Ario care

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fanaticactus
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Ario care

Post by fanaticactus »

This summer I acquired my first two Ariocarpus: an agavoides and a trigonus x fissuratus hybrid. I read that the agavoides has flowers in the fall. To date it has shown nothing yet in the way of buds. I don't know when the hybrid should bloom. When is the usual blooming time for most Arios? They are currently in my GH, where it has been getting down into the 40s at night (but still 90 or above during some sunny days). Should I bring them inside now? What temperature best suit them during the winter? And what about water? No water or just a tiny bit every couple of weeks? They're in quite small pots.
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vlani
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Re: Ario care

Post by vlani »

Bloom time is now, September-October, sometimes a bit later.

Keep them cool but do not freeze in winter, and do not worry about water at all. Water during summer only, couple times a months is just fine.
iann
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Re: Ario care

Post by iann »

No water. They are safe enough at 40F, safe even slightly below freezing if you like to live dangerously, but they need to be dry when it is cold. I won't be watering mind again (except seedlings under lights) until April at the earliest, probably May. I water regularly when it is hot (hot for England!), not at all at other times. A reasonable sized Ariocarpus can go for years without water.
--ian
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Peterthecactusguy
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Re: Ario care

Post by Peterthecactusguy »

that's neat to know Ian. I don't have any Arios but I didn't know that they could go years without water. I suppose they are adapted to the conditions where they are from. Neat how cacti can last so long without water.
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fanaticactus
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Re: Ario care

Post by fanaticactus »

Mine are babies--probably barely out of the seedling category. Does this change the abovementioned care?
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vlani
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Re: Ario care

Post by vlani »

No
fanaticactus
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Re: Ario care

Post by fanaticactus »

Thanks, vlani. I guess you can't be more direct or simple than that!
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vlani
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Re: Ario care

Post by vlani »

Just assuming that what you call babies is not really babies ;) You need to grow them from seed to see what babies really are. Arios for sale are usually at least 3-4 years old and very robust. Seedling at a size of baby-carrot can stay without water for couple years, if kept out of heat and direct sun. They call them living rocks, yes?

In good pure mineral well drained substrate they do well under general water regiment in summer months. You could actually make them develop reasonably quickly if your conditions allow to do weekly watering, on basic mineral substrate culture - with fertilizers and such. For Vermont that probably means hothouse/box of some sort for the summer.

Check this article out: http://www.living-rocks.com/laras.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
fanaticactus
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Re: Ario care

Post by fanaticactus »

Vlani, I appreciate the elaboration and the link to the article. I checked my catalog again to read the descriptions; the agavoides says it's a "dwarf", but gives no hint of age; the hybrid does say "seedling", but no mention of sowing date or age of it. I may decide to bring them inside in a relatively cool area anyway to keep an eye on them during the winter. I always worry when I've left very small specimens to fend for themselves inside a GH during a winter, although now I have a small space heater and thermostat to prevent the worst scenario.
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Steve Johnson
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Re: Ario care

Post by Steve Johnson »

Well, here I go hijacking yet another thread...

I love Ariocarpus, but I put it on my list of cacti that I did horribly with in my younger days. However, my cultivation practices have come a very long way since I've been learning so much at the forum (not to mention Elton Roberts and John Trager). Considering my success with "difficult" plants like Astrophytum asterias, Epithelantha micromeris, and Melocactus matanzus, I feel emboldened to add an Ario to my collection. My climate and growing setup should be perfect for one, so I'm taking notes on proper watering times and frequency here. If y'all wouldn't mind, I wanted to ask about the appropriate potting medium:

I'm currently using pumice/DG, so it's a pure mineral mix. I'd like to add some soil for my cacti next year, and I'll be testing several candidate soils for an 80/20 mineral/soil mix. Don't want to get into that part of it yet, but I wanted to ask if a mineral/soil mix would be fine for an Ario, or if it would be better in straight pumice/DG. I could certainly leave the soil out of it, so please let me know.

Thanks!
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vlani
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Re: Ario care

Post by vlani »

Not sure of the exact meaning of the word 'soil' for you, but I do not see any benefits of adding any part of commercial soil of any sort to cactus substrate. If you drive East couple hundred miles and bring home some desert soil - that can be different story.

My 'mix' has only one component - it is straight Turface(c). Fits 'difficult' plants well, and 'easy' plants are easy plants in any mix. They actually may become another sort of agricultural problem by themselves - namely becoming weeds.

For arid area plants grown it pots there is not much benefits from 'traditional' - read biodegradable - soil components in pots. Bio degradation would be required to turn organic media to nutrients available to plants roots, and ironically you want to avoid conditions required for that at all cost :)
And without extra supply of nutrients from that process actual nutrition value of the pot media diminishes quickly - in fact in a matter of months during active vegetation period. After what fertilizers is the norm, or your plants will starve till you repot them in couple years. They will do OK without fertilizer and may even flower. But some do that even if not watered at all so do not let yourself be fooled :)

My point is - no point mimicking conventional pot culture when you grow cacti. Orchid growers learned that thing long time ago.
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Steve Johnson
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Re: Ario care

Post by Steve Johnson »

vlani wrote:Not sure of the exact meaning of the word 'soil' for you, but I do not see any benefits of adding any part of commercial soil of any sort to cactus substrate. If you drive East couple hundred miles and bring home some desert soil - that can be different story.

My 'mix' has only one component - it is straight Turface(c). Fits 'difficult' plants well, and 'easy' plants are easy plants in any mix. They actually may become another sort of agricultural problem by themselves - namely becoming weeds.

For arid area plants grown it pots there is not much benefits from 'traditional' - read biodegradable - soil components in pots. Bio degradation would be required to turn organic media to nutrients available to plants roots, and ironically you want to avoid conditions required for that at all cost :)
And without extra supply of nutrients from that process actual nutrition value of the pot media diminishes quickly - in fact in a matter of months during active vegetation period. After what fertilizers is the norm, or your plants will starve till you repot them in couple years. They will do OK without fertilizer and may even flower. But some do that even if not watered at all so do not let yourself be fooled :)

My point is - no point mimicking conventional pot culture when you grow cacti. Orchid growers learned that thing long time ago.
Good, straightforward response. I've talked about the possibility of adding soil to my pumice/DG mix elsewhere. I was also waiting to test my candidate soils before I post up my findings and get some feedback. However, I already know what those soils will be, so rather than hijack the thread even further, I'll post it up on the Cultivation forum. I appreciate your no-nonsense approach, and I'll value your opinion even if it doesn't change after what I'll be describing on the new thread.
If you just want photos without all the blather, please visit my Flickr gallery.
My location: Los Angeles, CA (Zone 10b)
iann
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Re: Ario care

Post by iann »

True Ariocarpus seedlings can be recognised by their juvenile tubercle shape. Typically the juvenile tubercles are thin, pointed, and upright and this is very obvious in species like A fissuratus and A.kotschoubeyanus. Adult tubercles are wider and flatter and start to come in after 2-4 years depending on growing conditions. In the juvenile stage even the toughest Ariocarpus such as A. fissuratus need considerable shade and regular water. They also benefit from being kept warm and growing through the winter. With adults, trying to keep them growing in the winter is just asking for trouble.
--ian
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