Oxford Branch

British Cactus and Succulent Society

Cactus plants that require a compost containing limestone

Limestone a requirement or a poison ?

Many cacti and succulents grow exclusively in limestone areas, often within the cracks in the rocks themselves. Some, such as Aztecium and Geohintonia, take this to an extreme, apparently growing in a decomposing limestone or gypsum soil exclusively. What is not clear is whether they "require" this in order to flourish or are just better able to tolerate the conditions than other species, such that in their native habitat they survive where others perish. What does appear to be clear in greenhouse cultivation is that many cacti do not do well in acidic composts and do appear to benefit from some added limestone in the compost (limestone, NOT lime).

To this end, adding some granular limestone or limestone chips (3-5mm) to your compost and avoiding peat-based composts for some species, is generally accepted to be of benefit. Here is a listing (not claimed to be exhaustive) of species which should benefit from adding limestone to your compost.

It is also worth noting that if you do use a peat-based compost, adding limestone has been reported as causing a reaction which results in the mixture turning to a sludgy mess - not good for your plants - but I have no experience of this.

If you have any experience to add plants to this listing please let the web master know and we will update it.

Martin Doorbar

Ariocarpus		All
Astrophytum		All
Ancistrocactus		All
Aztekium		All
Epithelantha		All
Gymnocactus		All
Glandulicactus		All
Lophophora		All
Leuchtenbergia		All
Neolloydia		All
Strombocactus		All
Thelocactus		All
Turbinicarpus		All
Coryphantha		clava
Coryphantha		delaetiana
Coryphantha		difficilis
Coryphantha		echinus
Coryphantha		erecta
Coryphantha		nickelsae
Coryphantha		obscura
Coryphantha		pallida
Coryphantha		palmeri
Coryphantha		pseudonickelsae
Coryphantha		pulleineana
Coryphantha		ramillosa
Coryphantha		retusa
Coryphantha		sulcata
Coryphantha		durangensis
Cumarinia		oborata
Echinocactus		horizonthalonius
Echinocereus		dasycanthus
Echinocereus		delaetii
Echinocereus		enneacanthus
Echinocereus		fenderi
Echinocereus		primolanatus
Echinocereus		stramineus
Echinocereus		nivosus
Echinocereus		roetteri
Echinocereus		erectocentrus
Escobaria		ducanii
Escobaria		guadalupensis
Escobaria		lloydii
Escobaria		sanbergii
Escobaria		sneedii
Escobaria		villardii
Escobaria		vivipara v all
Escobaria		radiosa
Escobaria		zilziana
Echinomastus		mariposensis
Mammillaria		albiarmata
Mammillaria		albicoma
Mammillaria		albilanata
Mammillaria		aureilanata
Mammillaria		albicans
Mammillaria		albiflora
Mammillaria		cadereytensis
Mammillaria		candida
Mammillaria		carmenae
Mammillaria		carnea
Mammillaria		chionocephala
Mammillaria		collinsii
Mammillaria		columbiana
Mammillaria		compressa
Mammillaria		crucigera
Mammillaria		dixanthocentron
Mammillaria		egregia
Mammillaria		flavicenta
Mammillaria		formosa
Mammillaria		gasseriana
Mammillaria		geminispina
Mammillaria		goodridgii
Mammillaria		graessneriana
Mammillaria		grusonii
Mammillaria		haageana
Mammillaria		herrerae
Mammillaria		humboldtii
Mammillaria		karwinskiana
Mammillaria		kraehenbuehlii
Mammillaria		knbeliana
Mammillaria		lasiacantha
Mammillaria		luethyi
Mammillaria		ignota
Mammillaria		laui v subducta
Mammillaria		magallanii
Mammillaria		microhelia
Mammillaria		meuhlenpfordtii
Mammillaria		mystax
Mammillaria		napina
Mammillaria		nejapensis
Mammillaria		nivosa
Mammillaria		orcuttii
Mammillaria		pachycylindrica
Mammillaria		parkinsonii
Mammillaria		pectinifera
Mammillaria		pilispina
Mammillaria		plumosa
Mammillaria		pseudoperbella
Mammillaria		rosseo - alba
Mammillaria		SB500
Mammillaria		roseocentra
Mammillaria		sempervivi
Mammillaria		supertexta
Mammillaria		solisioides
Mammillaria		spinosissima ssp
Mammillaria		tepoxtlana
Mammillaria		tlalocii
Mammillaria		tonalensis
Mammillaria		viereckii
Mammillaria		viperina
Mammillaria		winterae
Mammillaria		wohlsclageri
Mammillaria		yucatanensis
Mammillaria		zeyeriana
Ortegocactus		macdougallii