Lobivia silvestrii – Questions and Answers Greasy plants

Good evening, this spring I bought a Lobivia Silvestrii, despite being in a small vase, is making beautiful red flowers, I want to know from you if I can repot the seen the small size of the vase and the scarcity of land. thank you for your kind answer. Best regards.


Response : Lobivia silvestrii

Dear Gabriella,

Cactuses are often cultivated in very small pots, this because they have a contained rooting apparatus, which does not need big quantities of soil for developing: in the wild, many cacti live among the rocks, in stony or gravelly environments; having at disposal a wide pot is often a deterrent to their development, because, from time to time, a lot of water can easily remain trapped, which can favour the development of rottenness. Therefore, usually, a small pot is perfect for a cacti.

In your case, the lobivia silvestrii (or chamaecereus silvestrii) we are talking about a cactacea native to South America, easy to cultivate, which tends with great ease to grow, that is, close to the main stem, with the passing of the years, many other stems develop, forming a sort of mat; for this reason, its common name in English is cactus peanut, because the lobivia pots resemble a basket of peanuts with the shell.

Usually, on the market, there are some hybrid varieties, crossed with echinopsis, in order to get a greater quantity of flowers, and also more lively and unusual colours. If, however, your lobivia is still in the tiny plastic pot where it was kept in the nursery where it was sown, then perhaps a change of pot could be useful, so as to provide a little more space for future secondary stems, but avoid excesses: choose a pot that has a slightly larger diameter than the current one.

It utilizes a very drained soil, formed by equal parts of universal soil and of gravel or sand, or pozzolana, lapillus, pumice stone; the type of substance utilized for improving the drainage is not so important, the important thing is that the roots are in a crumbly soil, which allows the water to flow freely, and not in those species of rigid, dark and impermeable small bricks which, at times, are seen in the pots of the nurseries.

I remind you that the lobivias resist up to -8°C in winter, provided that their soil is completely dry; therefore, they can be cultivated on the sill, or on the terrace, in a sunny zone, and not exposed to the rains. Keeping these cacti in the cold favours their spring and summer flowering; on the contrary, if we keep our cacti always at home, we risk that, with the passing of the months, they stop blooming, because keeping a plant in a perennial spring is not good for their health.

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