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The homeland of the cycads is Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands and Australia. They are slow growing plants and, with proper care, can live long indoors. The young leaves of the cycad are first twisted in a spiral - like those of ferns. Pinnate leaves up to 50 cm long. Under natural conditions, cycads grow into huge trees. At home, cycad leaves are used to create flower arrangements and bouquets. In Russia, cycads are grown outdoors in subtropical regions, for example, near Sochi. But there they often suffer from too low temperatures (subzero) in winter.
In flower shops, Cycas revoluta is more often sold - it has a strong rounded cone, tough, oblong leaves, strongly curved back. The plant is large, at home the leaf span can reach about 1 meter, at the age of three years, their length is about 50 cm, and in nature up to 1.5 m.Separate leaves are narrow, 8-18 cm long.
When buying a cicada, you need to make sure that the leaf buds in the bud are not damaged. It is better to buy a plant that has at least three well-developed leaves. Cycas grows very slowly.
Tsikas is a rather demanding plant, at home it is difficult for him in winter during the heating season. Even isolation from the batteries doesn't make things much easier. And if, there is still not enough light, the plants simply wither.
Moderate, cicassus tolerates temperature fluctuations well, loves fresh air, does not tolerate greenhouse conditions - stuffiness, heat, especially on the sunny side. In winter, prefers a cool content at a temperature of 12-14 ° C, at least + 8 ° C. When the pot is insulated, in dry sawdust, foam rubber and without watering (in complete dryness of the soil), the content is permissible up to + 3 ° C. A pot can be taken out onto a glazed and insulated balcony at the end of April (see weather conditions), and brought in in October, if the balcony is not glazed, then only after the minimum temperature has passed, it will not be lower than + 8 ° C. For the summer, you can rearrange the cycad pot in the garden, in a place where there is uniform illumination from all sides, there is protection from wind and rain.
Bright intense light, both in winter and in summer, is kept in the brightest place. Well suited for placement in close proximity to south and southwest windows. But do not put the pot with the plant on the floor by the window - the light flux passes tangentially over the leaves, you need to put the pot on the bedside table or table by the window. In the cold season, the lower the illumination, the more acutely the plant perceives the increased temperature (in a heated room). Supplementing with fluorescent lamps or LEDs is possible if cold wintering is impossible, but for sufficient lighting, 2-3 lamps are needed per adult cycad.
Moderate watering in spring and summer, after the topsoil has dried out, wait another 1-2 days before watering. In winter, watering is even more moderate, depending on the temperature - when the soil on top dries out, wait a few more days before watering. Tsikas does not tolerate stagnant water in a pot! Check that the drain holes are not clogged with expanded clay or soil. When watering, do not allow water to get on the cone, since it contains leaf buds, and moisture can lead to decay.
During the period of intensive growth - from April to August, the cicas are fed every two weeks with a special fertilizer for palm trees or other fertilizer for indoor plants, at a concentration slightly less than the recommended one.
Tsikas loves humid air, so regular spraying is needed, especially in summer on dry hot days and in winter during the heating season. You can periodically place it under a warm shower by covering the soil in the pot with a plastic bag and wrapping the cone with cling film.
Young plants under the age of 5 years are transplanted annually, over 5 years after 4-5 years, but the top layer of the soil must be changed as needed if the soil is covered with salt deposits. Soil for cicas: 2 parts of light turf, 1 part of humus, 1 part of leafy soil, 1 part of fine gravel and a few pieces of charcoal. Good drainage in a pot is needed about 2 cm high, you can use a clay crock with a hump up. When transplanting, it is important that the cycad cone is not buried in the ground.
Cycas are propagated by children that appear on the mother's trunk. After removing the baby, the cut is sprinkled with gray or crushed coal. The baby is dried for a couple of days and planted in a mixture of leaf and peat soil and sand, watered very moderately, slightly moistening the soil. It is best to use soil heating and rooting stimulants. It is also propagated by seeds - with soil heating. Seedlings will appear only after a month or two.
With an excess of moisture in the soil, or water ingress on the cycad cone, tissue decay may begin. The leaves turn yellow, then turn brown, wither, the roots rot. With very strong waterlogging, mold appears on the cone, the plant dies. Very low room temperature, too dense clay soil, lack of drainage and frequent watering contributes to decay. At the beginning of the appearance of the problem, until the leaf stalks have turned black, you can loosen the soil, dry the soil well, dry the cone with a hair dryer (with a weak stream not on the leaves, but only on the cone).
The appearance of spots on the leaves and the formation of brown tips contribute to sharp fluctuations in temperature, too dry indoor air in winter, lack of nutrients in the soil or overfeeding with fertilizers. Always check the soil first - it shouldn't be constantly wet at the back of the pot.
Of the pests, thrips, scale insects, worms and ticks can deliver the problem. Almost every pest is recognizable and recognizable: see the heading indoor flower pests. Ways of struggle are alarming - the plant is large, and during treatment it is necessary to spray all the leaves thoroughly. In the warm season, it is better to take the pot of cicas outdoors and, laying on its side, thoroughly spray with an insecticide or acaricide. In the cold season, the only treatment option is to use the least toxic drugs against insects - Aktara, Confidor; against arthropods (ticks) - hot shower.
By the way, you need to know that the cycad is extremely poisonous to animals and humans, do not let the cat eat the leaves!