In today's world there is a huge variety of unusual and bizarre plants that can decorate any home or garden. Such a stunning indoor flower like aporocactus is no exception. However, you should be aware of the intricacies of growing and features of this flower.
Aporocactus is an epiphytic plant belonging to the Cactus family. Most often it can be found in Mexico, especially on the rocks. Plants, as a rule, form small thickets, clinging to stony ledges and trees. Aporocactus has a stem, the length of which can reach 100 cm, with many branches. On the same stem is a large number of small spines.
It is noteworthy that, mainly in young cacti, the stems are directed upwards, but with age they gradually lower , changing the bright green color to a gray-green hue. There are also flowers, painted, as a rule, in pink. But in nature, there are many other shades of them. In length, these tubular flowers can reach up to 10 cm. The fruit is a round red berry with a small bristle.
Aporocactus has many species.
- Lash-like. It is the wattled cactus that can be found much more often than all the others. This is explained by the fact that its drooping stems usually grow up to 1 m in length, and the flowers have a bright pink color.
- Karen cactus, or Ackerman's dysocactus , has medium-long stems and vibrant pink flowers. Typically, this species is used to create new varieties, and not for home cultivation.
- Concatti. This very unusual appearance is notable for its bright green stems with small spines. It grows mainly on large stones. The stems do not differ in special sizes: only 70 cm in length and 2 cm in diameter. On the shoots you can see 10 ribs with dark tubercles. Flowers are noteworthy: they are red, not pink, as in other species.
- Like the previous species, the aporocactus Martius has about 10 ribs on the stems, but they are not as pronounced as, for example, in the concatti. There are small gray spines and very large (at least 10 cm) dark pink flowers.
Caring for aporocactus is not particularly difficult. But taking care of the plant is very important, because under any negative impact it can die. It is necessary to observe several key conditions for its successful growth and development.
Lighting should be bright, but without direct sunlight, otherwise the plant begins to rot. A flower pot is best installed on the west or east side of the house. If placed on the south side at noon, the plant should be shaded. A big problem for many gardeners is the winter period, when the plant often lacks the required amount of light and heat.
In this case, you can safely use a table lamp.
In spring and summer, the most optimal temperature for such a cactus is 20 °. The plant can also be sent outside, but in a shaded area.
In winter, the flower should be placed in a bright room, the temperature in which is at least 7 °.
As for air humidity, it should not be too high. In hot weather, it is recommended to use a spray bottle with warm water.
In winter, spraying is best avoided.
With irrigation, the situation is somewhat more complicated, since it is important to observe the soil moisture and the condition of the plant as a whole. In spring and summer, watering should be plentiful, but in no case should stagnation of moisture in the pot be allowed. The soil must be kept moist at all times. It is also mandatory to remove excess fluid from the sump. In winter, watering is reduced by about 2 times, especially if the period is characterized by a particularly low temperature.
Watering should be done only after the soil has completely dried.
Experienced gardeners recommend feeding, starting in March and ending in July. In this case, it is enough to apply fertilizer only 1 time in 4 weeks. They must be special, designed specifically for cacti. At the end of flowering, dressing is completed.
Young plants should be replanted no more than once per year, and more mature specimens - about 1 time in 2-3 years. It is important that the pots are low, but rather wide, because the roots of the cactus are located relatively close to the soil surface.
A prerequisite is the presence of drainage.
The soil used should be as loose and breathable as possible, specially designed for cacti. If this was not found in the store, you can cook it yourself. It is necessary to mix several ingredients in equal amounts:
- peat land;
- turf land;
- sheet earth;
Aporocactus can be propagated through seeds and cuttings. In the case of propagation by cuttings, the procedure is performed step by step.
- A long whip should be cut. Each piece should be at least 6 cm long.
- Then they should be left to dry for about 1 week.
- Then the cuttings are planted in wet sand mixed with peat in the indentations of 2-3 cm.
- Landing should be tightly covered with glass and put in a fairly warm place.
As soon as the cuttings take their first roots, they can be safely transplanted into the pot.
Some insects especially often harm aporocactus.
- Shield. Such an insect can be found exclusively on indoor plants, and aporocactus is no exception. The main sign of the appearance of scale insects is brown spots - the places of settlement of these insects. Then the leaves begin to turn yellow, and then the plant drops its buds. Getting rid of guards is quite difficult, but possible. It is best to remove them manually, since the use of insecticides often does not give any result. However, the most effective are Actellik, Mospilan, Aktara.
- Spider mite. Another rather harmful and annoying representative. Noticing it is not as easy as it seems: its dimensions are extremely small. In addition, the insect has a very inconspicuous color and is able to hide in the soil. The easiest way to recognize a spider mite is by small white spots on the leaves or by a large thin web over the entire surface of the flower. To control the pest, it is best to use insecticides (for example, Fitoverm or Neoron). However, many gardeners resort to folk remedies: infusion of onions or soap solution.
About how to care for Aporocactus at home, see the video below.