In the tropical regions of America, amazing cacti grow with long shoots of various shapes that can be found on trees or stones.
Their flowers are even more colorful and will delight fans of the dark time of the day. From the beauty of flowering, the genus of cacti acquired its name Selenicereus in honor of the Greek goddess of the moon Selene.
Round, ribbed or belt-like shoots, reaching up to several meters in nature, are decorative, the color of which varies from juicy green to bluish, sometimes with a red tint on young shoots.
The flowers of these cacti, which are formed on the sides of the stem from areoles, are no less decorative. They bloom at night and bloom in some species for a day, in others for several nights.
But they all have a tubular shape, large, reaching a diameter of up to 30 cm, surrounded on the outside by reddish bristles, and white or cream petals are formed inside.
Most often, Selenicereus flowers exude a pleasant aroma. By this, they attract bats, which pollinate the plant during the night life of its flowers. Selenicereus fruits contain a large number of seeds, they themselves are fleshy, red in color.
In the culture of European horticulture, one of the first cultivated cacti of the genus Selenicereus grandiflorus (Selenicereus grandiflorus) is found.
Its stems are less decorative, long, covered with numerous aerial roots. But the flowers that are the reason for the cultivation of this species, large, white, blooming one night, have a strong jasmine-vanilla aroma.
Lighting and temperature
Light cactus prefers bright and diffused. Direct sunlight with prolonged exposure can cause burns to the stem.
Temperature indicators for selenicereus can be at around + 24 + 28 °.
It must be remembered that in the period from November to the beginning of March, Selenicereus will have a period of rest. At this time, the temperature regime must be kept in the range of +12 +15 °C.
Humidity and watering
Humidity for selenicereus matters. And for these cacti, an important condition is to keep the soil in a sufficiently moist state. It is better to spray the plant once again than to fill it with water. A humidity level of 60% will be sufficient for the plant.
Before planting selenicereus in your garden, it is important to arrange good drainage for it in a new pot. This will protect sensitive roots from waterlogging and allow them to breathe.
Selenicereus should be watered regularly and moderately. Water for irrigation is suitable settled, soft, room temperature.
Soil and fertilizer
These cacti have thin and long stems that often branch and produce many aerial roots.
This feature of them is associated with a way of life in nature, when a powerful root system helps them to firmly fix on tree trunks or stones.
This property stimulates the constant formation of the stem with the help of props and tying, as well as frequent transplants, which are performed as the selenicereus grows.
To do this, prepare the soil from the following components:
- sod land (2 parts);
- leaf ground (1 part);
- coarse sand (1 part);
- perlite (1 part);
- expanded clay (1 part).
In this case, expanded clay is used as drainage and perlite as an additional moisture regulator and baking powder.
Fertilize selenicereus with a frequency of 1 time in three weeks. At the same time, complex mineral and liquid universal fertilizers alternate. The solution is made weakly concentrated and applied along with irrigation.
During the dormant period of selenicereus, any top dressing is stopped.
Selenicereus simply reproduce by seeds and also simply vegetatively. Seeds germinate quickly in a mini-greenhouse with a temperature and humidity of +24°C and 60%. Selenicereus, grown from seeds, blooms after five years.
With the vegetative method of propagation, stem cuttings are taken, slightly dried and slightly deepened into prepared peat tablets. They are placed in the conditions of a mini-greenhouse, the same as for seeds. After a few weeks, rooted young selenicereus can be observed.
They are transplanted by transshipment into new spacious containers and cared for according to the scheme for adult specimens. It is worth noting that vegetatively grown selenicereus bloom much earlier.
Diseases and pests
Of the diseases and pests, selenicereus can most often be affected by viruses that can accumulate during regular vegetative reproduction of one species and subsequently appear on the stems of cacti as dark spots.
It is possible to protect the plant from viruses only by updating the planting material, using the apical parts of the stems as young cuttings.
In other cases, signs of non-infectious diseases may appear on Selenicereus, which is provoked by a violation of the rules for caring for the plant. Failure to comply with the mode of keeping a cactus most often leads to the withering of the formed flowers.
And for those who like to know more, we suggest that you watch the video about Selenicereus