Cosa sono i “polloni” dei cactus. E’ meglio toglierli o lasciarli? Influiscono sulle fioriture?

Gymnocalycium quehlianum pollonato

C’è chi li chiama “rami” e chi li definisce “nuove teste”. C’è chi, più prosaicamente, li definisce “figli” della pianta madre. In tutti i casi si tratta di nuove “protuberanze” che spuntano attorno al corpo della pianta principale. Nei cactus, così come nelle Agavi, è un fenomeno molto comune e se in alcune specie non accade mai, in altre succede molto facilmente anche con piante giovani. Attenzione: non stiamo parlando di veri e propri semenzali nati al riparo del fusto della pianta madre da semi caduti da quest’ultima, ma di veri e propri nuovi corpi attaccati al fusto principale e che spuntano da quest’ultimo per poi crescere costantemente di dimensione. Il termine corretto è “polloni” e a chiunque coltivi cactus o abbia dato un’occhiata a questa famiglia di piante in un vivaio o in un orto botanico sarà capitato di osservare uno o più esemplari pollonati.

Perché i cactus producono i polloni, quali generi sono più propensi a pollonare e quali meno? E ancora, la domanda più frequente: è vero che i polloni “rubano” energia alla pianta madre e ne riducono le fioriture? I polloni stessi possono fiorire? Altra domanda molto frequente: conviene lasciarli attaccati alla pianta madre o è meglio toglierli? Possono essere usati come talee per ottenere nuove piante identiche alla pianta madre e, in caso di malattia di quest’ultima, possono essere staccati per salvarla e riprodurla? 

In questo articolo approfondiamo il tema e diamo una risposta a tutte queste domande (…).

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