Iloster and Rebucius - Cacti with Blooming Wreaths
Among flowering cacti, few plants can boast of such talents as ailoosters and rebuts. Rightfully taking their place in the lists of the most spectacular and abundantly flowering succulents, they can boast of strong tillering, high decorativeness, and amazing endurance. These are unique cacti, for flowering of which you need to make a minimum of effort, they also conquer you with their unpretentiousness. And although there is considerable confusion with classifications, rebuts and aylosters are still easy to recognize - these are rounded, strongly scrubbing mini-cacti, the flowers of which form peculiar wreaths.
- Rebuts, almost swallowed by aylosters, and their similarity
- Types of rebuts and ayloster
- Care for rebuts and aylosters at home
- Diseases and pests
- Reproduction of rebuts and ayloster
Rebuts, almost swallowed by aylosters, and their similarity
Cacti are rightfully considered plants that are found in every home. Each grower who at least once grew a cactus, probably dreamed of its magical flowering. Flowering cacti are often considered capricious and demanding plants. But you can’t say exactly about one of the most spectacular flowering species - about rebuts and ayloster very similar to them. Already these cacti have rightfully earned the title of unpretentious beauties. And they are strikingly similar to each other, not only in appearance, but also in their requirements for wintering and growing conditions in general.
Before you get acquainted with aylosters and rebuts, it is worth learning about the confusing and still unclear classification of these species. The roots of the confusion lie in the changes in the botanical classifications, due to which the dean, a beautiful flowering cactus to the ayloster, at the beginning of our millennium, was included in the rather large genus of Rebucius, and then, apparently, changed their minds, but not quite.
Rebuts and aylosters are so similar in appearance that it’s easy to understand why scientists had so many difficulties with definitions. Plants have always been considered separately, but in 2001 the birth Ailoster (Aylostera) and Rebucius (Rebutia) were combined.
The abolition of the independent genus Ailoster caused a lot of controversy, and their result was a revision of the classification after ten years: already in 2009, authoritative publications again “separated” the aylosteres, and five years later these cacti received a controversial status. Since no final decision has been made, their “unresolved” status (as “unresolved”) continues to cause even more difficulties with names.
True, on the practical side of cactus science, all these retraining had little effect. Most cacti, which are now either actually more correctly called rebuts, or are still not, are found on sale under the name of aylosteres. Even in professional catalogs and exhibitions, familiar species can often be found under the old and familiar name.
So both names - and ayloster, and rebutia, and even rebutia, can quite rightly be used as synonyms. Indeed, the botanical name does not affect the fact that these cacti are easily recognizable in any cluster of brothers. As well as the fact that distinguishing rebuts from ayloster is not easy even for experienced gardeners. These are so similar plants that you can consider them together.
Rebuts and aylosters are flowering cacti, distinguished by a special tendency to overgrow, the formation of children, dense constant tillering. Low-growing and easily recognizable by their almost perfectly rounded shape, these cacti are spherical stars, although a spherical-cylindrical shape is also found among some rare representatives.
The maximum height of the ayloster is limited to 10 cm, but most often they and rebuts do not grow above 5-6 cm. The diameter is also limited to 6 cm. The ribs are weakly expressed, low, divided into small tubercles, the latter most often arranged in a spiral. The minimum number of ribs is 11. The spines of the ailoster and rebuts are heterogeneous, but there are a lot of them, and, as a rule, they are very thin, bristle-shaped, about 0.5 cm long in the radial spines and up to 3 cm in the central ones. In one areola, you can count up to 30 thorns, so the whole cactus looks patterned and fluffy at the same time.
Flowering rebuts and ayloster
What Rebuts and Aylosters really do not know equals is in full color. Few competitors can compete with them on this basis. Due to the fact that the flowers bloom from the areola only on the lateral surface of the stem and the bowl closest to the bottom, the cactus as if puts on a floral wreath. The flowers are quite large, solitary, sitting on pedicels distinguished by their length, funnel-shaped, open wide.
At first glance, it is not easy to distinguish a blooming ayloster from rebutia. The only difference is in the details that you will have to look closely at: at the ailoster, the pestle is half fused with the tube, and the tube itself is covered with ovaries with hairs. But in both cacti, the flowers are glossy, bright, they open only in clear weather and close at night, hold for at least 2 days and amaze with the beauty of bright yellow stamens.
Rebutia and aylosters bloom most often in the second, but certainly in the third year. Most often, these cacti bloom in the summer, but under optimal conditions they can bloom not once, but twice. Yes, and the timing of flowering in some species is shifted to spring.
Iloosters are often called sun cacti. But such a statement is quite suitable for all rebuts. These cacti bloom an advantage in the fiery range, offering to admire the orange, yellow-orange, orange-pink and red pure colors.
Types of rebuts and ayloster
If everything is still completely unclear with the ayloster classification, then it’s much easier to understand the types of rebuts that are popular in room culture. Most often there are rebuts with the most magnificent and bright flowering.
Tiny rebucia (Rebutia minuscula), which they like to call simply minuscule and we have a very beautiful miniature cactus. A stalk with a diameter of only 5 cm seems to be spherical due to a flattened top. The tubercles on the ribs are arranged spirally, white spines in areoles numerous (up to 30 spines). Bright scarlet flowers with a light pharynx form a strikingly tight circle-ring. Previously, senile rebuctia (Rebutia senilis) was also considered separately, but today the plants are combined into one species.
Rebucius Marsoner (Rebutia marsoneri) - a spectacular look, usually blooming in spring. The dark stem and dark spines go well with yellow-orange flowers.
Among the rebuts, it is also worth paying attention to:
- solar rebucius (Rebutia heliosa) with very long pedicels and tiny stems, against which the flowers seem gigantic;
- golden flowery (Rebutia chrysacantha) - a charming golden cactus with pale yellow spines and orange-golden flowers;
- Rebucius Faybrig (Rebutia fiebrigii) - a cactus whose bright orange flowers emphasize the beauty of the pattern of white spines.
In the genus Ailoster, there are much more highly decorative varieties, although the total number of species is several times inferior to the rebuts. In room culture, 5 species are considered the most popular aylosters.
Isloster the white-haired (Aylostera albipilosa) - a dark green cactus with thick, white hairy spines. The flowers are orange or red, up to 3 cm in diameter, up to 5 cm in length. This species has not been transferred to the genus Rebucius, its status is still debated.
Isloster Cooper (Aylostera kupperiana) - a very beautiful cactus with a green or brownish base color and thin straight brownish spines forming a lace pattern of 13-15 radial and up to 3 central spines. The flowers correspond to the reddish tint of the entire cactus: wine or red-orange, they amaze with the size and greenish tint in the throat.
Isloster Fiberg (Aylostera fiebrigii) - a bluish-green cactus, in the color of which blue hues are clearly manifested. The needle-shaped spines are long, arranged radially, the central spines change color to beige. Red flowers sit on purple pedicels and tubes.
Isloster Deminte (Aylostera deminuta) - spherical, up to 6 cm in diameter, a cactus scrubbing from the very base, with thin spines decorated with golden tips and yellow-orange flowers with a diameter of up to 3 cm.
Ailoster pseudo-minute (Aylostera pseudodeminuta) Is a cylindrical view up to almost 10 cm high with white, glassy spines and central spikes. Three-centimeter flowers with an unusual shade of red stand out with a very long tube.
Since rebuts and aylosters easily reproduce and hybridize even easier, among these cacti, determining the species sometimes causes significant problems. Many of the rebuts and aylosters on sale are hybrids and their forms. If you want to grow specific "genuine" species, it is better to purchase plants in specialized catalogs, cactus clubs or at specialized exhibitions.
Care for rebuts and aylosters at home
There is nothing complicated about growing aylooster rebuts. After all, these cacti are mountain species that are content with minimal care. The only thing to worry about is a cool wintering, the conditions of which are somewhat different for the ayloster. Otherwise, the cultivation of this flowering fern is within the power of both experienced and novice gardeners. Becoming more beautiful every year, growing more and more, both Rebuts and Ailosters rightly prove that they have earned the title of unpretentious cacti.
Lighting for rebuts and ayloster
These cacti can be safely ranked as the most photophilous. Unlike many succulents, aylosters are not afraid of direct sunlight and even prefer to grow in the sun. Choosing a place for them, they always stop at the brightest window sill of all possible. Even the slightest shading for these beauties will not work.
Temperature in winter is the main condition for flowering of ayloster and rebuts. Without a cold wintering, the cactus will not bloom, but everything will also delight with its attractive appearance and growth rate. For ailoster, the optimal indicators are the range from 6 to 10 degrees, for rebuts - from 8 to 12 degrees. When buying rebuts, it is advisable to clarify the optimal temperature: it all depends on the habits of the plant, sometimes for new varieties flower companies recommend wintering at 5 degrees Celsius.
But in the rest of the year, the temperatures for these cacti can be anything - room or hotter. They gratefully respond to frequent airing and fresh air.
When growing rebuts, it is worth considering that these cacti are very fond of differences in day and night temperatures.
Watering and humidity
Like all cacti, rebuts and aylosters require accurate and restrained watering. Plants do not like dampness, but are not sensitive to infrequent waterlogging, although they require accuracy and protection from moisture on the stem. The frequency of watering is best set by the rate of evaporation of moisture and the temperature in the rooms. In summer, the optimal frequency for ailoster is considered to be 1 watering per week, but if the weather is hot and the plant is in the scorching sun, watering can be done more often.
Winter irrigation regime is also determined by temperature. Humidity for rebuts is reduced to a minimum even at ordinary room temperatures. With a warm wintering and when growing children with a diameter of less than 3 cm, watering is carried out sparingly and rarely. When kept in cold watering is not carried out, limited to a few drops of water to maintain viability only for very young plants. Usually this cactus is transferred to the winter dry period from mid-September and resume watering from mid-April or May.
The transfer of aylooster-rebuts from a dormant period to abundant watering and vice versa cannot be made abrupt. For a plant, the volume of water and the frequency of irrigation are necessarily reduced and increased gradually, without sudden jumps, allowing the cactus to slowly "exit" from its previous state.
For ailoster use only warm water, the temperature of which slightly exceeds the temperature in the room (after it settles). Hard watering is undesirable.
Ailosteres and rebuyts are more tolerant to humidity, but it is not necessary to spray them or constantly keep cacti in conditions of high humidity. To clean the plant from dust, it is better to use a soft brush.
Feeding for ayloster
Fertilizers for these cacti can not be used at all, but timely application of low concentrated fertilizers will help to achieve more magnificent flowering. Top dressing is carried out from April to September, 1 time per month. For rebuts and aylooster, it is better to use special fertilizers for cacti.
Transplant and substrate
These cacti are rarely transplanted, as necessary, if the plants have nowhere to grow. It is best to carry out a transplant in March, at the very beginning of growth, so that before the start of optimal care there is enough time for a full adaptation.
It is very simple to choose a substrate suitable for rebuy or ayloster: it is advisable to grow these cacti only in a special substrate for cacti or succulent mixtures for succulents - light, moisture-permeable, specific in composition, containing gravel and sand. For aylooster, a 3-part soil mix with 1 part sand is often recommended, but it is better to use more complex substrates.
The transplant itself is quite specific for both cacti. Plants are not watered before transplantation to completely dry the soil. A drainage layer is necessarily laid at the bottom of the pots, and the substrate is used completely dry, refusing to water after transplanting. Cacti are immediately placed in optimally bright lighting and warmth, but care is resumed only a week after transplantation from the first light watering. With hydration for 2 to 3 months, transplanted rebuts and aylooster need to be very careful.
Diseases and pests
Both rebuts and aylosters are considered species resistant to pests. The only thing that threatens these cacti is the spider mite, which loves the typical conditions for rebuts. But it is also very rare. At the slightest sign of pests, you should immediately begin treatment with insecticides in a weak concentration.
Common growing problems:
- stretching stems, loss of rounded shape in poor lighting;
- stunting in the absence of transplantation and top dressing for more than 1 year;
- stunting during improper irrigation - scarce in summer and plentiful in winter;
- the appearance of brown spots when water drops, high humidity in combination with direct sunlight, damage by pests;
- wrinkling and rotting of the stem during over-abundant watering during the winter.
Reproduction of rebuts and ayloster
These flower-crowned cacti are easy to propagate due to their constant growth and tillering. Iloster and rebuts allow you to freely separate the lateral shoots and plant them as independent specimens for rooting in a standard substrate. Such “babies” grow quite quickly and themselves produce large offspring, over the course of several years “catching up” the mother plant.
You can get aylosters from seeds. They are grown in a mixture of sand and substrate or stone granules and substrate, with upper drainage, exposure for 2 years. Sowing is best done in wide low plows, laying the seeds at a distance of 2-3 cm so that it is not necessary to dive and “touch” young plants. Germination requires a stable temperature of about 25 degrees.