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Kutrov family. Homeland about. Madagascar, South Africa. These are tree-like plants with a thick (succulent) stem covered with cactus-like needles and long, narrow leaves that fall off during dormancy. The value of this plant, in contrast to cacti, is that it does not need a cold wintering. In general, it is not a demanding plant. By the way, the pachypodium contains a milky juice containing rubber in the leaves.
- Pachypodium Lame Pachypodium lameri is a very large plant with a main cylindrical stem and long linear leaves, slightly pubescent on the back. There are three thorns at the base of each leaf. Under natural conditions, this species grows up to 5-6 m in height.
- Sanders' pachypodium Pachypodium saundersii is a small plant with a thick, short cylindrical stem that branches into 3-4 shoots, leafy at the top and covered with long brown spines. The leaves are green, ovoid.
- Pachypodium short-stemmed Pachypodium brevicaule - has a main tuberous stem and short lateral shoots with a silvery-green bloom. During the dormant period, when the plant sheds its leaves, it becomes like a bunch of stones. It usually has few leaves, they are oblong or ovate, pubescent on both sides, up to 3 cm long and 1 cm wide. It blooms with large, light yellow flowers.
Succulent pachypodium Pachypodium succulentum - has a short main stem, from which lateral shoots are formed, which are pubescent at first. Leaves are long, linear-lanceolate, pubescent on the back. At the base of each leaf, there are two spines. It blooms with small pink flowers.
When kept at home in favorable conditions for them, some types of pachypodium may not shed their leaves. But in natural conditions, the leaves are lost before flowering.
Temperature: The plant is thermophilic, the optimum temperature for growth is about 24-26 ° С in summer, in winter an average of 14-15 ° С. Does not tolerate cooling of the root system after watering. For the summer, it is better to put it outdoors in a garden or on a balcony, but when watering, take into account the nighttime drop in temperature, water only in the morning. Cold wintering up to + 5 ° C is permissible, with completely dry content.
Lighting: The pachypodium needs a bright, sunny place. Grows well on the south window, completely unsuitable for the north side. Sometimes in winter even on the south window it can be too dark - the leaves gradually turn yellow and fall off. The Pachypodium decaryi, Pachypodium decaryi, is especially sun-loving - it needs either a very cold wintering, or a southern window in winter with supplementary lighting on cloudy days.
Watering: In spring and summer (from May to September), moderate, the soil should not be slightly damp all the time, but have time to dry out well. However, if watering is insufficient, the plant can gradually dry out the leaves lower along the stem. With a natural cooling in autumn, leaf fall begins - succulents can completely or almost completely lose leaves. If there is a possibility of cold wintering, then with the fall of leaves, watering is reduced and until new shoots are formed, practically do not water. The short-stemmed pachypodium is watered rather poorly throughout the year.
With excessive watering, the lower leaves of the pachypodium first wither, then the tops of the shoots turn black as a result of root decay, the short-stemmed pachypodium is especially sensitive to overflow.
Fertilizer: With the formation of new shoots, the pachypodium is fed with a special liquid fertilizer for cacti, adding it to the water for irrigation. Top dressing no more than once a month.
Air humidity: The pachypodium is resistant to dry air. But the leaves can be wiped clean with a damp sponge.
Regrowth of new shoots in spring
Transplanted annually in the spring. The soil should be loose and slightly acidic. Soil 2 parts leaf, 1 part humus, 1 part sand (fine gravel) and brick chips. You can use a commercial cactus potting mix - "Cactus +". Drainage to the bottom of the pot is 2-3 cm. Young and adult plants up to 5-6 years old are transplanted annually, older ones after three years. By the way, the roots of the pachypodiums are quite powerful, sometimes they burst and break the pot. Therefore, if roots are visible in the drainage hole, it is time to replant. However, you should not take a pot that is too spacious in advance - it is easy to allow waterlogging of the soil.
The pachypodium is propagated by cuttings and seeds. It is impossible to obtain seeds at home, even when kept in very good conditions. But you can buy seeds in specialized online stores. They are planted like cacti and other succulents in a mixture of peat soil and perlite (sand, vermiculite), in a greenhouse. You don't need any special dances around the seeds, but you can soak it the day before in epine or zircon. Moisturization is moderate. Very good lighting is required from the moment of emergence.
Mite on Pachypodium
Spider mite: Damaged plants have pale yellow or light colored leaves. Whitish spots form on the surface of damaged leaves, the leaves turn yellow prematurely. Between the thorns, on the stem, you can see a reddish bloom that looks like rust. Some types of spider mites are so small that only their traces are visible in a magnifying glass - microscopic whitish skins on the back of the leaf or on the outside, along the central vein.
Control measures. If the thorns allow, wipe each leaf on both sides with a soapy sponge, beat the soap cap onto the stems and leaves. Leave on for 3-5 minutes. Wash off with very hot water with a powerful shower head. Along with this, water the soil surface. After that, drain the water from the pallet, loosen the soil, water only after thoroughly drying the earth. Repeat after 3-5 days, but do not wet the soil, close it with a bag. If you do not risk using this method, just treat it with acaricide (actellic, vermitic, apollo, fitoverm).