Another representative of the family Cactaceae, the scientific name of the indoor cactus – Prickly pear (Opuntia). Homeland is considered North and South America. The most common habitat – Mexico. It is there that has many varieties of plants (about 300). You can see small, large, beautiful, and even edible prickly pear, the locals are very fond of this cactus, it is even depicted on the Mexican coat of arms.
Unlike most cacti cactus prefers not to heat and moderate air temperature without large fluctuations. Today, you can often see the Prickly Pear, as a beautiful ornamental tree in the garden or park. If cactus growing in the flowerbed or garden, then in the winter it is sure to pick up a plant in the house. But if the weather conditions allow, for example, in the Crimea, the cactus, under the conditions of a warm winter may have called the whole winter, and if I had hit a small cold, the cactus can survive them.
Under natural conditions, the prickly pear can reach large sizes. It blooms a long period, from the spring to the autumn. The flowers are large with a pleasant smell and bright color. After prickly fades, fruits begin to form. In many countries appreciate the berries of the thorny plants because of pleasant taste and a large amount of vitamin C. The locals make wine from the berries, jams and syrups.
The plant is very unpretentious, but in our latitudes are best grown indoors Prickly Pear. If properly care constantly ventilate the room, and the weather conditions are favorable, the adult cactus can bloom at home, but it happens very rarely.
Opuntia – a beautiful but dangerous plant therefore probably not make it all solved. It’s all about the little thorns – glochidia. This is not just a brand-new, and is very similar to small tenacious burs. Even when watering is easy to get hurt, if accidentally touch the plant. Glochidia penetrate deeply and can seriously damage the skin and clothes they are almost impossible to remove. If children are present, it is not advisable to start a prickly pear, even on the balcony, since independence from any kind of dangerous spikes and large and small.
Another negative – rapid growth. In the usual conditions of the prickly pear can reach 2 meters, even in an apartment he did not rise to such an impressive size, but this place needs a lot of cactus. But the fact that on the one hand seems to be a disadvantage in a completely different situation can turn into dignity. In large rooms prickly help create the feeling of comfort and convey the atmosphere of tropical countries. With additional cacti and stones can create a landscape of America.
Cultivation prickly at home
Opuntia – as one of the most popular family of cacti. All them can count more than 200 species. They are subject to the cactus in all climatic zones from Canada to Chile, as they can be found in Australia, the countries, India, the Mediterranean, South Africa, the Canary Islands. Even once the Indians of Mexico ate the fruits of Opuntia, and plant roots was used as a medicine.
In nature, cactus grows huge size, so grow them indoors is almost impossible, except for the finely-hairy prickly pear, which is popular in the culture room. For the normal development of the prickly pear needs plenty of sunlight. Choose a bright room or balcony, which gets a lot of sunlight.
Heat and cold moves quite easily, but in the winter you need to pick up a plant in the house.
Like all plants, prickly pears in the winter need to rest, so you can do without watering and fertilizing. In the warm season you need to be watered as the drying of the soil. As for the fertilizer, it should not be performed more than one time per month. Suitable any fertilizer for cacti. It is important that the soil is easy to pass water and air.
In nature, the plant can bloom canary-yellow or grayish-yellow flowers. In room culture can flourish if the flowers cactus summer bear out. For good plant growth must be a bright spot in the summer, it is best to be in the street. In the winter – cold, not a dark place at a temperature of 5-10 ° C. Watering cactus very carefully to the best, as if you pour a lot of water in it, he can rot in winter it does not need watering.
Fertilize cactus summer once – fertilizer for cacti. From adult cactus stalks take cuttings for propagation, after they dry.
Propagated opuntia can use cuttings and transplant department. Immediately after the removal of the stalk should be dry and root in the sand or soil for cactus. Once growth is not very noticeable, but with the advent of heat begins to actively grow.