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Maihuenia poeppigii

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Scientific Name

Maihuenia poeppigii (Otto ex Pfeiff.) F.A.C.Weber

Synonyms

Opuntia poeppigii (basionym), Maihuenia philippi, Opuntia maihuen, Opuntia philippii, Pereskia philippii, Pereskia poeppigii

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Maihuenioideae
Genus: Maihuenia

Description

Maihuenia poeppigii is a small, shrubby, much branched, prostrate cactus up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall. It is hardy cactus that forms large mats of cylindrical stems with small, succulent leaves and white spines, often consisting of hundreds of individual segments. It can grow up to 6.6 feet (2 m) in diameter. The flowers are very showy, large, satiny and lemon-yellow in color. The edible fruits are oblong, obovate to club shaped and up to 2.2 inches (6 cm) long.

Maihuenia poeppigii

Photo via llifle.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 6a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Maihuenia is an easy-to-grow plant. It can survive outside in the garden in the sunny rockery on a sheltered place, but only if it’s protected with a sheet of glass during the wintertime. It is also very good for a large pot which can be stored inside an unheated greenhouse or on a balcony, somewhat protected from moisture during the winter, but is probably safest to grow it in the Alpine House or in a raised bed inside an unheated greenhouse all year around, with lots of ventilation. They should not be kept hot in summer as they are from high elevations.

During the growing season it’s good to enrich the soil using a fertilizer rich in potassium and phosphorous, but poor in nitrogen. For a balanced development, it is best to place it in a position where it is exposed at least a few hours of direct sunlight. Water these plants only from time to time if grown outdoors, but it should be watered abundantly if grown in a pot or in the greenhouse, during the summer. The spring weather, with a high temperature swing between the day and night hours, and pretty frequent rains, can favor the development of fungus diseases, which should be treated with a systemic fungicide. Repot it every 2 to 3 years… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Maihuenia

Origin

Native to Chile and Argentina.

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