Tephrocactus/ Cylindroptunia watering...

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Tephrocactus/ Cylindroptunia watering...

Post by pokey1 »

Within the last 30 days I purchased a T. articulatus and a C. fulgida. They were shipped bare root, and I potted them using the 60-20-20 soil I normally use. After planting, I waited 7 days to water. After doing some research, (D's G. and C.A.), it says that they should, in essence, NEVER be watered, once established. It does not specify if this is for potted or xeroscaped cacti. Any suggestions?
Also, if anyone cares to weigh in on this, what is the difference between Optunia, Cylindroptunia, and Austrocylindroptunia? I have at least one of each, and it gets kind of confusing. Thanks in advance! Joseph
Proud papa to 25 Genus and 78 species of these prickly devils.
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Re: Tephrocactus/ Cylindroptunia watering...

Post by CactusFanDan »

If you never watered any plant regardless of how xerophytic they are, the plant would eventually die. :P In the ground, I doubt Tephrocacti would need much additional water in many places in the world. I water my Tephrocactus thoroughly whenever they look thirsty and preferably when it's baking hot. Tephrocactus love a nice, hot and sunny position, like the top shelf of a greenhouse.

Opuntias generally have fairly flat cladodes (pads) which grow from the aeroles of older pads without bursting through the epidermis. The seeds are big, chunky and stone-like.

Cylindropuntias have cylindrical stems which grow in a columnar fashion, as well as offsetting laterally. Over time they form a shrub-like plant. As far as I know Cylindropuntia seeds are big, smooth and fairly flat. Once again they have a very thick and tough coat.

Austrocylindropuntias are quite similar to Cylindropuntias, but they tend to be clump-forming, have hairy stems, apical growing points (like columnar cacti), have persistent leaves (only shed in times of drought) and tend to grow a lot slower than Cylindro's. They're also distinguished from Cumulopuntia by having fruit with pulp. According to phylogenetic data A. lagopus should ideally be treated as Punotia, due to differing ancestors.

Tephrocactus have round cladodes (or are terete-stemmed) which grow from the aeroles of older pads often by bursting through the epidermis. The growth is determinate, which means that pads don't have a growing point, or any distinct apical meristem. Growth only ever occurs in the form of new pads, flowers etc. from the aeroles. Tephrocactus seeds are surrounded by a corky-material in all species apart from T. verschaffeltii and T. recurvatus. Or as Ritz et al. puts it, they have an "aerenchymatic funicular girdle". :wink: Also, upon reading more of this text, Tephrocactus glochids are sunk into cavities with small openings. :P

I might try and make a quick guide to Opuntiad genera for reference purposes if anyone's interested.
Happy growing!

There is always one more glochid. Somewhere.
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Re: Tephrocactus/ Cylindroptunia watering...

Post by iann »

Never watered in the ground maybe :) In a pot under a roof they will need to be watered.

Tephrocactus articulatus can be watered generously (although always allow to dry out in between) at the height of summer. Dry in winter. I back off the summer watering once the new pads from that spring have fully developed and the old ones have fattened up. They will do fine with a lot less water than that. They like it hot and with lots of sun. There are various viewpoints about delaying spring watering until pads (or buds!) start to form, or just getting on with it like any other cactus. I don't think it makes a huge amount of difference, but don't go mad in early spring because they really don't wake up until it is warm.
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Re: Tephrocactus/ Cylindroptunia watering...

Post by CoronaCactus »

Opuntia come from both North and South America. Cylindropuntia are almost all from North America (C. tunicata comes to mind, as it's also found in Chile) but Austrocylindropuntia are all from South America (or Central America) Austro meaning south or southern.

Try this scenerio...when your a child you need food and water to grow up big and strong. Does that mean when your an adult you don't need food and water to survive? Websites that say Cacti don't need water obviously have never grown them. Especially true of cultivated cacti grown in a greenhouse our in the garden that are not native to the area. Of course they need water!
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