Gymnocalycium Saglionis ‘Red Top’

Most Gymnocalycium are small-growing compressed plants, and many of these have metallic-coloured bodies. This species is one of the exceptions, as it makes large olive-green bodies, These are complemented by dark red curved spines. Plants need to be about 10cm (4 in) in diameter before they reach flowering size. The flower buds are very attractive, also being metallic coloured, and there are no hairs or spines to mask their beauty. The large pink flowers appear in Summer. If the flowers are pollinated with another plant, the seed pods are also attractive, being about 2cm (1in) in diameter and turning pink when fully ripe.

This cactus is easy to grow and quite tolerant of -— low temperatures 10°C/50°F – if kept fairly dry. Like most plants, it will benefit from good ventilation, but not draughts.

This South American plant would normally occur in areas where it would receive a little shade from other vegetation. However, it will grow happily in either full sun or semi-shade. A South-facing window is suitable.

Water Gymnocalycium saglionis ‘Red Top’ well during the Summer, then allow the compost to dry before watering again. During the Autumn and Winter, keep fairly dry, giving only enough water to prevent the plant from shrivelling. This plant will soon begin to rot if it is kept wet at low temperatures.

A native of very arid areas, G.s.’Red Top’ benefits from a dry atmosphere.

Feed regularly every fortnight during Spring and Summer with a cactus food, or one recommended for tomatoes at about half strength.

Grow in a well-drained compost that contains about one third grit. Repot the plant at least every two years, taking the opportunity to examine the roots for pests.

Kept wet at low

If grown in semi-shade, it is a good idea to move Gymnocalycium saglionis ‘Red Top’ to a sunny position when in bud, as the flowers are reluctant to open if the light is not bright enough.

PLANT SURGERY

Mealy Bugs hide between the spines and are difficult to eradicate, as they are protected by a white, waxy substance. Use methylated spirit and a cotton bud to treat visible infestations; apply a systemic insecticide if this does not work. Treat the plant 3-4 times at weekly intervals to kill all feeding adults before they breed.

Corn Cob Spurge: Euphorbia submammillaris

This small-growing succulent makes neat, compact clumps of short, spiky fingers. The extremely small ‘flowers’ are yellow to purple and are produced on short stems, which later dry to form thorns that give the plant the appearance of a cactus. Cacti are all native of the Americas, but many other groups of plants, such as this succulent, have evolved to similar forms through the same environmental pressures. The largest of these is the Spurge (Euphorbiaceae) family.

The members of this family do not produce true flowers, just the important male and female parts which, in some cases (such as Poinsettia), are surrounded by coloured leaves. Small plants look like miniatures of the big cacti seen in Western films, while larger specimens combine to form dense clumps. This plant is fairly easy to grow if given the correct treatment.

The Corn Cob Spurge is not tolerant of low temperatures. A minimum of 10°C (50°F) is required, otherwise the plant is liable to rot. Like most plants, it will benefit from good ventilation, but does not like draughts.

Grow E. submammillaris in a bright situation – it will grow happily in a South-facing window.

Water the plant well during the Summer and then allow the compost to dry before watering again. During the Autumn and Winter. Keep fairly dry, giving only enough water to prevent shrivelling. This plant will soon rot if kept wet at low temperatures.

The Corn Cob Spurge comes from very arid areas and will benefit from a dry atmosphere. Feed Euphorbia submammillaris regularly every 1 -2 weeks during the Spring and Summer, using a cactus food, or one recommended for tomatoes at about half strength. For best results, grow in a well-drained compost containing about one third grit.

The Spurge family all have a milky sap that is very rich in latex. When the plant is damaged or cut, it bleeds, and this liquid is poisonous. On very sensitive parts of the skin, it can burn and leave blisters. The latex sets very quickly to leave a rubbery patch on the skin. Once set, it cannot be removed with soap and water, but will come off easily with paraffin. Make sure you wash the affected skin thoroughly with soap and water afterwards.

Care should be taken when handling these plants, and any cut surfaces on them should be sprayed or dipped in water as soon as possible to set the latex and seal the wound.

24. June 2013 by admin
Categories: Tips and Advice | Comments Off on Gymnocalycium Saglionis ‘Red Top’

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