Fockea

Fockea

Life form Succulent
Family Asclepiadaceae
Origin Eastern and Southern Africa, Western Cape of the Republic of South Africa.
Ease of cultivation Easy to grow, ideal for beginners.
The size In the room conditions – up to 0.5 m, in natural branches reach 4 m. The plant has a very powerful caudex, up to 60 cm in diameter.
Growth rate In young plants, the caudex grows rapidly, especially if the foca grows in a large pot. With age, the growth of the caudex slows down and may, in general, stop.
Lifespan Many years
Temperature In summer: up to 95 ° F. In winter, if kept at a temperature of 53,6-55,4 ° F, a minimum of 41 ° F is desirable and can withstand short-term frosts. However, watering in this case should be not too frequent.
Humidity Moderate.
Lighting Full sun or light shadow for the leaves. It is desirable to keep the caudex permanently in the shading, because in natural conditions it is usually placed in the shade of trees and shrubs. In bright sun, burns can occur on the caudex. To ensure the growth of shoots in the bright sun, the caudex is sometimes covered with a dark screen until the branches grow strong enough.
The soil Friable soil is suitable for succulents with a small addition of sand. For a mixture of own preparation, take: 3 parts of coarse sand or perlite, 2 parts of garden soil, 2 parts of humus (leafy earth), 1 part of charcoal and bone meal, lime or a little egg-shell. Good drainage is required.
Watering In summer, water abundantly, but the upper layer of the soil between watering should dry up. The plant is resistant to drought. Water approximately every 20 days   1-2 glasses of water, in November and February 1 time a month, in December and January almost no water. However, you should periodically check the need for watering by gently squeezing the aerial part of the caudex. If it is slightly soft, the plant lost the turgor, it must be watered.
Fertilizer 2-3 times during the summer with liquid fertilizer, alternating with conventional fertilizer with fertilizer for cacti. For rapid growth of the caudex, regular fertilizing with nitrogen fertilizer is useful.
Reproduction The most suitable way is to multiply pre-soaked seeds, which are planted in a mixture of peat, perlite and sand. Sprout at high temperature not light. The plant is dioecious, so a male and female specimen is required to obtain seeds. Reproduction by cuttings is extremely difficult, almost impossible.
Bloom Flowers in the form of a five-pointed star, like other latent,   whitish-green, not very spectacular, 0.6-1.5 cm in width, often with an unpleasant odor. Blooms in late summer.
Transfer In the spring, every year. Roots grow sometimes so fast that the pot can crack. For young plants requires a large pot, for the rapid growth of caudex. It is desirable that the caudex for several years does not rise very high above the surface of the soil. In adults caudex when transplanting, on the contrary, it is necessary to maximize “denude” the tubers must be cut loose from the soil. First they will be light, and after they will acquire a brown color on the air.
Features of care A period of winter rest is needed. In winter, the plant may lose part of the leaves, however, if kept warm, the vegetation period can last throughout the year. If in winter, keep the foca in the cold and dry, the plant can lose all the leaves and go into a period of rest. The plant has the appearance of a vine, so the branches require support, and it is desirable to initially make the support sufficiently large, because branches of the foci braid it fast enough.The plant grows easily after pruning, but it is almost impossible to root the cuttings. Depending on when the caudex is exposed above the surface of the soil, as well as from the irrigation regime, either a squat plant develops, or a thinly-branched, highly branched plant. If the caudex is raised early above the soil surface, an inclined plant is formed.In small pots, more stocky plants develop.With age, tubercles appear on the surface of the caudex.The plant is extremely suitable for bonsai. Tubers can occupy the entire surface of the pot.The plant tolerates the pruning well.
Difficulties It is most often affected by whitefly, aphids, and fungal diseases. Root rot is possible in winter in excess watering.
Air cleaning
Toxicity The juice that is released during pruning irritates the skin, avoid contact with the eyes.


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