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Succulent plants, due to their drought tolerance, are popular among scattered gardeners. At the same time, cacti are most interesting, the name and photos of which are associated with a hot climate, distant countries. They are hardy, caring for them is simple, individual representatives differ in their original form and beautiful flowers.
There are 4 groups of cacti in total:
- Pereskovye, to which one genus of shrubs with full, normally developed (unlike most cacti) leaves, non-succulent stems. They are considered a transitional, evolutionary link between deciduous plants and cacti. A striking representative of this group is Pereskia large-leaved. It does not bloom indoors, but is widely used as a stock for epiphytes.
- Mauchienivye - also consist of one genus of cacti, common in only one area of South America - Patagonia. Outwardly similar to opuntia, but without their inherent spines. These are slow-growing, frost-resistant plants. Therefore, they are bred in greenhouses and gardens in the open air. They have ground cover properties: they cover vast areas during growth.
- Opuntia ones are distinguished by modified spiny leaves - glochidia, succulent (moisture-preserving) stems. For the most part, they have pellet-shaped elongated leaves with bunches of small spines with several long white spikes. Branched and mono-trunk species are distinguished. They are distinguished by rapid growth, the ability to grow to large bushes.
- The cactus group itself consists of all the remaining numerous species that lack glochidia and leaves in any form. They have a variety of bizarre shapes - from spherical to cylindrical, columnar. This also includes creeping, ground cover varieties.
In indoor plant growing, these types of domestic cacti are most often found: prickly pear prickly pear, mammillaria, Christmas Schlumbergera (also called Decembrist), whitening trichocereus, tiny rebutia, Otto notocactus.
Their vivid photos and names can move even the most lazy gardeners to acquire a tiny, but already desperately blooming, prickly representative of exoticism.
Indoor plants cacti
How to influence the flowering of cacti
Indoor cacti, as already noted, are unpretentious in home maintenance. However, in order to get a flowering specimen, you still have to try.
Firstly, the dishes. The pot should be a little close, which will stimulate flowering, and not the growth of the root system. Mandatory drainage from expanded clay or fine gravel, holes for removal of excess moisture. Cacti should be watered rarely, but abundantly, and stagnation of water can lead to decay of the roots.
Secondly, the soil. Cactus-like need loose, light, slightly acidic soil, breathable, well-permeable water. A mixture of coarse river sand with turf and leaf humus is ideal (in a ratio of 1: 1: 1). It will be optimum to take advantage of the soil mixtures for succulents offered by specialized shops.
Watering. In winter, cacti can live quietly for several weeks without water. This dormant period, accompanied by a decrease in ambient temperature to + 15 ° C, is favorable for the beginning of flowering in spring. With the advent of heat, the amount of moisture can be gradually increased. A prerequisite for irrigation is warm, standing water.
Temperature mode. Drafts are contraindicated for cacti. But at the same time, they winter well on the windowsills, gratefully reacting to the flow of fresh air. Keep in mind that moving these plants is undesirable. Therefore, when ventilating, they must be carefully covered. From early spring to late autumn, it is recommended that you maintain moderate thermometer values in the room, allowing sunlight to penetrate freely through the window. Only in the hottest hours should blooming specimens be shaded.
Lighting. The care required for cacti at home contains mandatory bright lighting in the winter. As a rule, you can not do without installing a special luminescent or phytolamp. The best option for placing succulents in summer is windows facing south or southeast, well-lit loggias or terraces. It must be remembered that these exotics relate extremely negatively to movements, reacting by dropping buds.
How to grow cacti at home
Secrets of Cactus Longevity
Like any houseplants, succulents grow and bloom safely only under favorable conditions. Although some growers under the term "care" mean only sparse watering and dusting, nevertheless, some situations require active intervention.
So, with a long absence of signs of growth or flowering, a general drooping form of the plant, it needs to be transplanted, replacing the soil, as well as the pot. It is necessary to check the root system of home cacti. She is not very developed. Therefore, too spacious dishes contribute to the incomplete development of an earthen coma, resulting in soil acidification. Or, conversely, the pot became too small for the grown succulent. But since they grow extremely slowly, this happens infrequently.
Experienced cacti, who have bred and collect rare species of cacti for many years, argue that love for them came from the "first needle". A variety of bright inflorescences allows you to forget about the prickly properties of this plant, striking the imagination with a riot of colors of any caring person.