Opuntia reticulata cobra
Opuntia dillenii var. orbiculata
Opuntia stricta var. dillenii
The plant has nursery origin and was created in Europe.
O. reticulata cobra is a rare succulent, created in the nursery, belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The plant has an erect habit and develops a trunk from which form several branches. The stem is made of fleshy flat branches, pale green in color. The epidermis of the plant is very particular because it is characterized by protruding cross lines that are very reminiscent of the snake skin. The plant blooms producing small yellow flowers. The stem is covered with small, stiff spines and very irritating glochids.
This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a full light sun exposure but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 3°C so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly in Spring and Summer: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. If you want a faster and lush growth you can fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for cacti; stop fertilizing throughout the winter. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.
Propagation can be done only by cutting, to not lose the mutation of the forma reticulata. By cutting you can make the cut during the spring and then let the cutting dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C.
Opuntia was named after “Opunte”, the capital of Locride region in ancient Greece.
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