All About Graptoveria Opalina

Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ is a hybrid succulent plant that produces clusters of tight rosettes of smooth, upright, thick leaves of a pale bluish-green color, which, when grown on direct bright light, blush with a soft pink at the tips and the margins of the leaves. This succulent spreads like a small shrub as it grows, reaching a size of up to 8 inches tall and 6 inches wide. In late spring, this plant produces short branches of yellow flowers with an orange center. It has typical characteristics of succulents, from the need for dry soils to resistance to cold climates. Because it is a non-toxic decorative plant, it is safe to have it in homes with pets or small children without any danger.

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Hybrid Succulent


The Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ can be cultivated both in partial shade and in the direct Sun easily. This second option is the best to highlight the pinkish color it can present in its leaves. Interestingly, this coloration on the plates can vary over a broad spectrum depending on the amount of direct light provided. If we keep this plant in the shade, its leaves will take on a powdery bluish-green appearance. This succulent plant is hardy in temperatures up to 30 ° F.

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IG@succulentnative

Irrigation & Watering

The irrigation that this plant requires is relatively scarce, being moderate, approximately every two weeks in the summer, spring, and autumn and more reduced during the winter. This method is to avoid damage due to low temperatures. Some important aspects to consider when watering are that we must allow the soil to dry completely before watering. This plant is very susceptible to water, and to avoid possible damage and infestation and root rot, and kill our plant; we must be careful in the amount of irrigation.

If we have our Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ in a pot, we must allow total drainage of the humidity before watering again. It is also important to avoid spraying the leaves directly since if it is in direct Sun, they could suffer burns, and, if the temperature is shallow, damage by freezing. Being very tolerant in poor soils does not require much fertilization; a little at the beginning of each growing season will be enough to keep it healthy and with strong growth.

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IG@sitiodassuculentas

Cultivation of Opalina

Depending on the cultivation site, be it direct soil or a pot, the soil’s quality that this succulent requires can vary. In natural soil, Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ can withstand lower, sandy, and porous conditions. In contrast, plants of this species grown in pots can survive with a mixture of sandy soil and topsoil. It is essential to mention that, in both cases, the ground must have excellent drainage to prevent diseases in the root of the plant. Suppose it is kept cultivated in direct soil, in those seasons where the temperatures are very low or even hailstorms. In that case, it should be considered to cover it and protect it since Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ is resistant to low temperatures, but only for short periods. In being in a pot, we should only move it inside when these freezing seasons begin.

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IG@zying.uk

Growth of Opalina

If this succulent Opalina is grown in a place with direct bright light, it requires little maintenance; however, if it develops in partial light or shade, it can begin to create long legs and need some extra care. Besides, if grown in the shade, the plant would not count with the particular pink coloration in its leaves; instead, these would only be bluish-green. We must be careful since the major diseases that this plant can present are due to excess water, either by irrigation or by being located in a humid, poorly ventilated, and cold environment. Extra shade, dryness, or heat can also be a problem, so we must be attentive to the signs of any of these cases.
The Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ growth is usually more active and accelerated during cold and winter seasons. Later in the hot and summer seasons, this is a curious characteristic since it is a subtropical succulent. It grows, dispersing well below and around the mother rosette, usually creating numerous suckers in its growing seasons.

Features:-

This succulent plant is easy to propagate using cuttings, seeds, or offsets. To grow it through cuttings, you only need to cut a leaf from the main floor, then, you must let the cutting rest for a few days and place it on a bed, be it direct soil or a pot, but it must have good drainage. Finally, You only have to water the plant when it needs it, and it will begin to grow as a mother rosette as the days go by, and voila, a new Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ would enter the family.

If you want to use seeds, we must make sure that the temperature is warmer. Find a place that we consider suitable, and plant them, only watering when the soil is dry and always making sure that it has good drainage. Depending on the ground and temperature, germination can vary in speed but shouldn’t take more than a few weeks. When germination is ready, the plant will begin to produce small rosette offsets. If we want to propagate it more, we have to cut these offsets. Let them dry for one or two days, and plant them in suitable soil with moderate irrigation.

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IG@suculoverscanal

Conclusion

To Conclude, main way to propagate this plant is through a leaf, although this is a slightly slower process. We need to select a plate and gently tear it off the stem, ensuring that no part of the leaf remains on the branch. We leave it for a day or so and plant it where we want, and it will begin to grow and slowly become a rosette.
When selecting a place to plant it, we must take into account that if we sow it in a pot, we must change it every two years to a larger one until it reaches its maximum size so that its roots have enough space and it continues its growth in a stable and healthy.

If we plant it in direct soil, we should not do this. But we will have to be careful when watering and infestations. A Graptoveria ‘Opalina,’ when well cared for, tends to stay relatively healthy. But sometimes, it is inevitable to attract the attention of some pests, such as aphids and mealybugs; if the plant begins to show signs of these pests’ presence, we must act immediately to eliminate them. All this to help keep it healthy and beautiful in our garden or inside our house.

Artichoke Agave

What is Artichoke Agave?

Artichoke agave is an evergreen perennial succulent. A member of the Asparagaceae family and you can trace its roots from northern Mexico, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. It contains glorious serrated blue-green thick leaves with the tips having wicked barbs. 

artichoke agave
Artichoke agave @Pinterest

Often, it goes by common names like Parry’s agave, Mescal agave, and Artichoke agave. The leaves form a tight rosette which grows over time. The rosette can span 3-4 feet and grow 2-3 feet tall. 

It takes a long to mature. Some may take 10 years to flower, while others might take up to 25 years to blossom. Fortunately, the wait is always worth it. The flowering spikes can grow to 5m or 15ft. 

The stalks can grow up to 12 feet, or 3.67 m in length. When artichoke gave blooms, the rosette dies. But this doesn’t mean it’s the end of its life. It produces basal offsets that grow into new plants. You can leave the basal offsets in place of artichoke or divide it away from the dying plant and plant it elsewhere.

When the flowers are in the bud, the buds are red. However, when the bud opens, the flowers turn bright yellow. The leaves are rigid, thick, smooth, and oblong or oval in shape. These leaves are either blue-grey leaves or evergreen greyish green.

 Agave isn’t considered an invasive plant. It mainly grows in its native settings and can’t be considered invasive outside these areas. Since it takes longer to grow and doesn’t possess tolerance to wet weather or winter hardness, it’s hard to consider it invasive outside its native desert habitat.

How to Plant Artichoke Agave Plant

Artichoke agave grows in warm regions. It’s a smaller agave that you can grow in a container or in-ground. It’s drought-tolerant, hence has medium water needs. For those who might care: Xeriscaping – a drought-tolerant landscape is getting trendy ahead of traditional landscaping.

Once the plant has been established, forget watering it as long as your area receives moderate rainfall. 

 It doesn’t necessarily need fertilizers to thrive. It’s found in warm rocky areas in the wild, like edges of chaparral, grassland, pine, desert scrub areas, juniper woodlands, and oak forests for it to thrive. 

The plant is excellent for city borders, succulent gardens, beds, and borders, rock gardens, Mediterranean gardens, or succulent gardens, as long as those places need coverage. It’s ideal in decorative containers. Additionally, they look amazing when you plant them in a sunny garden or large containers.

Well, before planting it, ensure that the soil is well-drained. If the soil is compact, you will be forced to add grit. To achieve this, you can add gravel, rock, or sand. Make sure to test it to check if the water will drain quickly. For this, you will need to dig a hole, fill it with water and observe it draining. 

If it takes 15 or more, add more grit.

This plant needs full light for it to thrive. However, it can grow in partial shade. It can tolerate dry cold areas and not wet cold areas. Hence, when you live in a cooler climate, plant it indoors and move it inside during winter.

You will need to shelter it from the harsh afternoon sun or reflected heat in hot summer areas. 

If you plant it where foot traffic occurs, it would be best to prune the barbs at the edges of the leaves. You need to remove the sharp spines on the leaf tips, which can be dangerous to pets and humans. The plant attracts hummingbirds, and it’s resistant to deer.

To grow the artichoke from the offsets, you would need a sterile pair of scissors or sharp knives. Remove the offset from the dying planet, and leave it to be callous for a few days before placing it in well-draining soil—constantly water when the soil has dried out completely. 

How To Take Care Of the Plant

After planting artichoke agave, could you wait for a few days before watering it? The best part about the plant is it rarely needs water to grow unless it’s in the hottest seasons. You should place the plant around gravel or non-organic material to prevent weeds from growing around it. And also to keep the soil warm. 

It isn’t bothered by most diseases, but overwatering can promote rotting diseases. When cutting it, use safety glasses and well-covered shoes. Ensure that you also have long pants and gloves.

 As long as you provide plenty of warmth and sunlight and well-draining soil, you shouldn’t encounter any problems with artichoke agave. It’s equally pet resistant. The thick and tough hard to pierce leaves render it less attractive to attacks by agave snout weevil.

Is Artichoke Agave Poisonous?

Agave is neither toxic nor poisonous. For years, it has been used as a source of food and drink. If you take out the agave’s central bud, the cavity you leave fills with a fluid (honey water) called aguamiel.  

 You can use fermented aguamiel to make an alcoholic drink known as pulque. Distilled pulque is used in making mescal or tequila. The heart or the core is what’s is used as food. It’s pretty sweet just before the plant flowers.

 Native Americans discovered a way to trim the leaves of agave and harvest their heart. They would then cook up to four days using a lengthy pit roasting process. 

The agave meat is speculated to be sweet, and it can be closely equated to the test of pineapples, molasses, and sweet potatoes. The meat is also fibrous. You eat it by chewing it and spitting out the tough fibers.

The agave roasted in this manner can also be pounded to form cakes. The cakes are dried and eaten later. 

Does Artichoke Agave Contain Any Benefits?

Agave has a variety of uses. It can be used as soap, food, medicine, soap, and fiber. 

The sisal fiber can be used to make several items, but not limited to carpets, ropes, twines, filters, Fabric, and mattresses. 

Artichoke agave is an excellent plant in any garden. You only need to meet its growth requirements, and you wouldn’t have problems growing it. 

 

Sedum Reflexum

Sedum Reflexum – Everything You Need to Know

Sedum reflexum is also commonly called Sedum rupestre or Jenny’s Stonecrop. It is a cold-hardy perennial succulent that is native to North America. As the succulent grows, it forms a mat shape to use it as a lawn alternative.

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Sedum Reflexum @Pinterest

Jenny’s Stonecrop is a drought-tolerant succulent that can thrive in dry regions. Also, Sedum reflexum is edible and can be used in making salads, even though it slightly tastes like acid.

This article is for you if you want to know more about identifying, growing, and caring for Sedum reflexum succulents.

How to Identify Reflexum Succulents

Sedum reflexum belongs to the Crassulaceae family. It is called a “stonecrop” because it usually grows in stony areas. It is a strong, slightly upright succulent that grows up to 12 inches and produces yellow flowers that are bent in bud.

The leaves of the Sedum reflexum succulents are lush, terete, and with pointed tips. Unlike most succulents, the leaves Sedum reflexum do not form tight clusters in the summer.

Bear in mind that the Sedum reflexum succulents do not bloom in the first year. When they finally bloom, usually during the summer, they will form clusters of yellow flowers. These flowers grow on tall stalks which you may need to prune if they are out of shape.

How to Care for Sedum Reflexum Succulents

You have to consider the following requirements to grow your Sedum reflexum succulents successfully:

Light

Jenny’s Stonecrop can be grown in partial or full sun. For the golden foliage to look its best, you need to grow the plant under direct sunlight.

Soil

Sedum reflexum needs to be planted in well-draining soil with a pH of 6.0 – 7.0 (mildly acidic to neutral). You can plant Jenny’s Stonecrop in gravelly or sandy soils, even if they are not that packed with vital nutrients.

Water

After planting the Sedum reflexum succulent, you need to water it. Once it matures, it becomes resistant to drought. However, your plant can die if the soil is waterlogged or contains heavy clay.

If you grow Jenny’s Stonecrops in a pot, you might need to water them more frequently than if they were planted in the ground.

Temperature and Humidity

Sedum reflexum succulents can be grown in the USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 3 to 9. This means that it can survive at a temperature of – 30 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

While this plant can withstand heat to a considerable extent, you should move it indoors during a heatwave. Also, Sedum reflexum plant can tolerate high humidity.

Fertilizer

Jenny’s Stonecrops do not need fertilizers. If the nutrients are not adequate for the plant to grow, consider using lean soil or compost. Using fertilizers for Sedum reflexum will make it stretch and grow out of proportion.

Pruning

If your Jenny’s Jenny’s Stonecrops are growing too big, you can prune them to stay in shape. Use hand pruners to trim off the stems growing out of proportion. Also, get rid of any dead material you notice on the plant.

The only time of the year you should not prune your Sedum reflexum is when the temperature is too high or too low.

Propagating Reflexum Succulents

There are three ways of propagating Sedum reflexum succulents: tip cutting, stem cutting, and seed propagation. Let us take a closer look at them:

Propagating from Tip Cutting

Propagating from tip cutting is one of the easiest ways of propagating Sedum reflexum succulents. This propagation technique involves taking the tip of a healthy leaf and sticking half of the tip in the well-draining soil. If you notice a tug in the soil after three or four weeks, that is a sign that the tip cutting is developing roots, which will become more evident in the coming days.

Propagating from Stem Cutting

To propagate Sedum reflexum succulents by stem cuttings, cut off a stem from a parent plant and plant it in the ground or a succulent pot with well-draining soil.

The best time to propagate by stem cuttings is during the spring when the plant just starts growing.

In three weeks, you will notice new tender roots spring up from the cuttings. Water the roots once a week until they mature.

Seed Propagation

To propagate Sedum reflexum from seeds, bury the seeds in moist soil and keep the pot in an environment with a temperature of 80 – 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

The downside of propagating Jenny’s Stonecrop from seeds is that seeds take a while to germinate. Also, some hybrid varieties of Sedum reflexum cannot be grown from seeds because they contain different genetic materials and the outcome is unpredictable.

Sedum Reflexum Pest Problems

Sedum reflexum succulents are usually attacked by bacteria, snails and slug if grown in a damp soil. Similarly, overwatering invites scale insects, aphids, and mealybugs to your succulents.

If you do not want to experience any trouble with insects and pests, do not overwater your Sedum reflexum succulents. Also, provide a well-draining soil and adequate light for the plant.

To know if your Jenny’s Stonecrops are infested by insects, examine the plant for any trace of a honey-like substance. Also, check if the leaves of the plants are wrinkled and shriveled.

If you notice any of these signs, you can get rid of the pest by spraying isopropyl alcohol solution on the succulents. When spraying this solution, be very careful so that you do not damage the succulents’ waxy coating.

You can also use insecticidal soap to eliminate mealybugs and aphids. But bear in mind that the outer layer of the succulents can be washed away with insecticidal soaps. So, ensure you test the soap on a small part of your plant and see how it reacts before spraying the entire plant.

If you need a safer method of getting rid of insects, use a natural organic insecticide like pyrethroid.

The Ultimate Care Guide to Pachypodium lamerei

Pachypodium lamerei is also known as Madagascar Palm. Although it is called a “palm” and looks like a pineapple, it is actually succulent.

While Pachypodium lamerei is not exactly the most popular or attractive succulent you can find in a nursery, it is a perfect choice for anyone looking to grow an eye-catching indoor succulent.

This article will guide caring for and propagating your Madagascar Palm without any hassle.

pachypodium lamerei
Photo by @kaktucactu

Description

Pachypodium lamerei belongs to the Pachypodium family, and it is endemic to Madagascar. This succulent has thick swollen stems that help to conserve water and provide stability. The stems grow upwards, just like the leaves.

All parts of the Madagascar Palm succulent have toxic latex sap. But, thanks to the rigid hooked spines that surround the plant, pets will not like to go near it.

If you grow Pachypodium lamerei in its native habitat, the stems can grow as high as 4 feet and as wide as 24 inches. If you want this succulent to produce flowers, it is recommended that you do not grow it indoors. The star-shaped flowers, which last for just a few weeks, are white and have an attractive fragrance.

Caring for Pachypodium Lamerei Succulents

Light and Location

Your Pachypodium lamerei can grow up to 4 feet if planted in the right environment. Allow the plant to take in the morning and evening sun so it does not stretch out and become leggy.

But ensure you do not expose your Madagascar Palms to direct sunlight in a rather drastic manner. At first, you can expose the plant to two or three hours of sunlight daily. As the plant gets accustomed to full sun, you can increase the light intake to four or five hours.

Pachypodium lamerei succulents will produce less chlorophyll as they take in more sunlight, and that will reduce the possibility of getting sun-scorched. To prevent sunburn, ensure the succulent is well hydrated and gets at least four hours of sunlight every day.

Water

The best way to water Pachypodium lamerei is to wait until the soil is dry before resuming watering. If you water when the soil is wet, you risk destroying the roots.

In the winter and autumn, reduce your watering frequency because the succulent will be dormant during that period.

If your Madagascar Palms have shriveled stems and yellow leaves, it means you have to increase your watering rate. If you live in a hot and dry area, you should consider watering more often because the soil will dry out faster.

While trying to avoid under-watering, do not take the risk of overwatering. When the stems of your Madagascar Palms look weak, and growth is stunted for a long time, know that you are overwatering the plants. You should consider following a rigid watering schedule so you do not under-water or overwater the Pachypodium lamerei plant.

Fertilizer

Although it is not necessary, you can apply fertilizers once in two months when the Pachypodium lamerei is actively growing. In the winter, when the succulent is dormant, apply the fertilizer only once in three months.

While just about any houseplant fertilizer works well for this succulent, you should opt for a “Cactus“ labeled fertilizer. This type of fertilizer is packed with all the vital nutrients Pachypodium lamerei needs to grow.

Repotting

While Pachypodium lamerei grows big, it does not grow that fast, so you may not need to transplant it until after three years of planting. Ensure the new pot you are moving the succulent to is bigger and with better drainage.

After repotting, you will need to water the plant daily to prevent problems like transplant shock. If you live in a somewhat dark area, you should consider adding more perlite and grit to the new potting mix to enable the soil to dry faster.

Pruning and Maintenance

If you notice any dying or yellow leaves on your Madagascar Palm, remove them. A sterilized knife is great for cutting off damaged parts of the succulent to prevent the spread of fungi and bacteria.

But be careful not to cut off the yellow tissues when cutting off damaged parts of the Madagascar Palm.

If the flowers of the plant are growing out of proportion, trim them as you deem fit.

How to Propagate Pachypodium Lamerei Plant

You can propagate Pachypodium lamerei in two ways: stem cuttings and seeds.

Seed Propagation

Propagating your Madagascar Palm from seeds is just as easy as propagating from stem cuttings. To propagate from seed, ensure you use a potting mix with the label “Cactus and Succulent.” You can also use compost mixed with perlite and sand.

The seeds should be at least 1cm deep in the soil. The “Cactus and Succulent” potting mix has good drainage, so the soil will be moderately moist to spur seed germination.

The best location for propagating Madagascar Palm via seeds is an environment with a temperature that is between 70 – 77 degrees Fahrenheit. You can place a translucent cloth over the pot to create a stable growing environment.

Everything being equal, the seeds should germinate in three to eight weeks. You can take off the cloth when the seedlings have produced about five leaves.

Stem Cuttings

Use stems that are about four inches long to propagate Pachypodium lamerei from stem cuttings since they are easier to form roots.

Use a sterilized pair of scissors to cut off the stems from the base and dip them into a rooting hormone to fast-track the propagation process. The stem cuttings of your Madagascar Palm will develop roots in about three to seven weeks, depending on the quality of the cuttings and environmental conditions.

Just like in seed propagation, use a specially formulated “Cactus and Succulent” potting mix and a pot with large drainage holes to prevent fungi diseases like blackleg.

The soil should be moderately moist, and the temperature should be about 66 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the top layer of the soil to dry out before you water again.

If the leaves are firm and green, as the roots develop, those are signs that your stem cuttings propagation is successful. After about four weeks, you can transplant the succulents to a bigger pot and care for them like mature succulents.

Common Problems with Pachypodium Lamerei

Some of the problems your Pachypodium lamerei may face include:

Root Rot

This problem arises from overwatering. The roots of your Madagascar Palms will start to rot, if the soil becomes oversaturated due to overwatering in the winter. If only a small part of the root is affected, you can trim it off and wait for new parts to grow.

If all the roots of the succulent are damaged, the only thing you can do is to cut off the dead roots and place the plant in a moist, compost soil and nurture it like a mature succulent. In three or four weeks, new roots will emerge from the base of the plant.

Leaf Shedding

The leaves of the Pachypodium lamerei tend to fall off during the summer and winter. As the plant ages, the older leaves at the bottom, which are already weak, will fall off, and fresh leaves will emerge in a few weeks.

During the winter, when the Madagascar Palm is usually dormant, leaves falling off indicates that growth is halted. Do not water the plant until growth resumes in the spring and new leaves appear.

Pest Attack

If you are growing your Madagascar Palm outdoors, be on the lookout for pests like mealybugs, thrips, scales, and spider mites. If these pests are not detected early, they can destroy your plant beyond remediation.

The best way to eliminate these pests is by using organic solutions like neem oil, baking soda, and insecticidal soaps.

Toxicity

Pachypodium lamerei is toxic, and if eaten by pets or humans, loss of appetite and vomiting may occur. The sharp spines and sap of the plant can lead to skin irritation and dermatitis, so you should put on a pair of gloves when handling the plant.

Also, consider seeking medical help if you consumed the Madagascar Palm in large quantities.

Cephalocereus Senilis

Cephalocereus senilis is an endangered cactus from Mexico. It is columnar in size that rarely can branch out, with prolonged growth. The cactus grows only about 4 inches per year. It reaches 3 feet in height raised in the home, and up to 40 feet if wild. They have spines in the form of gray hair that serves to protect them from the cold. Because of their curious appearance, they are called “Old Man’s Head.”. They produce large white flowers. These flowers only bloom at night, in mid-spring or early summer when the cactus is about ten years old. To properly develop their spines in the form of hair, the cactus should be exposed to sunlight. When they are young, Cephalocereus senilis does not withstand temperatures below 50ºF. When they are adults, they can stand even 40ºF.

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A picture of Cephalocereus Senilis @floratopia

This species of cactus can live for more than a century. Although this cactus presents its characteristic white hair from the first moment, it is still a prickly cactus. Its spines are yellow and are born just before its coat of fur. It is not recommended to touch them without caution.

Irrigation

The cactus can be grown both, indoors and outdoors. However, it is more common to see it out thanks to its need for abundant sunlight to grow and develop its hair optimally. When produced in a pot, it is advisable to fill it with a light substrate with good drainage; the pumice is an ideal option. But if you are one of those who like to prepare your substrate with a little fine gravel and black peat you can make an excellent substrate for your Cephalocereus senilis. If we want to plant it in our garden, the soil must be equally light. It must not accumulate waterlogging since the Old Man’s Head cactus will not be able to withstand a flood. To take the appropriate precautionary measures, you can dig the hole to plant it and fill it with a little substrate to ensure better soil drainage.

Regardless of the type of crop that we want to give our Cephalocereus senilis, we must consider that water drainage is the most crucial factor. No water must remain. We can use some other materials so that our substrate is safe. And it has adequate drainage which is coarse sand or washed river sand. Which are quite mineral and are not compact since they can rot at the root quickly.

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Image: IG@liliacacti_hossein_h

Weather Conditions

The solar explosion is essential for the “Old Man’s Head,” so it should ideally be outside. It would be best if you gave it sunlight, preferably direct sunlight, for long periods. If you are not used to directing exposure, it is best to acclimatize it little by little to avoid damage from burns. The importance of this intense and prolonged exposure is its characteristic hair. These hairs protect our cactus against harmful rays. Besides, the direct Sun helps them grow faster and more robust. The cultivation in totally shaded places can result in partial or even total paralysis in the growth of our Cephalocereus senilis.    

Despite being a cactus and needing direct and prolonged sunlight, the ideal temperature of the “Old Man’s Head” is not very high; it is around 59ºF, being able to withstand interior temperatures of up to 68ºF without significant problem. When the cold and winter seasons arrive, it would be convenient to keep it in a fresh and dry part inside the house. There are adult specimens in the wild capable of facing 32ºF during these freezing times, depending on their age and size. The cactus should not be exposed to such low temperatures or frost, during the first years.

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Image: IG@cheyennebotanic

Watering

Cephalocereus senilis is a too delicate specimen when it comes to irrigation. Its base is susceptible and prone to rotting if it is watered directly or remains wet for a long time. It does not withstand even high humidity for long periods. Its waterings must be highly moderate and sporadic. It is vital for our cactus that we hope that the earth is parched before thinking about watering it again. The frequency of irrigation will not be the same during the winter, being that in summer we watered little; in winter, it should receive almost no water. This plant should be moistened when the soil is arid, and even then, it is advisable to allow about two days to pass. The curious thing about these cacti is that they are also somewhat susceptible to drought when they are young. If we have them in a pot, we must be cautious in the summertime. To prevent it from dehydrating we must water the soil as soon as it is scorched.

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IG@grancactus

Fertilizing

The spring and early summer seasons are ideal for fertilizing our Cephalocereus senilis. We should provide him with a mineral fertilizer rich in lime or a standard cactus fertilizer to grow his characteristic “white hairs.” Still, it is essential to be careful not to overdose. Flowering occurs in older cacti with more than 15 years of age and usually occurs only outdoors; it is almost impossible to flow in indoor specimens successfully. Its flowers arise from a very hairy body developed on the stem’s sides; they are tubular flowers with red, white, and pinkish pigmentation. These flowers usually fully bloom at night.

Cephalocereus senilis can be easily propagated from seed. It is preferable to do this during spring or summer. We must place these in trays with a cactus substrate. Keep them in a bright area with enough indirect light and water so that the soil remains moist. If everything goes well, we should have germinated seeds between ten and fifteen days after planting them. The “Old Man’s Head” cactus needs to be transplanted every two to three years. During the spring, into a larger container to provide it with a renewed space to grow.

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Image: IG@martynurquijo

Risks

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Image: Cephalocereus senilis Risk of Rot

The most significant risks of Cephalocereus senilis are excess water, which can rot the plant efficiently and quickly, and pests of both woolly mealybugs or fungi. Some of these pests are often difficult to detect, thanks to the fact that the “white hairs” cover its stem completely, making it almost impossible to see it with the naked eye; even the thorns are difficult to notice. This feature means we must be vigilant, especially in the summer when these pests usually invade our cactus.