British Cactus and Succulent Society

Dover Branch
For cactus and succulent enthusiasts of all ages and abilities

Starting out
There are a great many different succulents and cacti, and this makes it extremely difficult for a new enthusiast to decide what to include in their first collection. Some easy to grow plants can be outstanding, whilst some rather ordinary looking species are the rarest and hardest to grow.

Wherever your interest gets taken, it is always a good idea to learn a little about the plants you are drawn to before actually making a purchase. Things to consider are original habitat, watering requirements, growth habit and whole host of other considerations.

You may already have a friend or family member with a collection of their own. This is a good place to observe cacti and succulents and get a feel for the groups you would like to investigate. Cacti nurseries are also a good place to visit, but don’t be drawn into a purchase until you have investigated those that would most suit the resources you can provide.

Some plants require nothing more than a nice sunny position on a windowsill and an occasional drop of water, whilst other require much more intensive and specialised nurturing to keep them thriving.

We would advise those just starting out to purchase pre-grown plants, but when you get more proficient and knowledgeable about propagation nothing beats growing from seed. There is no shame in purchasing plants though, and many experienced enthusiasts occasionally supplement their collections with the purchase of a pre-grown plant or two.

We have listed below those cacti and succulents that we feel would make for an interesting and easy to look after start-up collection. These plants should be available from most nurseries and you may also find them at your local garden centre. We at the Dover branch of the British Cactus and Succulent Society also have regular plant sales at our meetings where start-up plants can be purchased as well as more advanced specimens.
• Rattail Cactus (Aporocactus flagelliformis)
• Bishop's Cap, Goat's Horn, Star Cactus (Astrophytum capricorne)
• Bearded Cactus, Beetle Cactus, Old Man Cactus (Cephalocereus senilis)
• Peanut Cactus (Chamaecereus silvestri)
• Pincushion, Powder Puff (Mammillaria bocasana)
• Owl's Eyes (Mammillaria parkinsonii)
• Bunny Ears, Prickly Pear (Opuntia microdasys)
• Crown Cactus, Red Crown (Rebutia kupperiana)
• Torch Cactus (Trichocereus spachianus)
• Pinwheel (Aeonium haworthii)
• Chinese Rubber Plant, Jade Plant, Silver Crassula, Money Tree (Crassula argentea)
• Necklace Vine (Crassula perforata)
• Dwarf Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia splendens)
• Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii)
• Crystal Cactus, Pearly Dots (Haworthia papillosa)
• African Hat Plant (Hoodia rosea)
• Lamb's Ears, Panda Plant (Kalanchoe tomentosa)
• Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe blossfeldiana hybrids)
• Giant Burro's Tail, Lamb's Tail, Live Forever, Stonecrop (Sedum spp)