Flowering Gymnocalycium Borthii Cactus

One of the strange things I’ve started to do is to take care of some new pets. This is another one of my weird hobbies. Poey Chin tells me I love them more than her.

Today I’m going to share with you one of my successes.

The photo below was from 2.5 years ago, when I first bought the plant. It looks big here because of the zoom but the size was around 1.5 inches in diameter. The smallest pot you find when you buy cacti.

Last year around this same time, the cactus plant put out one flower bud but sadly it did not bloom. This year I was so excited when I saw two flower buds.

One week later, the first flower bloomed.

The next photo shows the entire cactus plant. When there is less sun, the flower will close up. The diameter at the cactus base is around 3-4 inches.

This last photo shows the flower in maximum bloom under full afternoon sun.

I hope I’ve got the name of the species right. There isn’t a lot of reference online and even fewer photo examples. I don’t even know the name of 95% of my cacti.

I don’t think I’m doing anything special regarding the plant care. The soil is my usual 50/50 mix of black soil and “cactus stones mix”.

This species of cactus seems to survive our Malaysian weather well so I keep it outside with full exposure to sun and rain. If it rains too frequently then I keep it out of the rain for a week.

Fortunately it also seems quite resilient to any pest attacks.

It doesn’t seem to propagate. There was a tiny baby growing at the side a few months ago, but I lost it when transferring it to a bigger pot.

Ok so it’s been 3.5 years…

I don’t suppose I have any readers left, but I do enjoy reading back the last 13 years of blog posts, and enjoy the memories they bring me. So I decided I should continue recording my memories here.

Let’s see if I can keep it up this time round.

I have some maintenance and cleanup to do for this blog, mostly to remove some old content to save some server disk space.

Here’s a quick preview:

Caleb’s First Day in Kindergarten

Caleb in uniform

Today was Caleb’s first day in kindergarten.

He is the third kid we’re sending to the same kindergarten so we’ve got the entire process down. We were in and out in less than ten minutes!

Caleb didn’t have much trouble adjusting because Daryl was in the six year old class. He didn’t have any separation anxiety because we told him Daryl was in the next room.

This is one advantage having the two boys so close together. The older brother will always be there for the younger one.

I think the biggest shock to Caleb is when the teachers spoke to him in Mandarin. I don’t think he imagined that. But the teachers will mix English and Mandarin in the first few months.

When we arrived, all the teachers remembered Rachel and they were spending time chatting with her. Daryl pretty much went to his class by himself, looking for his best friends. He had so much to talk to them about.

Teacher invited Caleb to sit down next to a boy, and he became very quiet. He’s exactly like me. He becomes quiet when strangers are around. We thought he looked a bit nervous.

We left after a few minutes. There were a lot of parents around. Some of the new kids were crying and I knew  exactly what they were feeling because we went through that stage.

After a few hours, we picked the boys up from kindergarten and Caleb said he had fun. That’s great news for us. I hope he maintains that positive outlook for the rest of the year.

I’m happy that he enjoys himself so far. Part of me feels sad. My baby Caleb is taking his first steps away from home.

I’m so proud of his first kindergarten assignment:

Caleb's art work