Cacti have long been grown as decorative indoor plants, in light of which today there are a large number of their species. Among the popular cultures from this family, it is worth highlighting hatiora. The flower is distinguished by its attractiveness, as well as its unpretentiousness in care.
In the cactus family, there is a plant called hator, the birthplace of which is considered to be Brazil. The culture is hygrophilous, and also actively growing in a warm climate, in light of which in the natural environment it is very common in tropical forests. Cactus is an epiphytic plant that develops and grows mainly on trees, eating at their expense. He owes his unusual name to the scientist who first explored this culture.
Hatiora is an actively branching plant with erect stems that bend under their weight during growth.
In their structure, shoots consist of a large number of shares that have different shapes. Indoor flower may contain stems of a cylindrical, flat or club-shaped form. Spines are absent in all varieties of this cactus.
The hator comes into the flowering phase in the winter months, which is especially appreciated by flower growers. Flowers can be orange or pink, foliage on the plant is not formed. A pollinated crop can bear small berries. In the wild, the length of the stems of a cactus can significantly exceed one meter, as for plants cultivated at home, the length of the shoots in this case will be half as much.
There are many legends about this flower that indicate that such a plant in the house can bring misfortune to women. Therefore, a number of names have formed among the people of the hator, for example, a cactus of “dancing bones”, “male tears”.
Due to the exotic appearance of the plant, beginners and inexperienced gardeners very often have some concerns about keeping such an unusual flower at home. Hatiora is not poisonous, so you can safely keep it at home not only on balconies and verandas, but also on the windowsills of children's rooms and kitchens.
Even for pets, who in some cases do not mind eating indoor crops, the cactus will be completely harmless.
The culture has many varieties; for indoor cultivation, the following plants are especially popular .
- Hatior Gertner. According to the description of this species, small notches in lobes can form on the stems of this flower. The length of the shoots is about 40-50 centimeters, while the cactus blooms with large flowers, which can be up to five centimeters in diameter. The buds are laid on the extreme upper lobes of the stems.
- Germina. The culture of this species stands out with its curved stems, the length of which is no more than 30-40 centimeters. The segments of the stem will be no more than 5 centimeters, while their shape resembles a cylinder. A small pile may be present on the plant. The flowers of this cactus in diameter are no more than 2-3 centimeters. The decorative appeal of the culture is due to the bright raspberry color of the buds and flowers.
- Hatiora is pink. Shoots have a tendency to develop with a downward slope, as a rule, they will have a green color, but sometimes the plant acquires a red tint. The size of the shares in the shoots does not exceed 2-3 centimeters. As for their shape, there are cacti with faceted or flat stems. The plant is covered with pile, buds are formed on areoles, their number varies from one to three. The size of the flowers in open form is 3-4 centimeters in diameter. The color of the flowers is pink.
- Saltwater. A distinctive feature of the structure of this flower is the formation of rather thin stems, the size of which is at the level of 20-28 millimeters. The shape of each segment resembles a bottle.
Solyanka-shaped hatiora blooms with yellow-orange flowers, in some cases the color of the buds will be closer to salmon.
- Salicorniform. The plant is notable for its appearance: its shoots are not erect, but, on the contrary, branched, their length varies between 30-40 centimeters. Cactus blooms are yellow, pink or red bell-shaped flowers.
- Five-winged hator. Flower with short ribbed shoots. Cactus blooms with small white flowers.
- Hatiora Grezer. This is a hybrid variety of indoor succulent that combines the external characteristics of the pink variety and Gertner. The plant blooms in the spring months, the flowers in this period are painted in burgundy red.
Conditions of detention
Growing a cactus indoors is quite simple, because the culture does not require any special care activities. However, the main nuance, on which the health of the plant largely depends, is the free space in the place of its placement. This is due to the peculiarities of the hatiora to increase their size by actively increasing the length of the shoots and forming a volumetric crown.
Also, the flower will deserve special attention due to the fragility of its stems, so it is not recommended to rearrange and disturb the plant again. An adult perennial will require additional support for the stems, since under their weight they can easily break.
Growing in the summer months on a windowsill involves creating a small shade for the crop, especially at noon, to avoid sunburn. But in a constant shadow, due to a lack of light, a culture may stop flowering or the number of flowers on a plant will decrease significantly. Such a situation may arise if you choose the wrong place to place the hatori, in particular this applies to window sills facing north. The most suitable side of the world for a cactus will be east or west.
The development of the culture will be positively affected by the maintenance of an increased level of humidity in the room, this can be done by spraying the plant.
As for the summer months, some flower growers, in order to provide the flower with conditions close to those that develop in its natural environment, place a container with a cactus in a pallet with moistened pebbles or expanded clay.
The possibility of cultivation and flowering of the hatiora largely depends on the air temperature in the house. The marks on the thermometer will fluctuate depending on the time of year and the phase into which the plant enters. As for winter, the succulent will need coolness, at this time it is best to provide the culture with conditions with a temperature of no more than + 15 ° C, in summer the average air temperature should be at + 22 ° C.
The cactus enters the dormant phase at the beginning of autumn, during this period the air in the room should not warm up more than + 12 ° C, therefore flower growers often rearrange the culture on a balcony or a veranda.
How to care?
Caring for a room flower involves the following simple steps.
The frequency and abundance of irrigation will also vary depending on the season. In summer, the moisture intake should be regular, in the autumn months the frequency of watering is reduced, in the winter, hydration of the cactus can be stopped altogether. However, the introduction of moisture should be dosed, when watering, it is necessary to ensure that the liquid does not stagnate in the pot with the plant, the soil should be moist, but not flooded.
Water the cactus with defended water at room temperature. In a pot with a culture, it is more correct to make several holes to exit excess moisture.
A suitable time for using the fertilizer will be the period from April to September, as well as the flowering period of the cactus. The florist should provide the culture with additional nutrition in liquid form, introducing the compositions twice a month. In this case, it is worth using specialized fertilizers designed for cacti, in which there will be a high nitrogen content and a reduced amount of calcium.
In the resting phase, fertilizers are not recommended.
For indoor cacti, another major nuance regarding full development is regular pruning to shape the crown. This should be done manually, without the use of garden tools or knives. The owner of the perennial will need to independently separate the extra shares from the shoots, they should not be torn off, but carefully scrolled, thus avoiding unnecessary injury to the plant.
The hatiora has certain requirements for the soil: the soil in the pot should be with a neutral level of acidity, as a rule, the substrate for the cactus is prepared from clay-sod land, sand and gravel. Young culture growing in the house must be transplanted every year. Once the plant reaches the age of three, transplantation can already be done much less frequently.
The best time for such work will be spring, when the culture has already faded. The whole process involves transshipment of a flower from one container to another along with an earthen lump. When replacing a hatiora growing tank, it is worth remembering that the size difference between the old and new pots should not be too significant, as this can adversely affect the flowering of the crop.
At home, the grower will be able to get a new plant in several ways. For cacti, the method of grafting or cultivating a flower from seed material is usually used. It will be easiest to propagate a hatiora with cuttings , besides this, the chance that the result of the work will be a new young plant will be much higher in comparison with the option of seed germination.
In some crops, the shoot segment sometimes crumbles on its own, which gives the grower the opportunity to root planting material. If there is an independent separation of the segment from the stem, then for reproduction it is necessary to choose a healthy and young shoot.
At the place of separation, the plant will need to be processed with crushed coal.
Hatiora is propagated by slightly faded cuttings, so the collected material must be left alone for a couple of days. To activate the growth of the root system, it is allowed to stand the cuttings in the growth stimulator before deepening into the substrate. After that, the segment is rooted in the soil in a small container, which should be placed in a pallet with wet pebbles. As the shoot grows, you can transplant the culture into a pot.
Seeds are obtained from the berries of pollinated plants. They are deepened into the ground in a pot and grown at a temperature of at least + 25 ° C, paying particular attention to moisture. After the appearance of the first shoots, mature crops can be planted in different pots.
Diseases and Pests
The most sensitive hator is to fungal and bacterial ailments. In some plants, with such diseases, leaves fall, as for the cactus, the appearance of a bacterial infection will be moist spots, which will gradually grow throughout the flower. As practice shows, antibacterial agents in this case are not effective, therefore flower growers prefer to save the crop by quickly removing the affected segments on the plant.
If the lesion site is very large, it is worth separating the healthy portion from the maternal culture for propagating the culture by cuttings.
Phytophthora affects the plant due to excessive moisture, when the rhizome of the cactus begins to rot from an excess of moisture. Also, the development of such a disease is possible with the rooting of the culture in already contaminated soil. Signs of late blight are the wilting of the flower, as well as the color change of its shoots from bright green to pale and light. The fungus is treated with fungicides.
Fusariosis is another disease that cactus suffers from. Infection of the culture can occur from damage to the stem or from a pest. To get rid of the disease store fungicidal compounds will help.
Ticks, worms, scale insects, and whiteflies can be dangerous for haators. Pest control is carried out manually, as well as using a warm shower with a soap solution. With a large number of insects on the flower, it is recommended to resort to the use of insecticides, such as Actara, Confidor, etc.
See the following video for the secrets of care and breeding of the hator.