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Cacti are quite demanding on the capacity in which they will grow. The size of the pot should match the root system of the cactus. To choose the right pot, you need to remove the cactus from the old dishes, gently spread the roots and examine the root system. In some cacti, the roots are better developed in the upper part and not very long, then the pot should be wide enough, but not deep. In other cacti, the roots grow in length, especially if the main taproot is expressed in the root system, then the pot should be deep, but not wide. In any case, the volume of a pot or other container for planting should not greatly exceed the volume of the root system in a straightened form, but it must be borne in mind that drainage will take some place in the pot.
Incorrectly selected pot - it is too large, the cactus will grow in it too slowly, it remains to admire the decorative pebbles.
Correctly selected pot, commensurate with the root system. In addition, in a properly selected pot, a cactus is less likely to suffer from excess moisture.
If the cactus is sick, or somehow damaged, then the dishes should be slightly smaller in size than the volume of the root system. Also, when choosing a container, the nature of the growth of cacti should be taken into account. For example, mammillaria form many babies, and many plants are obtained in one pot, so they need wider pots, but not deep ones. But for Ariocarpus, for example, the container should be deeper than wide.
What material the container will be for growing a cactus is a matter of taste. Usually cacti are grown in plastic pots, but you can also grow them in clay pots and plastic yogurt cups, and in ceramic cups, and in coconut shells, etc. It is undesirable to grow cacti only in metal dishes, which can rust, and this will adversely affect the plant. If there are a lot of cacti and the collection is growing, then it is quite convenient to plant cacti in square or rectangular containers, which are then easily and tightly put together on a common tray, this facilitates the transfer of cacti, tightly packed pots take a stable position. Only the frequency of watering depends on what material the container is made of. In plastic dishes, the earth retains moisture longer than in earthenware.
Another condition for a container for cacti is drainage holes. We can say that this is a prerequisite, since cacti do not like stagnant water in a pot (especially epiphytes). The water that remains in the roots can lead to their decay and plant death.
Soil for cacti
Preparing soil for transplanting cacti is a complex and controversial issue, in the sense that the composition of the soil depends on many factors, for example, the type of cactus, its age, etc. Different literatures give different recipes and methods for preparing soil for cacti. Despite the fact that they sometimes differ, each author who advises this or that soil recipe, as a rule, draws on his own experience, which had good results. The ingredients in traditional cactus soils are varied, but always the same:
|Ingredients||Properties||Where to get them|
|Leaf land||Rich in nutrients, loose, lightweight, easily absorbs water.||In the spring (in April), when the snow is just melting in any birch grove or park where there are deciduous trees, snow is shoved away, old foliage and the earth is collected with a scoop. You can collect land under beeches and hazel.|
|Clay-sod land||Holds water firmly and removes nutrients more slowly||Near the garden, where the ground is overgrown with sod (dense grass), this sod is removed together with the earth with a shovel and laid in layers that can be spilled with slurry, then covered and left for at least one year. If this technology is difficult for you, then you can get this soil in a different way. It is necessary to dig up the sod and, holding by the grass, thoroughly shake the soil from its roots. In this case, it will not be as nutritious as if pressed for a year, but the structure will meet the requirements.|
|Old greenhouse land||It is used when it is not possible to get sheet and clay-turf soil||In the garden in the garden|
|Well rotted manure (humus)||Used in microscopic amounts to add to very nutrient-poor soil for large cacti (mainly forest)||Since spring, cow dung in the garden or in the garden is laid in a compost pit and is covered with leaves (birch or apple) and earth from above, after two years it is dug up and used after sterilization|
|Coarse river sand||Gives the soil looseness and porosity, is an obligatory component in any soil for all cacti||On the river, on the beach, it is necessarily well washed from fine dust; for cacti, a sand fraction of 2-3 mm is required, this is almost fine gravel.|
|Zeolite or burnt clay||Increases the porosity of the soil, helps moisture to quickly absorb, and the soil quickly dries out||Zeolite granules can be obtained from Barsik-standard cat litter or any similar. A non-sticky filler is needed so that the granules can be washed and sieved. All small things less than 3 mm - throw out, use granules of 4-5 mm.|
|Charcoal||Coal from deciduous trees is used, it is used for disinfection in the form of powder (wounded roots are sprinkled) and added in pieces to the soil, because possesses anti-rotting properties||To burn in the garden or on a vacant lot any stick made of deciduous trees, it is better to birch, break a firebrand into pieces. Crush some into powder, and leave some in small pieces and add to the soil.|
|Brick chips||Gives the soil looseness and porosity, has the ability to retain excess moisture||Use a hammer to break a red brick into chips, which can be found by wandering around the city or at the nearest construction site|
Before choosing one or another soil mixture, you need to know that in any case, it must meet the following requirements:
- the soil for any cacti should be loose, it is easy to pass water and air;
- the acidity of the soil for almost all cacti should be slightly acidic reaction better than pH = 4.5 - 6.
You need to know that leafy soil is looser than clay-sod and greenhouse. Brick chips and river sand give looseness to the soil. And to give the soil the necessary acidity, either peat (to increase acidity) or lime (gives an alkaline reaction and reduces acidity) is added. It should be borne in mind that young cacti and dive seedlings need looser and more nutritious soil, therefore, leafy soil forms a significant proportion of the soil mixture for them. For adult and old cacti, a denser soil is needed, so they take more greenhouse and clay-sod land for them. Fast growing cacti are added with humus to the potting mix. What else will the composition of the soil mixture depend on? From the species characteristics of a plant, for example, cacti that do not have thorns at all need a lower calcium content in the soil,than cacti richly decorated with thorns, for which it is useful to add crushed eggshells to the soil.