Oreocereus doelzianus

Synonyms:

Borzicactus doelzianus
Morawetzia doelziana

Habitat:

O. doelzianus is native to Peru where the plant grows in the eastern slopes in inter-Andean valleys and can spread up to 3000 m of altitude.

Description:

O. doelzianus is a very particular cactus belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The plant heavily branches from the base and can reach up to 2 m in height and 8 cm in diameter. The stem is erect, curved, bright green in color, completely hidden by whitish bristles that create a kind of cover, which helps to protect the plant from frost and the intense sun. The ribs are protruding and bear the areoles. The areoles are circular, greyish-white, densely hairy and spines are inserted on them. The spines are long, stout and yellowish. The flowers bloom from the pseudocephalium. The pseudocephalium is a flower-bearing, woolly and densely bristled outgrowth at the top of the stem. The flowers are long tubed, intense pink to fiery red in color and the fruits are spherical and yellowish.

Cultivation:

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 4°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:

Propagation can be done by cutting or by seed. 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. By seed it is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam soil and keep it with a high level of humidity and at temperature of 14 C°.

Curiosity:

Oreocereus could be translated as “Mountain Cereus”: from the Greek “òros” (mountain). It is common in the wild only at high altitudes.

Official Web Site:
www.giromagi.com

Italian Blog:
www.giromagicactus.com

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