Lemaireocereus is a cactus that looks like a tall candelabrum. It owes its name to the French botanist Lemer, who studied these plants. This type of cactus is found in Mexico and South Africa and can grow up to 15 m in height. The diameter of the barbed column, branching out in the middle, is about half a meter.
Growing lemarocereus at home is a real challenge for the grower. The cactus is quite capricious, grows slowly and is often sick. In apartments, most often you can find Bordered Lemaireocereus (Lemaireocereus marginatus). It has a ribbed stem, densely covered with white bristles along the edges. In spring or summer, an adult cactus blooms with rather large creamy flowers. They later develop into oval edible fruits. Needles of this type are very impressive and can reach 10 cm.
Caring for lemerocereus at home
Location and lighting
Lemarocereus is photophilous. A well-lit windowsill is suitable for him. It is desirable that direct rays fall on the plant for at least 3 hours a day. You can shade it during the day.
Lemerocereus does not have a pronounced rest period. He can stay in a warm room all year round. In winter, the temperature can be slightly reduced, but the room with it should not be colder than +12 degrees.
In summer and autumn, the plant will prefer moderate watering as the earthen coma dries up. This is usually done every couple of weeks. In winter, the cactus is watered even less often. If the house is cold, watering can be reduced altogether. During the growth period, several dressings are carried out using liquid fertilizers containing potassium.
An inhabitant of rather hot countries does not need high humidity, dry home air is not terrible for him. It is not necessary to spray the cactus, but it will not refuse fresh air currents. In the summer heat, it is advisable to transfer the pot with the plant to the balcony or outside. If the lemerocereus remains at home, it is recommended to ventilate the room more often during this period.
Small lemerocereuses need to be transplanted into fresh soil annually. Adult specimens are moved to a new container only when necessary. The transplant is carried out in the spring. A mixture of clay and turf is selected as a soil, to which fine gravel is added. Ready-made land for cacti is also suitable. The main thing is to provide sufficient drainage. Plants are transplanted together with a clod of earth. In order not to get hurt on their sharp thorns, it is better to use special gloves or potholders.
Reproduction of lemarocereus
There are several ways to breed lemerocereus. The first is grafting. The cuttings separated from the plant are dried in air for several days, allowing the cut to tighten. You can additionally powder this place with charcoal. Then it is planted in wet, pre-calcined sand. The method is suitable for patient gardeners. The survival rate of such cuttings is not very high. If they still managed to take root, then in the first years they will grow rather slowly.
The second way is to grow lemerocereus from seeds. They are sown in the spring.
Drying of the stems and the appearance of putrid spots indicate overflow. Having found rot on the cactus, the affected areas must be carefully cut out of the stem. After that, the soil should be treated with a fungicide, as well as restore the necessary care for the plant.
Mealybugs can sometimes attack lemerocereus. Pests cover the surface of the stem with a white fluffy bloom. If only a small part of the cactus is affected, you can get rid of them by simply wiping the sore spot with a wet napkin. In other cases, it is better to use a special drug.