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Monthly cactus care

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Even more flowers

In June temperatures are even higher and cacti are growing and flowering. Echinocereus and echinopsis usually start to flower this month. This month, of course, someone spends more time admiring the flowers and taking photos of the cacti (to keep records of their development and to admire the flower pictures in winter time). However, some few things need our attention this month too.

Watering is done regular during this month, that means approximately one time per week or every 10 days depending on how fast the soil dries up and the type and size of cactus and cactus pot. Cacti that are flowering may be watered more frequently. This month cacti like matucana, coryphantha and echinocactus start to grow, so watering can be gradually increased for these cacti.
Although cacti are growing and need more water, it is wise to protect them from some rainfalls or storms that often occur this time of the year.
Cacti with few spines like to be sprayed with water. Especially melocacti, gymnocalycium and echinopsis. Of course it is best to use rain water so that no white marks stay on the epidermis when the water has dried out.

Cacti may be watered with fertilizer one or two times during this month. This is especially important for cacti that are flowering and for those who have been repottet last year or longer back. If no special cactus fertilizer can be found, someone could use a regular plant fertilizer or a fertilizer that is labeled "for flowering plants".

This is not the best time to repot cacti since they could stop growing: It is possible that new the roots that the plant developed from spring until now could be destroyed during repoting. Of course, if there is a special reason (pest treatment) or someone judges that the damage from non repotting is greater than from repotting, it could be done. Repotted cacti are watered after one week.

There is a lot of sun this month because it's the time we have the greatest day lenght and cacti are enjoying it. Given the increasing day lenght which comes at peak on the 21 of the month, the sun burns more and more. Depending on the orientation of the shelves or generally the location of the cacti, the sun can shine from a different ankle and on different cacti than on previous months. So, it could be that cacti that did not receive direct sun on previous months are now exposed to direct sunlight especially on western oriented locations. This must be taken into account and cacti should be checked for changes of their epidermis color which could indicate a starting of sunburn. If this is the case, some shading material can be used.
Those who have cacti for a few years may have observed that some of them don't open their flowers completely unless they are exposed to full sun. Some others (echinopsis, lobivia) open their flowers after sunset or early in the morning and get withered just when the sun shines on them. These observations can be used to put each plant in an ideal location (with less or more sun, morning or evening sun etc.).

This month sucking insects can make their appearance on cacti, so the plants should be checked every now and then, usually during watering. Special attention should be given to spots where the plant body contacts with the soil, to the side of the plant that is less exposed to the sun but, also, on the base of flower buds. Especially, flowers buds after flowering provide a great hiding place for mealy bugs, a place where they can rapidly multiply if not noticed in time.

Flowering now
Echinopsis cinnabarina, Echinopsis haematantha, Echinopsis oxygona, Gymnocalycium damsii, Gymnocalycium michanovichii, Gymnocalycium michanovichii var stenogonum, Mammillaria backebergiana, Mammillaria albicoma, Mammillaria bocasana, Mammillaria duwei, Mammillaria magnimamma, Mammillaria polythele, Thelocactus setispinus, Thelocactus bicolor, Rebutia neocumingii, Rebutia muscula, Rebutia deminuta, Echinocereus sciurus, Echinocereus reichenbachii ssp. fitchii, Echinocereus reichenbachii, Echinocereus pulchellus, Echinocereus palmeri, Echinocereus subinermis ssp ochoterenae, Parodia rutilans, Parodia microsperma, Parodia formosa


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