Lobivia – the favorite cactus of offices – growing and care

Cacti are an interesting group of plants. Due to the natural characteristics of the places of origin, they formed an unusual appearance of vegetative organs and other adaptations to the harsh conditions of life.

Schreiter’s echinopsis son. Lobby Schreiter. (Latin Echinopsis schreiteri). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com lobivia

The homeland of unusual plants is the high mountain slopes of the Andes (2000-4000 m above sea level) in Bolivia, Peru, and northern Argentina. An evolutionarily young family, it is distinguished by variability and species contrasts. Formed in environmental conditions with sharp changes in temperature and humidity on alluvial nutrient soils well-drained by fragments of rocks.

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Lobivia or Echinopsis?

Amateur flower growers call lobivia differently in household use. Many believe that the name of the genus is correct – “echinopsis” (translated from Greek like a hedgehog). Indeed, today Lobivia and its varieties are classified in the official plant taxonomy as the genus “Echinopsis”.

Karl Linnaeus was the first to describe and separate small thorny plants with rounded, cylindrical, columnar stems as a separate subspecies and named it “Lobivia” (from the anagram of Bolivia, the main place of origin). Later, some botanists proposed to separate the subspecies into a separate genus “Lobivia”.

It is believed that the genus Lobivia, having much in common with the genus Echinopsis, has certain differences:

  • evolutionarily it is younger than the genus Echinopsis, which is confirmed by its high adaptive properties to the environment and easy hybridization of species and varieties;
  • in external structure and habit, Lobivia is smaller than Echinopsis, but its representatives have more voluminous areoles and larger needles. They also differ in the size of flowers, their color range, multi-petals and a variety of shades of stems – from gray-greenish, saturated green to brown.

However, there is still no clear line of separation between the clans. Therefore, the main representative of the genus with the same success is called Lobivia or Echinopsis. For example, Lobivia Sylvester has another more common name, Chamecereus Sylvester. Sometimes this flower is called Echinopsis chamecereus.

Echinopsis Sylvester, or Lobivia Sylvester, or Chamecereus Sylvester
Echinopsis Sylvester, or Lobivia Sylvester, or Chamecereus Sylvester. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com xulescu_g

Biological features of Lobivia

The main biological feature of the genus is its incredible adaptability to self-preservation. Typical representatives of the genus with a rounded, spherical, elongated cylindrical stem, adapted for the accumulation of water for future use. Plant height is 2-50 cm with a diameter of 3-15 cm. Stems are ribbed, small tubercles are visible under the areoles. The color of the stems varies from dark to gray-green shades, covered with straight or originally curved spines. Root, tap or turnip, storing, the type of which mainly depends on the nutrient layer of the soil.

The decorative qualities of the genus are mainly determined by the size and color (monochromatic or melange) of flowers from white to bright crimson and pink-violet shades. They are located in the middle of the stem on the areoles. Funnel-shaped flowers 3-15 cm long and 4-12 cm in diameter on long (sometimes 20-30 cm) fleecy peduncles are arranged in a group around the stem or in separate lateral flowers. From the middle flowers, stamens hang down picturesquely on long, shiny filaments.

The life span of a flower is 2-4 days. Bloom from May to August. Fruits in the form of capsules 1,0-1,5 cm green or red. Today the collections of the genus “Lobivia” have been replenished with hybrids with variegated flowers and stems decorated with bizarre intertwined thorns. Exotics bred by breeders become a true decoration not only of apartments, but also a favorite flower of offices.

Requirements for the growing conditions of lobivia

The harsh conditions of the high Andes have determined the attitude of the Lobivia to the environment.

Plants are light-lovers. In summer, bright lighting is needed, with light shading in direct sunlight.

Need fluctuations in night and day temperatures. Withstand air temperatures during the active period of life within +25 .. +35 ° С. They bloom profusely after low winter air temperatures of +8 .. +12 ° С.

Lobivia grow well in weakly acidic soils (pH = 5,6), nutritious, permeable with good aeration.

Lobivia do not tolerate flooding, moderate watering is needed. Abundant watering during flowering is acceptable, but without stagnant water. In winter, the plants are not watered. When waterlogged in combination with cold, rotting of the root system develops.

The transplant is carried out only if necessary, allowing the natural growth of plants with the formation of colonies in the form of dense pillows.

Lobivia Arachnakanta (spiderweb), synonym for Echinopsis Arachnakanta (lat.Echinopsis ancistrophora)
Lobivia Arachnakanta (spiderweb), synonymous with Echinopsis Arachnakanta (lat.Echinopsis ancistrophora). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com cskk

Growing lobivia in room culture

When grown at home, lobivia are placed on the sunny side with sufficient light. The purchased plant needs to be transplanted into nutritious soil. Given the size of the lobivia, it is possible to plant a miniature garden of different varieties and hybrids on a window with a wide windowsill.

Lobivia care

Planting and transplanting lobivia

The container for a miniature garden should be 25-30 cm wide, with sufficient area for the growth of lateral children. The depth of the container is at least 10-15 cm. For an individual plant, the container exceeds the diameter of the previous one by 1 cm.

You can buy potting soil from a store (cactus potting soil) or prepare your potting soil yourself. The composition includes 3 parts of leaf humus, 4 parts of sod land, 3 parts of gravel chips or coarse sand, 1-2 parts of peat. Add 5-10 g of nitrophoska per kg of the mixture to the mixture and mix thoroughly.

At least 2-5 cm of drainage is laid at the bottom of the container, part of the soil mixture is poured. Free the cactus from the pot. Examine the roots and remove the sick, decayed. The soil ball is destroyed only in plants with a diseased root system.

The prepared plant along with a lump of soil (for less damage to the roots) is planted in a permanent place. When planting, the cactus stalk must not be buried in the soil. The root collar of the plant should be at the level of the soil (even slightly higher). The potting mix must be dry. It is better to cover the lower part of the stem with an upper drainage, which will simultaneously fix the plant in an upright position.

After transplanting, the cactus cannot be watered for 4-10 days. If a transshipment has been carried out, then you can water at a moderate rate.

A freshly planted plant should not be exposed to bright sunlight.

Planting and transplanting can be carried out at any time of the year, but during the winter operation, the first watering is carried out in the spring.

Chrysanthemum Elinopsis, or Echinopsis chrysantha
Chrysanthemum Elinopsis, or Echinopsis chrysantha (Latin: Echinopsis chrysantha). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com lobivia

Watering lobivia

Watering plants is carried out only during the period of active growth, watered abundantly during flowering. Water for irrigation should be warm, free of chlorine and calcium. In hot dry weather, small plants with a small volume of soil mixture should be watered daily in the morning so that the soil has time to dry out by evening, then the roots will not rot from excessive moisture. The water must be removed from the pallet.

In the spring-summer period, you can spray flowers, but it is better to just sweep the dust with a brush and arrange a shower, covering the soil under the plant with a film.

In winter, cacti are in a dormant phase and do not need watering. The room temperature should be reduced to +8 .. +10 ° С. If the soil is too dry (the pot rings when tapped), then once a month it can be slightly moistened with slightly acidified water. Fleshy specimens of lobivia endure hibernation without watering.

In the spring, lobivia is returned to warm, lighted rooms and the first moderate watering is carried out in March with warm water. The next watering is carried out when flower buds appear and then after 4-5 days, checking the soil moisture. Earlier watering stops flower development.

In early summer, cacti begin to bloom their beautiful flowers. Lobivia is a daytime flowering cactus that lasts 2-4 days. During this period, the flowers should have enough moisture (without excess water). After flowering, the amount and rate of watering gradually decrease. The plant rests until mid-August. Then watering is resumed, gradually reducing by mid-October. In the third decade of October, the plant dies until March.

Lobivia fertilizing

Top dressing is carried out during the active growing season (March-September) with special fertilizers for cacti 1 time in 2-3 weeks. Miniature cacti feed 1/2 of the recommended dose. It is best to combine top dressing with watering. Large cacti are sometimes fed with dilute solutions of ammonium nitrate (1 g / l of water) or bird droppings (filtered infusion of a teaspoon per 1 l of water).

Lobivia pampana, or Echinopsis pampana (lat.Echinopsis pampana)
Lobivia pampana, or Echinopsis pampana (lat. Echinopsis pampana). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com muddyliz

Reproduction of lobivia

Lobivia reproduce by seeds, grafts and vegetative offspring. The simplest reproduction is by lateral children. They are separated during transplantation, left to wither for 4-5 days and planted in pots.

If you wish, you can try propagation by grafting in the butt. A young, non-lignified rootstock is cut (do not chew) the stem with a sharp knife with a disinfected blade, leaving the lower part of the required length. A thin strip is cut off from the cut part of the stock in one movement and applied to the bare part of the stock so that the cut does not dry out. Cut off the top of the scion and, after removing the protective strip from the stock, combine both halves (stock with the scion).

Before combining, the sharp edges of the slices are rounded in a circle so that they fit snugly against each other and do not bend over time. For stability, the stock is fixed in the soil with a peg. The alignment is carried out so that the centers of the scion and the rootstock coincide exactly along the conducting bundles at least on one side. With a careful circular motion, press (screw) the scion into the stock. So that no air bubbles remain between them. With rubber rings, the scion with the stock together with the pot is tightly fastened crosswise.

As a rule, the stock is wider than the scion. Its open space, after alignment, is coated with sulfur or coal powder. The inoculation is placed in a greenhouse. Do not water until the cut is dry. After that, the air temperature is raised to the optimum (+25 ° C) and watering begins. Watering is carried out carefully so that drops of water do not fall on the vaccination site. The tight bandage is not removed for 1-2 weeks, during which fusion should occur.

If the cut site is dry, the scion has released the roots, wilted somewhat, it means that the vaccination has failed and everything must be started over again. There are other methods of grafting, in cleft and wedge.

Echinopsis Tigel, or Lobivia Tigel (lat.Echinopsis tiegeliana)
Echinopsis Tigel, or Lobivia Tigel (lat.Echinopsis tiegeliana). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Fingoen

Exotics in the apartment and office

Lobivia are low-growing cacti. Their miniature forms start from 2 cm in height. So, in Lobivia Arachnakant, the stem does not exceed 4 cm in diameter. It is small-tuberous, covered with thin spider-like spines, grayish-green, unattractive. The apotheosis of beauty falls on the flowering period. Huge bright flowers completely hide the unattractive stem.

The overgrown dense pillows of Sylvester Lobivia are magnificent in miniature cactus gardens. Abundantly flowering plants attract with their unusually large flowers. Please note! Sylvester’s lobivia blooms profusely only after a cold winter.

Separate bright spots of large flowers of bright crimson, bright pink, red golden yellow flowers stand out in the offices of Lobivia Chrysant, Crucible, Bakeberg, Schreiter, Golden yellow and others.

Among the wonderful solitary exotics, one cannot fail to note. An attractive plant with a stem 5-6 cm thick, bluish-gray-green in color. The ribs of the stem are decorated with 10-20 spiny areoles of brown color up to 5 cm in length. It blooms with red funnel-shaped flowers 6-8 cm in diameter.

Echinopsis backebergii or Lobivia Bakeber (lat. Echinopsis backebergii)
Echinopsis backebergii or Lobivia Backebergii (lat. Echinopsis backebergii). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com lobivia

Lobivia pests and diseases

Lobivia are often affected by spider mites, pseudo-scale insects, scale insects, and mealybugs. Do not use chemicals for indoor plants. At present, biological products based on strains of bacteria and fungi that are harmless to humans are effective for such plants.

In specialized stores, you can purchase and use according to the recommendations indicated on the packaging, bipreparations “Zolotaya Iskra, Basamil, Akarin and others. Biological products Alirin-B + Gamair, Fitosporin, Integral are effective against root rot.

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Lobivia - the favorite cactus of offices - growing and care
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Anna Evans

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