Strengthening the thorns of cacti: a small experiment with some Ferocactus sowings

Based on the experiences of some growers, plants of the genus Ferocactus seem to appreciate the addition of calcareous material in the substrate. Above all, the thorns would benefit from it, which would be significantly strengthened compared to those of specimens grown in more “traditional” soils, for example the classic pumice, lapillus, peat mix in equal parts. Based on this consideration, I wanted to make an experiment with some of my sowings of Ferocactus acanthodes (seeds obtained from a dried fruit taken from an adult plant during a trip to Arizona) and Ferocactus latispinus. The acanthodes were born in 2013, while the latispinus are from 2010. Except for the seedling soil, which was based on peat, pumice and gravel, these plants grew up in the traditional compost with 30% fine peat and the rest pumice and lapillus in equal parts. I generally use this mix when I want to help seedlings develop more quickly, and then pass them into what I consider my “standard potting soil” made of sandy clay, pumice, gravel and 10% peat.

In the following article we see exactly what my experiment consists of, what type of soil I decided to use and above all we see the results with the photos taken two years after the test. (…)

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