At mammillaria there are no special "sores" that are not peculiar to other cacti. But there are two features that determine the specifics of both the spread of pests and diseases, and the fight against them.
Firstly, the densely covering stems and rather long papillae of mammillaria create a wonderful environment in which pests can easily hide. In addition, because of them, plants are more difficult to treat with preventive and therapeutic reagents. Secondly, in many mammals the stem tissues are very soft, and the skin is thin. They are easily damaged, and pathogens penetrate through the wounds. In addition, soft tissue rots especially quickly.
Disease. Among the most common and dangerous diseases of mammillaria are a variety of rot. Sadly, in mammals more often than in many other cacti, root decay leads to the death of the entire plant. If the beginning of decay in any part of the plant can be noticed in time, you can save a healthy part by removing the affected area or separating the remaining part, which can then be rooted or grafted again. In such operations, it is important to observe two conditions: the preserved part of the plant should not have the slightest trace of rot (first of all, rusty strands along the conducting bundles) and all sections should be thoroughly disinfected (with alcohol, charcoal powder or another drug). But treating rot in mammals is very difficult. It is simpler and more important not to allow them, observing the above rules of care.
Pests. The most indestructible and harmful cactus pest is a flat red mite. These small arachnids (body length of adults - a fraction of a millimeter) can sometimes be seen with the naked eye, but most often they reveal traces of their wrecking - dried rusty spots on the epithelium of cacti. They often affect species with soft stems and thin skin.
You can fight mites by washing or spraying the stems of plants with warm water, lubricating them with a solution of ethyl alcohol. But it is more efficient to use acaricidal and universal pesticides. True, such processing makes sense if you have a collection of different cacti. If the matter concerns only one or several copies, washing with water or lubricating with alcohol is a sufficient measure.
Other parasites are also common - worms. These are small insects whose worm-shaped females settle on the roots and stems of plants. Their pink bodies are covered with a white cotton-like "fur coat" and therefore quite noticeable. It is more difficult if the worm is wound up on the roots. Stopping growth, lack of flowers should alert the owner. At the slightest suspicion, it is necessary to examine the roots, on which it is easy to see the white cocoons of worms. Prolonged washing with hot (as far as the hand tolerates) water or root baths (the roots are kept in hot water with a constant temperature for 10-15 minutes) kills the pest. The use of insecticidal and universal preparations in the form of solutions or granular additives in the substrate is also effective.
D.V.Semenov "Cacti of the Mammillaria"
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One of the most common types of mammals in room culture. The stem in young plants is spherical, in mature ones it is cylindrical, up to 5 cm in diameter. It forms many children at the base of the stem. Papillae are soft soft cylindrical, spines are hairy white, differing in length: long central ones - 3, shorter radial ones - up to 30. Flowers are yellowish-white.
A collection of short cylindrical stems with a dense cover of curved thorns. Bright purple or pink bell-shaped flowers, sometimes white in spring. The unusual shape and prickly stems always catch one's eye, and exotic flowers delight with bright colors.
Mammillaria growing in a good place and well-groomed can live for decades. On the windowsill or in the winter garden - everywhere it is in place. In your home collection, this desert cactus will take its place.
Temperature: for normal flowering, it is necessary to provide a cool wintering within 10-14 ° C.
Lighting: all mammals, compared to most other cacti, are somewhat less photophilic, and the cultivation of plants from this group requires intense diffused lighting with shading on hot days from direct sunlight.
Humidity: it is enough to water once a week, more often - in the hot summer in the sun. Watering can be plentiful if a good outflow of moisture is ensured (high drainage is done for this). Do not allow water to accumulate in the substrate. Water for irrigation should be warm and soft, tap water - settled for at least a day. Volumes (increase or decrease) of irrigation can be changed only gradually, sharp changes are extremely undesirable. Cacti contained in plastic containers should be watered less often than growing in clay pots. Spraying is not required.
Soil: turf and leafy soil, humus, peat and sand (1: 0.5: 1: 1: 2) with the addition of expanded clay or brick chips.
Nutrition: mineral fertilizers, mainly phosphate fertilizers in half the dosage (in comparison with non-succulent plants). Unlike other cacti, lime is not recommended.
Reproduction: by seeds and children forming on the stem.
Mammillaria diseases and pests
A red spider mite - a sign of the appearance of a tick, is silver spider webs on the surface of mamillaria.
Control measures increase air humidity, treat the plant with insecticidal soap or decis.
Scale - brown plaques appear on the surface of the cactus.
Control measures treat Mammillaria with a soap-alcohol solution. In case of severe infection, use actellik or karbofos.
It is difficult to detect root nematodes because for this, it is necessary to examine the roots of the plant - spherical swellings form on them.
Control measures remove all affected areas of the roots. Avoid ingress of water on the root neck, for 10 minutes, place the roots in a container of warm water (45-50 ° C). Sprinkle the treated roots with crushed charcoal. Place Mamillaria in a sterile substrate.
One of the most popular cacti among flower growers is mammillaria, which is distinguished by its unpretentiousness and undemanding care. These cacti come from southern North America, as well as from Mexico, and in natural conditions they prefer to grow on chalky and calcareous rocks. Some species of mammillaria can be met at a very high altitude, about 2.5 thousand meters above sea level. Such cacti prefer to take root in rock crevices, in volcanic tuffs, and some species grow near the sea.
Mammillaria are not large, and their shape is most often cylindrical and round. These cacti are very pubescent. Mammillaria differs from other cacti in that on the surface of its stem there are small papillae, from which small spines of a hair-shaped form grow. This plant is highly resistant to cold and heat. But it should be noted that there are also species that are extremely demanding on weather conditions.
This cactus is photophilous, so it needs a lot of light. If the plant does not have enough light, then it can die. Best bush will grow on the south balcony or loggia. To make him feel normal in the winter, he is provided with additional illumination, for this, a phytolamp is installed.
In order for the cactus to develop and grow within the normal range, it needs a moderate air temperature, or rather, from 15 to 25 degrees. In the summer on hot days, he will need protection from the direct rays of the sun, as they can harm him. If the bush overheats, it will become wrinkled or burns will appear on it. A plant is shaded only when it is in a dry and not aired place. If the window is constantly open, then there is no need to shade the bush.
Mammillaria has a rest period in winter. Best of all during this period, she is cool (from 7 to 10 degrees). During the dormant period, watering must be suspended. Those cacti, on the stems of which there is pubescence, in winter should be at a temperature of at least 15 degrees. If such bushes grow in a warmer place, then they can suffer.
Mammillaria is watered differently in winter and summer. During the rest period, the bush needs to be watered very sparingly and rarely, so, on average, the procedure is carried out once every 15–20 days. In spring and summer, the number and abundance of irrigation is increased. In the warm season, on average, the soil mixture is moistened once every 7 days, but the final frequency of irrigation is affected by weather conditions and the size of the tank. But you must remember that to moisten the soil mixture in the pot should only be when it is completely dry. Otherwise, you may harm the plant. It is best to water Mammillaria in the morning, in this case the surface of the soil mixture in the pot can dry well until the evening.
Particular attention should be paid to cactus watering in autumn and winter. Indeed, it is in the cold season that he is very susceptible to waterlogging of the substrate, although stagnation of moisture in the root system cannot be allowed in the spring-summer period.
This plant is fed exclusively with specialized fertilizers for succulents and cacti. Moreover, only liquid fertilizers are chosen. Mammillaria is not fed year-round, but in April – October. In winter, when there is a dormant period, all feeding is stopped.
While Mammillaria is young, its transplants are carried out regularly 1 time per year. And when the plant becomes an adult, the number of transplants must be reduced to one in 2 years.
Such plants need a porous substrate, which allows water and air to pass through well. Pour a small amount of gravel and brick chips into the prepared soil mixture. Humus cannot be poured into the substrate, because cacti are not recommended to be grown in the soil mixture, which contains too many nutrients.
When growing a cactus in room conditions, it regularly and quite effectively blooms. As a rule, the formation of the first buds occurs at the end of the dormant period. Ripening buds on the bush can be found in January. In this case, in April, the flower begins to be watered more abundantly, while the first flowers should already open in approximately March.
The development of buds in Mammillaria lasts about four weeks, precisely because of this, during this period, watering should be more plentiful and frequent, but balanced. Remember that during the ripening of the buds, the bush should stand on the windowsill so that direct sunlight does not fall on the side on which the flowers open after a while. The side on which the bud is located is rotated so that it is in the shade. If this is not done, then the bud may die.
Many flower growers use shoots for breeding mammals, because this method is distinguished by its simplicity and ease. However, experts advise, once every several years to grow such a cactus not from the stem, but from the seed. The fact is that the shoots of this plant can degenerate over time.
Diseases and pests
When growing mammillaria at room conditions, the following problems may arise with it:
- Settled on a bush red spider mite. This pest can cause severe harm to the cactus, so you need to start fighting it immediately after it is found. In order to get rid of the tick, as a rule, special insecticidal preparations are used. They need to spray the bush for 15 days in accordance with the instructions that can be found on the packaging.
- Cactus plants appeared on the plant shields. It is quite difficult to get rid of shields, because adults have a protective shell. That is why in the fight against such a pest can not do without pesticides, or rather, insecticides. Treatments with such a drug are carried out regularly in accordance with the instructions for several weeks until all insects die.
- Appearance in the root system of the bush nematodes. The matter is complicated by the fact that the nematodes are underground on the roots, so finding them is not so simple. In most cases, the affected bush forms vesicles on the surface of the roots. To save the cactus, remove it from the substrate and cut off all the bubbles. Then for 10 minutes immerse the root system in very warm water (about 50 degrees). Then sprinkle the roots with charcoal powder, and plant the bush in a new pot and a fresh, disinfected substrate.
- The color of the trunk has changed or it has become soft. In most cases, this is due to the appearance of rot on the bush. Dry the soil thoroughly in a pot and adjust the watering.
As a rule, harmful insects settle on a cactus due to poor quality soil mixtures.