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From the areoles of the Peyotl cactus only hairy tufts grow out. Green, round with deep furrows and without thorns, the species of the Lophophora williamsii really exotic among all her thorny family members. From the center sprouts a pink to red, sometimes whitish yellow flower with a diameter of 1-2 cm. Originally the genus of Lophophora comes from northern Mexico and southern North America. There are two types: the Lophophora williamsii and the Lophophora diffusa.
Of course the Peyotl cactus loves the sun too. Therefore, he must get a sunny spot on the windowsill. In summer he likes to be outdoors. There he should be protected from rain and wind. In the first days of the move, from the winter quarters to the fresh air, he first needs a transitional period in which he is slowly getting used to the sun's rays. A summer temperature of 20° C is optimal indoors and outdoors. It grows best when it is much cooler in winter (10-15° C), but bright.
Who uses cactus earth is on the safe side. The Peyotl needs a loamy-mineral substrate with an admixture of sand or pumice. Important are good permeability to water and a high mineral content of the substrate.
As with all cacti, Lophophora williamsii should be poured rather less than too much. It does not hurt if the soil dries out completely. In the growth phase, however, he should not be completely dry. If the substrate feels dry, it can be poured vigorously and penetratingly. However, no water should remain in the bowl. To avoid lazy spots in furrows and between the buttons, you can put it in a bowl of water to soak in water until the moisture rises. In winter, he may like to stand dry, 2-3 small waterings are sufficient in this time.
Every 6 to 8 weeks the peyotl tolerates weak fertilizer. However, only during its growth phase in spring and summer. It is best to add liquid cactus fertilizer (NPK 3 + 5 + 7) to the water. But any other liquid fertilizer is suitable in which the proportion of phosphorus and potassium is approximately equal and the proportion of nitrogen is less in proportion. Tip: Geranium fertilizer (NPK 4 + 6 + 8), for example, has a favorable composition for cacti. Basically, when using other than cactus fertilizers always use only a quarter of the specified dose.
Of course, the species of Lophophora williamsii are not hardy. Either they are cultivated in the house as a houseplant throughout the year or they spend the summer outdoors. Then they have to be moved to a winter quarter starting in September. A healthy and flowering behavior of the Peyotl species depends largely on the ambient conditions in the rest period. Since he likes it bright, frost-free, but still quite cool, around 10° C are ideal. If these temperatures can be guaranteed, it needs virtually no water. As a rule of thumb for casting in the winter, the colder (not less than 2° C), the less water he needs.
The Peyotl possesses so-called beet roots and therefore needs high vessels. Repotting is done each spring, when the pot is well rooted. When repotting must be taken to ensure that the roots are not damaged. Shake off the old substrate well and choose the new pot approx. 2 cm in diameter.
The Lophophora williamsii species are also good for grafting. Grafting is a kind of finishing. The Lophophora belong more to the slowly growing cacti. By grafting on fast growing cactus species, e.g. For example, the Pereskiopsis spathulata, the growth rate is transferred after some time to the graft, in this case the Peyotl. It is therefore also called rootless Peyotl and not rootless, just grafted, Peyotl.
A vegetative and generative increase is possible. In vegetative propagation, the Peyotl cactus is cut just above the root. After a relatively short time, new heads drift on the cut surface. The cut head reproduces new roots in nutrient-poor, sand-stressed substrate. Another possibility, if present, is to cut off a smaller head of the mother plant and root it in a sand substrate. The tribal Peyotl is encouraged to drive out new heads.
For the generative propagation, by seeds, one needs a longer breath. For this, the seeds are pressed into a, if possible germ-free, moist mixture of soil, sand, pearlite and gravel about twice the seed size. A favorable almost 100% humidity is achieved through a translucent cover. The temperature should be permanently around 23° C. So they start to germinate within 14 days. The seedlings can be found after approx.Slowly get used to some sunlight for 3 months, but should not expose it to full sunlight until after one year. Tip: Cover the sowing with bird sand or very fine sand and spray with a horsetail extract mixture. The latter is a good prevention of fungal infestation, because in the first time, the substrate must be kept very moist and warm.
In case of inadequate care, scale insects, mealybugs or root lice can attack the Lophophora williamsii. Therefore, it is always important to control the cactus regularly for pests or external abnormalities. In the initial stage, the pests can still be collected or sprayed off. Later, only the removal of the affected parts, or at an advanced stage, helps to dispose of the whole cactus. It is very important to put the infested plant separately. For brushing the affected, mostly inaccessible places in the furrows, the following mixture has proven:
- 1 liter of water
- 20 milliliters of spirit
- 15 milliliters of neutral soft soap
The Peyotl cactus contains a not insignificant proportion of the alkaloid mescaline. Mescaline is a psychedelic and hallucinogenic alkaloid. This substance is covered by the Narcotics Act. It is not without reason that this cactus plays an important cultural and ritual role among the shamans of northern Mexico. The use of alkaloids from the Peyotl cactus is prohibited in Germany. Likewise, of course, the breeding of Lophophora williamsii to gain drugs from it. However, the acquisition of this cactus species and its seeds is without legal restrictions in Germany.
Conclusion of the editorship
They are truly extraordinary, the bald, furrowed heads of the Peyotl Cactus. And especially pretty when they flower. With the often numerous children, which he trains, it is relatively easy to attract new blood. As with other types of cactus, Lophophora williamsii applies when it comes to watering and fertilizing: less is more.
Worth knowing about Schnapskopf soonpeculiarities
- The Schnapskopf is a small, soft-fleshed cactus without thorns.
- It has a hemispherical shape, reaches a diameter of 8 to 15 cm and always looks slightly crumpled.
- The special feature of the Peyotl cactus is that it contains psychoactive substances that can cause intoxication and hallucinations.
- Even the ancient Indians knew this effect and used it purposefully.
- The snap head contains about 50 different alkaloids, e.g. the hallucinogenic mescaline, from which also the name of the cactus comes.
- The Peyotl cactus is native to Mexico and is also found in Texas.
- From spring to summer small pink flowers appear.
- The Schnapskopf is one of the slowest growing cacti worldwide. That's why it's pretty expensive when you buy it.
- Seeds are much cheaper, but it takes years to see a true cactus.
- The Schnapskopf needs a lot of light. He prefers to stay warm on a sunny windowsill and year-round. He does not tolerate frost.
- In the summer he can also be outdoors, but in the sun with sunscreen, always nice and warm.
- Once the temperatures drop below 10 ˚C, the cactus must be allowed.
- As a plant substrate is normal cactus soil. So that water can drain well, you should mix in sand.
- Connoisseurs of the small cactus recommend a nutritious mineral and clay soil.
- It is best to pour from below. Place the planter in a coaster with water and let the soil soak.
- The remaining water must be removed. Waterlogging is absolutely harmful to the delicate root neck.
- It does not pour again until the substrate has dried out.
- It is ideal to use lime-free water for casting.
- Fertilization takes place every three to four weeks with conventional cactus fertilizers.
- Overwintered, the Peyotl cactus is warm, not below 10 ˚C.
- It is hardly cast, but the substrate should not completely dry out.
- The Schnapskopf can be easily pulled from seeds. The cultivation is possible all year round.
- One uses cultivation soil, which mixes in about ¼ fine sand.
- The earth must not be too rough, otherwise the small seeds will slip through and fall too low.
- The soil mixture is slightly moistened. This is best done with a water atomizer.
- The seeds are simply sprinkled on the ground. They are light germs and are not covered with earth.
- Important for germination are high temperatures 16 to 25 ˚C and high humidity.
- The growing bowl is covered with foil or a glass plate, so that the moisture also holds.
- It is important that you can not put the seedlings in the sun.
- The little cactuses grow slowly for about a year.
- Then they can be transplanted into normal cactus soil.
- Diseases are rare.
- As pests can lice and also scale insects occur.