Cacti are presented in nature in a wide variety, among them Echinopsis stands out - one of the largest of its kind, which pleases with abundant flowering. But in order to get him to regularly appear flowers, you will need to provide him with proper care.
Cactus echinopsis is the name for a "large family" that originates from the hills and mountains of South America, and not from the desert, which people often associate with cacti. In translation, the name of the plant means "similar to a hedgehog." In addition to the 150 species of echinopsis found in the wild, breeders have developed hundreds of hybrids over the past century.
Like roses, hybridizers interbreed different species to create new flowers that differ in shape, size and hue.
Echinopsis flowers, depending on the variety, vary in size from small (2.5 cm in diameter) to massive (over 20 cm). They come in a variety of colors: white, pink, yellow, red, orange and others. The shades of many varieties of echinopsis are so intense and saturated that it is literally impossible to look at them for more than a few seconds. The described flower is most suitable for growing in containers, because it is a small, stunted cactus. It can grow calmly in areas with cooling levels from 10 to 12. The plant blooms in spring and summer, often in large numbers.
Small white bristled spikes run along the rods. They are soft and do not penetrate the skin, so the cactus will not bring harm. The stems branch freely. A new sprout is upright, up to 10 cm high, if longer, it begins to crawl along the soil. Old shoots become brown and stiff with time. Cactus native to Argentina. Most species come from the wild. Cactus is grown around the world, it is easy to propagate by disconnecting the shoot, which is easily broken off.
Lobivia is the same echinopsis, only in the language of flower gardeners, but scientists consider the first name correct. At home, only a few hybrid species of echinopsis are grown.
- "Tubular". Ten or twelve ribs are formed on the stems, the color is dark green. An important feature can be considered a halo, which can be of different colors: black or white, silver. On the cactus yellow spikes with a curved shape are formed. The maximum diameter of the flowers is ten centimeters, while the length of their legs can be twenty-five centimeters. Petals are pink or white, the inflorescence has a funnel shape.
- "Golden". This variety can be distinguished by the bright greenery of the stem, on which there is a deep relief. Spines can reach a length of one centimeter. They are straight. The legs of the flowers are quite long, the buds themselves, after blooming, have a diameter of up to six centimeters. The flowers are yellow or orange.
- "Airies." It differs from other varieties not only in the light color of the stem, but also in its oblong shape with a large number of ribs. There is a smoky pile on the halos, the needles are very small and hardly visible. The flowers are white, large, very beautiful, with a pink line. Their length can be 25 centimeters.
Florists love the described cactus because many sprouts form on it over time, as a result, the flower takes on a unique shape.
- "Huasha." The shoots of the described variety are long, rich green in color, sometimes they can be not upright, but curved. The ribs are decorated with terracotta pile and small spines. At the top, several buds are always flaunted, unlike most other species, their stem is short. The color of the flowers is red or saturated orange.
- "Pointed." The diameter of the stem of this cactus with a dark green color can reach twenty-five centimeters. There are fourteen or fewer vertical ribs. The needles are white, they are covered by a small pile. Oxygon flowers are red, may be pink, but they are always on the spine.
- Hybrid. A cactus that completely covers the ribs, creating an amazing relief. In areoles, prickly processes gather in groups. A large pink or white flower flaunts on a thin and long leg. Petals are very wide, which attracts the attention of plant breeders. The cactus "Erie" belongs to this variety.
- "Subdenudate," or half-naked. The presented plant is distinguished by a spherical stem of a very deep green hue. In diameter, an adult plant can reach twelve centimeters, while the cactus is just nine centimeters high. There is a small pile on the ribs; in the areola you can see one spine. The flowering period falls in the spring, inflorescences are located on a long tube. The petals of the flowers are white.
- "White-flowered". It is easy to guess what shade this plant has flowers. Stem growers like not so much for a dark green tint, but for a grayish tint. The maximum length of the bush is forty centimeters, but in girth it can be a maximum of twelve. Most often, fourteen faces are formed on the surface, there are spines of brown color, thick and bent: one large main and several small.
- "Mamilose." This plant is very beautiful, not only during flowering, but just like that. He liked the flower growers for their small size and very neat shape. Only one central shoot comes out of the ground, reaching a length of no more than thirty centimeters.
- "Hook-billed." In adulthood, it can reach ten centimeters. Sometimes it grows in a pot in a group in the form of small balls with the largest number of ribs. In total, there are twenty for each plant. Even a small cactus looks very dignified. On the trunk there are white halos and spines, one of which is located in the center and is always longer, the others are on the sides. All of them are strongly bent, not dark brown, but light, so from the side of the cactus it resembles a spider. A small plant has large flowers that bloom during the day and close at night; from the side, such a spectacle looks simply amazing.
Shades of flowers can change, but are most often found: white, yellow, pink and lilac.
- San Pedro. In nature, such a cactus grows at an altitude of about three thousand meters. Today he managed to cultivate. The stalk is long, from the side an adult plant resembles a small tree with a large number of processes. The flowers are tubular, white, rather large. What is surprising, this variety exudes an amazing aroma.
Conditions of detention
Echinopsis needs direct but scattered sunlight. If thin elongated shoots become visible on the bush, then the flower does not have enough light - it tries to reach for it.
Ideally, you can put a cactus behind a light curtain on the sunniest window or provide it with additional artificial lighting. This technique has become very popular among professional growers, as it helps to quickly and easily create the necessary conditions. Artificial lighting is installed at a distance of 20 centimeters from the flower.
Temperature and humidity
There is a certain temperature range that is suitable for a cactus: 5 ° C - the lowest, safest, with minimal risk of serious damage to the flower. If the soil is barely wet or completely dry, this threshold may approach 0 ° C.
Cacti love moisture, but at the level of 50-60% - they don’t need more, because they are prone to rot on the roots and stems. It is best to spray the water around with a spray bottle from time to time or use small containers with pebbles and water.
Cactus must have a well-ventilated room, only plants that naturally grow in the tropics are adapted to an increased level of moisture.
Pot and soil
If you want to get a beautiful and healthy flower as a result, you should choose a strong and heavy container. For large bushes, flower growers recommend clay pots, as they are porous, allowing the roots to "breathe." Waterlogging of the soil does not occur in them, however, plastic can be used, but only with high-quality drainage. When it comes to culture media or substrate, a wide variety of materials can be used. Special compost mixtures are sold in stores, but you can always make them yourself. What is ultimately very important is that the medium should be light in order to prevent the accumulation of too much water around the roots.
Really heavy loamy soil can hold a lot of water after irrigation, thus leading to rotting of the roots. To correct the situation, you can always use river sand, but do not take it in the wild, since such material contains harmful substances, and to purchase specialized - coarse-grained. Perlite, sphagnum moss, which allow excess moisture to freely drain and not stagnate, are perfect as drainage.
Despite the size, the described flower has a very small root system. It lies shallow, so there is no need for a large container. Planting in a container with the hope of further growth is often a mistake, since such a measure on the part of the grower increases the risk of waterlogging of the soil, and, accordingly, root decay. Young plants need to be replanted every year to provide space for the roots. After the cactus reaches its maximum size, you can change the container every three or even five years.
When the flower is an adult, the transplant is often associated with the need to change the soil, as it greases over time.
How to care?
Much depends on home care, including how long and intensively the cactus will bloom. During the cultivation of this species, it is necessary to organize high-quality drainage. The soil should be carefully watered until water pours through the holes of the pot, after which it is allowed to dry the soil well before moistening it again. In winter, reduce the amount of moisture in the soil. During this period, the plant looks shriveled, and the stems can take on a reddish hue. There is nothing wrong with such a transformation - soon the cactus will again return to its normal form, and this will happen in the spring.
The flower grows well in hanging baskets or small (10 cm) containers, since the root system does not develop deep into the ground. A hybrid may require a larger pot. It is quite difficult to transplant old shoots, as they easily decay. Fertilizing the flower is required once a year during the growing season, using a balanced mixture of minerals, preferably organic. In areas where most of the time bright sun and heat prevail, cactus should be grown in the shade, and where the summers are cool, it is better to choose a more sunny place.
When it comes to top dressing, it is best to apply it in spring and summer (during the period of active growth). Cacti are plants that do not grow too fast, so it makes no sense to use fertilizer more than a couple of times a year. It is better to choose an organic mixture that will decompose for a long time.
There is no better plant in nature that is so well adapted to periods of prolonged drought than cacti. And the described species is no exception in this case. Even if the plant grower absent for a while, the flower will not die with dry soil, for several weeks it will feel great.
However, at this moment, the plant takes care of how to survive, but not bloom, so without timely and high-quality watering you can not dream of flowers. They give less moisture if the flower is in a colder or shady place.
When it is hot and sunny, more water is introduced into the soil.
Echinopsis can be propagated by cuttings. Planting material is taken in the spring and allowed to dry slightly before being planted in the nutrient mixture. However, it is not always possible to use this method - then it is better to use seeds as planting material. In both cases, for germination, it will be necessary to fill the tank with special soil with sand and small stones at the very bottom, which will play the role of drainage. You can use sphagnum moss as a pleasant addition: it will make the soil easier.
The surface is wetted with water, a pencil or other stick makes a hole a centimeter deep in the center and a stalk is inserted into it. Press the soil slightly, cover the container with foil and put it in a warm and sunny place. If seeds are used, then they are poured on top of the soil and also covered with polyethylene. The greenhouse effect favors germination and speeds up the process. Every day for fifteen minutes it will be necessary to ventilate the soil so that mold does not appear.
Any indoor flower is immersed in a period of rest, when it needs to relax and gain strength. This also applies to cacti, which can be forced to bloom if you provide them with quality care and observe the temperature regime. Echinopsis can produce flowers in large quantities, but for this, the grower will have to try. Bright sunlight, regular watering and warm temperatures during the growing season - this is what you need to pay attention to first.
The rest period often begins in the winter, at which time you just need to remove the cactus in a cooler place, reduce watering to a minimum. Plants grown from seeds should bloom by this time every year. However, echinopsis does not always want to demonstrate its beauty indoors, and often the cause is numerous errors on the part of the person. You can not transplant a cactus when he scored buds. A change in capacity and trauma to the root system, although it is small, leads to the fact that the flower will simply throw off the buds, since it requires strength to recover. The procedure is carried out after flowering or two months before it.
Diseases and Pests
If the grower noticed brown scales on the flower, most often it is an attack of insects. It's time to treat the flower with soapy water to remove unwanted guests. No less effective is an alcohol solution or a decoction of onion peels.
Of the most common insects on cacti, you can name:
- spider mite;
- scale shield.
In the fight against them, neem oil is perfect. If it is not there and it’s difficult to get it, you can use just a strong shower with warm water, since none of the species can tolerate an increase in humidity to such an extent. After the plant must be allowed to drain.
Of the many diseases that cacti are susceptible to, one of the most unpleasant is root rot. It occurs most often due to improper irrigation, when the soil remains waterlogged for a long time.
In this case, only transplanting, pruning, and treating the roots with an activated carbon solution can help. In this case, you will need to change the pot or disinfect it in a qualitative manner in a bleach solution.
If the root system is badly damaged, you just need to take the cuttings from the cactus and plant it again.
Rot can also appear at the base, in which case the main reason is the decrease in the temperature level to an unacceptable rate. In this case, the flower must be moved to a warm place. It is not always possible to save him, but you can try to remove the damaged shoots. All sections must be treated with a solution based on an activated carbon tablet in order to protect the plant from bacteria and fungi.
The worst thing for any indoor flower is a bacterial infection, which in most cases is not treated. The plant is simply disposed of.
Often, growers notice the formation of brown growths on a cactus. There are several reasons why this can happen, so the problem should be dealt with more carefully.
- Very strong sunlight can cause burns if the cactus has been in a darker place for an extended period. In this case, the bush is not able to adapt quickly enough to increase the level of light, and brown “corns” may form from burns. To avoid this, the grower needs to gradually move the echinopsis to a sunny place and try to ensure that the rays are scattered.
- Too much or too strong fertilizer combined with abundant watering can also cause rapid growth, and subsequently splitting of shoots.
- With age, it is quite normal for a cactus to become covered with brown bark, so such formations are not always associated with the problem.
In the next video, a transplant of an Echinopsis Oxygon cactus awaits you.