on Rivers source... I had the same EXACT gripe months
ago with this guy. I could show you the exact problems...Pathetic.
And that weight thing.... I Got the same response/ run around. Whatever.
... I have been using your method of micro nutrients, worm casings, FISH
EMULSION, Great drainage an lots of water & big pots for a few months
with wonderful results.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but when I went to the green house to
grab some photos for you I discovered that my wife had finally done away
with all the miserable plants. I had them sort of tucked out of eyesight
so I didn't have to look at them. She was the one trying pointlessly to
bring them around. I gave up trying to get money back. And that weight
thing.... don't even get me started! The plants where exactly like the
ones in your photos.... twisted, Pathetic.
I have had wonderful results from seeds from
icarosdna.yage.net Check it
out. Julio is a wonderful man to deal with.
We do higher end landscape work here in Colorado, and believe me we have
to deal with our fair share of outright criminals and scam artists and
the messes they make and bad feelings they cause on a daily basis. We
applaud what you're doing!!! keep up the good work.
PS. I've had great luck with Koehres in Germany Too.
Pete & Tami Jones - Sanctuary Outdoor Living & Landscaping, Inc.
Monument, CO 80132
Office: (719)-488-9113 / Cell: (719)-339-5185
|From: "amber and jeremy" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007
I had the same problems you document with Knize, but some of my seed
germinated OK. I agree with you that he provides no invoices, no
traceable way to pay and no recourse if he doesn't ship...and it takes
months! But what I hate is he doesn't provide a lot # on the seed for
date of collection, etc. Its a real crap shoot with that guy. I'm glad
you mention European suppliers since that is the only safe place to
buy seed with viable germination rates.
Thanks! Good web site.
Yeah, my recent KK seed order had zero germination. Knize 2007 (KK242
and KK339) seed was completely worthless; but my European seed order
--planted at the same time-- in the same incubation chamber germinated
perfectly. Stick with Europe. At least they ship quickly, provide an
Thursday, June 28, 2007
HI, I just discovered your website, and I can't really say anything that hasn't been said already, so I'll stick with, "It's great!". I recently got into cacti, and since learning about them (through you) I really wanted a peruvian torch.
Well, I now have about 5 different types of cacti, and they are all growing great!
I just wanted to thank you for your invaluable help on my ongoing adventure in to the world of Cacti.
Thank you for enjoying the site.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Short Hello from Europe!
This has to be the best place were one can learn how to grow sacred cacti!
Although I have no previous experience with cacti generally, the key thing I think is love, lots of it :-) (and of course humus/worm castings/50% perlite)
I've germinated like 30 of them from seeds and they give so much pleasure taking care of them.
Don't know how to put the picture in here but it doesn't matter cause they are HEALTHY! (hope they stay that way)
I wrote you an e-mail but no answer yet :D
hehehe...guess a lot of work these days!
Keep on the good work! Peace
Lot of work? ;) No joke.
Its called farming. Yeah, its a LOT of work this time of year.
Thank God for cool evenings, cats, and music to pass time transplanting,
mixing cubic yards of potting soil mix, planting...
hi, you have without question the most impressive site on
cacti/san pedro cultivation that i've found, and i've been looking for
awhile. the directions, the pictures, the amount of information is
really something else. i'd like to make just one suggestion (which might
be more trouble than its worth, i don't know how one would do it
exactly) and that would be a "site map". there's so much there, pieces
of information about how the cactus roots or what that color is or which
kinds of things emerge from where, and sometimes i've had trouble
finding the same page twice! may you have much happiness growing!
Point well taken. The site is like the Winchester
House--constant building but no architect. Hell, I can't even find some
of the pages anymore.
The key? HOME has the most complete nav bar that leads to all sub-nav
bars. But some things are un-indexed by design such as the rooting
tutorial. That is only listed during spring-early summer.
Thank you for your comments. Really rare to receive anything so
Note: thanks! the san pedro i bought from you got scale and is gonna die i
think, but i live in new york. would love to get one to live here in my
I have no experience growing San Pedro inside; I only grow
outside.But I know that insects attack plants producing too much carbohydrates
or plant sugars caused by too much nitrogen fertilizer. I'd recommend you talk
to a local house plant store/expert.
I don't know of scale being fatal, just parasitic sucking...scale, I believe can
be killed safely with neem oil?
Give the san pedro non-chlorinated water, less fertilizer --and only during
spring/summer. Bright but diffused light lets them grow slowly without
etiolation. Like a south facing window with a white gauze?
Insects infect sick plants--not healthy ones. Check the soil? Peat moss based
soil mixes get acidic. I use compost instead of peat. If you have acid soil then
add limestone. I check PH with test strips and use powdered marble (limestone)
for fast acting and ground oyster shell (flour) for slower acting.
I have never known a san pedro to die from insects. Insects, to me are a symptom
of underlying ill health. Health = correct type of/and amount of
|White spots appeared
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
I bought this cactus from you awhile ago and it's been growing very well, but recently white spots appeared and kinda propagate up (on one side only). It's really disturbing to see that, please advise how to heal this
(I checked Disease section but did not find similar images)
Thanks in advance
I disagree with your assertion "...it's been growing
In fact it has not been growing well at all. It is
No, there are no pictures of this in the disease section
because this site is not about disease; it is about how to
naturally grow healthy specimens.
[by the way--the sick plant shown on
the Disease page, held up by a twist tie, was later for sale
I am not kidding. It had healed, yet I recognized that
disease section begins:
My website shares information about how
I grow plants. It is basic "organic agriculture" which is in
simplest terms just imitating nature. Ever noticed how
beautiful trees are in a forest? Nature shows us how its
|Why, why, why, why...do I get emails month after
month asking what to do for diseased San Pedro? Is
my entire website serving no purpose? Is the
attention span of the visitor so superficial that
the only thing they find is my email address?
Your plants are sick because you make them sick. You
treat them like "things" and not like living beings.
The sickness in your plants is a mirror of the
sickness in you.
Many people think plants are dumb things that they have to control like a
pet, or a lab experiment. If "it" has a problem then
there must be a chemical or "trick" to fix it.
That's wrong thinking.
Plants are living beings that coexist with us in a
universe where consciousness pervades everything. The plant
a manifestation of what you did to it.
Nature hides nothing from us; but a person who has no eyes
can't see that. If you really did buy this plant from me it came
with a "Cacti-care" sheet that has been ignored.
All plants need sunlight; organic, living soil; clean,
non-chlorinated water; and respect for whatever they need to keep themselves healthy. As caretaker of the plant you have to provide it with a
natural environment. San Pedro have been growing just fine
for tens of thousands of years before recorded history. Their only
disease is humans.
How deep do their root systems go?
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
I need to move a couple San Pedros in my yard that are between 2 to 7 feet high to replace them with a hedge. I was thinking of digging the entire cacti out and moving them roots and all. How deep do their root systems go? Is this a practical idea? Some of the Cacti are peruvianus. I'm not looking forward to moving the big suckers.
Nice new pics
Monday, March 26, 2007
Thanks for the new photos! Nice to know you have documented San pedro being cold hardy to 22 degrees F. Also I appreciate your comments on the problems with cactus seed. I had many problems, lots of work, etc. and when I got some to grow my cat used it for a litter box.
When to repot?
Friday, March 23, 2007
Just wanted to let you know my 7 Peru's arrived today. They all look
great ! (despite the mean Fed-Ex tossing) Question: how long until
they shall need to be repotted? thanks again!
I repotted a couple months back. That should be good till they show
a couple of inches of growth. I can't predict your growing
Try to up-pot to avoid roots running circles around the pot. You can
periodically take one (before watering) out of the 4" pot to check
the root ball to see if its bound. It is easier when the soil is
Go up to at least a 6" round pot next. The more root space they have
the bigger the root system, the faster the growth, the less stressed
they are with watering concerns. After all, in the earth the roots
can dig for the water they need.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
The problem with Trout is that he's hiding his identity. He is obviously paranoid that the DEA would show up at his door if they knew who he was. In similar manner his "specimens" are from fictitiously named owners like "Oz"! Probably all these folks grow mushrooms, pot and engage in all sorts of illegal alkaloid usage. Drug use may well explain his substandard writing. If the old fish has an editor he must be one hell of a pothead!
Since these cacti have an
ethnobotanical heritage [see:
Bernstein] their classification could be understood in that
context. Someone needs to document the various Trichocereus varieties
as they occur in Peru. What name do the local natives use for a
particular plant? Plot maps for the region in which it is found.
Photograph actual field specimens with a color correction bar in the
photo and the standard meter stick, etc. Such an approach would
clear up all the nonsense being generated by the Fish with his
minions of fellow drug fiends.
Documenting native Trichocereus is an excellent idea. It would be
wonderful to see all the varieties of San Pedro, Peruvian Torch, and
Bridgesii as they naturally grow in Peru. If I were a millionaire
I'd be on the next airplane to Peru.
Tell it like it is
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Very nice website and great photos. Your comments about that verbose
blowhard "Trout" (http://www.trichocereus.com/trouts_snout.htm)
are hilarious! Isn't he the "armchair expert"? Not one photo of a
specimen growing in Peru, Bolivia, etc. This guy hasn't left his
backyard yet pontificates about species native to another hemisphere
of the planet.
His writing is a joke. Colleges offer English Composition at the Freshman
level for good reason. If a student fails to learn how to organize
material, how to write in a clear style--then all their future work
will only make readers yawn, roll their eyes and toss it aside.
Trout's paragraph long sentences are as ridiculous as you point out.
His stuff reads like one of those classic 1950's Japanese direction
manuals on how to assemble "mower machine lawn."
You must have read Pirsig's classic Zen and The Art of Motorcycle
Maintenance. The author made fun of the bad instruction manuals
while making a compelling case for excellence in technical writing. That certainly
changed my view of and tolerance for bad writing. I don't respect
anyone who thinks their first draft is perfect. Like Hemingway said
"The first draft of anything is shit." Yet snot nosed know-it-alls
refuse to allow editors to alter one word of their crap. Its a joke.
So thank you for being the only website I know of to tell it like it
is. Trout has done a huge disservice to the Trichocereus varieties.
The lack of color photos, and the absence of color standardized ones
is as unforgivable as his endless snapshots lacking scale objects.
And your point about his choice of specimens is worthy, too. Small
cuttings and buds in flower pots have little in common to the real
specimens grown to full size in the earth. K in Ga
Saturday, March 03, 2007
I've just found your site. I haven't explored everything you've written about cultivation yet, but I will. Found your cats...that was much appreciated...I had two who lived for 18 years each and have passed now...yes, cats respond if you treat them with the dignity and thoughtfulness you'd give a human. Thumbs up to you and may your cats prosper.
Re. cactus. A couple years ago, I inherited a single extremely long slim cactus (it was about 5') in a narrow pot from a friend who was moving out of the area. Looking at Google images, I'm guessing that it's a San Pedro, but the oldest branch (or trunk? what do you call those?) has only 3 ribs...the other two have 4 and 5. I have treated it with the basics, or most of them, but would like to move on to better care.
I've never raised a cactus before, so here's what I've done; what should I do differently? I've wintered it in a coolish room (down to 60-65 at night) with lots of windows, where it gets daylight indirect light ; I water it sparingly in the winter but never cut the water entirely off; in the summer, I wean it to outdoors light, placing it on a covered patio where it does get afternoon direct light from the West. It generated 2 more branches/trunks/spires from the bottom, so there are 3 spires. I inherited it in a yellowish green state, and that's the way the original spire looks now; the 3rd is a nice darker gren. All are now in 2 segments. The bottom segment in each of the 3 always plumps up or thins down, depending on watering, but the top segment never does...it's always extremely thin, or flat. With occasional fertilizing, that's about all I've done.
The plant is surviving, since it's made it through a couple winterings and late spring/summers outdoors, but what can I do to make it thrive better? I had thought this spring to change its soil and get it in a wider flatter pot (It came in a long narrow one, with what looks like cactus potting soil in it). Would that matter? Is there a time to prune these plants or shall I continue my usual when I don't know about a plant: keep care going and let it do what it does?
As for what planet I'm from...well...someplace where things grow. I'll explore your site.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
i really enjoyed the pics of your pedro and peruvian, bridgessi monsters that you created, i did not get to purchase one this year but would like to in to coming year! keep up the good work!
Thank you! This coming year I'll document some "upside down" grafts
and "split in half grafts."
Saturday, January 20, 2007
I have one four feet tall San Pedro with five new pups . Two of the pups look bruised on the tips and have a oily ooze coming out of tips . The other three Pups are fine and all pups are aprox. 8 inches Long . I have several others Large San Pdero Cactus that are in a different room that are fine .They are all growing in the house . As I live in Arkansas and it is very cold outside I in the Winter . Here is a picture of the tips . Any Help would be appreciated . <img src=http://members.aol.com/sryoufin/sanperdo.jpg>
Saturday, January 20, 2007
I have one four feet tall San Pedro with five new pups . Two of the pups look bruised on the tips and have a oily ooze coming out of tips . The other three Pups are fine and all pups are aprox. 8 inches Long . I have several others that are in a different room that are fine .They are all growing in the house . As I live in Arkansas and it is very cold outside in the Winter
Friday, January 19, 2007
I have a 8 inch Trichocereus Peruvians, the top of my baby is black, it appears to be going down the shaft. How do I save my cactus. Can it be graphed. Should I graphed it. Please tell me what I can do to save my plant. I have had this plant for 6 years
Friday, January 19, 2007
I have a 8 inch Trichocereus cuzcoensis, the top of my baby is black, it appears to be going down the shaft. How do I save my cactus. Can it be shafted
You have posted similar messages from 3 different IP addresses
Your AOL image URL leads to a "Page not found" error.
• You claim to
have an 8" cucoensis, and 8" Peruvians (sic) and also 8" San Pedro
• You say the 8" Peruvians (sic) is 6 years old, yet an 8"
would only be about 2 to 3 years old. A 6-year old Peruvianus
should be the size of a person.
You insulted me in return-email when I replied to you.
Nevertheless, I have discussed similar issues numerous times on this website over the
years—search the past forum topics, and other
pages on my site to answer your questions.
This site is about how to raise healthy plants. If you want to
save your cactus — learn how to provide them with a healthy