How to Grow and Care for Copiapoa

How to Grow and Care for Copiapoa


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Copiapoa is a favorite genus among many cactus growers. The species are globose or globose-cylindrical plants that have well-defined ribs and a wooly apex which gives rise to nearly all yellow flowers. These flowers are funnel shaped, mostly between 1 and 2 inches (2.5 and 5 cm) in diameter and are quite similar from one plant to the next.

In contrast, the spines may be long and fierce or mostly absent. The roots may be fibrous or huge tubers that are larger than the portions above ground. Some plants are small individuals many form clumps, some imposing mounds of several feet across with hundreds of stems. Coloration is also a variable even with in the same species from glaucous blue-green, to deep green to brown.

Copiapoa is widely popular in cultivation. In the wild the genus is restricted to northern Chile. They are found primarily in the Atacama desert where annual rainfall is barely measurable. The plants in habitat get their moisture from coastal fogs. Despite the extreme and specific conditions in habitat, Copiapoa as a whole are surprisingly easy in cultivation. From seed sewing to the care of mature plants, this genus is very forgiving. While staying manageable in size, Copiapoa in cultivation will flower from a young age and reliably so each following year.

Growing Conditions and General Care

Copiapoa want exposure to half or full sun. If they are in full sun, they must be in a position with good air circulation or they risk sunburn.

Watering should be extremely poor, the ground must dry out completely between waterings. They should, however, be suspended during July and August. In this period instead of watering It will be appropriate to spray the plant early in the morning, before the temperature warms up, thus simulating the conditions that they would have in their natural environment.

The soil should be formed from a mineral substrate (for example, granite crumbled) mixed with very little universal soil.

Fertilizing should be extremely light. They are sufficient, in any case, from April to June.

Repotting

Considering that it is a very slow-growing plants, you can repot every 3 to 4 years (with differences according to the single species).

Propagation

The reproduction by seed is possible, but very difficult and slow. The plants typically produce few seeds that must be planted very fresh and they have a very slow development.

For this, the most widely used system to multiply the Copiapoa is the division of clumps that are created at the base of the stem, which can be picked up and planted separately.

Source: giromagicactus.com

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Copiapoa dealbata flower

Flower color yellow the flower multi-petals in trumpet shape.

Copiapoa dealbata for sale – Seeds or Plants to Buy

Requirements for Copiapoa dealbata growing and care:

Well drain soil, above 5C (41F)

What is the best way to start growing?
Plant / Seeds / Vegetative Reproduction

Is it necessary to graft or use vegetative reproduction?
Yes (for the colored plants need to graft on regular cactus)

Difficulties or problems when growing:
Can’t grow without the base of the graft

Planting season:
Spring to summer hardiness zone 10b, spring to autumn hardiness zone 11 and all year in hardiness zone 12

How to plant:
Main problem it’s the spines get into the skin and it’s hard to get next to cactus, need to relocate the cactus with papers cover enough that the spines won’t get to your hands, to put the soil need to use spoon or small shovel to push and tighten the soil, also possible to do it by hand but don’t squeeze.

Pests and diseases:
Snails, slugs

Pruning season:
All year

How to prune:
No special requirements

Size of the plant:
1-15 cm (1-6 inches)

Growth speed in optimal condition:
Slow growing

Water requirement:
Small amount of water

Light conditions in optimal condition for growing:
Half Shade / Almost Full Shade with some sunlight

Is it possible to grow as houseplant?
Yes

Growing is also possible in a pot / planter /flowerpot / containers:
Yes, container or clay pot that will be 20-50% bigger (not need deep because the root shallow) for good drainage that important use in the bottom of the container with little rocks like: gravel, lava rocks or pebbles, soil should be cactus potting mix, make holes in the container for good drainage, need to switch the soil after few years, removing the cacti from their pots, take paper and put slowly the plant on the paper, possible to “help” the cactus with the hands better to cover with papers or plastic wrap, after that prepare again the “little rocks” in the bottom, put part of the cactus potting mix, take the plant with and locate it in the new place, if it’s small take the soil mix with spoon and organize it (not to get the spines in hands) if it’s bigger use small garden shovel and squeeze the soil that the cactus will be stable and won’t fall, sometimes when it’s not stable better to add some stick that will hold the cactus.

Blooming information

Bloom season:
Spring / Summer

General information about the flower:
Yellow multi-petals flowers in trumpet shape

How to grow from seeds

Sow in in half shade, better sandy soil or well ventilated soil like cactus potting mix and good drainage is important

Saving seeds and care until sowing:
Dry and dark place in room temperature

Sowing season:
spring but possible in autumn and winter in hot climate, in summer put it in full shade, in hardiness zone 10n spring to summer, hardiness zone 11 spring to autumn, hardiness zone 12a all year

Planting spacing:
10-20cm, (4-8 inches)

Depth of Sowing:
0.5cm, (0.25inches)

Conditions for seeds germinate:
Moist soil but do not over water and don’t let it dry

Watering requires for Seeds:
Small amount of water, lightly moist soil and don’t let it dry

Germination time:
2-6 weeks

Condition of seedling:
Half sun and don’t overwater

Scientific name:

Categories of growing

Growing speed of the plant: Slow growing plants

Requirements for watering the plant: Small amounts of water


Copiapoa – Growing Sheet

Genus Copiapoa
Family Cactaceae
Habitat Atacama Desert (Chile)
Cultivation The genre Copiapoa needs exposure to half sun (or in full sun, but only in ventilated areas), high temperatures and scarce watering have completely to be stopped during July and August. It is characterized by a very slow growth.
Curiosity The name comes from the city of Copiapó, located in the Chilean region of Atacama where this genre has grown at the center of the development area.

The Copiapoa: key features

The genre Copiapoa consists of globular cactus that, stretching with growth, assumes tubular shape. With time, also, the new stems grow next to each other forming characteristic tufts. The plants are almost never high: they usually reach a length that can range from 30 cm to 1 m in height.

The stem has got a color of gray-green, with a peak covered by gray and thickly thorny felt.
The flowers are yellow or yellow-pink, they only appear on adult plants and allow to distinguish Copiapoa among the other cacti in Chile.

Most of the special features of this plant come from the special environment where it is developed such Atacama Desert, considered to be the driest area in the world, it is also characterized by extremely poor soils. It is a very homogeneous area from the climatic point of view located near the coastal strip and this can give the right humidity, that comes from the sea, to the plant.

Variety and Types

The copiacoa are considered a genre in its self since 1922, while previously they were part of Echinocactus family. According to the used classification system, there are 20 to 40 different species of Copiapoa.

In our online shop of succulents you can find many varieties of Copiapoa, with different characteristics and sizes.

The best known species is certainly the Copiapoa cinerea. This species produces on the stem a white cuticular wax layer which helps the surface to be waterproofed and to be more protected by dangerous sunburn. All that a very clear color, gray-white (hence the name). Thorns, however, are usually black or dark brown.

Among the other species we remember the Copiapoa lauii, the smallest species that is known in this genre, with stems that remain of globular form and produce beautiful yellow blooms.

In Copiapoa solaris the ribs of the stem is much more noticeable than in other species and the form recalls the one of other cacti. It is very difficult to find it on the market and it has slow growth time.

Tips for Growing

The cultivation of plants of the genre Copiapoa is not easy and the growth is very slow, so they are usually difficult to find on the market.

In fact, it needs slightly different care than those are usually reserved to the other cacti: needs even less water especially in summer and a land with mineral substrate.

  • The Copiapoa want exposure to half or full sun. If they are in full sun, they must be in a position with good air circulation or they risk sunburn.
  • The ideal temperature is between 6 ° C and 30 ° C.
  • It’s about watering that Copiapoa reveal to be particular plants. Consider that they developed in the driest desert on the planet, in a region where there is still more rain in winter than in summer but, on the other hand, plants can absorb moisture from the air that rises from the sea. So watering should be extremely poor, the ground must dry out completely between waterings. They should, however, be suspended during July and August: in this period instead of watering It will be appropriate to spray the plant early in the morning, before the temperature warms up, thus simulating the conditions that they would have in their natural environment.
  • The soil should be formed from a mineral substrate (for example, granite crumbled) mixed with very little universal soil.
  • Fertilizing should be extremely light: they are sufficient, in any case, from April to June.
  • Considering that it is a very slow-growing plants, you can repot every 3-4 years (with differences according to the single species).

The reproduction by seed is possible, but very difficult and slow: the plants typically produce few seeds that must be planted very fresh and they have a very slow development.

For this, the most widely used system to multiply the Copiapoa is the division of clumps that are created at the base of the stem, which can be picked up and planted separately.


How To Grow Copiapoa From Seeds

  1. The best time to plant Copiapoa plants is in late spring or summer due to the dry temperature. If the place where you live is not dry, you may create the perfect environment through an induced artificial climate.
  1. Growing Copiapoa from seeds is a process very hard, so you need a soil rich in nutrients and the most important of everything, a substrate with perfect drainage. Using granite crumbled mixed with very little of potting mix is ​​a good idea, if you do not have granite crumbled, you can opt for another mineral substrate that does not only have the plant, also that dry out very fast.
  1. The container where you are going to plant the Copiapoa can be a seed tray or a pot, a recommendation, is to plant Copiapoa directly in the flowerpot because it is a delicate plant. If you choose one, the right is a clay pot due to the ability to dry out everything in a rapid way.
  1. Fill the container with soil, moist it and then proceed to put the seeds gently. After spreading the seeds over the substrate, an optional step it to add a thin layer of the substrate, and cover it with a glass sheet, a white paper, or a plastic bag to wrap it up.
  1. Put the pot or seed tray in warm windows (allowing the light but having a shadow at the same time) if the sun is hidden or you are in winter, and everything is dark use a heat mat to keep them warm. Keep in mind that the best temperature during this process is 21º C.
  1. When the seedlings appear, is time to remove the glass sheet or the plastic bag, and put them in light but avoid direct sunlight.
  1. If you planted in a seed tray, or you planted various Copiapoa in a pot, and they are too big, transplant them into new pots to give them enough space.

Copiapoa Care Part

Watering: Copiapoa plants are not friends of the water, in fact, they are accustomed to living in the driest deserts of the world, and the way they get moist is through the humidity of the air that comes of the sea. In summer the watering should be scarce because at this time is when in the desert there is not rainwater, whereas in winter you may increase a bit the watering due to the beginning of rain in their natural habitat. Keep in mind that every time you water the plant, the substrate must be completely dry before water again.
During July and August, it is recommendable that you stop the watering and, in the morning, before the sun goes out, spray the plant with water. If you spray the plant early in the morning, it will simulate the natural environment of the Copiapoa.

Soil: it’s a priority that the predominant material of the substrate is a mineral that helps with the nutrition of the plant and also to dry out the excess of water.

Light:Light: a light shadowy place or direct sunlight (depending on the brightest of the sun) is the ideal. If where you live the sun is very bright as long as there is good air the plant won’t have sunburn if this happens to put the place in a light shadow.

Cutting:propagate Copiapoa is possible, the easier option is to cut a clump of the plant (clumps born at the top of the stems) and plant it in the container of your preference. Do not forget to use gloves because Copiapoa plants have thorns.

Pests and Diseases: this is a hardy plant that does not contract many diseases, however, if you overwater it, it will cause rotten roots. If your plant has a dark spot at the bottom consider using a fungicide cactus-friendly.


Watch the video: 35 Tipos De Cactus Gymnocalycium


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