As you know, caring for prickly pear at home is not particularly difficult, since the plant is completely capricious and tolerates both coolness and heat.
Prickly pear is a photophilous plant. Best of all, a place near the southern or western windowsill will suit her. It is advisable to teach a little cactus to direct sunlight. In order for the plant to feel good and develop, it is necessary to provide it with sufficient lighting all year round. When the daylight hours are too short in the winter season, fluorescent lamps are installed near the flower.
In summer, prickly pears need warmth, and in winter coolness. In the summer, the plant adapts well to any temperature changes, especially with proper lighting and moisture. Therefore, this flower will feel good on the street, where natural temperature fluctuations between day and night will be noticeable to it. It is important to choose the right location – drafts affect fatally even such an unpretentious flower. However, if in the cold season to grow prickly pear cactus at a temperature above 6 degrees, its shoots will stretch and lose their decorative appearance.
Humidity is normal, room. There is no need for spraying. However, from time to time, the plant can be washed under a warm shower in order to get rid of dust. Before this procedure, it is important to cover the soil well so as not to flood it.
Since in the natural environment prickly pear grows in poor soil, it will be quite easy for it to be loose, breathable soil. It is best to choose a medium-nutrient substrate, consisting of clay-turf and leafy soil, humus, sand with the addition of a small amount of lime or marble chips (5: 2: 1: 2).
At home, caring for the prickly pear cactus is quite easy – it is only important to know that the main factors affecting the development of this plant are lighting and proper watering.
In the summer, watering is plentiful but neat. This procedure is necessary only after the earthen lump has dried well (about once a week). The plant prefers lower watering since when water enters the stems, sampling begins – the formation of a thin, woody layer of brown color.
The pot is placed on a wet tray and removed after the soil has absorbed moisture. It is better to use soft, settled water. It can be acidified with several grains of citric acid. In winter, plants are hardly watered. In most cases, do not water at all.
In the spring-summer period, monthly fertilizing with special fertilizers for cacti is necessary.
Caring for a cactus such as prickly pear also provides for a timely transplant, which a young plant may need. This procedure is carried out approximately once in 1 to 3 years. The frequency depends on how quickly the flower develops and what size the previous pot was selected. The plant does not tolerate the transplant very well and recovers for a long time after such a procedure. The reason for this is a fragile root system. In order to plant prickly pear, it is necessary to get rid of part of the old earthen coma as carefully as possible, being careful not to damage the root system of the plant. After that, the cactus sits in a new pot. The container should be selected shallow, but wide since the roots of the prickly pear are located in the upper part of the earthen coma. At the bottom, it is necessary to put a good layer of drainage, which will not allow excess moisture to stagnate in the soil.
Adult cacti growing in large tubs, you can not transplant completely – it will be enough to replace the top layer of soil.
Most often this is due to excessive watering and too damp air in the room. If dark soft patches appear on the cactus, then they should be cut and treated with a fungicide flower. After this, it is necessary to resume proper care of the plant.
Prickly pear can be affected by organisms such as scale insects, mealybug, and aphids. In order to get rid of these pests, you need to treat the cactus with insecticides several times.