Plastica, terracotta, quadrati o tondi? Come scegliere i vasi per i cactus e le succulente

Di plastica o in terracotta? Rotondo, quadrato, basso o profondo? E ancora: meglio una sola pianta per vaso o più piante in un’unica cassetta o in un’ampia ciotola? A prima vista l’argomento può sembrare banale, ma la scelta del vaso corretto per la coltivazione di cactus e piante succulente ha un’innegabile incidenza sull’esito della coltivazione. La scelta del vaso, si può dire, è anzi strettamente connessa al tipo di coltivazione che adottiamo per le nostre piante (in casa, su un balcone, in serra, in piena aria, ecc.) e ai vari elementi che la caratterizzano, come annaffiature, tipo di substrato, esposizione, temperature, e molto altro ancora.

Vediamo allora in questo articolo, al netto di scelte prettamente estetiche e quindi personali, come scegliere i giusti contenitori per la coltivazione delle succulente, valutando pro e contro delle varie forme e dei vari materiali con cui sono realizzati i vasi reperibili in commercio. (…)

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Terra, terriccio, composta, mix: in altre parole, il substrato per cactus e succulente

Sarò tranchant, ma voglio sgombrare subito il campo da equivoci e falsi miti: la terra giusta per i cactus non esiste. Esistono tanti tipi di terricci (o composte, substrati, miscele, la questione non cambia) e ci sono generi che prediligono determinate sostanze e altri che ne richiedono altre ancora. Stabilito questo e depennata una delle prime Faq (Frequently Asked Questions) del cactofilo alle prime armi – «Quale è la terra migliore per i miei cactus? – si può dire semmai che da una parte ci sono le caratteristiche che un buon terriccio per cactus deve necessariamente avere; dall’altra le esigenze delle singole piante.

In origine la questione era semplice e la relativa risposta ce la dava il buon Giuseppe Lodi, il quale, dopo aver osservato “i mozziconi di radici di certe importazioni” e aver notato come questi fossero “incrostati di terra argillosa”, suggeriva un “terriccio base” decisamente “naturale” e versatile: “Si può partire da una miscela di terra comune argillosa (di campo o di giardino), sabbia grossolana e terriccio di foglie, in parti uguali. Di questi tre componenti nessuno può bastare, da solo”.

Salvo forse per la difficile reperibilità del terriccio di foglie (attenzione ad andare per boschi e uscire con sacchi di fogliame decomposto: ci sono multe per prelievi di questo tipo), la ricetta fornita dal pioniere italiano nella coltivazione di cactus e piante grasse era più che sensata, oltre che sperimentata. Al limite, considerata la difficoltà di reperimento del terriccio di foglie (Lodi consigliava foglie di faggio o castagno), che oltretutto deve essere ben decomposto (e anche in questo caso può contenere funghi e batteri pericolosi per le piante), si può sostituire questo elemento con della torba di buona qualità, setacciata fine e privata di grumi e filamenti. Peccato che nel corso degli anni ci si è un po’ persi per strada, accantonando i consigli del Lodi per puntare tutto su quello che per molti è ancora il substrato standard a base di torba, lapillo e pomice in parti uguali. Standard al punto da andare bene per qualsiasi genere e specie di succulenta.

Vediamo in questo articolo quali sono i migliori substrati per la coltivazione di cactus e piante grasse sulla base della mia esperienza e a seguito di prove e sperimentazioni con varie miscele nel corso degli anni.

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