Cactus

What should be done to make the cactus bloom?

The flowering of cactus is a sign of endurance and stability, and cactus is grown by those who are known for being truly resistant and tireless. This plant is the most interesting house flower that is easy to maintain at home.

Cactus is derived from a Greek word that means prickly or burning plant, and it is a plant from the cactus family (Cactaceae) and the order of cloves, which is often prickly and fleshy; The great diversity of this plant in color, size and shape has made it popular with people with different tastes. This plant belongs to America and today it exists in many hot and dry regions of the world and it is divided into three sub-families: Pereskia, Opuntia and Cerea.

Cactus is a resistant, beautiful and low-maintenance plant that does not require much care; This plant is one of the most popular and diverse houseplants that make your living area fresh and green. This plant never dries up and in the absence of light and water, it turns yellow and colorless. Cactuses are easy to maintain and easy to grow, which is why cactus cultivation is suitable for beginners.

Cactus fruit also has many fans in many countries; Morocco is the largest exporter of cactus fruit. Cactus propagation is done by cuttings, planting seeds, grafting, and grafting, which is the most common method of cactus cuttings and should be propagated in spring and summer. If there are flowers on the cactus when you buy it, make sure that the flowers are natural because some sellers put artificial flowers on it.

Cactus flowers come in various colors such as purple, golden yellow, greenish yellow, red, pink, blue, etc. and they bloom in spring and summer and sometimes even in autumn and winter. The presence of a delicate and beautiful flower on a rough and spiky plant is very attractive, and for this reason, the most important concern of fans of this plant is to plant it. One of the questions that most buyers ask is whether the cactus also flowers or the flowers on this plant are artificial and which types of cacti flower?

In answer to this question, it should be said that all types of cacti, like other trees and plants, give flowers, because they are among flowering plants; But they must reach maturity and be able to flower. In addition to the age of puberty, there are also a number of things that must be prepared, and the flowering of cactus is subject to conditions. In the following, we will examine the conditions that provide the cactus flowers.

Suitable conditions for cactus flowering

1- Cactus hibernation

Another factor that causes flowering is the plant falling asleep during the dormancy period. Most of the cacti do not grow well and do not flower due to the disturbance of the seasonal system and living in high temperature continuously. This plant needs a temperature shock and must feel that winter has come; For this reason, in the winter season, which is the resting season, the plant is kept for 1 to 3 months at a temperature of 5 to 12 degrees Celsius and in a cold environment (according to the desired plant species, the temperature is different), which also has less light.

A dormant plant needs little water; Watering once a month is enough to prevent the plant from dying. During this time, the plant becomes pale and wrinkled, and its leaves turn yellow, which is completely normal, and it is refreshed again with the beginning of the growing season.

2- Cactus fertilization

Plants that do not flower despite having all the conditions, most likely do not have enough nutrients, so it is better to use fertilizers with low nitrogen and high potassium and phosphorus once a month during the growing season. Nitrate fertilizers are not good because they prevent the cactus from flowering and reduce its resistance to disease. Composted vermicompost and rotted sheep manure are the best fertilizers for cactus plants, and if you use fertilizers for houseplants, pour half of the amount listed in the brochure at the bottom of the pot.

3- Soil suitable for cactus

Cactus needs rich soil with proper drainage for growth, health and flowering; The composition of this soil should be such that it dries quickly and does not retain water so that the plant can breathe. Also, the presence of pores in the soil is very important, and for this reason, sand plays an important role in the composition of the soil.

Of course, cactus can grow in soils with different compositions such as stony, clay, sandy, etc., but the combination is 70% sand without soil, 15% peat moss and 15% vermicompost or 2 parts garden soil and one part coarse sand or half A handful of animal manure, half a handful of leaf soil (rotted tree leaves) and two handfuls of sand can be a suitable combination for this plant.

When the soil is dry, it is the best time to water the plant, and the use of pebbles on the surface of the pot keeps moisture. Be careful of contaminated soils that infect the plant with fungal disease and reduce the plant’s strength.

4- The age of the cactus plant

If you want to have a cactus in the apartment that will flower, you should pay attention to the age of the plant when buying, because one of the most important factors for flowering is the maturity of the plant, that is, the ability of the plant to flower. The age of maturity is different in cactus types, and some of them, such as the Mamillaria species, bloom at the age of 2 to 3 years and the Cephalocereus species, or the Old Man cactus, bloom at the age of 50 to 60 years. Plants, like humans, have two types of maturity; Physiological maturity (production of all hormones) and vegetative maturity (increasing the size of the plant to the extent that it gives flowers) that most cacti grow later due to not having a sleeping season, and the vegetative maturity of the plant depends on your care

5- Light required by cactus

During the growing season, the cactus needs to be exposed to plenty of light for 3-4 hours a day; The lack of light causes the plant to not grow well, it becomes narrow and stretched, and it does not flower in spring and summer or its flowering is reduced, also the lack of light causes the cactus to have no thorns. Although this plant loves light, strong sunlight damages it, so it is better to filter it; For example, in summer and when the weather is very hot, put it inside the room and behind the south window.

The length of time that the plant must be exposed to light varies according to the type and age of the plant, but if the diameter of the plant is constant along the stem, it means that it receives enough light. Also, in echino cacti, the constant roundness of the plant means There is enough light. Of course, if there is no natural light, you can also use artificial light for plant growth and keep in mind that cactus needs little light in winter.

6- Watering the cactus plant

Cactus belongs to desert and dry areas and its root is used to absorbing the minimum amount of soil moisture; This plant does not need a lot of water like other houseplants. Abundant water disrupts the hormonal balance of the plant, causes rotting of the stem and roots, causes the growth of fungus and plant disease, moves the plant from the reproductive phase to the vegetative phase, takes away the ability of the plant to flower and causes The plant dies. In general, too much watering is more dangerous than less watering, because in the case of less watering, only the ideal and desirable growth of the plant will be disturbed.

Cactus needs a little water and light during the resting season, and from the fall season, the amount of water the plant needs should be reduced and it needs a small amount of water every month. This plant needs more water during the growing season than during the resting period, regular watering and once a week is a good plan, but according to the type and size of the pot, the ambient temperature and climate, the type of soil, the season you are in, and the planting location. , the irrigation schedule changes. For example, plastic and ceramic pots require less water because they hold water, and large pots hold more moisture.

The best time to irrigate is when the soil surface is completely dry and it is better not to spray water on the plant because the impact may damage the plant. Cactus is not against water and even proper irrigation increases its growth, the water used should have a temperature equal to the temperature of the soil and its pH should be neutral or close to it.

7- Choosing a cactus pot

When buying a pot for a cactus, you should pay attention to its material and size; Clay pots are superior to metal, plastic and glazed pots because of the holes they have for air exchange. The size of the pot is also directly related to the amount of fertilizer and water needed. A large pot is not suitable for a small plant because these pots retain moisture for a longer time and the plant’s roots rot sooner; In a small pot, the roots of the plant twist and stop growing.

The chosen pot should have holes for excess water to escape to prevent root rot and suffocation. To buy a pot, pay attention to the type of cactus; For vertical cactus, it is better to have a deeper container and for round cactus, a pot that is 5 cm wider than the plant is suitable.

It is better to change the pot in spring, when the plant has more energy, and remove the plant by breaking the pot so that the roots are not damaged. This operation should be done when needed because changing the pot too much causes damage to the roots; Sometimes a cactus can stay in a pot for 5 to 10 years. Avoiding direct sunlight and watering are less important than the care after changing the pot.

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