succulent plants originating in South America; they are very similar to the opuntias, but the stems are divided into segments of cylindrical or ovoid shape, while in the opuntias the segments are crushed. In nature, they make up large colonies, expanding on the ground; where the stems touch the ground, they tend to develop roots, which give rise to a new plant. The stem is bright green, smooth, covered with long, very pointed thorns.
In summer, it produces big yellow or red flowers, followed by fleshy, oval, edible fruits. Plant easy to grow, in the central and southern areas of Italy can also find a place in the ground, in the garden.
Exposure and watering
Exposure: plant in a sunny place, fear the shade. They can bear short periods of very intense cold, even a few degrees below zero, but in northern regions are grown as indoor plants, or during the cold seasons are sheltered in cold greenhouses.
Watering: during the warm months, water when the soil is dry; these plants can bear very long periods of drought, even if they are not afraid of the wind.
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I decided to grow an opuntia ficus indica using cuttings. I live in Calabria, where the opuntias grow very well until they get to the point where they are grown.
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Opuntia, Opuntia spinosissima – Cylindropuntia: Other tips
Soil: they are cultivated in a very dry and well drained soil; an ideal soil can be prepared by mixing a part of balanced soil with a part of river sand and a part of lapillus or pozzolana.
Multiplication: by stem cutting; a single article can be detached from the mother plant and placed in a soft and rich soil, very well drained, to promote the root system.
Parasites and diseases: they are very afraid of cochineal, which colonizes the plant very frequently.
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