Hurricane Cactus - Lepismium cruciforme
Very cool, incredibly unique succulent!
Long, twisting leaves grow and flower from the soft white nodules. Great in a hanging basket.
|Temperature:||Keep this cactus between 60-75ºF (16-24ºC) during its active cycle. During the resting period, daytime temperatures must be 60-65ºF (16-18ºC) and night-time temperatures must be 40-55ºF (4-12ºC).|
|Light:||These plants prefer their sunlight to be indirect or filtered. Do not expose to sunlight during the heat of the day. A healthy plant will show dark green growth with red edges if the right amount of light is being provided.|
|Watering:||The soil must have careful attention paid to its moisture levels. The roots must never dry out, but the top 1/3 inch of soil should become dry between watering.|
|Soil:||Best mixture for this plant to thrive is 3 parts potting soil to 1 part pumice, bark chips, or perlite. Pumice is preferred.|
|Re-Potting:||As the root system expands, your plant will need to be re-potted. Every 2 years, move the plant to a single size larger pot. Do not remove the soil from around the roots during transplant. Instead, shake the excess off, and fill in the gaps around the roots with new soil. Never re-pot within a month of blooming.|
|Fertilizer:||Once a week during the summer and fall months, offer your orchid cactus a balanced mixture of fertilizer such as 10-10-10, diluted to 1/4 teaspoon per gallon. In the spring, a blooming fertilizer such as 7-9-5 should be used. During the winter rest period, use the balanced fertilizer, but reduce feeding to once per month.|
|Humidity:||During the spring, summer, and fall, normal room humidity is tolerated. During the winter rest, humidity should be lowered with a dehumidifier in the resting room.|
|Propagation:||From seeds, this cactus takes 12-15 years to mature to the blooming stage. Propagation of a flowering plant takes one year, and is achieved by breaking off sections at least two leaf segments long. Permit the cuttings to harden for one week, then plant exactly two leaf serrations deep in soil. Water sparingly but regularly.|
|Resting Period:||In order to ensure blooms in the following year, these plants require a winter resting period. Beginning in December, move your Ric Rac cactus into an unheated, dark room. Provide it with daylight during the normal hours the sun is up. Watering should be minimal during this time. Remove from resting room in early March or when buds form.|