Echinopsis - How to care for and grow your Echinopsis
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HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
The Echinopsis they are delightful cacti, very popular and appreciated for their pleasant appearance and ease of cultivation.
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The genre Echinopsis belongs to family of Cactaceae and includes numerous species native to South America found in different habitats ranging from flat desert areas to arid undergrowth.
L'Echinopsis, like all genera belonging to the family of Cactaceae, is also called fat plantfor its particularly rounded shape. It is actually more correct to call itsucculent plant, due to the fact that they have no "fat" in their tissue but lymph, juice.
The particularity of the Cactaceae and therefore also ofEchinopsisis that they are plants totally devoid of branches and the flowers grow from a "pillow" of hair (areola) directly from the stem.
They are plants with a stem globose, very often elongated, provided with ribs for all its length in which fairly consistent thorns develop, which are none other than the leaves. This transformation is an adaptation of nature to the conditions in which they live in their natural environments which allows to reduce transpiration to a minimum and therefore the loss of water stored with so much difficulty.
The spines arise along the ribs from small protuberances called areoles arranged in tufts that resemble a star.
THE flowers they appear in summer, in correspondence of the areoles not before the plant has reached the third year of age, very large, showy, mostly white-pink in color, variously shaded, fragrant.
The flowers do not have a long life, in fact they last no more than two days: they bloom shortly after sunset and last one night and the whole day after and then die but are continuously renewed throughout the summer.
There are numerous species belonging to the genus Echinopsis among which we remember:
Echinopsis eyriesii; Echinopsis ancistrophora; Echinopsis bridgesii; Echinopsis leucantha; Echinopsis mamillosa; Echinopsis tubiflora; Echinopsis melanopotamica; Echinopsis mirabilis; Echinopsis obrepanda; Echinopsis huascha; Echinopsis mamillosa; Echinopsis minuana; Echinopsis multiplex; Echinopsis oxygona; Echinopsis pachanoi; Echinopsis shaferi; Echinopsis silvestrii; Echinopsis subdenudata; Echinopsis tapecuana; Echinopsis calochora, Echinopsis turbinata; Echinopsis vallegrandensis; Echinopsis tubiflora.
A widespread belief is that succulents thrive even if they are neglected. This is not true at all because like all living beings, they need attention and care. They can survive if we neglect them but certainly not live to the best of their abilities. Considering that the care they require is not that many, we dedicate a few minutes a week to these incredible plants and they will pay off with a stupendous growth.
The Echinopsis they are plants that require a lot of light, in all seasons of the year, with direct exposure to the sun. The best is a southern exposure while it is absolutely to avoid a northern exposure.
If the plant is kept on a windowsill behind double glazing, during the summer keep it in a light shade as the sun's rays in that case are too concentrated, making the glasses look like lenses.
The optimal summer temperatures for cultivation are between 15 - 24 ° C. While the autumn and winter ones must be around 10-13 ° C and also withstand temperatures around 7 ° C. In this case, however, it is important to keep the ground completely dry.
They are plants that love the air so give them fresh air especially in summer by placing them near an open window.
The watering of the Echinopsis they must be carried out when the soil is dry, avoiding leaving stagnant water in the sub-pot as water stagnation is not tolerated in any way and would quickly rot the roots.
Remember that one less watering is always better than one more.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
There Echinopsis , like all plants, it needs to be repotted periodically. Very often we do not carry out this practice discouraged by the thorns so we always postpone the "difficult moment" with serious damage to our plant.
In general, all Cactaceae have a root system that expands a lot on the surface due to the fact that the roots, in their natural environment, search the surrounding soil for the little humidity and little nourishment they can find. We think that in nature a desert cactus of just 15 cm can have roots that develop for a square meter!
A signal that the plant gives you to tell you that the pot that hosts them is too small, despite the perfect watering, fertilization and exposure, is a slowdown in growth. If you lift the plant from the pot you will see that the roots are one with the soil and some are also sticking out of the drainage hole. So it is a good idea every year, in spring, to check to see if the roots are constrained and too crowded.
Repotting is also an excellent time to check the state of the roots: if you notice blackened or greyish roots (the roots must be creamy-white) they must be eliminated. Then take some washed and sterilized scissors (possibly at the flame) and proceed with the cut. Then sprinkle broad spectrum fungicide powder into the cut wounds and then repot. In this case, however, wait at least a week before watering to allow the wounds to heal.
For repotting, use a specific compost for Cactaceae to which you add coarse sand or perlite in the measure of 2: 1 (2 parts of compost for 1 part of sand or perlite).
Take care to place pieces of crock in the drainage hole so that the earth or roots do not obstruct the drainage hole as water stagnation is lethal for this plant.
Personally, I always recommend using terracotta pots and not plastic ones as they allow the earth to breathe and if the drainage hole has been arranged in such a way as to ensure a good drainage of the water, well, I would say that it is perfect. Furthermore, the vessels must be wider than deep as the root system tends to develop in width rather than in depth.
To carry out a good repotting of these thorny plants proceed as follows: water the soil well and let the water drain for a few hours: this operation makes it easier to extract the plant from the pot. So put on a nice pair of gloves or grab some newspaper leaves that you will use as a glove.
Turn the pot upside down by tapping on the bottom and gently pull the plant. If the plant is resisting, stick a pencil into the drainage hole and push it out.
Shortly before you will have already prepared the new, larger pot, in which you will have placed pieces of earthenware in the bottom in the drainage hole and some of the soil indicated previously mixed and ready to be used. Then arrange the new soil all around taking great care that the composition and therefore the height at which you place the plant, is the same as the previous one. Do not bury it more or less.
The first watering after repotting, do it by immersion of the pot. Remember that if you have pruned the roots you need to wait at least a week before watering to give the wounds time to heal.
From spring and throughout the summer, fertilize once a month with a liquid fertilizer to be diluted in irrigation water.
Starting from autumn and throughout the winter, stop fertilizing because the Echinopsis it goes into vegetative rest so you must not give fertilizers that would accumulate in the soil, creating a harmful environment for the roots of the plant.
To insure yours Echinopsis excellent growth and excellent flowering, give a fertilizer equally balanced in nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (for example 30:30:30) .In addition to nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (macroelements), make sure that the fertilizer you use for yours Echinopsis always contains microelements, i.e. those compounds that the plant needs in minimal quantities (but still needs it) such as magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), all important for a correct and balanced growth of the plant.
If you insure the Echinopsis the right amount of sunlight, water and fertilizer, as indicated in the respective paragraphs, you will have beautiful blooms.
The plant usually begins to flower from the beginning of summer and continues throughout the summer.
The flowers bloom from the side or almost at the apex of the stem and are very large in the shape of a trumpet or bell-shaped. They do not have a long life, in fact they last no more than two days: they bloom shortly after sunset and last one night and all day after and then die but are continuously renewed throughout the summer.
L' Echinopsis it multiplies by division of the basal shoots or by seed. In choosing the technique to be adopted, it should be borne in mind that the multiplication by seed has the disadvantage that, taking over the genetic variability, it is not certain that there will be plants equal to the mother plants, in which case if you want to obtain a very specific plant or you are not sure of the quality of the seed you are using, it is good to do the multiplication by cutting.
MULTIPLICATION FOR BASAL SPROUTS
Often these shoots are provided with roots so in this case, as soon as they are taken from the mother plant they must be repotted immediately without watering for about 2-3 weeks to avoid the onset of rot.
Basal shoots are the small seedlings that grow at the base of the mother plant. To remove them, use a very sharp and disinfected knife (possibly on a flame).
If the shoot you take is devoid of roots, then before repotting, let the cut surfaces dry for about 7 days. In both cases, use a compound as indicated in the "Repotting" paragraph. After repotting, the plant should be treated like a plant adult.
MULTIPLICATION BY SEEDS
The multiplication by seeds of the Echinopsis it is carried out in March-April by distributing the seeds as evenly as possible on a soil formed by 2 parts of soil per seed and one of vermiculite.
You can use pots that are not too tall or multiply trays leaving a space of at least 2 cm between the edge of the pot and the ground. Then immerse the pot in water until the soil is well wet. At that point, let the excess water drain and arrange the seeds on the surface of the soil evenly and possibly use a piece of wood to bury them evenly or sprinkle a little soil on top.
The tray should be covered with a transparent plastic sheet or a glass plate that will guarantee a good temperature and avoid too rapid drying of the soil. The plastic sheet must be removed every day to check the moisture content of the soil and to remove the condensation that forms on the plastic or in the glass.
The tray or jar that contains the seeds Echinopsis it should be kept in the shade, at a temperature around 21 ° C and slightly humid (use a sprayer to completely moisten the soil) until the moment of germination.
Once the seeds have germinated (usually germination takes place after 1-2 months and sometimes even more) the plastic sheet or glass is removed.Now since the seeds do not germinate all together but in a scalar manner, it will be necessary to guarantee to the new born a little light. So arrange the tray or the vase so that they receive a little light, but not too much, in order to respect even the seeds that have not yet germinated.
In any case, at that point remove the plastic or glass plate.
Once the seedlings are large enough to be handled, they are transplanted into the final pot. Keep in mind that, at this stage, the new plants will take several months and even a year before they are the right size to be transplanted. Don't be discouraged. Keep them quietly in their tray and treat them like adult plants but do not repot them before they are the appropriate size.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
The Echinopsis , like all Cactaceae, they are not particularly disease-prone plants. In their case, perhaps it is more correct to speak of physiopathies, that is to say diseases due not to pathogens but to bad cultivation techniques.
The plant shrivels and becomes limp
This in cacti is the classic symptom of too much watering.
Remedies: unfortunately, when this stage is reached, it is not always possible to recover the plant. In any case, remove the plant with all the earthenware from the pot and leave it in the air so that the soil dries quickly. Check the roots and remove any by marching them by at least 1 cm above the rotten area with a sharp and disinfected scissors (possibly over a flame), sprinkle the surface of the cut roots with a broad spectrum fungicide powder and then repot. Wait at least two weeks before watering again and above all, be more careful in the amount of water you administer.
The plant does not bloom and takes on strange shapes
Mostly the plant stretches and takes on a light green color when there is little light.
Remedies: place the plant in a more illuminated position.
The green parts of the plant discolour and appear hollowed out
This symptom is usually due to too little irrigation. If we stay several months without watering the plant, especially in summer, the plant runs out of all the water contained in the tissues and therefore appears to be emptied.
Remedies: if you reach this stage it is not always possible to recover the plant, in any case, it is worth giving a little more attention to our plant with the right irrigations.
The green parts appear browned
If the plant begins to show this symptom, as if the plant had burned itself and small cracks are noticed, it means that the temperatures are too low.
Remedies: place the plant in a more suitable place.
Brown spots on the underside of the leaves
Brown spots on the underside of the leaves could mean that you are in the presence of cochineal: brown cochineal or mealy (cottony) cochineal. To be sure, it is recommended to use a magnifying glass and observe them. Compare them with the photo shown: they are characteristics, you can't go wrong. Also if you try to remove them with a fingernail, they come off easily.
Remedies: remove them with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol or if the plant is large and potted, you can wash it with water and neutral soap rubbing very gently with a sponge to remove the parasites, after which the plant must be rinsed very well to eliminate all soap. For larger plants planted outdoors, you can use specific pesticides available from a good nurseryman.
Succulent plants in the garden: wonderful flowers and little care
If we find ourselves in environments with unfavorable conditions, that is, with scarcity of water and high temperatures, it will be difficult to grow ornamental plants without giving them a great deal of care. Unfavorable environmental conditions for some plants will result favorable for plants belonging to the succulent species.
Cacti and succulents offer colorful blooms of enormous beauty able to revive our garden.
The various types of succulents
Of various shapes, colors and sizes, the succulent, this is the scientific name, they recreate some spectacular ones desert gardens outdoors, but they are also perfect at home.
In addition to the classics cactus, originating in the arid areas of the United States, Mexico and South America, there are many other varieties, belonging to at least 20 families different and spread in habitat various.
From the semi-desert regions of Central America and Africa, to the cool-temperate climate areas of northern Europe, Asia and America.
In particular, i cactus they are distinguished from other succulents by the areoles, the felted pads from which thorns, hairs and flowers develop.
They all have one main feature in common. The presence of a fleshy tissue in the stems, leaves or roots, which allows them to store water and therefore resist well to long periods of drought.
Precisely on the basis of the fabric used to store water, succulent succulent plants tend to be divided into three main groups:
- with succulent stems (family of euphorbiacee, of the asclepiadaceae, cactaceae).
- foliar succulents (aloe, echeveria, lithops, sedum...).
- caduciform succulents (with a basal swelling that acts as a water conservation tissue often extended also to the stems, families of apocynaceae, cucurbits, convulvulacee ...)
It is commonly believed that succulents do not bloom. Instead there are several varieties that between spring and autumn are colored with splendid flowers, which appear when they reach maturity (which it can take from 1 to 40 years!) is they last from a single day up to 3-4 months, depending on the variety.
Delicate and silky in texture, these flowers are very large compared to the plants and are lively warm colors, from intense yellow to scarlet and carmine.
Let's see the varieties with flowers that are easier to grow:
- Rebutia Minuscula, of the family of Cactaceae, is native to the desert highlands of Bolivia and Argentina. It has a rounded shape and remains low. It stands out from the cold and adapts better to the outdoors and on the ground than in pots. Between spring and autumn it produces orange, red or yellow flowers depending on the variety, which develop from the stem.
- Mammillaria zeilmanniana, is a cactus native to Central Mexico, suitable for both the garden and the home. It has the classic globular shape. It does not grow too tall, but grows wider, remaining squat. Her surface is covered with thorns white and in the summer at the peak of pretty white flowers in the variant albiflora, pink or violet.
- Sedum Acre. It has small fleshy leaves and is thornless. It is present both in the desert regions than in mountainous regions (also in the Himalayan mountains). From the family of Crassulaceae, it is suitable in the garden even close to walls, because it resists cold and frosts. Since February it produces some pretty ones yellow flowers in the shape of a star. Has anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties like aloe vera.
Succulents without thorns
There are also succulents without the quills. Some even have hairy leaves, but all are characterized by a certain fleshiness that serves to better retain water and survive in an arid environment. Here are some varieties:
- Lithops, group of plants of the family of Aizoaceae, from the incredible 'stone' shape. Hence also the name. They love the sun but not excessive heat and can also be placed in pots, as long as they are large enough to accommodate the roots, which are well developed. They even make gods small yellow flowers.
- Jovibarba Sobolifera, is a very popular succulent for balconies and terraces, because it resists well to any type of climate and adapts to any environment, from the sunny rock to the alpine valleys, to the city. Indeed, it is considered a real one antismog plant. It reproduces very quickly and in spring little ones appearyellow-green flowers which remain until autumn.
- Echeveria, group of succulents of the family of Crassulaceae, originating in Mexico. All the various species have fleshy leaves gray-green or thinner and red, arranged in pink. They also make gods flowers bellflower pink or red which bloom in spring from the center of the stem. They fear the direct rays of the sun and are therefore more suitable for shade. They also withstand very cold temperatures.
- Cephalocereus senilis, roundish, it stretches as it grows and is covered with a dense down, which is why it is also called 'old man's head'.
There are some rather rare plants because they are found in places that are difficult to access to humans and are therefore impossible to collect. Others are found only in a few places in very confined areas and there are few examples left. Still others are considered rare due to some anomalies, or are at risk due to extremely slow growth and great delicacy.
- Minimal Escobaria
- Euphorbia ambovombensis
- Mammillaria pectinifera
- Astrophytum asterias
- Aztekium hintonii
4. Establish a perimeter in the house
Spiders also love piles of stuff on the outside of the house. Sarah Littleton, of BobVila.com recommends removing anything non-essential from the immediate perimeter of your home and beyond. A list of sites that can increase the likelihood of spiders and food includes piles of leaves, wooden poles, compost bins, trees and shrubs covering areas of the home, uncut lawns, and battery boxes.
Move the woodpile further by cutting the vegetation around your house and removing leaves and dead matter. Again, this also helps reduce the food supply for the spiders and therefore they want to go elsewhere. There is nothing wrong with having spiders in your yard or garden (actually it is also good for him), but it is good to have a clear separation in which he can establish his home.
What are the varieties of mother-in-law's language?
The most widespread species: the Guinea Sansevieria ( Sansevieria trifasciata ) is characterized by dark green leaves with irregular transverse stripes, which grow up to 1 m in height.
The following forms can be distinguished among the varieties of this species:
‘ Black gold '- a variety similar to the species, which grows up to 60 cm in height, the blade is flatter, it can be wavy
‘ Black coral ‘ : dark green leaves with gray-green transverse stripes
‘ Black Robusta ‘ - leaves similar to black coral, which grow up to 30 cm in height
‘ Gigantea ‘ : patterned green leaves with yellow edges
‘ Golden Hahnii ‘ - light green leaf rosettes with dark yellow edges with dark green marbling pattern
‘ Hahnii ‘ - dwarf variety, leaves up to 15 cm long,
‘ Laurenti the' : dark green leaves with darker transverse stripes and surrounded by a golden border, growing up to 1.2 m
‘ Moonshine ‘ : broad greenish silver-gray leaves that grow up to 30 cm in length
‘ Silver Laurentii ‘ : dark green leaves with a thin silver border that grows up to 60 cm in height
‘ Twist ‘ : slightly spiral leaves, dark green in the center with gray and bright yellow stripes along the edges growing up to 18 cm in height
A popular species grown in pots is also the cylindrical sansevieria (Sansevieria cylindrica). The species is distinguished by round leaves with gray and green transverse stripes. The leaves reach a height of 2 m and a width of 3 cm. They can be woven into a distinctive green braid.
Among the varieties of this species we can distinguish the form ' African Spear 'With light green elliptical leaves with darker transverse stripes, which grow up to 30 cm in height.
Guinea and Sansevieria cylindrical can be planted individually in containers and look even more effective in group plantings, especially in modern, minimalist interiors. The best containers for them are shallow, heavy pots.
The care of succulent plants
The best known species of succulents are undoubtedly the cactaceae, although in this family there are a large number of different plants.
Another one can be included in the cactaceae family large and particular group of plants: the succulents.
These plants are characterized by the presence of particularly fleshy stems and leaves they are also able to withstand unfavorable weather conditions, lack of water and high heat well.
A little for theirs slow growth, a little bit for the presence of thorns that cover stems, a little for theirs poor resistance to low temperatures often these plants are not considered for adorn balconies and gardens.
If the development and growth conditions are ideal, if you are in the warm regions of the coast, or if you have it available glazed areas possibly south oriented, the choice of these plants to place in our gardens will be optimal and will not disappoint you: you will enjoy a singular and lively flowering.
Some types of succulents are perfect to be used to decorate gardens specimens such as the Calancola will give brightly colored flowers at any time of the year.
It will also be possible create flowering hedges lining up various specimens of Thorn of Christ or Prickly Pear, effect will be guaranteed.
With the cactaceae it's possible also give a touch of color to the winter season thanks to the first Christmas Cactus flowers.
Cactaceae also produce fragrant flowers an example is the large white flower typical of the columnar cactus Echinopsis candicans, will spread a pleasant scent in the air.
If your idea is to have a cloak of flowers covering a flower bed or perhaps hanging from a balcony, you can choose to use the Lampranthus.
What are the diseases of the mother-in-law's tongue?
Diseases that can curl are generally streaks that go away and disappear. It is related to insufficient light. Another unpleasant symptom can be brown spots on the leaves or their rot. This is the result of excessive watering of the plant.
The browning and drying of the leaves, on the other hand, are the cause of low water and high air temperatures, while the dry and burnt fragments of the leaves are caused by the excessive exposure of the plant to the sun. When the plant is too cold, the leaves will turn soft and black. Another disease that often occurs in various types of flowers is cochineal. The affected plant is characterized by small white flakes on the leaves.
To get rid of the problem, spray a specially selected chemical that can be found at a garden store or wipe the leaves with denatured alcohol. It involves the complete elimination of cochineal seeds, which are difficult to remove by home methods and can spread to other plants.
When the edges of the leaves are frayed, we face a swelling attack. To care for the plant, you should also use properly selected preparation in the garden shop.