Barry's October Box

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Heads up! This is an older article which has been moved over from our old blog. As a result, some of the styling on this page might be a little off.

Shh... it’s bedtime for cacti and succulents. It’s that time of the year where all our prickly green friends slip into their pyjamas, and rest their heads ready for a season of dormancy.

This month at the clubhouse we’re shipping out the Birthday Cake Cactus (Mammillaria haageana elegans) plus a bulbous gift. We’ve recently turned 1, and who doesn’t love stretching out birthday celebrations, so the Birthday Cake cactus and a present to go with it seems like the natural thing to do.

Meet the fuzzy Mexican Birthday boy

Meet the fuzzy Mexican Birthday boy

This globular chap is easy to grow and will reach a modest height of 15cm, so there’s no need to worry it’ll out grow you. Unless you are the size of a hamster.

He is a highly drought-tolerant fellow and will need very little water. Let him dry out completely in the winter, which brings us nicely on to this months theme…

Winter Dormancy

After a summer of pushing out new growth and adorning themselves with crowns of flowers, cacti like to be left alone to go dormant in the autumn and winter.

From October, it’s important to cut right back on watering but if you see signs of thirst such as shriveling give him a little drink. Remember, too much moisture can lead to root rot.

The hibernation phase ends when the warmer mornings start to creep in. From March, get ready to increase watering but take it slowly, nobody likes a sharp awakening after a long sleep!

Light bulb moment 💡

Our birthday gift for us to you is a stunning pinkish-purple flower with a delicate white edging to each petal. The Claudia Lily Tulip bulbs flower is an elegant shape and that of a lily.

Did you know…

The Tulip was actually originally a wildflower growing in Asia. It was first cultivated by the Turks 1000AD. The name 'tulip' came from the Turkish word for turban.

The flowers were introduced into Western Europe and the Netherlands in the late 16th century where they soon gained major popularity as a trading product, especially in Holland. The interest for the flowers was high and the bulbs were sold for unbelievably high prices!

In the 20th century it was discovered that the frilly petals and dramatic flames that give modern varieties their stunning look, were in fact the symptoms of an infection! Healthy flowers were supposed to be solid, smooth and monotone. These diseased varieties are no longer sold but what you can find is hybrids that look similar and are genetically stable!

You can expect your bulbs to flower in early May, so get planting now for a huge pay off come summertime.

Planting up!

Plant tulips from Autumn to Winter, selecting a sunny location. For the best results, plant the bulbs about 15cm down in the ground in moderately fertile soil.

Join the club today, visit

Join the club today, visit