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Family of cactus. Homeland - Central and Southern Mexico. In nature, there are 5 types of epiphytic cacti, common in open rocky areas or on tree trunks in the undergrowth. These cacti are characterized by a creeping stem, they are grown as ampelous plants.
Aporocactus whip-like Aporocactus flagelliformis - has the popular name "rat tail cactus". It is an epiphytic cactus native to the rainforest. Light green stems, with weakly pronounced ribs in the amount of 8-13 pieces, easily hang down from the pot, in nature the length of the stems reaches 1.5-2 m in length, with a diameter of 1.5 cm. Radial spines from 8 to 12 - short, up to 5 mm, like bristles, yellow-brown in color. There are 3-4 central spines, in length and color are almost indistinguishable from the radial ones. The flowers are bright pink, very large, up to 9-10 cm in diameter, they look very impressive on thin stems, especially when there are many of them. Flowering usually begins in late winter.
Aporocactus whiskers are widely used in hybridization, so cactus collectors are widely known, for example, Aporocactus Mallison Aporocactus mallisonii - a hybrid of Aporocactus flagelliformis and Heliocereus speciosus, synonymous with Aporoheliocereus. It has about 5 ribs, more deeply expressed than that of Aporocactus whip-like and hard short spines.
Also on sale you can find the cactus Aporophyllum Aporophyllum - a hybrid of Aporocactus Aporocactus and Epiphyllum Epiphyllum.
Temperature: Moderate, does not like summer heat above 28 ° C, in the heat the stems turn yellow, dry out, and are attacked by a mite. In winter (from October to February), a dormant period at a temperature of about + 11-12 ° C, at least + 10 ° C, with a practically dry content.
Lighting: Bright diffused lighting. Aporocactus like a lot of light, but mostly diffused, direct sun only in the morning or evening. It is necessary to accustom to the spring sun gradually. In summer, aporocactus is harmed not so much by the direct sun as by the heat in a sunny place.
Watering: Abundant in spring and summer (after the soil dries out in a pot, water every other day), from autumn watering is gradually reduced (after drying the earth, we wait 3-4 days), in winter watering is very rare when kept cold (very little once a month). Watering aporocactus is necessary only with soft water, and warm (hand warm) - in summer, in winter the water temperature is not lower than 20 ° С.
Fertilizer: From March to August, they are fed with a special fertilizer for cacti, once every 2-3 weeks. You can use Fertika-Lux fertilizer for flowering plants at a dose 2 times less than the recommended one.
Air humidity: Aporocactus loves humid air more than other cacti, prefers regular spraying with warm water from a very fine spray during the growing season, in addition, this helps prevent the appearance of mites. With the onset of sunny days in February, you can begin to awaken the cactus to bloom - start foggy spraying in the morning (without water droplets on the stems). Use only warm and boiled water.
Transfer: Soil of a slightly acidic reaction - 1 part of sod land (sifted from sod, with better from mole excavations), 1 part of peat, 1 part of sand and 1/2 part of brick chips (1-3 mm) and 1 part of fine gravel or granite chips (2-3 mm). In addition, a few pieces of crushed birch charcoal should be added to the substrate. The container for the aporocactus should be shallow, since their root system is weak. Young plants are transplanted annually or in a year, old ones in a year or two, in the spring.
Reproduction: Seeds and cuttings. Cuttings cut from the tops of the shoots, about 5-7 cm long, or broken off daughter branches must be dried within 2 days. Then I pour prepared soil into a wide pot, fine gravel on top with a layer of about 5 mm, and stick bamboo sticks. I tie the aporocactus stalk vertically to each stick with a woolen thread. One pot contains about 5 cuttings. I do not water for a week, at least, then I slightly moisten the ground from a spray bottle with a stream, so that water does not get on the stalks of the cactus. Roots appear approximately 2 weeks after planting. I remove the props when it is clear that the cactus does not fall on its side. You can, of course, not tie the cuttings, but lay them flat, then the roots appear right from the middle of the cutting, but this is ugly.