Cereus (Cereus): classification, reproduction and care

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Cereus cacti are tree-like, bushy or branching plants with a well-developed crown, from 1.5 to 15 m in height, up to 50 cm in diameter, with a powerful root system and high, straight, sharp ribs. Radial spines are rigid, strong, straight up to 3 cm long, central spines are subulate, 3-10 cm long. The color of the spines is from gray and brown to red and black.

  • Family: cactus (Cactaceae).
  • Genus: Cereus (Cereoideae).
  • Homeland: tropical and subtropical regions of America.
  • The fruits are berry-like, red or yellow, glabrous, up to 12 cm long.
  • Propagated by seeds and side shoots.
  • Conditions of maintenance: warm season +20-25°С with regular moderate watering, winter +8-12°С with occasional soil moisture.
  • Lighting: bright light.

Flowers in most species are nocturnal, funnel-shaped, fragrant, white, less often pinkish-purple, up to 30 cm long and up to 20 cm in diameter. The tie is naked. Areoles are large, with a felty white or gray coating.

Cereus: plant classification

Cereus – the most extensive genus of cacti, uniting 46 species and many varieties represented by succulent trees, shrubs and other life forms. All cereus cacti are divided into two large groups.

First group

Forest tropical cacti (Hylocereus) , which include semi-epiphytes, epiphytes, creeping and climbing species with aerial roots.

In turn, this group is divided into three subgroups:

Rhipsalis (Rhipsalidinae) – epiphytes with stems of various shapes: flat, ribbed, cylindrical, etc. The fruits and flowers are small. There are 12 species in the genus.

Phyllocactus (Phyllocereus) – 10 species of epiphytes with flat, thornless stems, large fruits and flowers.

Hylocereus (Hylocereus) – 9 species of epiphytes, climbing and climbing plants, with multiple costal, winged, prickly stems and large fruits and flowers.

Second group

Cereus, or candle (Cereeae) – this includes upright ground spherical or cylindrical cacti with ribbed or covered with small papilla stems, without aerial roots. Small and large succulent trees (shrubs).

The second group is divided into 2 subgroups:

Northern Cereus (Boreocereeae)

Southern Cereus (Austrocereeae)

Each of them, based on the shape of the stem, is divided into two more subgroups:

Northern Cereus (Boreocereeae) – identified on the basis of geographical distribution in North America (Mexico, Canada) and in certain areas of South America (Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Colombia). Plants are characterized by the absence of spines or bristles on the fruits and flowers of globular cacti .

Southern Cereus (Austrocereeae) – isolated based on the geographical distribution in South America (Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Galapagos Islands, Uruguay) and based on the presence of bristles or spines on flowers and fruits of spherical cacti.

Plant propagation

Cacti are propagated by seeds and cuttings. Cereus is propagated by seeds using a flat bowl with large drainage holes. The best time for sowing is April-early May. A bowl with seeds in constantly moist soil, covered with glass or film on top, must be kept at a temperature of + 25-30 ° C in a shaded place. When shoots appear (after 10-15 days), the sowing should be placed in a lit place, but not under direct sunlight, and it is necessary to lower the temperature to + 18-20 ° C, reduce watering and remove the cover. After 3-4 weeks, the first spines will appear and the plants can dive.

The best time for propagation by cuttings is spring or the first half of summer. The cuttings are lateral and apical shoots, dried after cutting for 5-7 days, which are planted in a pot with deciduous-peat soil and sand (3: 1) to a depth of 2-3 cm and covered with a jar on top. The soil in the pot is slightly moistened, and when the stalk is accepted (2-4 weeks), the jar needs to be removed and full-fledged regular watering should begin.

Soil for Cereus

Under natural conditions, cacti grow in poor, heavy and rocky soils, but in order for home cereus to grow well and actively develop, the soil must be loose and nutritious. A soil mixture consisting in equal proportions of leafy, soddy soil, peat, humus and coarse river sand is best suited.

Home care

Cereus needs bright light throughout the year, but you need to gradually accustom it to sunlight in the spring, avoiding burns. Cereus requires care with moderate regular watering in summer and spring. In autumn, watering is gradually reduced, and in winter – rare and light soil moisture 2-3 times a month. In the warm season, it is preferable to keep the cactus outdoors at a temperature of + 20-25 ° C, it is advisable to spray the stem with warm water 1-2 times a week, and in winter + 8-12 ° C.

A young cereus (up to 3 years old) is transplanted annually, an adult plant – as needed. From early May to mid-July, cereuses need to be fertilized with special fertilizers for cacti.

Why indoor cereus does not bloom

Cactus flowering is a very rare occurrence, even in natural conditions. Flowering is the natural end to the harmonious development of a properly grown cactus, which cannot be achieved by the use of fertilizers or stimulants. To do this, the following conditions must ideally coincide:

  • absolutely healthy root system with growth ripened in the fresh air;
  • the plant must be in a state of growth;
  • the cactus should not be emaciated or overfed;
  • should winter in a dry, cool place;
  • should not suffer from excess or lack of moisture, light and heat;
  • in the summer should receive a maximum of fresh air.

Plant diseases

Cereus is resistant to various kinds of diseases , but very often the cereus is prone to disease caused by waterlogging as a result of excessive watering, especially in winter.

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