The genus of plants Echinocereus (Echinocereus) is directly related to the cactus family (Cactaceae). It combines approximately 60 species of various plants. It is found in nature in the southern regions of North America.
Cacti of this genus are distinguished by small growth (up to 60 centimeters), stems that branch strongly, and the presence of thorns on areola tubes and flower buds. Therefore, in the name of the genus of such plants, the prefix “Echinus” is present, which literally translates from Greek as “hedgehog”.
Tubular, single, multi-petalled flowers have the shape of a funnel. At the end of flowering, fleshy and very juicy fruits are formed. They can be eaten, and in some species of echinocereus they are incredibly tasty.
Many species of this plant have not only similarities, but also obvious differences among themselves. So, the stems are either cylindrical or spherical in shape. Spiral or straight ribs are pronounced or barely noticeable. Flowers are both small and large.
Care for echinocereus at home
This plant is distinguished by its undemanding care, which has caused such great love for flower growers. Cactus of this species is considered the most unpretentious of all members of this family.
The plant needs bright light throughout the year, while it is advisable that direct sunlight be exposed to it. In this regard, it is recommended to place it near the window of the southern orientation. In the summer, echinocereus is recommended to be transferred to the street (in the garden or on the balcony).
In the summer, the cactus feels great at a temperature of 25 to 30 degrees. In winter, he has a period of rest, and at this time he needs to be moved to a fairly cool place (no higher than 12 degrees).
There are many types of cacti that are resistant to frost. For example, species such as Echinocereus scarlet and Echinocereus triglochydiata can tolerate a decrease in temperature from minus 20 to minus 25 degrees. They become like glass, completely freezing, but with the advent of spring, they thaw and continue to grow. Therefore, there are flower growers who, for year-round accommodation of echinocereus, choose a glazed balcony or loggia.
It is worth considering that not all types are frost-resistant. For example, echinocereus ringless can die if the room is colder minus 1 or 2 degrees.
How to water
In spring and summer you need to water moderately. In this case, watering should be carried out only after the earthen lump has completely dried out. Overflow should not be allowed. If the soil is constantly wet, root rot may appear.
For irrigation, it is necessary to use settled, soft water, which must be at room temperature. Experienced flower growers also recommend filtering it.
In winter, the plant should not be watered. This applies especially to those of cacti that are in a cold room or taken out in the cold.
High humidity is not needed. At the same time, the stems themselves cannot be sprayed, as they can be severely damaged due to water, which lingers for a long time on their surface. It should also be borne in mind that excessive dampness can provoke rotting of both the stems and the root system.
Suitable soil should be loose and mineral. For indoor cultivation, you can use purchased earth mix intended for succulents and cacti. But only it will be necessary to pour in ¼ part of small gravel and the same amount of coarse sand.
Top dressing is carried out during intensive cactus growth 1 time in 4 weeks. To do this, use special fertilizers for succulents and cacti or for orchids. With the onset of the autumn and until the end of the winter period, fertilizers cannot be applied to the soil.
Young specimens should be transplanted once a year, and adults - once every 3 or 4 years, after the root system of the echinocereus ceases to fit in the pot. It is recommended to transplant in the spring.
Cactus is easily propagated by cuttings, children or seeds.
Diseases and pests
Not susceptible to diseases and pests. Almost the only problem that occurs when growing this cactus at home is rot, which occurs when the soil or air is excessively moist.