Astrophytum (Astrophytum) is attributed by scientists to the cactus family. Its homeland is considered to be the hot and arid regions of the southern United States, as well as Mexico. Astrophytum grows exclusively on stony or sandy soils. The flower got its name from a combination of two Greek words, literally translated as "aster" and "plant". Indeed, if you look at the plant from above, it is easy to see how it and its flower resemble a star with rays-ribs (from 3 to 10 faces) in shape.
Astrophytum, among other types of cacti, is distinguished by a special peculiar beauty. Its stem is spherical and slightly elongated. There are numerous speckled dots on the surface of the stem. Some varieties of astrophytum grow without thorns, while others have thorns, sometimes curved in shape.
Young plants bloom in large yellow flowers with a red center. The flower appears at the very top of the stem. Astrophytum bloom is short - only 2-3 days. After flowering, a seed box is formed. The seeds are brown. After the seeds ripen, the capsule opens with its lobes and looks like a star in appearance.
The homeland of the origin of astrophytum suggests that the cactus needs regular bright lighting. It can also tolerate direct sunlight, but only for a short time. Mainly prefers bright, diffused light. The plant must be taught to hit the rays gradually, especially in the spring, otherwise the cactus can get serious burns.
In summer, astrophytum will feel comfortable at sufficiently high ambient temperatures - up to 28 degrees. Starting in autumn, the temperature is gradually lowered to 12 degrees. In winter, when astrophytum is at rest, the temperature should not be more than 12 degrees.
A distinctive feature of cacti is that they do not need high humidity. Therefore, astrophytum is optimal for growing in apartments and private houses.
Astrophytum is rarely watered in spring and summer. It is necessary to wait until the substrate in the pot is completely dry to the very bottom. Only after that, the astrophytum can be watered using the bottom watering method so that water does not fall on the surface of the plant. The lime contained in the water leads to clogging of the stomata of the plant, due to which its respiration is impaired and the tissues die off.
Astrophytum is watered in the morning when the sun is shining brightly. If it is too hot in the room, then it is worthwhile to wait with watering, since at this time the plant begins a dormant period. In autumn and winter, the cactus is kept in a cool room. At this time, you do not need to water it at all.
For planting astrophytum, you can use a cactus mix purchased from a specialist store. It would be nice to add charcoal and lime chips to it.
In the spring-summer period, astrophytum needs regular feeding about once a month. A special fertilizer for cacti is diluted in water at a dose that is half that indicated in the instructions on the package. In winter and autumn, the plant is dormant, so there is no need to fertilize it.
A cactus needs to be transplanted extremely rarely and only if the root system has grown strongly and completely entangled the entire earthen lump. The pot for the transplant is chosen a little larger. The drainage in the container should be both top and bottom. Expanded clay can be placed at the bottom, and decorated with stones on top. The upper drainage layer will not allow the cactus neck to come into contact with damp ground, which will prevent the plant from rotting.
During transplanting, it is important not to deepen the neck of the plant too much. Otherwise, over time, it will rot from contact with water and the plant will die. Astrophytum is transplanted by the transshipment method, when the old soil is not shaken off from the roots, but the total mass is planted in a new pot. After the plant is placed in a new pot, its first watering can be carried out only after a week in case the roots were disturbed during transplantation. During this time, they will dry out and will not start to rot from contact with water.
For astrophytums, the only way of reproduction is characteristic - with the help of seeds. The seeds are soaked in a light pink solution of potassium permanganate for 7 minutes, and then sown in a pre-prepared substrate, consisting of equal parts of charcoal, river sand and leafy earth. From above, the pot is covered with glass or foil and regularly ventilated and moistened.
They contain a greenhouse at a temperature of about 20 degrees. The first shoots will appear in a few days. It is important not to overmoisten the soil, otherwise small cacti will die.
Astrophytum is susceptible to damage by such pests as mealybug, scale insect, root bug.
Any external unfavorable changes in the plant can speak not of being damaged by pests, but of improper care.
Therefore, when the first signs appear, it is important to adjust the conditions of keeping astrophytum as soon as possible.
Decorated Astrophytum - fast-growing cactus (Astrophytum ornatum)
|Group:||Cacti and succulents|
|Plant height:||30 cm|
|Soil type:||Drained rich soil|
|Lighting:||For sunny places (light-loving)|
|Temperature:||23 deg. Celsius|
|Decorative signs:||Beautifully blooming|
|Irrigation type:||From below|
|Pot diameter:||10.5 cm|
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