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Trichocereus & Echinopsis Hybrid growing culture -Echinopsis are not your typical hot Mojave desert cactus. In fact most of the Echinopsis offered here have huge day blooming flowers as there hybrids. The hybrids come in a wide range of vividly colored blooms, unlike most Echinopsis species found in there native habitat. But they like similar growing requirements as the species that they were first crossed with. Trichocereus hybrids can handle more sun exposure and are better adapted to even planting in the ground as landscape plants. Although both Trichocereus and Echinopsis are now classified into one family 'Echinopsis' this website has them separated mostly due to there growth size when mature. The pictures below show a typical Cv Echinopsis and a Cv Trichocereus.
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Heres a picture of a mature averaged sized hybrid Echinopsis below CV "Enchantment".
And a mature averaged sized hybrid Trichocereus Cv "EPIC" pictured below.
Echinopsis Species -Used in hybridizing mostly originated from low mountain elevations in Peru, where the weather is cooler, has occasional rainfall, little or no chance of freezing. They can grow in warmer climates but need a little shade from the hot mid day sun in summer. Unlike south west cactus they like to be fertilized regularily during warm months and to be watered well. In winter there semi-dormant and grow slowly, if at all and need very little care. In winter you only need to make sure they have some moisture in the soil and don’t go completely dry. They can not go below freezing for any long period of time and will need to be brought indoors/or green housed if you live in a cold region. Unlike some of there close desert realatives there easy to move in containers since most are low growing semi-columar 3-4” high to 12” on average when mature. Some can get larger but most are in this range. So in a 6” or slightly bigger container there fairly easy to transport and don’t take up a lot of space. In fact they do well in a bright kitchen window sill. The blooms are what make the hybrids spectacular as most have vivid colors and bloom size is often larger than the entire cactus plant it grew from.
ECHINOPSIS GROWING AND CARE
Bright light a few hours of direct sunlight, some can handle full sun all day in more temperate climates like southern California by the coast, inland a little shade provided by a shadow cast by a structure or shade cover is sufficient.
They can not go below 32 degrees for any long length of time.
2) SOIL MIX
Regular cactus mix is fine, they also can use the Epi mixes listed on the soil mix page but remove any wood products first-like bark and add 20-30% washed sand instead. Like Epis there soil should be changed yearly at the end of blooming, if the look good-(green stems) you can skip a year, but overall condition and blooming is better with yearly repotting.For more information on soil mixes visit ourSoil Mix Page!
Echinopsis like frequent waterings during warm months, but can be drought tolorant if need be for short periods, just be sure to never let them go completely dry. During winter only water enough to keep from dying out.
There reatively heavy feeders like Epis and like regular applications of a lower formula 10-10-5 or equivalent fertilizer in the warm season.
Small pups can be started in 4” to 6” containers and as they grow upsized as needed.
Is commonly by offsets or small pups that ring the base of the soil line or slightly beneath, connected to the mother stem. Ocassionally offsets will sproat from higher up the stem or the tip and will not have any of there own roots, these can be cut off after 1”+ diameter is achieved and also placed in soil to root. Top cuts of the main stem are very easy to root also. After a top cut you will tend to get pups on the main stem with varieties that seldom pup, it pushes puping. Heres an a few examples of a top cuts below. The cuts were made with a slight angle to keep moisture/rain off. Some Echinopsis varieties will take 1 to 5 months to produce pups after a top cut. Top cutting may seem drastic but the good news is besides getting new pups from the mother Echinopsis plant, the top cut can be rooted too! Just allow the top cut section 2 weeks minumum to score over well before planting as there thick and have allot of stored water inside.
TRICHOCEREUS GROWING & CARE
Same care as Echinopsis care/requirements above but most can handle full sun all day in summer. Trichocereus tend to grow larger 18” high to a few feet and 6” diameter + so there able to be moved indoors in cold climates but not as easily as Echinopsis.
(Above show several blooming Echinopsis Varieties, Echinopsis are easy to care for and often the blooms are larger than the Echinopsis plant itself.)
With so many Epiphyllum varieties, several other types of plants and more added every day heres an easy to use search box for your convienance to find the many plant varieties on the Mattslandscape.com website
( Above is a time lapse bloom video of Echinopsis cv 'Impulse'.)
To see several Trichocereus and Epi Cacti hybrids created by Eckhard Meier visit his hybridizing page by clicking the link below.