Schlumbergera, un trionfo di fiori a ridosso del Natale: cure e consigli di coltivazione

Schlumbergera

Novembre e dicembre sono i mesi della Schlumbergera. E’ sufficiente un giro in un qualsiasi vivaio o garden per rendersene conto. Detta comunemente “Cactus di Natale” o “Natalina” per la sua spettacolare fioritura in questi mesi, Schlumbergera truncata è una cactacea diffusissima e conosciuta in tutto il mondo. A dispetto della forma del fusto, che porterebbe a pensare a una pianta succulenta a foglia, è in realtà un vero e proprio cactus, classificato dunque nella famiglia delle Cactaceae. Si tratta di una pianta epifita, ossia una pianta che in natura cresce appoggiata ai rami di altre piante, producendo però radici autonome e non parassitando le altre essenze.

Facile da coltivare, robusta e a crescita relativamente veloce, regala fioriture eccezionali, abbondanti e molto decorative, con fiori di quasi ogni colore ottenuti ibridando le varie piante, in particolare della specie truncata. Per la facilità di coltivazione, per la sua grande adattabilità e per il fatto che può prosperare anche in appartamento, è un cactus assolutamente consigliato a chi si sta avvicinando solo ora alla coltivazione di questa famiglia botanica.

In questo articolo, corredato da un mio video, conosciamo meglio questa pianta così diffusa e apprezzata. (…)

Presente in moltissime case e facilmente reperibile in commercio, questa cactacea ha esigenze di coltivazione sensibilmente diverse rispetto alla maggior parte delle cactacee. Vediamole nel dettaglio così da far prosperare al meglio le nostre “Nataline” e ottenere le loro splendide fioriture.

Origine

La Schlumbergera è una cactacea originaria del Sudamerica. In natura cresce spontaneamente in Brasile, in particolare nelle aree montagnose del sud-est del Paese, negli stati di São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo e Minas Gerais.

Substrato

Il substrato è il primo fattore che distingue le Schlumbergera dalla stragrande maggioranza dei cactus. In questo caso si tratta di cactacee epifite originarie di aree subtropicali e non semidesertiche come, ad esempio, Ariocarpus, Ferocactus, Mammillaria o Echinocactus. Per il “Cactus di Natale” servirà pertanto un terriccio più ricco dal punto di vista organico, in grado di nutrire maggiormente la pianta e di restare umido più a lungo. Una miscela adatta può essere realizzata mischiando torba e pomice in parti uguali, oppure torba per un 60% e il restante 40% con pomice, lapillo, perlite o ghiaia. E’ anche possibile partire dai terricci specifici per cactus facilmente reperibili in commercio (solitamente composti da torba e poca pomice o sabbia), allungandoli con inerti vari.

Qui trovate la sezione con tutti gli articoli relativi ai vari substrati adatti a cactus e piante succulente.

Annaffiatura

L’annaffiatura segue le regole generali valide per la maggior parte delle cactacee, con l’unica accortezza di non eccedere, evitare i sottovasi e bagnare solo quando il terriccio si presenta asciutto. Questo perché con percentuali di torba più alte il ristagno idrico è maggiore e, pur bevendo in misura maggiore rispetto agli altri cactus, le Schlumbergera vanno comunque soggette a marciume radicale se annaffiate con eccessiva frequenza.

Annaffiare i cactus: quando e come.

Esposizione
Schlumbergera
S. truncata, particolare del fiore

Le piante epifite non tollerano il sole diretto e se vengono esposte senza alcun filtro si scottano facilmente. E’ pertanto consigliabile coltivarle su balconi o terrazze non esposte a Sud oppure ripararle con reti ombreggianti piuttosto fitte. Un’altra possibilità è collocare le Schlumbergera in ombra (non al buio totale!), dietro piante più grandi o al riparo di arbusti o siepi.

In linea di massima queste cactacee si possono coltivare anche in casa, a patto di assicurare loro una buona ventilazione durante la stagione di crescita e una buona illuminazione generale, magari filtrata da una tenda. Anche in inverno, per favorire la fioritura, è bene tenerle in luoghi riparati ma luminosi. Il classico davanzale interno è ottimale per queste piante, avendo cura di non posizionarle vicino a una fonte di calore.

Temperature

Se la maggior parte dei cactus tollera minime invernali prossime allo zero (o ben al di sotto in molti casi) a patto di trovarsi in substrato asciutto, le Schlumbergera non dovrebbero mai andare a temperature al di sotto dei 10-12 gradi. Questo anche perché, a differenza della quasi totalità dei cactus, vanno bagnate con moderazione anche durante i mesi invernali. Dalla fine di ottobre si possono quindi portare in casa, possibilmente in una stanza non troppo riscaldata o, meglio ancora, in un sottoscala o su un pianerottolo dotato di almeno una finestra.

Come farla fiorire

I “Cactus di Natale” regalano  fioriture abbondanti e spettacolari, con i fiori di svariati colori: dal bianco al rosa, dal rosso intenso al fucsia, dall’arancio al viola. Farla fiorire è decisamente semplice, è sufficiente coltivarla correttamente, seguendo le indicazioni esposte sopra, e tenendola a temperature minime invernali non inferiori a 10-12 gradi.

Schlumbergera
S. truncata, boccioli in formazione

Un incoraggiamento alla fioritura va dato con la fertilizzazione. Coltivando con substrati ricchi di torba, per i primi due anni dal rinvaso non è necessario fertilizzare abbondantemente. Tre o quattro concimazioni durante la stagione di crescita, da aprile a settembre, saranno più che sufficienti, anche perché queste piante fioriscono facilmente e abbondantemente, se coltivate correttamente. Come per tutte le cactacee, è necessario utilizzare un prodotto specifico per piante succulente con basso tenore di azoto (N) e alti tenori di fosforo (P) e potassio (K).

I boccioli cominciano a formarsi tra la fine di ottobre e novembre e la fioritura vera e propria si ha nel periodo a ridosso del Natale. Forzandone la crescita con abbondanti fertilizzazioni, temperature sotto controllo, coltivazione in serra e annaffiature frequenti si può anticipare di almeno un mese e mezzo la piena fioritura ed è per questo che in questi mesi i vivai offrono il “Cactus di Natale” (S. truncata) in grande quantità.

Per maggiori informazioni sui fertilizzanti potete consultare questo articolo specifico, mentre per qualche dritta utile a far fiorire le cactacee trovate tutto in quest’altro articolo.

Il mio video

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