Pereskiopsis comes from a family of Cactaceae and is like several other cacti you might have come across. The name comes from the genus Pereskia which is also a cactus with leaves, similar to Pereskiopsis. Let’s find out some more about these plants.
- 1 Origin and Characteristics of the Cactus with Leaves
- 2 List of Pereskiopsis Lower Classifications
- 3 How Do You Take Care of Pereskiopsis?
- 4 What Time of Year to Buy Pereskiopsis?
- 5 How Do You Plant Pereskiopsis?
- 6 How Fast Does Pereskiopsis Grow?
- 7 How Do You Graft Seedlings to Pereskiopsis?
- 8 Parting Thoughts
Origin and Characteristics of the Cactus with Leaves
The most common type of Pereskiopsis is Pereskiopsis spathulata and is used by horticulturists who specialize in cacti. The features of the Pereskiopsis plants are not like other cacti when it comes to water and humidity requirements.
They are more tropical and found in South America even outside of deserts. Many species can also be found in Central America although their presence is not as extensive as it is in South America.
These cacti are believed to be very primitive and often contain clues to the origins of cacti before the evolution to today’s varieties. That’s what fascinates botanists and horticulturists.
These plants are usually grown from their cuttings because the seeds are almost never found even in the wild. Flowers of these cacti are also extremely rare considering there are no definitive techniques of pollination.
Instead, what you do is get some cuttings from an existing plant that is already mature but not very woody. That is because the glochids, which are barbed bristles found on the areola of some plants, are hard to handle if the plant is too woody. They contain sharp spines that can pierce through your skin and cause irritation.
List of Pereskiopsis Lower Classifications
There are eight well-known types of Pereskiopsis plants. They are:
- Pereskiopsis aquosa
- Pereskiopsis blakeana
- Pereskiopsis diguetii
- Pereskiopsis gatesii
- Pereskiopsis kellermanii
- Pereskiopsis porteri
- Pereskiopsis rotundifolia
- Pereskiopsis spathulata
How Do You Take Care of Pereskiopsis?
Unlike the other types of cacti, these plants need organic material mixed up in their soil. That is because they are heavy feeders. Also, remember that the rotting of the roots is a common problem. So, keep that in mind while watering them.
Speaking of which, these plants like to be watered. Tap water is good enough but make sure you get some spray cans so that you don’t wash away the soil or cause flooding which is more likely if you pour water from a cup. So, fill up the spray can and pour some water separately on the surface of the soil.
Then screw in the spray handle and use it on the top of the plant. You can also spray some along the walls surrounding the plant to maintain the levels of humidity. The water on the surface is an activity to be done once or twice a week. The spray can, however, can be put to good use every day.
What Time of Year to Buy Pereskiopsis?
This plant is quite sensitive to extreme temperature, something that people buying cacti wouldn’t expect. So, the best time to buy it is not the fall or winter for those who live in temperate regions.
If you are living in the southern part of the US, you will notice that these plants are shipped all through the year. But all it takes is one winter for this poor plant to die when it is not in its natural surroundings.
So, you might want to get it shipped towards the end of spring or mid-fall. That way, you get enough time to prep it for the summer. If you are buying it in summer, make sure it does not stay in transit for too long because too much heat is a killer too.
How Do You Plant Pereskiopsis?
As mentioned before, this is mostly done through cuttings. Now, the planting of the Pereskiopsis depends on how many cuttings you have. If you have a display plan in mind, well, that must be taken into account too.
If you are dealing with multiple cuttings, a tray is a good place to start. If you have plans to do grafting in the future, you must place each plant in a separate cell. The roots of these plants branch out rather aggressively, so make sure you leave space accordingly. If you are dealing with a completely rooted plant, then spacing is another consideration.
Now, these plants are kind and allow you to make a few mistakes, which means you have a greater chance of keeping them alive even as a novice. Here’s how you plant them.
- Step 1: Take the cuttings and place them in the soil. The cut end of the plant goes into the soil. If you are not sure which end that is, spot the glochids that are pointing in all directions but upwards.
- Step 2: Dip them in a little bit of rooting hormone or add the powder to them before planting. This helps speed up the growing process. Otherwise, it takes a terribly long time.
- Step 3: Once you plant them in dry soil, do not water the cuttings for days.
- Step 4: Keep the plant near a window with indirect light.
- Step 5: After a few days, get the spray bottle and dampen the surface of the soil just a smidge.
- Step 6: Now, bring them into some artificial light so that they get used to the heat and humidity of the room.
If your cuttings came with leaves, you can see signs of growth in about a week. You will see a light green color and new stems coming out of the top or the sides. If you have used woody cuttings, it will be 10 to 14 days before you see any of these signs.
How Fast Does Pereskiopsis Grow?
There are different types of Pereskiopsis and the speed of growth depends on the type of grafting. Two different species are usually grafted together for the speed of growth and production of flowers. For this, you can use any number of roots that are hardy and can resist stress.
Some roots are good if you want to grow small cacti that can stay alive for a few years. For example, Pereskiopsis spathulata is used because it is resilient to rot and is said to be the fastest-growing cacti.
It makes seedlings from 3 cm plants within a year. But depending on the specimen and the weather conditions, the growth slows down in 2 to 10 years.
How Do You Graft Seedlings to Pereskiopsis?
Grafting different species of Pereskiopsis is mostly about growing a cactus quickly. And here’s how you do it.
- Step 1: Take about half an inch off the top of a Pereskiopsis plant and make sure you slice it off plainly. This should give you the right amount of diameter.
- Step 2: Pick a seedling and make sure it is clean. Some people like to wash in alcohol to make sure it is clean but it’s not mandatory. Place the seedling on a clean surface and slice it around the center.
- Step 3: Using a pair of tweezers, transfer the seedling to the plant. Make sure it rests on the Pereskiopsis’ stock and then give it a little push from the top to make sure there are no air bubbles.
- Step 4: Move this into a place with lots of humidity. Keep it here for about seven days.
- Step 5: After that, place it under grow lights (or whatever artificial lights they will be growing under).
- Step 6: Repot it with moist soil and within a few weeks. If the process has been successful, you will see new stock.
There are many different types of Pereskiopsis plants and each of the species has a different set of attributes. Whether you are planting individual species of grafting crossovers, make sure you read the instructions specific to that species.