Cultivation of Turbinicarpus species three
Repotting is best carried out once every two years in early spring although this can actually be at any time of the year with caution.
Either clay or plastic pots can be used remembering clay pots will dry out quicker. The majority of Turbinicarpus species will require a deep pot to accommodate the taproot once the plant has matured, up to this time shallow pots can be used.
Always use a dry compost mix especially if choosing to re-pot during the dormant period. Always ensure the plant is dry in the pot before attempting to re-pot.
Potting-up (potting to same size pot)
Carefully remove the plant from its pot and cautiously knock the old compost away from the roots taking great care not to damage any of the fine roots or the taproot. Don't worry if you can't remove all of the compost it is better to leave it intact rather than risk damaging the roots! Take this opportunity to examine the plant for any signs of pests or disease and treat as required.
Ensure pot is clean and pot-up plant using the 'Recommended Mix' without compacting but gently tapping the pot on a firm surface to settle the compost around the roots. Assuming watering has already commenced for the growing season, allow the newly potted plant two weeks without water to ensure any root damage has healed.
· Recommended Potting Mix for Turbinicarpus.
Potting-on (potting on to next size pot)
Carefully remove the plant from its pot trying to keep the existing compost intact. Take this opportunity to examine the plant for any signs of pests or disease and treat as required.
Select new pot one size larger than old (do not be tempted to jump more than one pot size), pot on using the 'Recommended Mix'. Pot-on the plant as described above.
Unfortunately as the majority of the species are solitary they do not produce offsets there cuttings are not an option.
Fortunately the majority of the species are easily propagated from seed and success levels are generally quite good. Seedlings tend to grow away quite quickly and can produce flowering sized plants within just a few years.
Using small pots 50mm diameter fill two thirds with a sterilised 50:50 mixture of John Innes seedling compost : sharp sand. Water thoroughly with a solution of Copper Fungicide 'Cheshunt Compound' and evenly spread the fine seed over the surface, there is no need to cover the seeds.
The pots are then placed and sealed individually in polythene bags and put in a propagator or on a warm windowsill out of direct sunlight and kept around 21-25 degrees Celsius but no higher than 30°C until the seed germinate which should be within 3 weeks.
Keep the plants covered until they are about 6-8mm high and then uncover. When the seedlings are about 10mm high re-pot individually into small 50mm pots and treat as adult plants.
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