Cephalocereus Cephalocereus

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Cephalocereus Cephalocereus
Cephalocereus Cephalocereus
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Senile cephalocereus

Family of cactus. Homeland Mexico. Representatives of the genus are especially characteristic for the town of Barranca de Venados, in the state of Hidalgo (popularly called the "Valley of the Old Men"), surrounded on all sides by a mountain ring. Of the cephalocereus, numbering about 113 species, only one species of senile cephalocereus Cephalocereus senilis has spread. This cactus is popularly called the "old man's head", which corresponds to its appearance. Under natural conditions, senile cephalocereus grows up to 15 m in height and 40 cm in diameter, growing slowly.

In indoor conditions it lives for a long time and will also be large in size. The cylindrical green stem with yellowish spines is completely covered with long hairs, up to 10 cm long. Its stem is columnar, the hairs hide a gray-green stem with 20-30 straight short ribs, covered with closely spaced areoles. Old cacti form a cephalic (generative shoot, brightly colored formation of bristles and spines), it is one-sided, but gradually covers the entire top of the stem with a crown. Such a cute fluffy has completely unpleasant flowers, outwardly they are the most common, characteristic of cacti - funnel-shaped, about 10 cm in length, up to 7 cm in diameter, cream-colored, but they smell bad, attracting only bats, but they last only one night. By the way, cephalocereus do not bloom at home.The decorative value of cephalocereus is in the hairy pubescence, but in old plants the lower part of the stem is gradually bare, the lower hairs turn red, turn brown and thin.

Cephalocereus - care and cultivation

Temperature: normal in summer, room temperature. In winter, a dormant period at a temperature of 6-7 ° C, at least + 5 ° C, with a dry content. The main difficulty in keeping is precisely the cold wintering, if for other cacti there is enough temperature of about 10 ° C, then for cephalocereus in winter the temperature should be much lower. Cephalocereus, like all other cacti, is in great need of fresh air. Therefore, for the summer it is better to take it out into the garden or on the balcony, and leave it there until autumn. Around the clock stay in the fresh air throughout the summer period, especially hardens and strengthens cacti, increases resistance to diseases and pests.

Lighting: maximum sunlight. Senile cephalocereus is protected from sunburn by hairs. Without adequate sunlight, the stem stretches, the hairs become short, and decorative attractiveness is lost.

Watering: moderate in spring and summer, decreases in autumn, and practically no watering in winter when kept cold. Senile cephalocereus is very sensitive to waterlogging.

Top dressing: from late spring to mid-summer with a special fertilizer for cacti.

Air humidity: Senile cephalocereus cannot be called resistant to dry air, with increased dry air, the hairs become brittle, easily break off, become dull. In nature, in the Barranca de Venados valley, where the cephalocereus are found in a fairly humid climate, dew often falls and there are fogs. At the same time, excessive moisture in a pot culture is harmful - there is no light valley breeze on our windowsill, which does not allow succulents to rot. Therefore, it is recommended to periodically spray the cactus with a very fine sprayer, and in no case keep it near the central heating radiators in winter.

Transplant: into well-drained soil, young plants annually or in a year, old ones in a year or two. Soil - 1 part sod, 1 part leaf, 1 part peat land, 1 part sand and brick chips, acidity close to neutral, i.e. pH about 6-6.5. Senile cephalocereus does not tolerate organic impurities in the soil. Adding humus even in small doses can be fatal. To keep the hairs in good condition, calcium components are added to the soil - eggshells, old lime (3-5% of the soil volume), this is due to the fact that in nature cephalocereus grow on the calcareous slopes of the mountains, on soils containing a fair amount of gypsum.

Reproduction: Mainly by seeds.

For more information about the features of various modes of maintenance, transplantation and reproduction, see the section Cacti.

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