Lobivia is a favorite office cactus
Cacti are an interesting group of plants. Due to the natural characteristics of places of origin, they formed an unusual appearance of vegetative organs and other adaptations to harsh living conditions.
Homeland of unusual plants are the high mountain slopes of the Andes (2000-4000 m above sea level) of Bolivia, Peru, northern Argentina. An evolutionarily young family, characterized by variability and species contrasts. Formed under environmental conditions with sharp changes in temperature and humidity on alluvial nutrient soils well drained by rock fragments.
Lobivia or echinopsis?
Amateur gardeners call lobivia in home use in different ways. Many consider the name of the genus “echinopsis" to be correct (in Greek it is similar to a hedgehog). Indeed, today lobivia and its varieties in the official taxonomy of plants are classified as the genus Echinopsis.
Karl Linnaeus was the first to describe and isolate small spiny plants with round, cylindrical, columnar stems into a separate subspecies and named it “Lobivia” (from the anagram of Bolivia, the main place of origin). Later, some botanists proposed to separate the subspecies into a separate genus “Lobivia”.
It is believed that the genus Lobivia, having much in common with the genus Echinopsis, has certain differences:
- he is evolutionarily younger than the genus Echinopsis, as evidenced by high adaptive properties to the environment and easy hybridization of species and varieties;
- the external structure and habitus of Lobivia is smaller than Echinopsis, but its representatives have more voluminous areoles and larger needles. They also differ in the size of the flowers, their color gamut, multi-lobes and a variety of shades of stems - from gray-greenish, saturated green to brown.
However, there is still no clear boundary between the division of labor. Therefore, the main representative of the genus with equal success is called Lobivia or Echinopsis. For example, Lobivia Sylvester has another more common name Chametereus Sylvester. Sometimes this flower is called Echinopsis chamecereus.
Biological Features of Lobivia
The main biological feature of the genus is an incredible fitness for self-preservation. Typical representatives of the genus with a round, spherical, elongated cylindrical stem, adapted for future water accumulation. The height of the plants is 2-50 cm with a diameter of 3-15 cm. The stems are ribbed, small tubercles are visible under the areoles. The color of the stems varies from dark to gray-green shades, covered with straight or originally curved thorns. Root, rod or repetitive, storage, the type of which mainly depends on the nutrient layer of the soil.
The decorative qualities of the genus are determined mainly by the size and color (plain or melange) of flowers from white to bright crimson and pink-purple hues. They are located in the middle part of the stem on areoles. Funnel-shaped flowers 3-15 cm long and 4-12 cm in diameter on long (sometimes 20-30 cm) hairy peduncles are located in a group around the stem or as separate lateral flowers. From the middle flowers, stamens hang picturesquely on long shiny threads.
The life span of a flower is 2-4 days. Bloom from May to August. Fruits in the form of boxes of 1.0-1.5 cm green or red. Today, collections of the Lobivia genus have replenished with hybrids with variegated flowers and stems, decorated with fancy intertwined thorns. The exotics bred by breeders become a true decoration not only of apartments, but also a favorite flower of offices.
Requirements for the growing conditions of lobivia
The harsh conditions of the Alpine Andes determined the attitude of lobivia to the environment.
Plants are photophilous. In summer, you need bright lighting, with a slight shade in direct sunlight.
Need fluctuations in night and day temperatures. They withstand air temperature during the active period of life within +25 .. +35 ° C. Bloom profusely after low winter air temperatures +8 .. +12 ° C.
Lobivia develops well in the conditions of slightly acidic soils (pH = 5.6), nutritious, permeable with good aeration.
Lobivia does not tolerate flooding, watering needs moderate. Abundant watering during flowering, but without stagnation of water, is permissible. In winter, plants are not watered. With waterlogging in combination with cold, rotting of the root system develops.
Transplantation is carried out only if necessary, providing the possibility of natural growth of plants with the formation of colonies in the form of dense pillows.
Growing lobivia in room culture
When grown at home, lobivia is placed on the sunny side with adequate lighting. The purchased plant needs to be transplanted into nutritious soil. Given the size of lobivia, you can breed a miniature garden of different varieties and hybrids on the window with a wide windowsill.
Landing and transplanting lobivia
The container for a miniature garden should be wide 25-30 cm, with sufficient area for the growth of lateral children. The depth of the capacity is at least 10-15 cm. Under a single plant, the capacity exceeds the diameter of the previous one by 1 cm.
Soil soil can be bought in the store (cactus soil) or prepare the soil mixture yourself. The composition includes 3 parts of leaf humus, 4 parts of sod land, 3 parts of gravel or coarse sand, 1-2 parts of peat. 5-10 g of nitrophoska per kg of mixture are added to the mixture and mixed thoroughly.
At least 2-5 cm drainage is laid on the bottom of the tank, a part of the soil mixture is poured. Release the cactus from the pot. Inspect the roots and remove the sick, rotten. The soil lump is destroyed only in plants with a diseased root system.
The prepared plant along with a lump of soil (for less damage to the roots) is planted in a permanent place. When planting, you can not bury the cactus stem in the soil. The root neck of the plant should be at ground level (even slightly higher). The soil mixture must be dry. It is better to cover the lower part of the stem with the upper drainage, which will simultaneously fix the plant in an upright position.
After transplanting, the cactus should not be watered for 4-10 days. If transshipment has been carried out, then it can be watered at a moderate rate.
A freshly planted plant should not be exposed to the bright sun.
Planting and transplanting can be carried out at any time of the year, but during winter operation, the first watering is carried out in the spring.
Watering plants is carried out only during the period of active growth, abundantly watered during flowering. Water for irrigation should be warm, free of chlorine and calcium. In hot, dry weather, small plants with a small amount of soil mixture need to be watered daily in the morning, so that in the evening the soil has dried out, then the roots will not rot from excessive moisture. Water must be removed from the sump.
In the spring-summer period, you can spray flowers, but it is better to simply sweep away the dust with a brush and arrange a shower, covering the soil under the film with a film.
In winter, cacti are in a dormant phase and do not need watering. The temperature in the room should be reduced to +8 .. +10 ° С. If the soil is too dry (the pot rings when tapped), then once a month it can be slightly moistened with slightly acidified water. Fleshy instances of lobivia hibernate without watering.
In spring, lobivia is returned to warm, lighted rooms and the first moderate watering in March with warm water is carried out. The next watering is carried out when flower buds appear and then after 4-5 days, checking the soil moisture. Earlier watering pauses the development of flowers.
In early summer, cacti begin to bloom their beautiful flowers. Lobivia is a day blooming cactus that lasts 2-4 days. During this period, the flowers should have enough moisture (without excess water). After flowering, the amount and rate of watering gradually decrease. The plant rests until mid-August. Then, watering is resumed, gradually reducing by mid-October. In the third decade of October, the plant retires until March.
Top dressing is carried out in the active period of vegetation (March-September) with special fertilizers for cacti once every 2-3 weeks. Miniature cacti feed 1/2 of the recommended dose. It is best to combine top dressing with watering. Large cacti are sometimes fed with diluted solutions of ammonium nitrate (1 g / l of water) or bird droppings (filtered infusion of a teaspoon per 1 l of water).
Propagation of Lobivia
Lobivia is propagated by seeds, vaccinations and vegetatively offspring children. The simplest reproduction by lateral children. They are separated during transplantation, left to wither for 4-5 days and planted in pots.
If desired, you can try reproduction by vaccination in stock. In a young non-lignified rootstock, a stem is cut (do not chew) with a sharp knife with a disinfected blade, leaving the lower part of the required length. A thin strip is cut off from the cut-off part of the rootstock in one motion and imposed on the exposed part of the rootstock so that the cut does not dry out. Cut off the top of the scion and, removing the safety strip from the stock, combine both halves (stock with scion).
Before combining, round the sharp edges of the slices in a circle so that they fit snugly against each other and do not bend over time. For stability, the stock is fixed in the soil with a peg. The combination is carried out so that the centers of the scion and the stock are exactly along the conductive beams of at least one side. With a careful circular motion they press (screw in) the scion into the stock. To prevent air bubbles between them. Rubber rings tightly fasten crosswise the scion with the stock along with a pot.
As a rule, the stock is wider than the scion. After combination, it is covered with sulfur or carbon powder after combination. The vaccine is placed in a greenhouse. Do not water until the slice dries. After that, raise the air temperature to optimal (+25 ° C) and begin to water. Watering is carried out carefully so that drops of water do not fall into the place of vaccination. A dense bandage-bond is not removed for 1-2 weeks, during which intergrowth should occur.
If the cut-off site has dried up, the scion has released roots, has faded somewhat, which means that the vaccination has failed and everything must be started all over again. There are other vaccination methods, split and wedge.
Exotics in the apartment and office
Lobivia refers to stunted cacti. Their miniature forms start from 2 cm in height. So, in Lobivia Arachnakant the stem does not exceed 4 cm in diameter. It is small tuberous, covered with thin spines-spiders, grayish-green is unattractive. The apotheosis of beauty falls on the flowering period. Huge bright flowers completely hide the unattractive stem.
Magnificent in the miniature cactus gardens are the overgrown thick pillows of Lobivia Sylvester. Abundantly flowering plants attract their unusually large flowers. Please note! Sylvester Lobivia blooms profusely only after a cold winter.
Separate bright spots of large flowers of bright raspberry, bright pink, red golden yellow flowers stand out in the offices of Lobivia Chrysantha, Tigel, Bakeberg, Schreiter, Golden yellow and others.
In a number of beautiful solitary exotics, it should be noted. An attractive plant with a stem of 5-6 cm thick, bluish-gray-green in color. The ribs of the stem are decorated with 10-20 spiny brown areoles of up to 5 cm in length. Blooms with red funnel-shaped flowers 6-8 cm in diameter.
Pests and diseases of lobivia
Lobivia is often affected by a spider mite, false shields, scale insects and mealybug. For indoor plants, you can not use chemicals. Currently, for such plants, biologics based on strains of bacteria and fungi that are harmless to humans are effective.
In specialized stores you can purchase and use, according to the recommendations indicated on the packaging, bipreparations "Golden Spark, Basamil, Akarin and others. Biological products Alirin-B + Gamair, Fitosporin, Integral are effective against root rot.