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Ferocactus Specimens

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Ferocactus

Most of my Ferocactus specimens are Ferocactus emoryi, grown from Horti mixed cactus seeds. It's one of the species in which the seedling grows quite fast, and it will overwhelm your other seedlings if you are not careful. I wasn't, and ended up with all these tough plants.

A juvenile Ferocactus does not have ribs. Ribs appear as they get older. Forgive the strange colour of this plant, the camera was lousy.

If you grow them under shelter, the spines will not be as prominent. As you can see, this seedling does not have the thick, hooked central spine that Ferocactus emoryi normally has, if it had been grown in harsher conditions.

At right is a specimen of Ferocactus emoryi that is about 8 years old. This Ferocactus plant has a gland on the areole, just above the central spine, which secretes some kind of liquid. Boy, it really attracts ants . It's a problem with most species in this genus.

Ants carry bits of soil to the glands (to build a nest?) -- this encourages sooty mold which will turn the areoles into an ugly black. In order to keep the areoles nicely white, it is necessary to keep the areoles clean, free of dirt, soil, ants and dried secretions.

Like other deeply ribbed species, cleaning a plant of scale insects or white flies is a real pain, and prevention is definitely better than cure.

On the other hand, the root system of this species of Ferocactus is very strong, and it can survive being put outdoors in Malaysia. If the plant is healthy, it does well right out there in the tropical rain and sunshine.

One way of keeping Ferocactus plants clean is to grow them in aquaculture. I have a few plants in aquaculture, and they can be seen in the Ferocactus Aquaculture Page page.


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  Last modified: 2002-08-26  Copyright © 1997-2002.  Kein-Hong Man.  all rights reserved