Opuntia

 In Category Cactus

Family: Cactaceae
Habitat: Various areas of South America, according to the species.
Cultivation: Is easy to cultivate and tend to be a robust cactus. We recommend a sunny position, temperatures always above 5 ° C and particular attention to the risk of rotting.
Curiosity: The most famous Opuntia, diffused in southern Italy and across the Mediterranean, is the Opuntia Ficus Indica, from which the figs of India are derived.

OPUNTIA KEY FEATURES

The Opuntia genus groups various species of cactacea originating in South America, but today it is perfectly acclimated to other regions, such as South Europe. From the aesthetic point of view, most of Opuntia has a green-blue or dark green stem that develops into claddys: this is the correct name for the wide, flat blades that characterize, for example, Opuntia ficus indica. However, the protuberances of the cylindrical Opuntia are also cladodes, which resemble elongated leaves. The roots are large and developed mainly in width; this is why opuntia grow well in rocky areas where the soil is only on a surface level. Flowers have different colors from red to yellow; the fruits of some species are edible, as in the aforementioned Opuntia ficus indica that it is the common fig of India.

VARIETIES AND TYPES

Below is a list of species belonging to this genus. Look them up in our online shop, in the Opuntia section.

  • Opuntia aciculata
  • o. arenaria
  • o. basilaris v. cordata
  • o. basilaris v. nana
  • o. bigelovii
  • o. brasiliensis
  • o. bulbispina
  • o. clavarioides
  • o. clavata
  • o. corrugata
  • o. diademata
  • o. elatior
  • o. erinacea
  • o. falcata
  • o. ficus-indica
  • o. fragilis v. brachyarthra
  • o. fragilis v. oplocarpa
  • o. fulgida
  • o. hystricina v. ursinao. invicta
  • o. leptocaulis
  • o. linguiformis
  • o. littoralis
  • o. marnieriana
  • o. microdasys
  • o. microdasys v. albispina
  • o. microdasys v. pallida
  • o. microdasys v. rufida
  • o. miquelii
  • o. moelleri
  • o. monacantha
  • o. nigrispina
  • o. pentlandii
  • o. polyacantha
  • o. pycnacantha
  • o. reticulata
  • o. rutila f. mini
  • o. salmiana
  • o. santamaria
  • o. schottii

TIPS FOR GROWING

Are easy-to-grow and  are  robust cacti. Here are our other tips for cultivating:

  • EXPOSITION: The ideal location is sunny especially in the morning, but shelter during the hottest hours of the day.
  • TEMPERATURE: Opuntia like warm temperatures. The night temperature should never drop below 5 ° C. Resist short frost, but only with dry soil.
  • WATERING: Follow the standard rules for cactacea :. Water regularly every 3-5 days in spring and summer (even more often if the plant is in the soil rather than in a pot) then gradually reduce water with autumn and suspend completely with the arrival of winter.
  • SOIL: Outdoors it adapts well to rocky gardens; in pot, choose a rich soil a mix of gravel and inert.
  • CONCIMATION: During the vegetative period, fertilize once a month with a specific product for cactacea.
  • REPOT: The necessity of repotting  vary according to the species.
  • REPRODUCTION: Opuntia reproduce easily either by seed and by cuttings. Claddings can be used as cuttings; the classic “blades” are buried in an upright position for no more than two centimeters in depth
Official Web Site:
www.giromagi.com
Italian Blog:
www.giromagicactus.com
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