Prickly pear is a very interesting plant. This cactus blooms beautifully, is highly decorative, edible and has healing properties. If you do not have this representative cacti, think about replenishing the collection. And care for the prickly pear cactus at home is so simple that even a beginner can handle it.
Description and interesting features
Evergreen perennial. Affiliation - a family of cacti. The area of growth is in temperate, tropical and subtropical climate of America. Sometimes found in India, Australia and even in the southern part of Russia.
It grows as a shrub with creeping or erect shoots, sometimes - tree. Stems articulate, flattened. Spines and hooked setae on areolae. The leaves are juicy, small, awl-shaped, quickly fall off. The flowers are bisexual, arranged singly. Coloring - red, orange, yellow shades. After flowering, edible fruits with hard seeds ripen.
Interesting! In folk medicine, the cactus of the opuntia is considered a medicinal plant. It is used for obesity, stomach problems, diabetes. A high content of potassium and calcium stimulates insulin production. The flowers contain astringent substances with hemostatic effect.
Types and varieties
In the indoor floriculture there are different types of prickly pears. Among them are many hybrid, artificially bred varieties. Some of them are very popular.
- Opuntia Gosselina. A popular species originally from Mexico. Flowering occurs early, the flowers are bright, sunny. The leaves of adult specimens are greenish-blue with a grayish tinge. Young plants - with a scarlet shade.
- Prickly pear small hair. Differs in golden spines located along the perimeter of the leaves. The bush is low, compact. It blooms yellow sunny flowers. The fruits are large, scarlet.
- Opuntia monakant Interesting variegated view. In appearance it resembles sea corals. Salad color, the surface is smooth with reddish spines.
- Opuntia garden. Can be grown in open ground. Carries cold winters under snow cover or artificial shelter. It blooms with yellow flowers, the leaves are covered with spines. Feature - creeps on the ground and wrinkles before the onset of cold weather.
- Opuntia Brazilian. Tree species. In nature, the height can reach 20 meters. An interesting feature is that different forms of stalks are combined in one plant.
Important! Not only the fruits of the prickly pear are edible, but also all the other parts of the plant. In Mexico, cactus is freely sold in food markets and in stores. Prickly pear is eaten raw, used for desserts. Mixed flavor - reminiscent of pear and strawberry. Home plants to eat undesirable. During dressings harmful substances for humans accumulate in the flesh.
Rules of care and fineness of cultivation
Easy to grow cactus. Even at home, the prickly pear cactus grows rather quickly, rarely gets sick. Adhering to the basic rules of care, you can grow a beautiful, healthy specimen.
- Lighting. Bright light with sun protection. The need for lighting is high all year round. When located on the north side and in winter, it is recommended to use artificial lighting.
- Temperature. Not critical. Summer adapts to any temperature. In winter, the plant should rest at + 6 ° C. Higher temperatures lead to cactus stretching, deterioration of decorative qualities.
- Watering. Watering cautious, moderate. Excess moisture quickly causes rotting of the roots. Water only after drying 2-3 cm of the top layer of soil. Use soft acidified water - add a few drops of lemon juice or grains of citric acid. Preference is given to the lower irrigation through the pan.
- Humidity. Normally responds to low air humidity. No need to spray. Rare spraying to remove dust is allowed. Frequent lead to decay of the base of the trunk.
- The soil. Use slightly acidic, light, loose soil for cacti. The composition of the soil mixture includes deciduous soil, turf, sand and clay. All components are taken in equal shares.
- Transfer. Prickly pear does not like to be disturbed. Transplanted in extreme cases. Significant causes are cramping of the pot, souring of the soil, rotting of the roots, and defeat of a mealy worm or nematode. Before transplanting the soil is dried, planted in dry ground. For 2-3 weeks transplanted cactus put in the shade. The first moderate watering is one week after transplantation.
- Feeding. Fertilizers are applied once a month during the summer period. Use special complex mineral fertilizers for succulents and cacti.
Tip! Prickly pear does not like frequent change of situation. When choosing a place for it, consider all the requirements for growing conditions. It is desirable that she always stood in one place.
Difficult time for all cacti, they are at rest.
Due to lack of light, the plant may weaken, lose some thin roots.
Carefully monitor the condition of the pet for pests or diseases. Do not let the soil dry out.
At the end of February, you can also sow the first succulent seeds.
The period of awakening prickly pears. Long-light days are coming. The cactus begins the growing season.
Start spraying it with warm water from a spray bottle. The sun at this time is already hot, and the plant is not quite accustomed to it, so it should be slightly pritenyat.
Cut off from the prickly pear shoots formed during the winter.
Take care of planting new specimens. Not transplanted copies feed.
Month active flower growth. At this time it is necessary to provide conditions for its full development.
The flower is no longer needed, let it be heated under the hot rays.
Plant transplanted. Favorable for the development of walks in the fresh air, more often endure it. However, first select the morning hours and cloudy weather.
It's time to plant plants.
This is a time of active development and flowering of prickly pears, so you need to especially take care of the necessary conditions for their life.
The growing season is coming to an end. You need to harden the plant to prepare it for the winter, so take care to ensure the differential night and daytime temperatures.
This will help the prickly pear to harden. Actively feed your pet with a large amount of fertilizer. potassium and phosphorus.
Time to stop feeding.
Also reduce watering.
At this time, the plant is abundantly airing.
AND minimize nighttime temperatures.
In late September, copies that were in the open ground, returned to the apartment.
Watering reduced to a minimum.
Conduct final processing of pesticides.
Prickly pear stops growing - place it in a cool and dry room.
If the weather still allows, continue airing.
Opuntia fell asleep, leave it alone. Do not disturb, do not rearrange and do not even turn.
In the wild, in its homeland this cactus blooms incredibly beautiful, bright colors, and, very long - from spring to the beginning of autumn.
At home, to see the flowers of this representative cacti can not always.
Sometimes single buds appear on it, but often do not reach full flowering.
The buds are shed, never having blossomed, or shoots instead develop.
Why is this happening?
Flower buds prickly pears are laid, starting in November, and lasts until March.
However, due to inexperience, many growers do not take this into account and behave with the plant as usual: keep it in the same room as in the summer, turn, water.
One more reason - too large pot. At the roots in it there is a place for growth, so they grow, instead of resting and laying buds.
And also detrimental to prickly pear any turn from the original position.
On the bright side began laying the babies, and on the shaded side - the buds. And the florist decided to improve the position of the plant.
And all the buds, tied in the shade turned into kids.
Sometimes the buds begin to develop prematurely.
It is still winter on the calendar, the cactus is not watered, and the buds simply dry out, never having dissolved.
How to achieve flowering? To make your prickly pear blossom, try the following:
- the pot should be close. Even if the roots stick out of the drain hole, do not replant the plant until the roots fill the pot completely,
- the plant should winter at temperature plus 6 - 10 degrees,
- watering prickly pear cut down since September, during wintering, do not water it at all, maintain air humidity, you can use a humidifier,
- if the soil begins to dry, moisten slightly but only once a month,
- do not turn and do not move the prickly pear to another place, if for some reason you need a rearrangement, put it to the light by the same side as it was before,
- inspect the flower carefully during wintering, when buds appear, start watering earlierwhat it is supposed to
- after hibernation, when you take the cactus into heat, shade it so as not to cause burns and drying of the buds,
- put it the way it was in winter, that is, the same side to the light, because it is on this side that the flowers develop,
- Do not feed the plant immediately after wintering, so as not to cause active growth.
Content at home
For well-being, prickly pears must be placed in a lighted place, otherwise it will stretch and become pale.
If this happens, find a brighter spot for the cactus, cut the elongated stems.
Prickly pear temperature in the summer - 25 30 degrees.
Water the cactus once a week.
From one watering to the next, the land should dry out.
Prickly pear needs fresh air, so air the room regularly.
If possible, make a day out on the balcony or on the street.
The photo below shows the bright representatives of the Opuntia cactus:
It is necessary to transplant a prickly pear annually. Each transplant is performed in the pot 1-2 cm more previousabout. Do not immediately take a large capacity, the plant needs a little cramped, so that both the aboveground part and the root system develop evenly.
Too much space for the roots will lead to their rapid development, while the crown will not grow.
Transplant carried out by the method of transshipment. Do not shake the old soil from the roots, so it will be easier for the plant to adapt and grow.
If you notice the death of some parts of the root, you need to remove them, otherwise they will infect the healthy part.
The soil for this type of cacti should consist of sod-clay - 2 parts, sand - 1 part.
Take the sea sand, building will not work. To improve the bactericidal properties and deoxidation, it is desirable to add a little woody.
Watch carefully that the earth does not contain remnants of old roots, she must have a fresh smell. Before transplanting, the ground is sterilized using the water bath method, dried and heated.
Feed this plant once a month, only during the growing season, with special fertilizers for cacti. The composition requires phosphorus, potassium.
Reproduction of prickly pears by cuttings is carried out from spring to summer, photos and videos below. The stalk is unscrewed from the parent stem.
Shoots are taken from lateral shoots or from tops. Slices treated with charcoal. After that, the segment is dried day.
Stalk stir in the wet sand, covered with a transparent cap.
After rooting, land on the main place.
Produced from March to May. For sowing, take a flat pot, with holes in the bottom. Pour a layer of drainage, on it a layer of soil consisting of turf, sand and clay.
It is also necessary to add charcoal for disinfection.
Condense the soil, and then pour another small loose layer - this can be done with a coarse sieve.
Then the grooves lightly sprinkled with soil and moistened with a spray.
Cover the plate with glass or plastic and place in a warm, bright place. But not under the direct rays of the sun, to eliminate the greenhouse effect. The top layer should be constantly moistened with boiled water. Once a week, put crops into the water.
For good germination should be the difference between day (25-30 degrees) and night 18-19 degrees) temperatures.
With the emergence of shoots they begin gradually accustom to the air.
Opening first for 5 - 10 minutes, then 20-30 minutes a day.
Two days later, the glass is removed, cover seedlings at night.
From burns seedlings pritenyayut.
Picks produce when the plants start the first spines. Remove them from the soil with a wooden peg or fork.
Lands are not removed from sprouts, roots are straightened so that they do not bend upwards. After transplantation, do not put the plants in the sun, do not water them.
Opuntia is an excellent stock. It should be healthy, with a well-developed root system.
Vaccination is carried out in the early summer, in the morning, on a hot dry day. Before grafting the stock is well watered.
Take the blade and wipe it with alcohol. Cut off the top of the stock. In graft cut the lower part with the roots.
Put the graft on the stock without waiting for them to dry.
Try to combine the cambial rings of both parts. If the center does not coincide, it will not work.
After all you need to fix. Do it with a rubber band, crosswise. Put a piece of cotton under the gum on the stock. Instead of gum, you can use the patch.
The following video detail the reproduction of the children:
Main enemy young prickly pear - funguscausing rotting. Roots are formed on the roots, the fungus spreads with great speed. The wounds turn brown, then they dry up.
Putrid processes are provoked by over-wetting of the soil or by infection from other plants. The diseased plant is thrown away, it cannot be cured.
When small areas of the disease appear, the plant is treated with a fungicide. When a disease is detected, the specimen is separated from the healthy and immediately. carry out prevention of the entire collection.
Immediately inspect the newly acquired copy with a magnifying glass to exclude the presence of parasites on it.
On a prickly pear growing in Mexico aphids multiply in abundance.
We noticed someone, act immediately, without waiting for the multiplication of pests.
The hardest thing to exterminate cactus mite.
His presence is signaled by traces that look like rust stains.
You can destroy it by washing it with warm water and then treating it with an alcoholic solution or toxic chemicals (Fufanon, Aktellik).
The other parasite is the worm. Fight him with the same methods.
It is more difficult to cope with the b heart that has settled in the root system. About its presence says stopped growth or lack of flowering.
Hot water will save you from nematodes. This pest lives in the roots and sucks the juice.
Noticed on the roots of cones or brown nodules - destroy them just like the larvae of the insects.
Aphid - pestsucking juice from Opuntia. This green-brown parasite forms whole colonies on the shoots, mainly on the upper parts.
The most commonly infested with aphids are plants grown in the open air.
But it so happens that the female - seeker, flies through a window, or gets on a plant from another, infected.
One female produces hundreds of larvae.therefore, this parasite quickly covers opuntia and begins to pull juices out of it.
Aphids, which appeared in small numbers, can be brushed away and destroyed. Strongly affected areas should be removed..
The areas from which you mechanically removed aphids, wash them with water and diluted with soap.
In general, modern trade offers a lot of drugs to combat pests of indoor plants. The choice is yours.
And from the old methods can recommend karbofos. There is a popular method of prevention. Place fragrant pelargonium next to the prickly pear. Aphids will disappear in a few days.
Prickly pear - unpretentious plant. Even under adverse conditions, it will grow.
It will grow, but it will only bloom and look exotic if you follow the recommendations for growing it.
Love your flower, care for it, and it will give you its beauty.
Variety of species
- Opuntia white-haired. This is a treelike cactus, consisting of elongated segments, the length of which reaches 20 centimeters. Their surface is covered with a dense layer of yellow spines. The plant blooms with large yellow flowers with a tubular core. Fruits have a light fragrance.
- Opuntia main or main is a shrub with long stems, segments of which are painted in greenish-blue or red. The segments have a slight pubescence and a small number of spines. The flowers may have a bright red or pink shade.
- Opuntia Gosselina has small thin segments, painted in a grayish-green color, may have a faint dark pattern. The spines are quite soft. The flowers are medium in size, painted yellow.
- Prickly pear small hair. The plant is distinguished by a strongly branched stem, consisting of flat segments of small size, which have a dark green color. Ореолы опунции мелковолосистой состоят из большого количества глохидий бледно-желтого цвета.
- Опунция индийская. Otherwise called the Indian ficus. The cactus has the shape of a shrub. Stem high straight, consists of oval-shaped segments, covered with single spines. The flowers are quite large, bright red. Fruits are edible, have a slightly sweet taste, there are large seeds inside.
The special properties of prickly pears
Cactus contains a large amount of nutrients.. Prickly pear fruits are rich in ascorbic acid. The leaves contain potassium and calcium. In some countries, the plant is used to treat diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, prevention of hypertension.
Edible all parts of the plant, including flowers. In Mexico, it is eaten fresh and for cooking various dishes, often desserts. To taste the pulp resembles a pear or strawberry. The plant is used for making soap, alcohol and cosmetics.
Home plants in food is not recommended.
Opuntia: home care
Opuntia is unpretentious in maintenance and care at home. Maintenance and care do not differ from the care of other cacti.
Lighting and location
Opuntia is photophilous and its content requires bright lighting throughout the year. The plant does not tolerate direct sunlight. In winter, the cactus is best kept in a room with a low temperature, because segments can stretch from lack of light. As a result, the plant will lose its decorative effect.
The cactus of the prickly pear badly transfers frequent change of a situation. A flower pot should be placed in the place where it can be for a long time. This is especially important during the formation of buds. If the pot is rearranged or turned, the buds may fall off.
Watering and moisture
The prickly pear cactus needs moderate regular watering during the growing season. During the rest period, the plant is placed in a cool room and watering is stopped. At this time, the plant is watered using a lower irrigation method, in which the pot with the plant is placed in a container with water. It is advisable to use acidified water. For this, a small amount of citric acid is added to the water for irrigation.
Opuntia does not require additional humidification. The plant is able to carry very dry indoor air.
Plant transplant and soil
The first transplant is carried out after the purchase of the plant. If the flower is purchased in the fall, it is better to postpone the transplant until early spring. Further transplantation is carried out as the plant grows, often it is not recommended, since the cactus does not tolerate it.
For plants requires loose soil with a high content of sand. For these purposes, you can use ready-made soil mixtures for cacti. The soil should pass moisture and air well. For its preparation is used sand, clay, sheet and sod soil. Humus in the ground is not added. For planting plants will need a low wide pot.
Opuntia is propagated in several ways - by cutting and seeds.
Opuntia cactus is propagated by seed and cuttings. The most simple and convenient way is grafting. For this, several segments are separated from the mother plant and dried in an upright position for several days. During this time, a film should form at the cut. Rooting is carried out in clean, moist sand. Cuttings are submerged 3-4 cm and covered with a glass jar or plastic bag on top to create a greenhouse effect. Periodically, the cuttings open for airing and condensate removal. The soil is moistened with a spray as the top layer dries. After the plants are rooted, they are planted in separate small pots.
- Growing from seed.
Opuntia seeds are covered with a thick shell. Before sowing, it is recommended to destroy it with sandpaper or a file, so that the sprout can germinate faster. Then the seeds are soaked in potassium permanganate solution and sown in soil consisting of crushed charcoal and sand and leaf soil. After sowing, seed containers are covered with glass to maintain a constant temperature and humidity. Soil moistening is carried out as it dries.
After germination, seedlings are planted in separate pots and grown for two years in a warm, well-lit room.
Diseases and pests
Opuntia is resistant to disease and insect pests. However, when kept at home, it may be affected. mealybug, scythe, nematode, spider mite. Pests are destroyed using insecticides. Re-treatment of the plant can be carried out as a preventive measure in 7-10 days.
Creating a cactus garden
At home, Opuntia can be grown as a single plant or in combination with other indoor plants. Very often, it becomes part of the cactus garden. It is used in combination with desert cacti, astrophytum, hymnocalycium, Echinofossoslococtus, Cereus, Chametsereus Sylvester.
Prickly pear - its own on all continents
Opuntia, like many other cacti, hails from South America, more precisely, from Mexico. Now this plant has over 300 species, which vary considerably in size and shape. In this genus, there are dwarfs of no more size than a mouse, creeping along the ground, and giants - tall trees growing from an elephant. The most popular with florist types with flat segments-ears.
Prickly pear is a very popular plant. And in each country it is called in its own way. At home - "Mexican cactus" or "tuna". In Chile - this is "Nopal." In Asia - “dragon fruit”, it is also “pitayya” and “pitahaya”. The Germans call her "eared cactus." In Russia - "Teschin language". And also the prickly pear is an “Indian fig”, “Indian fig”, “barberry pear” or “fig cactus”, etc.
Opuntia lives in a variety of climatic zones. It can be seen on the slopes of the mountains, in the desert and semi-desert, in tropical woodlands, on river banks and on the sea coast. Cactus easily transfers significant drops in day and night temperatures. Interestingly, prickly pear grows not only in the southern regions, there are frost-resistant species that will not freeze in open ground even in central Russia.
Opuntia has become its own on all continents
Prickly pears are curious about the variety of shapes and colors of fancy flowers. This plant consists of articulate stems, they are flat, cylindrical or spherical. Opuntia bushes grow to 4 meters, and their diameter can reach two meters. There are tree forms, their height reaches six meters. Among the prickly pears, there are dwarf species, there are ground cover creeping cacti.
It is interesting! Opuntia adorned the coats of arms of Mexico and the city of Mexico. As the legend says, the city of Tenochtitlan, now it is Mexico City, laid in the place where the sacred cactus, the prickly pear, grew. The Aztecs saw on it an eagle that ate a snake. This picture was depicted on the emblem of the state. And the emblem of the capital is surrounded by a wreath of prickly pear stalks.
The eagle with a snake sitting on a prickly pear became a symbol of Mexico
These cacti have a powerful root system, it does not develop in depth, but in width. Therefore, prickly pears will not be left without food and water, even in the most meager conditions.
Important! Plants are covered with hard spikes and small spines of glochidia, collected in bunches. They are most unpleasant. These spines have notches. When touched, they pierce the skin, hurting the careless lover of cacti. The affected place itches. Remove splinters can be tweezers or gently remove in water and soap.
Opuntia flowers are single and large, very bright, glossy in some species. They are yellow, red or orange. Quite large fruits, which are formed after the wilting of the flower, prickly, like the cactus itself. They are covered with bunches of glochidia, tiny spines with curved tips. In the pulp of fleshy fruits are seeds, flat, with a hard peel.
The fruits of prickly pears are quite edible.
Prickly pears attract flower growers and their unpredictable nature. Flower buds occur sometimes in the most unexpected places. The main advantage of prickly pears - this flower requires minimal care and will delight even the most inexperienced florist with flowering. This plant is accustomed by nature to survive in the most severe conditions. And in order for the prickly pear to bloom, it is enough to provide it with coolness during the rest period and bright lighting all year round.
Note! Prickly pear fruits are rich in vitamin C. Syrup and jam are made from them. In Mexico, a liqueur is made from cactus. It is used in pharmacology as biofuel and feed for livestock. In some southern countries prickly pear grow as a thorny hedge. From Opuntia receive food dye red - carmine.
Such different prickly pears: types of cacti
Opuntia cactus - more than 300 species with a diverse form of stems. Some plants of this kind do not resemble each other.
- Prickly pear small-haired - dwarf species (height not more than 30 cm). Stem segments rounded, branching little. Blooms in summer, the flowers are large, yellow. The fruits are red.
- Opuntia subulata is a rapidly growing cactus, reaching two meters in two years. Stems are cylindrical. Spines long, located on small tubercles. Flowers are red with a pink tint.
- Lindheimer's prickly pear is a branched shrub, reaching a height of three and a half meters. Opuntia segments are on average up to thirty centimeters flat and oval. Spines translucent, yellowish, resemble bristles. The flowers are yellow, and the fruits are purple with a white top.
- Prickly pear is cylindrical, its birthplace is Peru and Ecuador. The plant has a cylindrical stem with straight branches directed upwards. Flowering in spring and summer. The flowers are bright scarlet. Opuntia cylindrical is popular in southern Europe.
- Brazilian Opuntia - a tree in height up to twenty meters. The main shoots are cylindrical trunk, branches up to one meter. Leaf-like segments at their ends. Spines grow by 1.5 cm. The flowers are yellow.
- Darwin's Opuntia is a dwarf species with rather large flowers. This cactus grows to 10 cm, and the diameter of yellow-brown flowers reaches 4 cm.
- Opuntia Fragilis - mini-cactus, bright yellow with an orange heart flowers about three centimeters in diameter.
- Prickly pear Imbrikat - a bush about 25 cm high. Blossoms unusual flowers for a prickly pear in flowers of purple coloring.
- Opuntia is red-red - a bush a little over a meter tall, the name is due to the color of glochidia, the green stalks of a cactus cover bunches of rusty-red spines. Flowers are orange.
Botanical description and geography of habitat
Prickly pear, The scientific name Opuntia Microdasis (Opuntia microdasys) belongs to the family of cacti. Succulents are also called small-needle opuntia due to the peculiarities of the covering of the lobes - segments. The genus is numerous, there are more than 150 species.
Homeland of growth is considered to be Mexico, America, Galapagos Island. The species is widely distributed in the south of Russia. Succulent grows in nature in tropical forests, deserts, valleys. The plant was discovered in the 19th century by I. Lehmann. This variety belongs to the medium growth cactus. It grows a bush. Stem strongly branched, grows up to 50 cm in height. On the stems in the axils are abundantly arranged buds - areoles. Whitish areoles have small glochidia, golden - yellow color.
The processes of the segments are rounded, oblong. The size of the shoots is medium - up to 5 - 7 cm in length, of dark green color. The flowers are yellow with a golden hue. Stamens small, filiform. Flowering occurs in the summer. The fruits are shaped like red berries.
You will see a photo of a plant:
Maintenance conditions and care for home cultivation
During the period of active growth, this variety of cactus loves bright light, but direct exposure to the sun should be avoided. In the summer heat requires a slight shading of the windows. In winter, the flower also consumes a lot of light. Requires additional lighting for 2 - 3 hours a day.
Water the plant should be moderate, like all succulents. As the stem grows, the doses increase. In the spring and summer should be watered once a week. In the autumn watering is reduced to 1 time in 10 - 14 days. In winter, watering stops. The grade does not demand additional spraying.
Water for irrigation is recommended to use only purifiedacidified with several granules of citric acid. It is recommended when watering pour water into the pan, so as not to condense the substrate.
The temperature content in the summer - up to 20 - 27 ° C. In spring, the flower feels good at room temperature. The optimum air temperature in winter is 6 - 10 ° C.
The substrate should be moderately nutritious, loose, acidified, light. You can buy ready-made mixture for cacti. At home, you can prepare the substrate yourself.
- Sodland - 1 hour
- Leafy ground - 2 hours
- Clay -1 h.
- Sand-1 h.
- Peat - 1 hour
- Charcoal - 1 hour
- Humus - 1 hour
For good growth, small-haired prickly pears should be planted in spacious wide tanks. At the bottom of the required drainage holes.
The pots are better to use ceramic. Ceramics retains heat well, prevents the roots from overcooling and overheating.
When transplanting required pruning:
- Cut dry shoots.
- Cut deformed areas of the stem, diseased leaves.
- The root is cleared of old, dry and rotten processes.
- Sections are sprinkled with crushed charcoal.
- Strongly overgrown shoots that violate the shape of the crown should be trimmed.
- Young trimmed fragments are used for grafting.
Inclined, long branches should be tied up to form a beautiful bush.
Transplant the plant after 2 to 3 years. Transplant is carried out in the spring. The process is simple, it is required to pre-prepare the soil mixture and disinfect the planting tank.
- The plant is carefully dug out of an old pot.
- The roots are cleared of old soil.
- Conducted sanitary pruning of the entire bush.
- The pot is treated with disinfectants, dried.
- The finished substrate is dried.
- On the bottom of the pot is placed pieces of claydite, clay shards.
- Pour mixture, the substrate is not compacted.
- The flower is deepened along the root neck.
- Pots are installed in a place with ambient lighting.
During the week after planting should observe the dry content of the seedling.
Regular fertilizing grade does not require. In the spring - summer period, complex mineral fertilizers are applied through watering 1 time per month.
Features of landing in open ground
In southern and temperate climates, the plant can be planted in open ground.
Flower growers recommend placing the flower in a well-lit, but closed from the drafts place. Drainage is required.
It should be planted on the tops of multi-tiered flower beds and hills, so that water does not accumulate in the soil. From excessive wetting the flower dies.
Briefly about diseases and pests
- From a lack of light growth is delayed, the leaves are deformed.
- Increased air temperature during dormancy stops flowering, the stems are drawn out.
- From the dampness of the soil, drafts and cold, the substrate sours, the leaves dry, fall off.
- Fungal infections are the most dangerous for this flower. The stem becomes brown, the whole bush is covered with mold. The reason is high humidity. The plant is culled. The treatment of healthy colors and substrate with a fungicide for prophylaxis is required.
- Urgent transplantation will help from root nematodes. Affected roots are cut, the root is lowered into hot water for 5 - 10 minutes. Sterilization of the substrate and the pot.
- From insects, aphids, spiderworms and other pests, timely treatment of the plant and soil with any insecticides will help.
- Prickly pear Cherie has the same rounded greenish segments as in fine-brow opuntia. The flowers are pale yellow.
- White-haired prickly pear blooms with large yellow flowers. Segments densely covered with setae and glochidia.
- Prickly pear long. The stem also consists of small green lobes covered with thick, short, thin needles.
- Sort Alba - A variety of fine-haired opuntia, growing in a compact bush. Short needles densely implanted over the entire surface of the plant.
- Sulfur Yellow Opuntia also has small lobes covered with thick bright spines. The plant is small, up to 40 cm in height.
Despite the fact that the prickly pear is a flower of the desert, it requires careful and attentive attitude. Sparing light, moderate watering, careful dressing - the necessary conditions for the growth and development of the flower.
Opuntia is a species of cactus representing fleshy shoots. Sometimes there is a prickly pear in the form of trees, and so it is a creeping bush or with standing shoots. On the plant are located around the perimeter of the kidney, from which the spines are called - glochidia. The foliage of the prickly pear is fleshy and poured, but early crumbling Inflorescences at prickly pears are located one by one.
After the plant ottsvetet, there is a fruit - a berry, poured, having a pleasant sweet taste. They are also called "Indian fig" - which can be eaten.
Prickly pear blooms from early spring through early fall, with beautiful large inflorescences. Fruits at first differ in a greenish shade, and already in a mature look have claret color.
To achieve flowering, most of the prickly pears growing at home is almost impossible. Это допускается только, когда в летнее время у вас есть возможность вынести растение на воздух в сад. Только в этом случае может начаться цветение. Семена в плодах светлого оттенка по размеру с фасоль.
Opuntia shoots have beneficial properties. They contain sugar, starch, vitamin C and protein. Therefore, it is used for feeding animals. And in some parts of America, edible cactus species are consumed by people in local areas. Also, jam from the prickly pears or squeeze the juice to make molasses or liquor. Italians make desserts from the fruit of the prickly pear.
This species is quite interesting and differs due to the rudimentary foliage. And in the places of their joints with the central trunk, elongated, spike-like spines, glochidia, stand out. Spines rarely located, firm to the touch. Inflorescence in buds scarlet shade.
Prickly pear figs or indian reaches a height of almost 4 meters. Leaves - segments have an olive tinge with glochidia hardened and rare. Prickly pear inflorescences resemble terry poppies. The color of the flowers is bright orange. The fruits of this species are about 8 cm in length.
Opuntia monakant variegata quite an interesting look, suitable for home cultivation. Its salad shade cactus, like sea coral. The surface is smooth with spikes of light red hue.
Prickly pear ibrikat its homeland is the southern United States. The shoots of this species are hard, the spines are about 3 centimeters in length of a chocolate shade. Inflorescences are purple.
Brazilian prickly pear tree view in height reaching almost twenty meters. The individuality of this species is the different forms of stems on the same plant. On the edges of the shoots grow oval-shaped segments of an oblong shape and about 14 cm in length. Spikes on one kidney appear up to three pieces. Inflorescence yellow shade.
Opuntia home care
Lighting Opuntia prefers bright, but without direct sunlight. For the plant to actively develop the whole year it needs a lot of light.
The temperature in the room for the plant is not so important, it adapts well to any conditions in the summer period. But in winter the plant is required to maintain the correct temperature not higher than 6 degrees.
If you do not adhere to such winter conditions, the prickly pear will noticeably stretch at elevated temperatures.
Spraying the plant is not necessary, perfectly tolerates any climate in the room.
How to water a prickly pear
Watering prickly pears should be treated with caution, otherwise, if you overdo it, you can lead to rotting of the root system.
Watering should be done as needed, only after the soil has dried out. In winter, the plant practically does not need moisture. Water for irrigation is preferred mild and slightly acidic, can be acidified with a few drops of lemon or citric acid.
The best way to water it is in the pan, otherwise, if it is poured into the soil, the plant can become clogged with a plug of water and will slow down in growth.
Opuntia transplantation is necessary as necessary, since the plant after transplantation takes a long time to adapt. Transplanted from dry soil to dry and put for two - three weeks in a dark place to adapt. Moisten the transplanted prickly pear for the first time in a week. The time of year for a transplant is spring.
Opuntia cactus species and varieties description
Opuntia is a species of perennial cactus. The plant has beautiful, fleshy shoots, along the perimeter there are small buds from which spines emerge. After flowering on the cactus appear small berries.
The fruits of the prickly pear cactus can be eaten. Berry has a sweet taste. They are differently called "Indian fig".
Flowering plants occur in the beginning of spring or autumn. The fruits are green at the beginning, but in a mature form they have a bright maroon color.
In nature, there are about 300 species of this plant.
The description of the most popular of them will be considered below:
- White Opuntia. In the wild, cactus can reach 5 meters in height. A distinctive feature of the plant - beautiful, fleshy segments. Their length often reaches 20 cm. The entire surface is covered with long setae of white color. They are quite dense, so when caring for this type of prickly pears you need to be extremely careful. Cactus blooms with large yellow flowers. Such a plant looks great in a flowerpot, fits into any interior,
- Berger. Gardeners consider this type of prickly pear as the most undemanding in care. Cactus reaches a height of not more than a meter. Segments fleshy, light green. Their length varies from 15 to 25 cm. There are spines on each segment (brown or yellow). Cactus blooms large orange-red flowers. During this period, it looks especially original and attractive,
- Opuntia Home. Segments have an unusual color: blue-green or reddish. Spines on the cactus a bit, they are quite soft. Blooms plant pink or red flowers. This type of prickly pear does not like active watering. Otherwise, the root system begins to anger and the cactus dies,
- Prickly pear small hair. Perhaps the most popular type of cactus. Its advantage lies in the small height of the plant. Segments densely covered with yellowish areoles, from the center of which spines grow. It blooms rarely, yellow flowers,
- Opuntia Lindheimer. Very beautiful view of the cactus. Especially attractive plant looks during flowering. Large yellow flowers attract attention. This type of prickly pear can reach a height of 3.5 meters
It is important! Prickly pear - not only beautiful, but also a useful cactus. The fruits of the plant contain a large amount of ascorbic acid. The leaves also contain potassium and calcium. Many gardeners use these types of prickly pear for medicinal purposes.
Soil for prickly pears
The earth mixture plant prefers slightly acidic, loose and light. The soil can be purchased ready-made for cacti, or you can cook it yourself. To do this, the soil should include leaf soil, turf, clay and sand, all in equal parts.
It is necessary to fertilize a plant the whole summer period, fertilizer for succulents. Feed should be once in 30 days.
Opuntia cactus breeding
The seeds of cacti have a hard crust, which is cut with a nail file. Then the seeds are soaked in a solution of manganese and sown in the ground previously evaporated in the oven, that is sterile.
After sowing, the optimum temperature for germination is 20 degrees. We cover the container with foil and periodically open it for spraying and airing so that condensation from moisture does not collect.
The soil for sowing seeds should consist of coarse sand, leafy ground and crushed charcoal. After the emergence of the shoots dive into separate small containers, maintaining good daily lighting.