Succulents

Melocactus

The melocactus

The melocactus owes its name to its curious shape: in the upper part this particular succulent plant develops a large and red cephalium, reminiscent of a melon. Melocactus is a small, slow-growing plant that hardly exceeds 20 centimeters. The shape of the plant is rounded, while in adulthood it becomes cylindrical. Above the cephalium the melocactusdevelops small flowers. The body of the plant is fat and with deep grooves, with long hard thorns that protect from insects and parasites a seedling which, in reality, contrary to what the massive appearance might suggest, is delicate and requires attention to be successfully cultivated: the environmental conditions must be carefully evaluated. The seedling can be grown in small pots, to provide for repotting when the roots have no more space available.

Cultivation


The melocactusit must be grown in a place that respects its climatic and environmental needs: like many succulents, it hardly bears the cold and therefore requires its placement inside closed and protected environments, especially in winter. Better a bright location, even if not with direct exposure to the sun’s rays. The melocactus also fears water stagnation and excessive humidity, therefore it is advisable to place the plant in a pot with well-draining soil, partly composed of sand and peat. Watering must be regular, when the soil is dry, to be reduced in the winter and in any case avoiding the formation of stagnations, responsible for the formation of mold and easy vehicle for parasitic and fungal attacks.

Melocactus: Diseases and parasites


Melocactus is a plant sensitive to environmental variations, but also to fungal and parasitic attacks. To avoid the spread of diseases on the melocactus, the first form of prevention is to provide the seedling with an environment suitable for its healthy growth, respecting the optimal environmental conditions. The melocactus fears, in particular, water stagnation and excessive humidity, which in turn favor the proliferation of parasites and molds. In addition to fungal diseases, the melocactus is subject to attack by the cochineal: if the infestation is in progress it is necessary to intervene with a specific product and be sure to have eliminated any pest presence, to avoid new colonization. It is also possible to act preventively,

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