Conditions for successful cultivation of cicas
Priming. Tsikas are not demanding on the ground, however, two factors must be taken into account. This is acidity - cicas prefers a slightly acidic reaction of the soil (pH from 6.5 to 7.0), when alkalizing, nutrients cease to be absorbed. And the mechanical composition of the soil - it must be well drained, while it is not enough just to pour a layer of drainage on the bottom of the pot, such drainage does not guarantee a quick passage of water. The soil must be drained throughout; for this, more sand or small pebbles should be mixed into it.
Illumination should be maximum, south-facing windows are optimal. In the winter months, it is necessary to supplement the illumination of plants with phyto-lamps or at least fluorescent lamps (for one cicasa, a close 36 W or more powerful energy-saving lamp will be enough), while 12-14 hours of daylight hours are required. With a lack of light, long and underdeveloped leaves grow, which soon turn yellow and die off, they should be removed. Low illumination can cause a complete cessation of growth for several years, during which not a single new leaf will appear. In summer, it is useful to take cicasas out into the garden or on the balcony, but it is necessary to accustom them to sunlight gradually, otherwise the leaves may get burned.
Temperature... In the summer months, the cicassus prefers heat; with a lack of heat, it can die from exhaustion for several years in a row. In winter, the temperature of the content must be reduced to + 12 + 17 ° C. It can withstand short-term slight frosts, but the leaves may suffer.
Watering is very important in the life of the cicassa, despite its drought tolerance. When growing in a pot or container, allow the soil to dry out half the depth or even almost completely, then slowly and gradually spill the soil from above quite abundantly so that there is enough water for all the roots. It is useful to water the cicassus twice: the first time the soil is wetted, the second time it is saturated with water after a few minutes. Excess water from the pan must be drained. The higher the light and temperature, the more often the plant will need to be watered. Do not keep the plant constantly wet, the cicas does not tolerate waterlogging, but is adapted to survive during droughts. However, you should not keep the plant dry for a long time.
Fertilizers applied from spring to autumn. The amount of fertilizer absorbed by the cicassa is in direct proportion to the illumination. Only when grown in full sun can a full dose of complex fertilizers be given (optimally NPK 3: 1: 3 or 3: 1: 2). Fertilizers must contain trace elements. If the plant is at home in bright light, then it should receive half the dose of fertilizer, and in low light conditions, only a quarter. Lack of fertilizer is always better than excess.
Transfer usually held in spring or summer. If the moment has come for the ejection of new leaves, then you have to wait with the transplant, during this period the leaves are still tender, so they can be easily damaged during transplantation. The pot should be chosen only a little more spacious than the previous one. - Cycas grows best in cramped dishes. It is better to give preference to tall pots.
Read more about the transplant - in the article Transplanting indoor plants.
Pests and diseases. Tsikas - rather strong and resistant plant, but often damaged by mealybugs and spider mites, it is also possible to be damaged by a scabbard.Susceptible to fungal diseases if care is not followed.
Read about pest control measures in the article Houseplant pests and control measures.
Potential Problems When Growing Cycas
If the trunk becomes soft at the base and brown spots appear, roots have turned dark brown or black - this indicates the beginning of decay.
Rescue measures: remove the plant from the pot, free it from the soil, remove the rotten roots and cut the rotting place on the stem to living tissue (light and hard); soak in a fungicide solution (Hom, Maxim), dry, cover the wound with garden varnish or pour wax, treat the base of the plant with a root former (Kornevin - you can dry it, Heteroauxin) and plant it shallowly in sterile soil, preferably in perlite or sand. The plant will take three to six months or more to recover. If the plant does not begin to give new roots, then the decay process continues. Then you can try to process the plant again.
If the trunk becomes soft at the top - this is a bad sign, rotting has affected the top of the plant, most often it ends in death. The leaves turn brown and fall off.... But do not rush to throw away the plant, you need to cut off all the soft parts of the trunk to living tissue, treat it with a fungicide, dry it, cut it into plates and place it in a greenhouse on wet perlite. There is a chance that young plants will grow from the healthy part of the trunk.
The leaves turned yellow. Young leaves may turn yellow from excessive watering or too abundant dressing, from-for improperly composed soil or lack of light. Yellow leaves can appear when there is a lack of nitrogen, iron or other macro- and microelements in the soil, or when the soil is alkalized. If, on the contrary, there is an excess of fertilizers, then it is necessary to flush the soil with a large amount of water, pouring it from above and pouring it from the bottom from the pallet.
When waterlogged, the roots and trunk begin to rot (see rescue measures above). If the old, lowest leaves turn yellow, this often precedes the imminent appearance of new, young leaves. Any yellow or brown leaves must be removed.
The young leaves grew very long and underdeveloped. This happens if the plant does not have enough light. These leaves usually turn yellow and die off rather quickly, they should be removed, and the plant rearranged to a more sunny place.
Young leaves are shorter than usual... This can be due to lack of nutrition, acclimatization, problems with roots or trunk (see rescue measures), or during rooting.
Leaf tips or all leaves are brown... Darkening of leaves may appear when there is a lack of nutrition before the ejection of new leaves, part of the nutrition from old leaves goes to the formation of young ones. Another possible reason - in an overdose of fertilizers. It is necessary to strictly maintain the dosage of fertilizers, in case of excess, rinse the soil several times. But sunburn can also manifest itself if the cicassus was placed in the sun without prior adaptation. In this case, proper care should be taken. Also, the appearance of brown leaves is possible with frostbite and stem rot (see rescue measures).
No new leaves appear for two or more years... This problem can arise with a lack of light or heat in summer, with frostbite, with mineral starvation, as well as in the initial stage of decay of the trunk or roots. It is necessary to inspect the plant, in case of illness, treat it as described above.
When growing cicada, one must remember about its high toxicity for humans and animals when eaten. All parts of the plant contain neurotoxins that cause severe poisoning, serious illness and can be fatal. Make it out of the reach of children and pets.