James is my other cactus. He is Ernest’s best friend. They chill out together on the conservatory windowsill, unless it’s freezing, then they chill out on the piano.
James is spherical and spikier than he looks. He doesn’t have any flowers (yet) but he does sport some rather fetching little fluffy bits in the middle of his spikes. He has rather distinguished spikes, ‘cos they’re a little bit curved. Rather.
James was given to me as a present in a past life in retail, as a thank you for covering another store. He came in a little gold pot, which sadly he has grown out of. James is a survivor and I’ll tell you why.
Last year he got a brown bum. It looked a bit squishy, slightly wrinkled, and not very happy at all. The brown started to spread upwards. I was very sad. I reckon James was pretty sad too.
I went on a cactus forum and posted a picture of little poorly James. The general consensus was that I’d overwatered him and he was going to die, unless I sliced him in half (!) and tried to grow the top half, but if I did that he’d probably die anyway. I was gutted for James. I felt as though I’d lost an arm. James felt even worse, as he was possibly about to lose his bum, and maybe his prickly little life.
I thought about the overwatering and came to the conclusion that this was a bit weird as I’d not watered him for about a month, and probably about a month before that, and I’d done exactly the same for the last few years I’d had him, and his mud was just as dry as ever. I began to be suspicious and decided I was definitely not going to cut him in half.
And he didn’t die. The brown stopped creeping upwards. He watched telly when we did and watched the fire crackle and him and Ernest joined in everything. And finally, little James started to grow again, without being chopped in half.
Now, the brown has nearly retreated out of sight although he’s still slightly wrinkly around his nether regions. I came to the conclusion he might have been a bit chilly, and take extra care to keep him toasty, but making sure he doesn’t get sunburn. James and Ernest are continuing their cactus bromance in the conservatory, with a window on the world and the sun on their spikes.
James is awesome, I love him, he’s my little rotund, green buddy. My cacti make me happy and I hope I make them happy too.
I wrote this post back in 2014. Sadly James’s cactus friend Ernest succumbed to the death rot a few years later and didn’t pull through. After a suitable period of mourning, James has now got 2 new friends,Theodore and Benjamin, and is still loving life as a spiny ball of rage. He hasn’t had a flower yet and his bum is still rather brown, but he still has fluffy bits in the middle and expands a bit more every year! Here is a recent picture, in 2019 🙂