Ferocactus belongs to the family Cactaceae. This is a genus of large barrel-shaped cacti, mainly with large spines and small flowers. This genus includes about 30 species that grow in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. Varieties of Ferocactus have a lot in common. Flowers that appear at the top of the stems or near them in the period from May to June can be of different shades of yellow or red, depending on the species.
The flowers are followed by elongated, bright yellow or not quite white fruits that retain dried flowers. Thick, straight, or curved spines can be yellow, gray, pink, bright red, brown or white. The tops of stem cacti are often covered with cream or wheat hair, especially on old plants.
Indoors, these are excellent ornamental indoor plants that look great in pots of any type.
Home care of Ferocactus
These plants do not require special care and, therefore, are an excellent choice as indoor plants for busy people.
Requirements for light
Ferocactus requires exposure to full sun. If you have a houseplant, keep it near the window, which is well lit. Ferocactus is usually grown in the southern direction to prevent sunburn, this behavior gave them the name “cactus compass”. Sometimes you should turn the plant, because when it tilts in the direction of the south, it can roll over. If the plant leans to one side, carefully place it back in the center.
Humidity and maintaining temperature
This cactus usually grows under the walls of a desert canyon, along desert and steep slopes. Thus, when caring for Ferocactus, maintain dryness and low humidity. To protect them from extreme conditions.
Cacti prefer dry soil and sometimes rot in wet conditions. The cactus needs a well-drained mixture that will keep the plant in a healthy state.
You can use small containers or pottery for small ferocactus and large pots for larger varieties. Always remember that the size of the pot should be larger than the size of the root lump, when hiring, a few cm.
Cactus is, like desert plants, need very little watering, because they retain moisture in their core. Among other factors, will affect the needs of the cactus in the water.
In the summer, water the ferocactus once a week. But he doesn’t need a lot of water in the winter when he’s asleep. Water once from December to February. After hibernation, the introduction of a sufficient amount of water can lead to the appearance of a large yellow flower.
Use fertilizers with a high content of phosphorus to care for Ferocactus. Most cacti need nitrates, so you can buy fertilizer for plants containing nitrates in the garden center. Add this fertilizer 3 times a year: in spring, summer and autumn.
Reproduction by shifts
To stimulate the Ferocactus to form shears, take a nail 7 or 10 cm long, heat it over the flame and insert it into the growth point (where the spikes protrude) half the length of the nail, and then remove it.
To remove the displacement, take care of it with tongs with a rubber tip and carefully turn. Wait a few days until the raw ends are dry and hard, then place the baby plant in a coarse, good drainage soil.
Ferocactus is also propagated by seeds. It is necessary to make sure that you have created the appropriate conditions for germination. Keep in a warm place. With proper care, the shoots will begin to germinate within four to six weeks. As soon as the seeds germinate, you can gradually remove the plastic coating from them. When young cacti begin to cramp each other, you should transplant small groups of four to six plants into separate 5 cm pots. But over time, you will have to give each sprout a separate pot.
Pests and problems
Sometimes Ferocactus can be attacked by pests. Sometimes they may be disturbed by scale insects or mealybugs. If you notice any signs of infection, you can treat cacti with a spray intended for pests, insecticidal soap or oil.
The best way to prevent pests is to change the soil regularly and use a good soil mixture. Excessive watering, as you already know, can cause decay, so be especially careful when watering plants.
Watering once a month and maintaining good soil and light conditions are the most important factors in the care of ferrocactus. If you follow these instructions, you will be able to grow a cactus in your home for years and someday even see beautiful flowers and fruits on these plants!