Prickly pear — home care
The prickly pear is a genus of evergreen perennial plants which includes about 200 species and belongs to the Cactus family.
Members of the genus are prostrate or erect shrubs and trees, succulent jointed stems which have a flat shape.
The stems of cacti are the areola with small or large spines surrounded by beams glohidy.
Prickly pear at home — tips on care
Location and lighting
These cacti prefer bright light without shading all year round, so the best placement on the South or South-Eastern Windows. Allowed on Windows facing the West or the East.
The contents on the North window in danger of losing the beauty of the natural form of the plant, its pale and elongated.
If during autumn and winter the prickly pear at home not very pleased with the appearance of the sun, with the coming of spring it is necessary to accustom the plants to the bright rays of the sun gradually to avoid burns.
During spring and summer, the prickly pears in the home should be kept at a temperature of about 25-35 degrees. With the onset of autumn the temperature of the contents should be gradually lowered to enable the cactus dormant period.
The optimum temperature of the contents of the dormant period varies from -5°C to +12°C depending on the Fatherland of a specific kind. If you do not retain the plant in cool conditions in the winter, it will lead to stretching and deformation of the plant and the lack of flowering.
In the spring and summer season, when the cacti are actively developing, they need abundant watering. In this case the substrate must be fully dry between waterings.
Water take to defend and slightly acidified with citric acid (7 liters water – 1/2 teaspoon citric acid).
In the dormant period, which occurs with the arrival of autumn, stop watering completely. It is allowed only when loss cactus turgor.
In this case a prickly pear, pour a small amount of water, and the temperature of the contents it is necessary to increase to 12 degrees Celsius.
Feeding prickly pear is held 1 time per month the entire vegetation period with special fertilizers intended for flowering cacti.
Transplantation and propagation of Opuntia
These cacti do not respond well to transplanting, so it is performed only when necessary in a nutritious, loose soil in the springtime. Transplant carried out from dry substrate into dry.
After transplantation of the plant placed in a dark place and not watered for weeks.
To propagate prickly pears in the home can be by seeds or cuttings. The seed method is quite troublesome. Before sowing seeds need to be stratified for. The land must be sterile.
The temperature should not fall below 20 degrees, it is necessary to conduct regular spraying and ventilation. After germination the young cacti dive.
Reproduction by cuttings is much easier. It is held in the spring and summer. The stalk is separated from the plant and dried during the day, and then perpetuate in moist sterile sand. Top the container with cuttings covered with glass.
Need constant maintenance +20 degrees Celsius, spraying and airing out. After a successful
rooting the new transplanted the cactus into the pot.
Pests of prickly pear and control
Prickly pears in the home is exposed to «attacks» mites, scale insects, nematodes and snails, for which use the appropriate drugs.