Lobivia famatima - mountain cactus, growing at home

Lobivia famatima - mountain cactus, growing at home

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The sign of the zodiac Scorpio (October 24 - November 22) corresponds: dracaena (dragon tree), wicker ginura (crocodile), common oleander, snow-white dope, motley stapelia, cap-shaped aloe, tiger faucaria, prickly mountain grate, desert cactus , Sylvester's chamecereus, Gruson's echinocactus, Strauss's cleistocactus, geometric mortillocactus, Berger's prickly pear, Famatima lobivia.

Lobivia belong to the group of mountain cacti, naturally found on the slopes of mountains (at an altitude of 2-4 thousand meters above sea level) in Bolivia, Peru and northern Argentina, where they are accustomed to moderate rainfall and sudden daily temperature changes.

They grow there on pebbles and rubble, often forming vast arrays of cushion forms. The number of species, somewhat dissimilar to each other (especially in the color of flowers), according to different estimates of taxonomists, ranges from 70-100. Most of the species are concentrated in Bolivia, where these wonderful plants were first found. It is thanks to the name of this country that the genus Lobivia Britt. et Rose and got its name (it is an anagram of the word "Bolivia", in which two letters are rearranged). A number of specialists consider this genus to be independent. In the opinion of American taxonomists, lobivia should be attributed as a subgenus to the extensive genus Echinopsis (it is under this name that information about it goes in the English-language literature).

Although lobivia are considered one of the most undemanding and at the same time responsive plants among cacti, when growing them, you still need to remember: without creating proper conditions, they will not please you with timely flowering, and may even lose thorns. First of all, for normal growth and development in culture, it needs a place brightly lit by direct sunlight with good ventilation (sufficient supply of fresh air). With a shortage of light in summer, the stems of a plant can stretch, deform and acquire an uncharacteristic shape. Lobivia calmly tolerates sharp fluctuations in temperature during the day and night hours. If in winter time the cactus is kept in a bright cool room (10 ... 8 ° C is permissible, 8 ... 5 ° C is optimal), completely excluding watering, then at the beginning of summer the plant will delight with abundant flowering. Premature moistening of the soil substrate in early spring can suspend the onset of flowering, therefore, the post-winter watering of plants is started only after the appearance of flower buds.

During the active growing season, the plant is watered abundantly, avoiding water retention in the pan (while making sure that the soil is evenly moist during growth). In spring and summer, fertilizing with mineral fertilizers recommended in the retail network is required (the main thing: do not disturb the concentration of the nutrient solution). In the middle of summer, watering lobivia is suspended for its temporary "rest". After a month, watering is resumed, gradually completing it by the end of October to prepare the plant for winter dormancy.

Lobivia famatimenska (L. famatimensis (Speg.) Britt. Et Rose), originally from Argentina, is considered the most common member of the genus Lobivia. Its dark green cylindrical stems (about 3 cm in diameter) rise to a height of 3-4 cm, often bush. She has numerous (24 of them), low, narrow, straight ribs with often spaced areoles.

This lobivia is characterized by whitish-gray bristle-shaped, short, dense spines. Light yellow flowers (4-5 cm in diameter) appear already on young plants. There are varieties of Famatima lobivia with white, red and orange flowers.

Lobivia is propagated by shoots and seeds. Transplantation of young plants is carried out every 1-2 years, adult specimens - as needed. To compose the soil substrate (pH 6.5), they take clay soil with an admixture of humus, and also add a small amount of sand and broken brick. Be sure to provide good drainage (such as fine gravel) at the bottom of the tall pot. After purchase in a store or from individuals, the plant is first placed in the so-called "quarantine" (for several weeks), i.e. away from its other plants to see if there are pests on it. Only after making sure that the plant is healthy can it be placed next to other crops in your flower garden. In general, regular inspection of the external condition of plants is required in order to have time to provide them with assistance in a timely manner.

On the stems of lobivia, the appearance of a spider mite, mealy (stem and root) bugs, scale insects and nematodes is possible. The most favorable conditions for the appearance of a spider mite, a dangerous pest of lobivia, is the presence of very low air humidity in the room. Barely visible to the naked eye, it settles between the ribs of the cactus stalks, sucking the juices. In a warm room, the tick is able to reproduce very actively. It is more often noticed by its abundant cobwebs; the places damaged by it are covered with grayish-brown spots, which turn brown and grow over time, as a result of which the plant dries up. You can slow down the reproduction of spider mites by regularly spraying the plant, but it is better to try to get rid of this pest. For this purpose, you can use a fairly strong herbal preparation - an infusion of Pyrethrum roseum known to gardeners - Persian chamomile (with the addition of laundry soap); after 1-2 days it is washed off.

A solution of acaricide (for example, actellik) is also used, which is sprayed with a fine spray or applied with a brush to the damaged areas. Then, after 3-4 hours, the drug is washed off with warm water. In both variants, the treatment is repeated (2 times) after 5-7 days. Sometimes it happens that with sufficiently favorable care, the plant begins to wither quickly, it seems, for no apparent (external) reason. Lobivia should be carefully removed from the soil to carefully examine its root system. If there are numerous swellings on the roots, then this means the defeat of the cactus with a cactus nematode. At the same time, it should be noted that there are still no sufficiently effective means of combating this pest. If you have a rare or expensive specimen of lobivia, then you can try to re-graft it, while the old soil is thrown away.

The scale insects settle on the upper part (on the stems), like the scale insect, and even on the roots of cacti. Sucking the juices from the stems of the plant, the scale insect and the mealybug inhibit its development, leave sticky secretions around them, on which a sooty fungus settles (the waste products of the latter clog the stomata). If you do not take appropriate measures and allow a high number of pests, the plant will die. Stem bugs and scale insects are destroyed carefully, without damaging the plants; large egg-laying plates are removed with a match. To remove smaller specimens, use a stiff brush, then disinfect with a cotton swab moistened with soapy water or alcohol. After two hours, the treated areas are washed with clean water. When a cactus is damaged by worms and scale insects, some cactus growers spray with a 0.2% solution of karbofos. The plant will most likely die if the soil in the pot is inhabited by the root worm, which, actively multiplying, turns the entire soil into a kind of "cotton" lump.

Recently, harsher chemicals have appeared on the market, which are quite effective in the fight against scale insects and worms, but these insecticides are not treated in residential premises. Also, at the same time, the increased safety precautions for working with pesticides are carefully observed. Against the above-mentioned sucking pests, it is possible to spray plants with solutions of Confidor, Tolstar and Bi-58, or to shed soil with solutions of Confidor and Actara. The concentration of insecticides is selected empirically. The appearance of a wrinkled stem tip and spots of soft rot (stem rot) in the lower part of it indicates excessive soil moisture (especially in winter); a similar lesion can begin on the root collar, then rising to the stem.

At an early stage in the development of the disease, the plant can be saved by cutting off the healthy top and sprinkling the cut with crushed charcoal. Then the cutting is rooted, as usual, after drying it. The pot where this diseased plant was kept is disinfected. Or the affected tissue is cut out with a sharp knife, then the plant is dried in a warm, shaded place for two weeks. And yet, if cactus care is good, then stem rot is relatively rare.

Insufficient watering in summer or excess soil moisture in winter can lead to a lack of growth. The detection of "cork" spots on the surface of the stem indicates local damage. It can also be the result of a mechanical injury or hypothermia. Poor watering in the summer may also be the cause of this phenomenon. To correct these shortcomings, appropriate measures are taken - they improve the conditions for growing the plant.

Alexander Lazarev, Candidate of Biological Sciences, Senior Researcher, All-Russian Research Institute of Plant Protection, Pushkin

Watch the video: Learn how to properly care for Gymnocalycium mihanovichii Moon Cactus!


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