Contents of the Spring 2012 Northants News
Three more difficult species
I have persevered for some years with the following tropical species, and pass on these notes on the successful cultivation of them.
is probably the most common species of Melocactus in cultivation. Perhaps
because a plant filling a 5” pot will soon produce a reddish brown
bristly cephalium and some small pink flowers and eventually, seed
berries. The habitat of this species is Northern Cuba, so it is a truly
days, many plants are field grown in the Canary Islands for the European
care should be extended to Melocacti with cephalia and they are best
brought in for the winter season and placed on top of the telly, where
they cannot see the programmes. Overwintering in a 60°F
glasshouse is not quite safe. A Melocactus with a cephalium that loses its
roots is sometimes loath to grow any more.
Propagation is from seeds, which grow painfully slowly here and can take sometimes, ten years to reach the cephalium situation. But really, it is better to buy a plant, keep it dry and overwinter it in a 70°F centrally heated living room.
chunks of cristate Euphorbia are often sold as grafted plants, and
occasionally you can find different colour forms with pink, red or yellow
edging. Do not be deceived by these plants, which are very tropical from
habitats in Eastern India, Sri-Lanka, and the Moluccas (Indonesia). The
species is also naturalised in parts of the West Indies and Florida. It is
a tall treelike rampant grower with three and four angled stems.
cultivation, grafted crests do not overwinter very well even in a 60F
glasshouse and are best brought inside for winter at 70F. My own plant is
now several years old, and like most cristate plants, produces a few
Well if I did I would need more space indoors, so decided that one plant
is really enough.