Cactus Cereus Peruvian: home care
Peruvian Cereus is mainly popular among cactus lovers. This plant has a very interesting shape and adds exoticism to even the simplest interior. He also needs competent care, the rules of which the grower needs to understand in advance.
Botanical description of the plant
Cereus Peruvian belongs to the cacti of the genus Cereus. Under natural conditions, it grows in Central and South America, where it can be up to 7 m tall, and leads its life up to 300 years.
Did you know? The name of cereus (lat.) “Cereus” is translated as “wax candle”, which is associated with the shape of the cactus.
Peruvian Cereus is one of the most popular varieties of this type of cactus. At home, its height reaches 1.4-1.5 m. The plant belongs to succulents, has a fleshy stem with 5-8 ribs. The color of the cereus is initially close to blue. Then the blue changes: it becomes a green hue with a gray tint.
The stems are lignified over time, and on its upper part you can find a light fluff.
Flowering often occurs in natural conditions, although with proper care it can be achieved when grown in a pot. The color of the petals is whitish. The diameter of the flower is 14–16 cm. The buds open at night.
Cereus bears fruit mainly in wild habitats. Fruits can be eaten in writing. When they are ripe, they taste juicy with a pleasant aroma.
There is a special form of the plant - monstrous, or rocky. It is characterized by a chaotic growth of shoots and the formation of bizarre growths. The reason for this phenomenon is a mutation, which is often impossible to detect initially. It happens that a young Peruvian Cereus with the correct outlines takes on a rocky form in the future.
Did you know? In Israel, the fruits of Cereus Peruvian "cubo" are grown as a food product on an industrial scale for export.
This cactus variety has no particular whims when growing, however, some rules exist, and the likelihood of a cactus blooming depends on the degree to which the owner observes the plant.
Cactus, being from a hot sunny climatic zone, and indoors prefers good lighting. The optimal place to place the flowerpot will be the windowsill. You can define it on the south or southeast side. In summer, you can move the pot to an open balcony or loggia.
Peruvian Cereus perceives heat in the summer season. Weather changes and temperature changes also can not harm him. When frosts strike, in the room where the flowerpot is located, it is advisable to set the temperature level within +8 ... + 14 ° С.
The plant tolerates dry air well, so do not be afraid to place it next to heating appliances. It is better to maintain a moisture level of 50%.
Peruvian Cereus, despite the minimum number of requirements, must be properly looked after. The plant needs competent watering, fertilizer and transplantation.
It will also be useful for you to learn how to care for cacti such as pereskia, mammillaria, rough guernia, rebutia, astrophytum at home.
Contrary to popular belief that cacti love drought, they need moderate watering in the summer. The frequency of watering depends on the level of drying of the soil. You do not need to constantly keep it in a waterlogged state, but to bring the substrate to dry into dust is also not worth it.
As the onset of cold weather, starting in September, watering is reduced. In winter, when the plant is placed in cool conditions, adult plants need to be watered once a month, and the smaller the plant, the more water it needs even during hibernation. The smallest cacti are watered once every 2 weeks.
Water must be defended before watering and it is advisable to slightly warm it up. It is better to carry out the procedure in the evening when there is no intense exposure to sunlight.
Important! Remember: watering and spraying cacti with cold and hard water is unacceptable. The stress state is also familiar to plants.
Fertilizing the Peruvian Cereus is important during the period of active growth, which lasts from May to July. For feeding suitable liquid products intended for cacti. The frequency of the procedure depends on which drug was chosen.
You need to transplant the plant from March to early April. A sign of a necessary transplant is the fact that the root system in the pot does not fit and finds a way out through the drainage holes. You can resort to a transplant in the case when the cactus stops growing.
There are no special soil requirements. A mixture of soil and sand is suitable. The main thing is not to use an alkaline substrate. It must be either acidic or neutral.
Pick up a pot larger than the previous one, since the root system of the cactus increases significantly in size. It is better to choose a tank with a wide bottom, this will allow the roots to develop well.
Important! If pebbles are laid out in a flowerpot on the surface, they must be removed before transplanting . Water in a pot should not be watered .
Expanded clay can be used as a drainage mixture. For lack of this material it can be replaced by foam. Some gardeners prefer to use a mixture of both materials in equal proportions.
When all materials for transplantation are ready, you can begin the process:
- Put the drainage evenly on the bottom of the new pot.
- Sprinkle drainage with a small ball of substrate.
- Separate the earth from the walls with a spatula.
- Carefully, slightly bending the pot, pull out a cactus with an earthen lump on the roots.
- The rotten parts of the rhizome (if any) should be removed and treated with charcoal.
- Move the cereus to a new container.
- Fill the substrate to the very top of the container.
Moisturize the soil only after 5 days after transplanting.
Mostly Peruvian Cereus is propagated vegetatively, that is, by cuttings. Sometimes resorted to propagation by seeds, however, this method is natural only for wild specimens growing in natural conditions.
Cuttings are carried out in the spring or in June.
A small process needs to be cut off from the main stem and left for 3-10 days in an upright position so that the cut dries out a little. The drying time depends on the size of the cuttings. The larger it is, the longer it will dry.
Before planting, you need to fill a small flower pot with a suitable substrate. Cuttings are immersed in the soil with a slice down. The plant is transferred to a well-lit place (but not in direct sunlight). Do not moisten the soil for several days.
Seed propagation often occurs in the natural habitat. At home, it is better to cuttings. If it was decided to sow the seeds, then it is better to do this in the second half of spring. Seed should be placed in moistened soil and left in a cool, shady place. When the cactus grows, the pot can be taken out to where it is warm.
Important! Monstrous specimens are propagated only by cuttings.
Possible growing difficulties
When growing a cactus, some difficulties may arise associated with the attack of pests or the development of diseases.
Cereus can have pests, each of which affects the plant differently:
- spider mite (creates small blotches of reddish color and a spider-like plaque, yellow spots in heavy forms);
- scale insects and pseudo-scabs (these are round-shaped bug-like parasites that suck out juices from a plant);
- mealybug (whitish spots with fluff appear).
To control all pests, the same method is used, which consists in processing any systemic application with an insecticide (for example, IntaVir or Fufanon).
Peruvian Cereus is a cactus that can take on bizarre rocky forms, which brings exotic and diversity to the interior. With proper care, this unpretentious plant will successfully grow and delight the owner with beautiful flowering.