Rebutia - Cactaceae - How to care for and grow Rebutia plants
HOW TO GROW AND CARE FOR OUR PLANTS
We are talking about a small succulent plant very widespread for its simplicity of cultivation and for the splendid blooms.
Species: see the paragraph on "Main species"
The genre Rebutia, belongs to the family ofCactaceae and includes a large number of species native to the mountainous areas up to 4000 m of altitude of Bolivia and Argentina.
These are so-called succulent or succulent plants whose cylindrical or globose stem, more or less densely covered with thorns (the transformed leaves), concostolature divided into tubercles, emits, in most species, suckers (shoots) in the basal part. They are plants without branches and the diurnal flowers bloom during the summer period and are variable in color from red, to orange, yellow, to white depending on the species and variety and grow directly from the stem from an areola of thorns.
The genus includes about forty species among which we remember:
LOWER CASE REBUTIA
There Lowercase R. (Rebutia violaciflora), native to northern Argentina, is the most widespread and known species.
It is characterized by a globular stem densely covered with thorns, light green in color not wider than 7 cm. The flowers appear from spring at the base of the plant and are orange-red, very large. It is a fast growing plant.
It is a plant that does not exceed 2.5 cm in height with roundish, smooth stems covered by srure areoles with numerous white thorns.
The flowers are orange in color and begin to appear from spring and throughout autumn.
The species has numerous hybrids and cultivars among which we remember: Rebutia heliosa xalbiflora (photo below).
Native to the mountainous areas of northern Argentina, it is characterized by densely covered stems of thorns no wider than 8 cm. the flowers are bright red, funnel-shaped reaching up to 4 cm in width.
There are numerous varieties that differ in the color of the flowers that can vary from yellow (photo on the side), to pink, to lilac.
Originally from Argentina too, it has intense yellow flowers.
There Rebutia albiflora (synonymous Aylostera albiflora) is originally from Bolivia.
The stems are very small, globular, 2.5 cm in diameter and have the particularity of forming numerous suckers characterized by long very thin thorns. The flowers are variously mottled white.
Species native to Bolivia, it has a globular stem from which very large, very intense orange-colored flowers grow. It blooms during the summer period.
Plant native to northern Argentina and Bolivia, it is characterized by a globular stem densely covered with thorns. The flowers are very bright yellow.
They are plants that are easy to grow and very adaptable to different situations. They have no problems with maximum temperatures while the minimum must not drop below 7-10 ° C.
The optimal exposure is to the south as they love the light and the sun which must be abundant but it is preferable to protect it from the direct rays of the sun in the hottest hours of the day if the plant receives the light filtered by the glass which, working as a lens, makes it too much concentrated. The environment must be dry and well-ventilated.
They are watered abundantly only when the soil dries up.
TYPE OF SOIL - REPOT
The plant is repotted in early spring only if the pot has become too small to contain the roots and if the stem presses against the walls of the pot.
A slightly larger pot is used than the previous one using a compost made up of soil for cactaceae to which a little fine sand is added or a mixture made up of two parts of fertile soil and one of fine sand.
During the spring-summer period a good liquid fertilizer is diluted in the irrigation water every two to three weeks, slightly decreasing the doses compared to what is reported in the package.
Use a complete fertilizer that is to say that in addition to containing the macroelements qualiazoto (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) it also has microelements such as magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), molybdenum (Mo), manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), boron (B), copper (Cu), all essential for the development of the plant.
They are plants that bloom during the summer period and often flowering also continues in the autumn period.
They are plants that cannot be pruned. Only the parts that get damaged or dry should be eliminated to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for parasitic diseases.
The multiplication can take place by seed or by division of the suckers that form at the base of the plant. Keep in mind that if you use seed multiplication it is likely that the plants that will be born could be different from the mother plant as genetic variability takes over. Therefore, if you want to have a plant that is accurate to the mother plant, multiply by cuttings.
DIVISION OF POLLONS
The multiplication by suckers is certainly the fastest multiplication technique and consists in taking the lateral shoots that form at the base of the plant fustodella.
With a sharp, clean and disinfected knife, remove the suckers very gently and sprinkle the cut surface with sulfur-based powder and wait a few days for the wound to heal. After that, in a compost as indicated in the repotting paragraph, arrange the suckers and moisten the soil with a spray that will allow for uniform humidity. Place the pot in an area of the house where the temperature is around 16-18 ° C and in full light (not in direct sunlight). Root release occurs very quickly.
MULTIPLICATION BY SEEDS
At the end of winter-early spring in a box or in a pot the seeds are planted in a mixture formed by two parts of soil for cactaceae and one of sand coarse completely moistened. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of fine sand.Close the tray or jar with a transparent plastic sheet, or place a glass plate on top and place the tray in a place where the temperature is high enough, around 21-27 ° C, in a place in light shade.
Check the soil every day, which must be kept constantly moist and remove any condensation that has formed on the plastic or glass.
When the seeds begin to sprout, remove the plastic permanently and as the seedlings emerge, the light is increased (never direct sun) and ensures good ventilation. Leave them in their box until they have reached a height of at least 2, 5 cm. At that point you can transplant the young seedlings into the defined pot or place and treat them as if they were adults.
Plants born from seed take two to three years to flower.
PARASITES AND DISEASES
The stem becomes soft
This symptom may be due to either an excess of water or too low temperatures.
Remedies: analyze how you raised the plant and adjust accordingly and in both cases remove the plant from the pot and remove the damaged stems, if necessary, allow the soil to dry well and then repot. For the future, better regulate watering, remembering that the soil must be dry before proceeding with further irrigation or move the plant to a warmer position.
Presence of cochineal
Lacocciniglia, and in particular the mealybug, can infest the plant. It is very easy to recognize as it resembles a tuft of cotton and if you try to remove it, it detaches from the tissues of the plant very easily.
Remedies: given the small size of the plant it can be easily removed using a cotton swab soaked in denatured alcohol.