Maihuenia poeppigii (Otto ex Pfeiff.) F.A.C.Weber
Opuntia poeppigii, Maihuenia philippi, Opuntia maihuen, Opuntia philippii, Pereskia philippii, Pereskia poeppigii
Maihuenia poeppigii is a small, much-branched cactus that forms large mats of prostrate cylindrical stems with small fleshy leaves and white spines, often consisting of hundreds of individual segments. It grows up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall and can spread to 6.6 feet (2 m) in diameter. It Flowers are large, very showy, and lemon-yellow. The edible fruits are oblong, obovate to club-shaped, and up to 2.2 inches (6 cm) long.
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 in 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 stored inside an unheated greenhouse or on a balcony, somewhat protected from moisture during the winter. Still, it is probably safest to grow it in the Alpine House or a raised bed inside an unheated greenhouse all year round, 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. It is best to place it in a position where it is exposed to at least a few hours of direct sunlight for balanced development. Water, these plants only from time to time, if grown outdoors, but it should be watered abundantly if grown in a pot or the greenhouse during the summer. With a high-temperature swing between the day and night hours and pretty frequent rains, the spring weather 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.
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