Flowers in the house are kept by many. However, usually people prefer to decorate their window sills with deciduous plants - they think that they are more decorative. Say, trunks and thorns are not too aesthetic. With this attitude, the people, one might say, offend cacti - their varieties are very diverse. There are species that are completely non-spiky, there are plants of unusual, exotic forms, there are even formations that resemble leaves. So picking up cacti whose varieties will satisfy you aesthetically is by no means a problem. Moreover, most of the cultivated indoor species bloom very beautifully and luxuriantly.
General Content Guidelines
The persistent delusion that these plants do not need care at all leads to their death and gives reason to dislike cactus flowers again. Lest you suffer a similar disappointment, remember that these plants come from different climatic zones. Accordingly, they need to create conditions close to the usual ones. There are two types of cacti:
- Desert. They need very bright light (south windows are ideal) andlimited watering. In winter, they do without water at all - it is thanks to these species that common “cactus” stereotypes have developed among people. Desert cacti - varieties with the names Echinopsis, Cereus, Echinocerius, Espola, Aporocactus, Chamecereus, Echinocactus, Astrophytum Capricornus, Opuntia, Notocactus - those that are most often found among lovers of thorny plants;
- Forest. Moreover, their homeland is by no means the groves of the middle lane, but tropical rainforests. They are not accustomed to bright lighting, they will be more comfortable on the northern and eastern window sills. From direct rays, such cacti must be protected, watered often, although not generously, and even in winter - albeit more poorly. Decembrist (aka Zygocactus), ripsalidopsis and epiphyllum belong to this type.
If you figure out which variety your new pet belongs to, it will please you for a long time with its existence - and flowering!
Most Popular Style
The epiphyllum cactus was unanimously recognized as the best of all plants of this genus. One of its main virtues is endurance. The second plus for many is the leaf shape of the forms - thanks to it, the plant looks more magnificent. And the third advantage is a very beautiful flowering. Moreover, the flowers on it can be of a very different shade, although the most common are deep red, pure white and red-violet.
However, in order to feel all the delights of finding an epiphyllum in your home, you need to provide it with the appropriate conditions. As already mentioned, hebelongs to the forest cacti and prefers to live on the eastern or western windows - on the south you will have to be puzzled by its shading. In summer, you can “walk” it on the balcony or in the garden, but do not forget to put the pot in the shade. In the spring, when new shoots grow intensively, and buds bloom on the former ones, watering should be regular; however, between them the earth should have time to dry. From June, the amount of water gradually decreases, and by winter it remains in a volume sufficient for moistening. In addition, in the summer, the epiphyllum responds very well to spraying. From the beginning of flowering (and it first occurs at 3-4 years of age), plants require increased attention. Until flowering is over, cactus flowers cannot only be transplanted, but also transferred to another place and even rotated. Mature plants move to a new container only when necessary - a cramped pot stimulates bud formation.
For cacti to bloom
When buying a new plant, the future owner first of all expects to see beautiful flowers. Cacti, however, often fall short of these expectations. It is unlikely that anyone will want to sell you an adult plant (or ask for that kind of money …), so first you have to wait until the beginner "ripens" to the desired age. The second factor that will contribute to the appearance of buds is the maximum approximation to the living conditions of a cactus in its homeland. The third we have already mentioned is a cramped pot. And fourth: providing the plant with proper summer care and the right degree of winter dormancy. Then, at the time of flowering, fresh growth will appear, and on last year'soffshoots will grow flowers.
Change of residence
Transplanting cacti is a very responsible matter and somewhat different from the process of moving other plants. First of all - the size of the pot. In the case of relatively resistant species (cereus, myrtillocactus, prickly pear), the advice to take a container a couple of centimeters wider in diameter is fair. However, lophophora or astrophytum grow slowly and are prone to rot. Their weak root system will not have time to "process" the volume of incoming water. As a result, cacti may die. They are transplanted into a pot, only a centimeter larger. If the roots of the plant are superficial, you need to take a low but wide pot.
The frequency of repotting depends on the age of the cactus. While it is young and growing rapidly, the capacity changes annually. In adults, this procedure is carried out only if the pot is clearly cramped; for spherical cacti, reaching their pot-sized diameter can be a reliable sign.
Transplantation of cacti is complicated by two factors: their pricklyness (hence, increased injury risk) and fragility - in the strict sense, they do not have a trunk, and the bark cannot protect them from breaking. The first problem is easier to deal with: the plant is wrapped in newspapers or a soft, lint-free cloth (having caught on the threads, cacti can break off the thorns) and gently falls out of the pot. Before transplanting, it cannot be watered: dried soil is easier to remove. Only the greatest caution can defeat fragility. Hardest to relocatecacti, varieties of which are tall. Here you will need an assistant who will hold the plant during manipulations.
All colors of the rainbow
Often almost professional amateurs have purple, blue or red cacti in their collection. Many observers gasp and admire, thinking that this is some kind of rare species. It happened that an inexperienced florist bought such colorful plants - and was soon discouraged, and even angry, soon discovering a completely ordinary type of purchase. However, an attentive person will pay attention to the fact that in front of him are cacti, the varieties of which he saw in their usual form, with white thorns. The secret is very simple: when transplanting or planting a baby, the soil is mixed with food coloring. When watering, it dissolves, penetrates the cactus and paints its spines in the intended color. When the dye is washed out, the plant will take on a natural look. Such “coloring” does not harm the cactus (if it is food coloring that is used, and not, say, ink or stamp paint). Plant care does not need to be corrected - after all, its variety has not changed due to the eccentricities of the owner.