Succulents

Ferocactus

Ferocactus

Ferocactus is a succulent or succulent plant belonging to the cactaceae family. In common terms it is identified as a large cactus, with the same ornamental value as other cacti. However, for lovers of succulents, this species deserves to be cared for and cultivated, especially for its particular shape. In the next paragraphs we will mention precisely the characteristics and cultivation needs of the ferocactus, which is quite simple to cultivate, due to its scarce water, propagation and fertilization needs.

Features


As already mentioned in the previous paragraph, the ferocactus belongs to the cactaceae. It is a succulent or succulent plant native to Mexico and the desert areas of the United States. In its original habitat the plant assumes considerable heights and diameters, while, if cultivated in domestic gardens and for ornamental purposes, it does not exceed the height and diameter of half a meter. The ferocactusit appears as a spherical or globular species, sometimes cylindrical, with large, bristly and very pungent spines, red in color. Due to its shape, the ferocactus has often been confused with the echinocactus, but the two species have evident differences in the shape and color of the thorns. The ferocactus, in fact, seems to have large spines rather than thorns. The plant, in its natural environment, blooms in summer, producing inflorescences in the apical part of the adult plant. The bell-shaped flowers open during the day, but rarely develop in plants grown in home gardens or on balconies and terraces. The robustness of the thorns also determined the name of the plant, composed of the Latin prefix “ferox”, which means “ferocious”.

Variety

There are many varieties of ferocactus in nature. As usual, it is not possible to list them all, also because the differences between one species and another are really minimal and concern the shape of the plant and the color of the flowers, while the characteristics and cultivation needs are identical. Among the best known varieties of ferocactus we mention the Ferocactus stainesii, with orange-pink flowers, Ferocactus emoryi and Ferocactus herrerae, with slightly blue plant tissue, Ferocactus hamatacanthus, Ferocactus latispinus and Ferocactus histrix which for the plant tissue divided into thorny ribs are more similar echinocactus.

Cultivation

The cultivation of ferocactus is very simple and does not require special precautions, but only some small attention in calibrating the dosage of water, fertilizer and sun exposure. Regarding this last aspect, the ferocactus needs direct sun exposure. However, excess sun can burn young or growing plants, so it is necessary to accustom this cactus to a gradual sun exposure. Ferocactus is also a typical plant of arid and desert climates and therefore needs temperate climates. The winter temperature should not drop below six degrees, while that necessary for the plant’s development phase is between twenty and twenty-two degrees. The ferocactus grows on specific soil for succulent plants. Typically it is a substrate composed of a basic formula of nutrients. Ferocactus is not a plant that needs abundant watering. In winter these can very well be suspended. In the winter months, to avoid dehydration caused by the cold, you can use a light spray every three weeks. Irrigation can resume in spring, but always moderately and every 25, 30 days. Generally, the rule for summer watering of the ferocactus provides that it is irrigated only after the complete drying of the soil. Excessive watering can also cause water stagnation and consequent rot. The ferocactus is not particularly demanding even in fertilizing. Fertilizers should be administered only in case of need and never in the winter months, because they stimulate the formation of new plant tissue that is not very resistant to adversity and disease. The ferocactus propagates by seed, which must be buried, on a sandy substratum, between March and April. The plant is also very resistant to adversity and disease, but not when young. In this case, especially due to the cold, it can develop fungal diseases such as fumaggine. In young plants, but also in adult ones, before winter it is advisable to apply a systemic fungicide. The smokiness is also caused by the honeydew produced by some plant parasites, parasites which, however, do not attack the ferocactus. This plant, in fact, has a thorny part that secretes a nectar very similar to honeydew and that is able to attract ants. The presence of ants and honeydew can be a precursor sign of fumaggine, which is why in the cultivation of ferocactus it is often necessary to resort to the use of a systemic fungicide to be administered for preventive purposes. Other diseases of the plant are rot, which can occur as a result of water stagnation and too humid climates. Some species of ferocactus, always during the winter months, can show orange spots. These spots are always caused by water stagnation and excessive humidity. always during the winter months, they can show orange spots. These spots are always caused by water stagnation and excessive humidity. always during the winter months, they can show orange spots. These spots are always caused by water stagnation and excessive humidity.

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