Echinopsis (lat.Echinopsis) - a genus of plants in the Cactus family, of which many are grown in indoor culture. The name of the genus, originating from the Greek language and meaning "like a hedgehog", was proposed by Karl Linnaeus in 1737 for the similarity of the representatives of the genus with a thorny animal rolled into a ball. Echinopsis are common in South America and are found from southern Argentina to northern Bolivia, as well as southern Brazil, Uruguay, in the foothills and valleys of the Andes.
Echinopsis, like no other cacti, are common in indoor floriculture. They have been cultivated in Europe since 1837. Serious breeding work was carried out with these plants, and today the genus is represented in room culture not only by a multitude of species, of which there are more than 130, but also by a large number of hybrid varieties of various colors.
Read more about the cultivation of Echinopsis below.
In young Echinopsis, the shape is spherical, but over the years they stretch out and become columnar. The plant stem is symmetrical, smooth, shiny, sharp-ribbed, colored in shades of green from light to dark. The roots of Echinopsis are powerful, but shallow and horizontal. Areoles equidistant from each other bear hard spines, which, depending on the species, can be short or reach several centimeters in length. Echinopsis blooms in funnel-shaped flowers up to 30 cm long and up to 15 cm in diameter with a pubescent tube and seven rows of petals. Flowers are formed from areoles in the middle of the stem. Corollas of flowers can be painted in colors from white to pink-purple. The number of flowers depends on the age of the plant and its state of health: an old cactus echinopsis can form up to 25 flowers at the same time. But each flower lives, depending on the air temperature in the room, only from one to three days. Enchinopsis fruits, in which black, smooth, shiny seeds ripen, are ovoid.
Echinopsis care is no more difficult than caring for any other cactus. This plant is distinguished by its unpretentiousness and livable character. And yet you need to know how to care for the echinopsis cactus. These plants require bright light throughout the year, so a southern window sill will do just fine. In summer, the plant can be placed on a balcony or terrace, or it can be taken out into the garden altogether. However, it is undesirable to change the location of Echinopsis at a time when it is building up green mass. By the way, it is also better not to move or change its position relative to the light source when blooming or forming buds of Echinopsis.
Make sure that the temperature in the summer indoors does not drop below 20 ºC, but from mid-autumn, when echinopsis enters the dormant period, you need to gradually lower the temperature until it drops to 9-10 ºC, while the lighting should be - remain bright. Protect the plant from drafts, but regularly ventilate the room in which Echinopsis lives.
During the growing season, that is, from spring to mid-autumn, the substrate in a pot with echinopsis is watered only when it dries up to half the depth. The soil is tested with a thin wooden stick and the moisture level of the substrate is determined by the soil adhered to it. For irrigation, use settled or filtered tap water at room temperature. From mid-autumn to spring, watering should become symbolic, and some growers do not water Echinopsis at all in winter. These cacti do not need spraying to increase the humidity of the air in the room, but from time to time it is worth washing them under the shower with a soft brush to get rid of dust, protecting the substrate in the pot from water before water procedures.
From March, when the plant begins to grow actively, and before the start of autumn rest, Echinopsis should be fed once a month with a solution of a mineral complex for cacti and succulents in the concentration specified in the instructions. From mid-autumn to March, fertilization is stopped.
Echinopsis are transplanted infrequently: once every two or three years, when their roots completely master the space of the pot. Young plants are transplanted more often, but it is not recommended to disturb old echinopsis with a transplant; it is better to change a layer of substrate 5 cm thick in their pot every year.
Echinopsis are grown in a substrate with a neutral pH (pH 6.0). The soil can be purchased at a specialized flower shop, or you can prepare it yourself from two parts of sod land, mixing one part of coarse sand and leafy earth to them and adding half a part of fine gravel to increase the drainage properties of the substrate. In order to protect the roots of the plant from putrefactive processes, a little charcoal should be added to the substrate. It is better to use a wide and shallow container, since the root system of Echinopsis cacti is superficial and grows horizontally.
A decent layer of expanded clay is placed on the bottom of the pot, after which the cactus is carefully transferred from the old pot to a new one with an earthen lump, then the remaining space is filled with a substrate, pressed tightly and watered so that there are no voids around the roots. The first time after transplanting, try to protect the cactus from direct sunlight.
If you have created the necessary conditions for echinopsis and follow the simple rules for caring for this cactus, then as a reward you will receive flowers of amazing beauty that emit a pleasant aroma. Not only flowers are beautiful, but also the buds of Echinopsis. Unfortunately, flowering does not last very long. Sometimes echinopsis do not bloom for a long time, and if this happens to your plant, analyze whether you are doing everything right. Echinopsis needs a cool wintering at a temperature of no lower than 5 and no higher than 10 ºC and a lot of diffused light throughout the year. In addition, it is necessary to remove daughter cacti from it, which rob the mother plant of nutrition and strength that it could spend on flowering.
Echinopsis reproduce both by seed and vegetative means. For generative reproduction, the seeds are soaked in warm water for swelling, after which they are sown in a well-moistened soil mixture of equal parts of leaf land, charcoal and river sand. The crops are covered with glass or foil and germinated at a temperature of 19-20 ºC in the light, remembering to ventilate daily, moisten the drying substrate and remove condensation from the coating as needed. When shoots appear, the glass is removed, and the seedlings are grown and, as soon as they get stronger, they are seated in small separate cups.
In the photo: Blooming echinopsis in the apartment
Echinopsis is vegetatively reproduced by babies that grow on the mother plant, like warts. Sometimes there are a lot of them. Children are separated, slightly dried and seated. However, you should be aware that plants obtained vegetatively bloom less often.
The old plant is recommended to rejuvenate, combining this process with the vegetative propagation of Echinopsis. The top of the cactus is carefully cut off and dried for about two weeks, after which it is rooted in wet sand. And young shoots begin to grow on the trimmed cactus.
Echinopsis are extremely resistant to any diseases and pests. The most serious problem for them is waterlogging of the substrate, from which rot develops on cacti. Cut out the decaying areas with a sharp, sterile instrument and treat the wounds with a fungicide solution. But the most important thing to do so that the cacti do not get sick is to observe the scanty watering regime during the growing season and forget about watering while the plant is at rest.
In the photo: Growing Echinopsis in an apartment
Watering Echinopsis often - the plant will rot, rarely watering - a spider mite can settle on it, which prefers to live in an environment with low humidity. Spider mites feed on plant cell sap, making punctures in their tissues. You can guess the presence of ticks on the plant by the thin cobwebs. You can get rid of a small amount of pests by washing the cactus with soapy water, but before the procedure, you need to protect the substrate from soap getting into it. If this measure does not work, you will have to treat the plant with acaricides, for example, Aktellik or Fitoverm. If you have the choice, opt for a less toxic product and spray outdoors.
Today, mainly hybrid echinopsis is grown on our windowsills, but species are also found in room culture. We will introduce you to the most common species, varieties and hybrids of Echinopsis in home floriculture.
A spherical green plant with 8-14 rounded ribs, reaching a diameter of 5 to 25 cm. The areoles of this plant are absolutely white, the central needle-shaped spines, of which there can be from 3 to 15 pieces, are also light. The flowers are pink or red-pink, up to 22 cm in length, green fruits reach 2 cm in diameter and 4 cm in length.
In the photo: Echinopsis oxigona
It has a ribbed stem of a dark green color. Areoles with fluffy light balls are located on the ribs, from which short subulate spines grow. The flowers of this species are long, up to 25 cm, white or pale pink, sometimes with a dark pink stripe in the center of the petals. The species has the ability to form many children.
In the photo: Echinopsis eyriesii
A plant with a rounded stem at a young age, which gradually lengthens to a cylindrical one. He has 11-12 pronounced ribs with deep grooves and areoles, painted in white, gray or even black. The pale yellow spines have dark tips. Central spines, which can be 3-4 in one areola, reach a length of 3.5 cm, and radial needles in an amount of up to 20 pieces grow up to 2.5 cm.The flowers of this cactus are white, funnel-shaped, up to 10 cm in diameter and up to 25 cm in length.
In the photo: Echinopsis tubiflora (Echinopsis tubiflora)
It has the shape of a flattened ball up to 8 cm in diameter with clearly visible tubercles on the ribs. The areoles of this species are light, from 3 to 10 light or white, spreading and bent back radial spines, reaching a length of one and a half centimeters, emerge from them. The central spine is usually one: up to 2 cm long, light brown with a hooked tip. On the sides of the stem, odorless flowers up to 15 cm long, white or various shades of pink, up to red, open during the day. The fruits are lilac or lilac-green, up to 1.5 cm long and up to 1 cm in diameter.
In the photo: Echinopsis ancistrophora
At a young age, it has a spherical stem, which over time stretches up to 10 cm in height with a diameter of 4 to 6 cm and becomes cylindrical. The stem is dark green, with 14-15 high ribs, on which areoles with brown pubescence are located. Up to 10 lateral spines up to 1 cm long and up to 4 central spines reaching a length of 3 cm emerge from the areoles. This species forms many basal shoots. In summer, bell-shaped flowers up to 8 cm in diameter with a short tube, bristly perianth and yellow-orange petals with pointed tips are formed at the bottom or in the middle of the stem. The fruits of plants of this species are dissected, oval.
In the photo: Echinopsis golden (Echinopsis aurea)
A hybrid cactus with straight or curved dark green stems 50 to 90 cm in height and 5-8 cm in diameter, which branch strongly at the base. Stems are separated by 12-18 ribs with whitish-brown pubescent areoles, from which 9-11 lateral spines up to 4 cm long and 1-2 central spines up to 6 cm long develop. Funnel-shaped flowers from 7 to 10 cm long open only during the day. The color of the flowers ranges from bright yellow to deep red. The fruits are also either yellow or red, up to 3 cm in diameter.
In the photo: Echinopsis huascha (Echinopsis huascha)
A plant with a grayish-green rounded or short-cylindrical stem up to 35 cm in height and up to 12 cm in diameter. On the stem there are 12 to 14 slightly tuberous obtuse ribs. Of the elongated whitish-yellow areoles, 8-10 yellow-brown radial spines up to 2.5 cm long and one central, upwardly curved needle from 5 to 10 cm long grow.On the top of the stems, snow-white flowers up to 20 cm long open. species are round, fleshy, dark red.
In the photo: Echinopsis white-flowered (Echinopsis leucantha)
It has a dark green flattened stem up to 13 cm high, separated by 13-17 sharp ribs with deep grooves and noticeable tubercles. From round areoles from 8 to 10 awl-shaped radial spines up to 1 cm long and from 1 to 4 central spines of the same length, yellow with brown tips, emerge. The flowers are funnel-shaped, slightly curved, with snow-white petals and pinkish tips, up to 15 cm long and up to 8 cm in diameter. The fruits of this species are spherical.
In the photo: Echinopsis mamillosa (Echinopsis mamillosa)
Reaching a height of 15 cm, it also has a spherical stem with 12-15 ribs expanding downward. From areoles with a white edge emerge from 5 to 15 radial yellowish spines up to 2 cm long and from 2 to 5 central needles up to 4 cm long.The flowers are pinkish-white, fragrant, funnel-shaped, up to 15 cm in diameter.
In the photo: Echinopsis multiplex
Or echinopsis semi-naked, or echinopsis almost naked - a small cactus that is suitable for creating phytocompositions. There are almost no thorns on its stem. The flowers are large and white.
In the photo: Echinopsis subdenudata
Originally from Mexico. It has a globular, glossy, dark green stem that becomes barrel-shaped over time. In height and width, this cactus can reach 1 m. In comfortable conditions, it does not form children and does not bush.An adult specimen has up to 40 sharp ribs with densely-seated pubescent areoles, which merge at the apex into yellowish caps. Each areola grows up to 10 golden radial spines up to 4 cm long and up to 4 central ones, reaching a length of 5 cm. Due to the contrast between the dark green color of the stem and golden spines, flower growers call this type "golden barrel" or "golden ball" ... In late spring or early summer, on the top of the stem of Echinopsis Gruzoni, which reached the age of twenty and was distributed in diameter up to 40 cm, single yellow flowers up to 7 cm long and up to 5 cm in diameter with a tomentose-pubescent tube and many lanceolate petals with elongated yellow- brown tips.
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The name of the genus monstera comes from the word "monstrum", which translates as "monster", this is due to the large size of the plant and its frightening appearance. Representatives of this genus are evergreen vines and shrubs. Their thick shoots are climbing, aerial roots are often present. Dark green long-petiolized large leafy plates, leathery to the touch, adorn slots and holes of various shapes and sizes. The inflorescence is a thick cylindrical ear, sterile flowers are located at its base, and bisexual in the upper part.
Monstera is one of the most popular home-cultivated plants. It has been scientifically proven that indoor monstera can ionize indoor air, which is a big plus when growing such a flower.
Biologists know about three hundred species of this plant, but at home it is customary to grow several varieties of campanula: terry, Carpathian, equifolia and Blauranka.
The plant reaches 30 cm in height. Campanula is often grown in hanging pots. This is directly related to the peculiarities of the plant: thin stems hang down and resemble a decorative fountain. The green leaves are partly carved and grow on long cuttings. Campanula is an equal-leaved one strewn with numerous flowers of two shades (blue and white). In common people, this type of plant is usually called "bride and groom".
One of the varieties of Campanula Pozharsky varieties. It differs from all previous species in the large size of leaves and flowers, but the height of the plant does not exceed 20 cm. During the flowering period, Campanula Blauranca attracts attention with its delicate light blue flowers. This variety is ideal for indoor and outdoor cultivation.
This type of plant belongs to hybrids. Terry campanula appeared by crossing the Carpathian and spoon-leaved species. The plant is a small bush covered with double flowers of various shades (on one bush you can see white, blue, and purple flowers). The stems of the terry campanula are thin, bending and almost inconspicuous due to the large number of carved leaves.
This plant pleases not every grower with its blossoming beauty, since it is very picky in care, requires a lot of attention and special living conditions.
Refers to perennial plants. The shape of the leaves of this variety is ovoid-rounded. They are located at the root of the plant. The color of the flowers can be different. Flowering of the Carpathian Campanula begins with the arrival of summer, and lasts no more than three months. For the first time this type of campanula was seen in the open spaces of the Carpathian Mountains.
Side shoots that root in wet sand in spring and summer. The place where the shoot is cut is dried for several days before planting. Seeds sown in spring. The seedlings are kept at temperatures above 20 ° C.
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Ripsalis cactus is easy to grow and does not have any special requirements for keeping conditions.
Water abundantly in spring and summer, but allow the top layer of soil about 2 cm thick to dry out before the next watering. Watering is much less frequent in autumn and winter. It is also helpful to create a slight drought before flowering. For irrigation, use softened water at room temperature.
The soil for growing a houseplant should easily pass water and air, pH not higher than 5.8. A mixture of leaf humus, turf soil with a lot of coarse river sand or perlite to improve drainage and small pieces of charcoal is suitable. Requires a fairly nutritious substrate.
The Ripsalis plant can rot when the air humidity is high and there is insufficient ventilation in the autumn-winter period, as well as when moisture stagnates at the roots. Plants get sunburn when exposed to direct sunlight. Rhipsalis does not bloom when there is a lack of light.
In summer and spring, a temperature range of 18 to 24 ° C is suitable. In winter, do not expose the plant to temperatures below 15 ° C. Rhipsalis does not like a sharp change in temperature.
During the growing season, top dressing should be monthly, in the fall, top dressing is stopped and resumed only in the spring - with the beginning of new growth. For feeding, liquid fertilizers for cacti and succulents with a high potassium content are used.
In summer, when the heat is intense, you may need to spray with water at room temperature. With an increase in air humidity, it is worth taking care of sufficient ventilation so that moisture has time to evaporate from the surface of the plant before dusk.
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Looks great in hanging baskets with long shoots hanging over the edges of the pot.