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Accepted Scientific Name: Echinopsis hybrid (Trichocereus) f. variegata hort.
Origin and Habitat: Garden origin (Nursery produced cultivar)
Description: Trichocereus hybrids are very easy to grow and cold tolerant,as low as -5/-12°C (or less depending on clone). They need a fertile, well drained soil mix. Water the plants well and allow them to dry before watering again. This cultivars seem to do better with a little more water than most cacti. In fact, their cultivation requirements are really more like 'normal' plants than most other cacti. During the growing season fertilize them monthly with a balanced fertilizer
Sun Exposure: Outside filtered sun, but during hot summers the cactus are subject to sun burning (Especially variegated specimens), so grow them in half-shade. Inside they need bright light, and some direct sun. During winter months, put them in a cool luminous place and encourage them to enter winter dormancy by withholding water and fertiliser over the winter, as they will etiolate, or become thin, due to lower levels of light. They are susceptible to fungal diseases if overwatered, but are not nearly as sensitive as many other cacti, especially in warm weather. They tend characteristically towards black rotted spots unless watering is moderate and only in hot weather. If kept damp through cold periods, they will invariably suffer.
This plants produces large amounts of growth each year if kept well fed and watered throughout the warmest months, particularly if they have been acclimatised to accept full sun.
Propagation: By cutting, but unpredictably with a relative frequency some variegated seedlings appear among the plants of hybrid origin, it seems that the hybridization between species and cultivars encourages the production of variegated specimens.
Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Echinopsis hybrid (Trichopsis) group
- Echinopsis cv. Apricot Glow: has multi-coloured with delicate shadings of apricot, orange-red and yellow.
- Echinopsis cv. Barbara Cornely: Large-sized with beautiful salmon, pink and fuchsia tones.
- Echinopsis cv. Chamäleon: flowers are pastel red-orangish-pinkish on the first day while on the second they became clearly pastel-pink.
- Echinopsis cv. Chelsea Girl: has multi-coloured flowers with delicate shadings of white, pink and purple.
- Echinopsis cv. Dione: has bright lilac-carmine blooms with reddish-lilac-coloured margins, paler pink midline, green-yellowish throat.
- Echinopsis cv. Gräser Freunde: has bloom of approx 14 cm, bright magenta with a contrasting vermillion midline, the outer petals are dark scarlet.
- Echinopsis cv. Gräser´s Schönste: it is the most beautiful and most sought “Aporocandicans” with frilled salmon and pink flowers.
- Echinopsis cv. June Noon: has candid white petal with a canary yellow midrib. It is a Dimmitt hybid.
- Echinopsis cv. Super Apricot V. JB. Kornely: Flowers are multi-coloured with delicate shadings of apricot, orange-red and yellow.
- Echinopsis cv. Volcanic Sunset: has dark orange-red, long lasting flowers, with wide petals and rounded tips. 10-12(-15) cm across.
- Echinopsis cv. Yellow California: has bright yellow flowers with golden-yellow on the inner petals and some burnt orange on back petals and a lighter yellow throat.
- Echinopsis hybrid (Trichocereus) f. variegata hort.: has yellow and green variegated stems.
- Echinopsis hybrid (Trichopsis group): wide heterogeneous category of hybrids involving various Trichocores species (now Echinopsis) and other Echinopsis species and Lobivias.
Cultivation and Propagation: Variegated cacti are regarded as choice and difficult in cultivation, but despite that many of them are relatively easy to grow. But be aware that they cannot tolerate prolonged exposure to direct sun light (especially during the hottest summer days), so grow them in half-shade or under filtered sun. They are sometime seen as grafted plants, but some of this colourful plants (those with some chlorophyll) are able to grow on their own roots and are priced by collectors.
Soil: Use mineral well-permeable substratum with little organic matter (peat, humus).
Watering: Water sparingly from March till October, and keep perfectly dry in winter, at temperatures from 5 to 15 degrees centigrade. (In general these plants are more tender and cannot endure freezing temperatures). In the rest period no high atmospheric humidity!!
Propagation: By seeds, grafting or cutting. Because the variegation is due to the presence of two kinds of plant tissue, propagating the plant must be by a vegetative method of propagation that preserves both types of tissue in relation to each other. A most common way way to cultivate this partially de-coloured cultivars is to graft them onto another cactus which has chlorophyll and which will provide sugar to the mutant scion. The chlorophyll containing bottom part of the graft, called the stock, can be any number of different columnar cactus species.
Remarks: Seeds from variegated parents often give raise to some variegated seedlings too.
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