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Video: Christmas Cactus, Easter Cactus And Other Decembrists (part 3)
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Such different Decembrists
A close relative of the Christmas cactus is Rhipsalidopsis. They are often confused with zygocactus, as it is very similar to it, but blooms most often in spring (March-April), sometimes during Easter celebrations, therefore it is also called "Easter cactus", and zygocactus is called "Christmas cactus", but bloom it can not only at Christmas, but also at any other time of the year, and sometimes together with Ripsalidopsis (provided that a cooling period is created in combination with a short daylight hours).
These plants can be distinguished by the stem segments: in zygocactus they have sharp teeth along the edge, and in ripsalidopsis they are rounded, darker in color, reddish along the edges (see photo). Ripsalidopsis belongs to the Cactaceae family. Its homeland is the coastal foothills of Brazil and Ecuador, where it grows like an epiphyte. Can bear fruit. The range of colors is extensive. Flowers can be white, pink, red, orange and others.
In general, caring for ripsalidopsis is the same as for zygocactus: the same earthen mixture, the same set of fertilizers and their alternation, placement and watering. The difference lies in the different periods of the rest period. Ripsalidopsis has a dormant period from October to February. This is the time of year when negative temperatures remain on the glazed balcony, and at home, low temperatures of the content (+ 10 ° C … + 12 ° C) cannot be ensured. Therefore, I took my ripsalidopsis to work. There it is possible to create very suitable conditions for them in winter: both low temperature and lighting. And now every year Ripsalidopsis delights me and my colleagues with their lush flowering.
The next plant, which is also incorrectly called the Decembrist, is Epiphyllum, Phyllocactus. It also belongs to the Cactaceae family. There are 20 species of this plant. Epiphyllum is actively used to create flowering hybrids by crossing with plants (most often) from the genus Hylocereus. These hybrids are called phyllocactus. The scientific name of the genus comes from the Greek words "epi" ("on", "above") and "phillon" ("leaf"), which is explained by the structure of the stems, similar to leaves.
The homeland of the epiphyllum is the tropics and subtropics of Latin America (from Mexico to the subtropics of South America), the Antilles. At home, these plants grow on trees in the forks of branches, depressions in the bark and in cracks in rocks. Their shoots often droop, so they can be grown in pots as ampelous plants. Because of this and for the rare beauty of the flower, the epiphyllum received another name "cactus - orchid". The stems of this plant are long, branched, creeping or drooping, with wavy edges, often flat, but sometimes triangular. These need to be removed, since there are no flowers on them. Aerial roots often appear on the stems. At the base of the plant, green shoots are strongly lignified. Epiphyllum blooms in May - June. In 2011, my epiphyllums bloomed twice: in June and November. The flower lasts 3-4 days. The color scheme is varied:from pure white to cream, yellow, red, pink, peach, coral, orange. The flowers are very large, up to 20 cm in diameter. The lighter the flower, the larger it is. Under indoor conditions, with artificial cross-pollination of flowers, large fruits with edible pulp can be obtained.
The conditions of his detention are similar to those of Ripsalidopsis. Epiphyllum prefers bright, but diffused light, can grow in partial shade. Best placement: on the east, west windows, but at my work it also grows on the north window and blooms profusely every year. With a lack of light, the plant may grow poorly, while chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves is observed.
I rarely transplant epiphyllum - once every five years, since a tight pot stimulates its flowering. In addition to a cramped pot, this plant needs a dormant period from November to February with temperatures of + 10 ° C … + 12 ° C with very rare watering, or it may not be watered at all. And there is one more secret: in order to make the epiphyllum bloom, in the fall (after the end of the stem growth) I must shorten the stem by 1.5 cm - I break out its upper part) Otherwise, new shoots will actively grow on it, but there will be no flowering. With this pinching, I discharge the plant and prevent it from growing in length. From March to September, the temperature of the plant should be in the range of + 20 ° С … + 25 ° С. From March to September I feed epiphyllums in the same way as Ripsalidopsis and Zygocactus (according to the same scheme).
The most suitable plant for our rooms is, of course, zygocactus (Schlumberger). Indoors, you can create the most suitable conditions for growth and flowering, especially if you have a glazed balcony. Rhipsalidopsis and epiphyllum are plants for the winter garden, where the temperature does not exceed + 12 ° C in winter. Their flowering period is short, but the beauty of these flowers can only be compared with orchids.