Strane combinazioni della Natura: come ci è finito un onzuka nel vaso di un vecchio Thelocactus?

Quando si coltivano molte piante in uno spazio relativamente ristretto come può essere quello offerto da una serra (per quanto capiente), può capitare spesso di scoprire gradite soprese nei vasi. I cactus i cui fiori sono stati impollinati naturalmente dagli insetti o i cactus autofertili, in grado di fare tutto da soli, producono frutti, che una volta secchi si spaccano lasciando cadere i semi direttamente sul terriccio alla base della pianta. E’ così che ci si può trovare con esemplari di una certa età contornati da semenzali o piantine di piccole dimensioni, in una sorta di riproposizione “in vaso” di ciò che avviene comunemente in natura. A dispetto di quello che si potrebbe pensare osservando le precise procedure necessarie per la riproduzione dei cactus, la semina spontanea è un fenomeno comune nelle cactacee e talvolta è in grado di regalare vere e proprie soprese, come è capitato a me in questi giorni.

Ecco, nell’articolo che segue, un piccolo resoconto. (…)

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Da una bancarella un curioso ritrovamento: ecco come si parlava di cactus nell’Italia di 60 anni fa

Il Serpente”, “L’Imperatrice”, “Il Riccio”, “La Testa Irsuta”, “Il Tessitore”, “Il Re del Deserto”. Ecco come in Italia negli anni Sessanta venivano chiamati alcuni comuni cactus ancora oggi molto diffusi in coltivazione. Erano gli anni del boom economico e per quanto il Paese fosse concentrato sul rilancio dell’economia, la fantasia evidentemente non mancava. Oggi la maggior parte di questi nomignoli non è più in uso e fa sorridere leggere queste definizioni per le cactacee, ma anche questo è un piccolo spaccato di storia, un piccolo esempio di come cambiano usi e costumi nel tempo. 

Questa “finestra sul passato” mi è offerta da un ritrovamento fortuito, avvenuto qualche mese fa, tra i tomi di una bancarella di libri. Tra un volume e l’altro, ecco spuntare un opuscolo, un fascicoletto a colori in carta sottile, ingiallito dal tempo ma tutto sommato ancora ben conservato. Il titolo della mini guida (il formato è di 11 centimetri di lunghezza per 17 centimetri di altezza e le pagine sono in tutto 16) è semplicemente “Cactus – Enciclopedia della flora”. Da quello che sono riuscito a ricostruire, si tratta di un inserto dell’allora ben nota rivista “Intrepido” uscito con il numero 42 del 18 ottobre 1962. Esattamente sessanta anni fa. 

Per chi ama le cactacee, ama le curiosità e subisce il fascino del passato (come me), ecco allora un piccolo tuffo in quegli anni Sessanta (…)

Leggi tutto “Da una bancarella un curioso ritrovamento: ecco come si parlava di cactus nell’Italia di 60 anni fa”

Apre la nuova sezione de “Il fiore tra le spine”: ecco lo shop online e le schede di coltivazione in pdf

Il fiore tra le spine apre una nuova sezione rivolta sia ai tanti abbonati (grazie per il supporto!) che ai non abbonati. La sezione, che trovate a questo link così come nella parte alta del sito, è il NEGOZIO online. Qui avrete la possibilità, se vorrete, di abbonarvi al sito per la fruizione integrale dei suoi contenuti e di acquistare quello che di volta in volta il sito proporrà in materia di cactus e piante succulente. Partiamo per ora con le schede di coltivazione in formato pdf stampabile per proseguire, un domani, con altri prodotti come i semi raccolti dalle mie piante (non quelli di specie protette).

Vi spiego in dettaglio di cosa si tratta in questo breve articolo (…)

Leggi tutto “Apre la nuova sezione de “Il fiore tra le spine”: ecco lo shop online e le schede di coltivazione in pdf”

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

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. (…)

Leggi tutto “Schlumbergera, un trionfo di fiori a ridosso del Natale: cure e consigli di coltivazione”

Preparare cactus e succulente all’autunno: ecco tutto quello che c’è da fare

Ultime giornate calde, poi l’autunno entrerà nel vivo. Per chi coltiva cactus e piante succulente questo è un periodo delicato: è infatti necessario sapere esattamente quando sospendere le annaffiature, quali trattamenti fare alle piante e quando cominciare a ricoverarle in luogo riparato in attesa che arrivi l’inverno. Quasi tutti i cactus e molte succulente, infatti, durante i mesi invernali vanno in stasi. In altre parole bloccano la crescita e recuperano le energie per poter affrontare la successiva stagione vegetativa. Il freddo, per queste piante, è un alleato prezioso, in particolare per le fioriture, ma è necessario sapere come gestirlo perché è sufficiente un banale errore di annaffiatura per rischiare il marciume radicale della pianta.

In questo articolo e nel video a corredo dello scritto vediamo cosa fare in questo periodo dell’anno.

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