Bird Families

Rhipsalis - forest cactus care

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The more complete name of the species is Far Eastern or gray larvae. Most of the birds belonging to the larvae family are inhabitants of the tropics and subtropics of Africa, Asia, Australia and Oceania. There are slightly more than eight dozen species of larvae. These small birds feed, of course, not only on larvae. They deftly catch various insects right in the air, the wide beak is well adapted for such a hunt. On the territory of Russia you can see only one representative of the group. The Far Eastern larvae have a velvety-black “cap” and a white belly on its head. The back is gray, so the species is called otherwise gray larvaeater. It is really not as bright and variegated as its tropical relatives. It prefers to preserve mainly in the upper layer of the forest.

A cup-shaped nest of dry grass, usually at the very top of the tree, in a clutch of 4-5 eggs, they are gray-blue, streaked. In Russia, the larvaeater is found in deciduous and mixed forests: in the Amur region and in the south of the Primorsky Territory.

Australian larvaeater

Bird of the Passerine detachment, the Lichcoid family

Australian earthen grub (Coracina maxima). Habitat - Australia. Length 37 Weight 180 g

Ornithologists count about 80 species of larvae-eaters. They are common in the Eastern Hemisphere, in its tropical and subtropical regions. Perhaps only New Zealand was not "mastered". One species, the gray larvaeater, lives in the forests of the Far East. All species are typical forest birds, foraging for food in the crown of trees. A distinctive feature of the larvae is their slightly curved beak with a hook at the end, adapted for catching insect larvae in the breaks and cracks of the tree bark. However, larvaeaters successfully hunt insects and on the fly like shrikes and flycatchers. But, as a rule, their flight is short-lived - quickly taking off from a branch after an insect and grabbing it, the bird immediately sits down again. The larvae keep on in pairs or in small groups. Nest in trees, in clutch up to 5 greenish or blue eggs.

Ripsalis care at home

Like other cactus plants, Ripsalis is completely unpretentious. Therefore, its cultivation does not require much work and does not take much time.

Transfer

The flower has thin roots that are easily damaged., And brittle shoots. Therefore, transplanting of adult plants is carried out only if necessary (usually every 3-5 years) by transshipment. It is advisable to replant young cacti annually.

The flower has thin roots that are easily damaged., And brittle shoots. Therefore, transplantation of adult plants is carried out only if necessary (usually every 3-5 years) by transshipment. It is advisable to replant young cacti annually.

Succulent is planted in wide and small pots (floor or hanging). Small shards or pebbles (a quarter of the volume) are placed at the bottom as drainage.

Ripsalis soil should be fertile (rich in nutrients) with a slightly acidic or neutral reaction.

You can purchase cactus soil or make potting mix from:

  • turf land,
  • deciduous humus,
  • peat,
  • sand.

It is advisable to add charcoal to the soil mixture in order to disinfect the substrate and prevent the appearance of rot.

Watering

Rhipsalis, unlike other cactus plants, requires regular and abundant watering. But it should be borne in mind that the soil should dry out by about a third in order to prevent root rot and softening of the stems. During dormancy (it lasts for a month and a half after flowering), watering should be reduced. Water is used at room temperature, well-separated (within 2-3 days) or filtered.

Rhipsalis is an inhabitant of the tropics and prefers high humidity.

Lighting

Succulents love good lighting but get burned in direct sunlight. Can withstand partial shade. The best option for them is a west or east window.... Rhipsalis can also grow on the northern window, but in this case it will hardly be possible to wait for flowering.

In the summertime, it is advisable to take out the ripsalis to the veranda or balcony, slightly shading.

Temperature

The optimum temperature in the summer is 18-22 degrees, and in the winter - 10-12... In hot weather, the plant is taken out into the street or the room is ventilated. Draft is not terrible for him, but with strong gusts of wind, damage to fragile shoots is possible.

Fertilizer

In the spring-summer period, it is recommended to feed the plants with fertilizers intended for cacti 2 times a month. Half of the dose indicated on the package is enough.

There is no need to fertilize Ripsalis from October to March.

The fertilizer should contain a minimum amount of nitrogen. Otherwise, rotting of the root system is possible.

Diseases and pests

Regular stagnation of water can lead to the development of root rot, and hypothermia can lead to partial death of segments. Therefore, optimal conditions for the plant should be maintained.

Among pests, red flat mites and scale insects most often settle on Ripsalis. Soap solution will help to destroy parasites. They handle the stems well, preventing them from entering the soil. Then the bushes are sprayed with insecticides.

If the room is too dry, spider mites may appear. To get rid of them, you need to give the flower a warm shower and regularly maintain high humidity.

The most common disease is chlorosis. It leads to shallowness, yellowing and shedding of leaves, deformation of buds and flowers, damage to the roots, which can cause the death of the plant. To avoid the disease, it is necessary to take soil with low acidity (pH 5–5.5) for planting and carry out foliar feeding with iron in a chelated form.

With excessive humidity and poor air filtration, Ripsalis is affected by gray rot. In this case, the segments begin to soften.

Reproduction methods

Succulent propagates by sowing seeds, cuttings and dividing the bush.

Seeds must be sown immediately after harvest, as they quickly lose their germination. They are pretreated with a solution of potassium permanganate. Seeds are sown in shallow containers covered with a mixture of vermiculite and peat. The soil is watered and covered with foil. Ventilate daily. After 2 weeks at a temperature of 23-25 ​​° C, seedlings will appear. In order for the seedlings to develop correctly, they must be placed in a bright, warm room.

When propagating by cuttings, part of the shoot is cut off (there should be 2-3 segments on it), dried for several hours and planted in peat-sandy soil. After 1-2 weeks, the cuttings will take root and begin to grow new segments.

You need to divide the bush very carefully so as not to damage the roots. The same soil mixture is used for the cuttings as for adult plants.

With proper care, Ripsalis will delight you with an attractive look and long, abundant flowering.

Ripsalis species

About 60 species of ripsalis are known. Most of them only grow in the wild, but some thrive as an indoor crop.

Ripsalis cereus, or candlestick

This type is most often found among flower lovers. Due to the multiple branching short and thin shoots of the second order, which have notches along the edge, it seems that the bush is covered with lush lace. The main shoots are long and arched. The flowers are white. But at home, this species blooms very rarely and scarcely even if you create ideal conditions for it.

Ripsalis Barchela

Cylindrical shoots are short - 5-7 centimeters long. They are covered with a shiny dark green skin and have whitish areoles.

Ripsalis hairy

Light green stems are long (up to one and a half meters), thin, twisting and branched, like a hanging head of hair. The flowers are white.

Curly Ripsalis

Hanging stems form a lush bush. The flowers are creamy. In the absence of flowering, this species is difficult to distinguish from Schlumberger.

Ripsalis gnarled

Cylindrical or bottle-shaped shoots reach a length of a meter and branch strongly, forming a kind of cone. At first they grow up, but then fall down under their own weight. Large white flowers form at the tops of the shoots.

Rhipsalis strange, or paradox

Possesses the most unusual and spectacular appearance. Its shoots consist of segments that alternate at flat intervals.

Ripsalis thick-winged

Shoots, reaching a length of 50-70 centimeters, have an original color. They are green above, and lilac below.

Rhipsalis is empty, or cassette

Cylindrical shoots, colored light green, can grow up to three meters in length. The flowers are white.

Ripsalis pilocarpa

Differs in powerful and tough low-branching shoots of a dark green color. Many areoles have long yellow hairs. The flowers are yellow, fluffy (due to the long numerous stamens) and large (up to 2.5 centimeters in diameter). When favorable conditions are created, it blooms 2-3 times a year. Raspberry-colored fruits give the bush a spectacular look.

Ripsalis pachiptera, or thick-winged

A characteristic feature is wide (up to 10 centimeters) glossy dark green shoots with a reddish tint. The flowers are yellow, with many stamens.

Ripsalis elliptical

Flat and wide stems, reaching one to two meters in diameter, have weakly pubescent areoles. Light yellow flowers are placed along the side edge.

Ripsalis prismatic

The length of the cylindrical stems is up to 15 centimeters. On their top, shoots grow with several faces, which makes them look like a prism. Blooms white.

Rhipsalis mesembriantemic

It has an original look. Shoots of the second order are located very densely, like needles on spruce branches. White flowers are large enough (up to 1.5 centimeters in diameter), star-shaped. The fruits are pink or white.

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