Lofofora cactus: home care, main types
Kind lofofora (Lophophora), also called peyotl, is of particular interest among numerous representatives of the cactus family (Cactaceae). According to various sources, this genus combines from 1 to 4 species of cacti. In nature, they can be found on low mountain slopes in dense thickets of shrubs in Mexico and the United States.
Of all the representatives of the cactus family, this plant stands out for its extremely unusual composition of the juice, in which there are a variety of alkaloids. Juice can have a healing and tonic effect on the human body, but only if it is used in small doses. When drinking juice in large quantities, it can cause hallucinations. In this regard, the cultivation of such a plant is banned in a large number of countries.
This plant is divided into species most likely by the chemical composition of its juice. For example, in the lophophore sprawling, pellotin is most produced, and in the lophophore of Williams, mescaline predominates. Outwardly, the species have practically no differences. However, a large number of specialists divide this plant into species according to these characteristics. But many experts note that a cactus of one species may show signs of a completely different species.
Lophophore cactus has a stalk in the shape of a slightly flattened ball, which reaches a diameter of 15 centimeters. This green-blue fleshy and rather smooth stem has a soft and velvety to the touch surface. It may seem that it consists of separate convex segments that are fused together and swam away. These segments can be as much as 5 pieces, while the upper part of the cactus seems to be divided into 5 equal parts (ribs), and a lot. In this case, many tubercles can be found on the stem of the plant. Among a large number of cacti, you can see specimens as if puffing with speckled scallops.
In the central part of each individual segment is the areola, from which many hairs come out, collected in a dense bundle and painted in straw color. In the adult specimen, most of the hairs are located directly at the apex, since there are growing young segmented cactus lobes. In spring, flower buds form in such places. Flowering is observed in the summer. Tubular, semi-double, multi-petal flowers are not very large in size about 2 centimeters in diameter. They can be painted in various color shades from pale red to snow-white. When the plant fades, it forms red-pink two-centimeter fruits, in which there are small seeds of black color.
This type of cactus stands out among the rest with its massive turnip-shaped root, which has a large number of rather thick processes. The diameter of this root is almost equal to the diameter of the stem itself, when measuring, by the way, all existing children are taken into account. The root is also very long, so its length is usually greater than the height of the stem.
Lophophore cactus care at home
This plant is quite successfully grown indoors. However, in order for the cactus to grow and develop correctly, it is necessary to provide suitable conditions for it.
Lofofora needs bright light, but at the same time it must be diffused. Do not allow direct sunlight to hit the surface of the cactus, as this may cause the stem to partially change color to red, while the plant itself will slow down development and growth.
For lophophores in summer, moderate air temperature is best suited. It can withstand quite a high temperature (up to 40 degrees).In winter, this plant should be rearranged in a cooler place, where it will be no higher than 10 degrees, but it must be borne in mind that throughout the winter period it also needs good lighting.
How to water
The irrigation schedule depends on the temperature in the room, the time of year, as well as on the condition of the substrate. In the summer, watering is performed after 1-2 days after the substrate is completely dried in a pot. At the end of September, the cactus is no longer watered completely. Watering again begin to be carried out only in the month of March. If you continue to water the lophophore during a cold wintering, then rot may appear on it.
It feels great with low humidity in a city apartment. Additional moisturizing is not required.
Suitable soil should be loose, pass water and air well, and have neutral acidity. In order to choose a good soil mixture, you need to consider that in its composition should be 1 part of the earth saturated with nutrients and 2 parts of various loosening additives. So, to prepare a suitable soil mix, you need to combine turf ground, brick chips and perlite, which must be taken in a ratio of 1: 1: 2. Experienced growers also recommend pouring a small amount of bone meal into the soil.
Due to the fact that the cactus has powerful roots, the pot must be appropriate, or rather, high. Remember to make good drainage. On top of the soil, fine gravel should be distributed with a thin layer, while they need to cover the basal neck of the cactus.
Top dressing is carried out only during the period of intensive growth 1 time in 4 weeks. To do this, use special purchased fertilizers designed for cacti.
How to transplant
While the lophophore is young, it is transplanted once a year in the spring. The matured plant should be subjected to this procedure only as necessary and only after the root system ceases to fit in the pot. During the transplant, you can trim the roots, but not more than ¼ part. After trimming the section, it is recommended to process it with charcoal and dry it thoroughly. Then the cactus can be transplanted into a new pot.
The easiest way to grow a cactus is from seeds. They can be sown throughout the year. In this case, instructions for growing seedlings can be found on the packaging with seeds.
You can also propagate lofofora and "kids." To do this, they are carefully separated from the mother plant in autumn. Then the "kids" need to be placed on a layer of perlite and contain like an adult cactus in the winter (do not water). With the onset of spring, "children" should form roots. Transplant them into permanent pots.
Pests and diseases
This plant is almost not sick, and harmful insects do not settle on it. Often the concern for gardeners is that the lophophore seems to stop growing. However, this is quite natural, because this plant is slow-growing and its stem growth is only 5-10 millimeters in 1 year.
Note! Lofofor Williams is forbidden to grow in the Russian Federation. In this case, criminal liability arises if more than two copies of the plant are grown.
The main types
There is a classification dividing this plant into several types:
The stem reaches a height of 7 centimeters, and in diameter - 12 centimeters. Pinkish-white flowers. There are several forms, namely: five-ribbed, deceptive, multi-ribbed, bushy and comb.
In height, the stem reaches 8 centimeters, and in diameter - 12 centimeters. Carmine red flowers. There are 14 spiral ribs.
Lophophora sprawling (Lophophora diffusa)
The green-yellow stalk reaches 8 centimeters in height, and 13 centimeters in diameter. Whitish yellow flowers.
The stem reaches a height of 6 centimeters, and in diameter - 7 centimeters. Violet-red flowers. There are 14 spiral ribs.