Cultivating an ariocarpus
The ariocarpus are among the most difficult cacti to cultivate, first of all because to see a plant grow a few inches, you need to have the patience to wait a long time, and then because they suffer a lot when they are subjected to incorrect cultivation treatments, and it often happens that they die suddenly, from one day to the next.
If we add that, the very slow development, makes them very expensive plants, we can well understand that it is a plant recommended only to connoisseurs of the genus.
In nature they develop between the rocks, so to grow them at their best we will have to produce a soil rich in gravel, pumice stone, lapillus, to which we will add a small amount of garden soil, even that commonly found in the aiole. Very important is the treatment to which we will submit the large taproot: it is essential that around it the soil is very well drained.
For this reason it is advisable to place around the taproot a soil even richer in gravel, or even just gravel, that allows water to flow away quickly from the surface of the taproot.
To be able to accommodate these plants is good to have a large and deep pot, so that the root system is contained comfortably, and large enough to contain the plant for many years, the ariocarpus in fact do not like repotting, and even minor damage caused to the root system can lead to the death of the plant.
These plants are grown in full sun, in a well-lit and ventilated area; in summer, during the hottest days, it is best to shade the plants slightly, as the soil contained in the pots could become too hot. In winter, the plants should be kept in a bright place, with minimum temperatures above 5°C.
Watering is provided only when the soil has been dry for a few days, then every 2-3 days in summer, once a week in spring and autumn; during the winter watering should be avoided, so as not to encourage the onset of rottenness.
During the periods when it is appropriate to water, seen that the cultivation soil is quite drained, rather than supplying water above the pot, it is convenient to immerse the container for some minutes in a bowl containing water, drain it, and put it back in its place.
We always avoid keeping these plants at home throughout the year, because a winter spent at 20 ° C causes the absence of blooms, and over time the deterioration of the plant.
Ariocarpus are propagated by seed.
The small dark seeds are placed on the surface of a humid sowing bed, formed only by fine washed river sand; the young plants are to be kept in a luminous place, but sheltered from the direct sunlight, to which they are to be gradually accustomed and only when they will be of acceptable size.
In nature, the seeds of ariocarpus fall between the rocks in autumn, therefore, they usually remain for long time in shaded conditions, and with regular watering due to the condensation of the water, which the strong temperature ranges present in the arid zones, render abundant.
These plants may be propagated also by cutting of tubercle: a tubercle is to be taken from the mother plant, and buried in washed river sand, which must remain quite humid, and in a semi-shaded place, till rooting; later on, the cutting is to be treated as an adult plant.
Cuttings of ariocarpus are hardly found on the market, and it is equally difficult to find a hobbyist so kind as to give us a piece of his ariocarpus, as the plants develop very slowly, and in addition to this the possibility that a plant will perish and die because of the removal of the cuttings are very high.
Ariocarp: A passion for succulent plants
There are many lovers of succulent plants, perhaps attracted by the fact that these plants sometimes look ugly, or particular, or flashy, produce in summer incredible blooms, which make them very attractive, even the fact that they develop in arid and semi-arid places makes them attractive, as they show us every day the adaptability of living beings, even in conditions that seem totally unfavorable to life.
There are tens of thousands of species of succulent plants, and thousands are the cacti, between species and varieties, unfortunately often in nurseries happen to find succulent plants in mix, completely devoid of further explanation on needs, places of origin and botanical names. It is therefore essential to have a good source of photographs, where you can recognize the small plant just bought at the supermarket, under penalty of the death of the same in a few months, or even a few days.
The belief shared by many, especially by those not fond of the genus, is that the succulent plants live only in the desert, and in the widespread imagination, the desert is the Sahara, with its daily temperatures of many degrees above zero, the sand, the wind, the sun.
Actually, there are succulent plants all over the world, from the sempervivum aracnoideum, living between the rocks of the Alps, up to the ariocarpus, living in the semi-arid zones of the mountains of Mexico.
What these plants have in common is certainly their adaptation to live even if they are subjected to several months of drought; but even here the widespread belief is quite bizarre: many people believe that succulent plants can live constantly without water.
Because they store water in their tissues.
Yes, of course, succulent plants are able to store large amounts of water, to use it during the dry months, but to store it must first take it somewhere, so avoid leaving your succulent on the furniture in the dark in the living room without watering: they look good in a bright area, and during the summer water them when the ground is dry.
And if you want to see your cacti bloom, in winter leave them dry and cold.
- Ariocarpus is a succulent native to the regions of Mexico and includes about ten species of specimens very par
visits : ariocarpus