The unique combination of beautifully delicate flowers amidst thorns makes the hedgehog cactus such an appealing plant to have. This dwarf cactus can flower in different ways, giving you the most extensive range imaginable of indoor flowers to choose from.
Luckily, with the hedgehog cactus, you will be dealing with one of the most natural indoor plants to maintain. It is also among the most graceful when placed on your desk or strategically in your sitting room.
If you want a beautiful hedgehog cactus, here are the basic gardening rules you must follow.
Soil: cactus love dry, sandy, rocky, or gravelly soils. The soil must drain quickly but should not be dust-dry. Too much wetness in your soil will expose your cactus to root rot.
Watering: water the cactus once every two weeks or even less. Always allow the soil to dry before the next watering session. Proper drainage will guarantee the right balance when taking care of your cactus. The plant is especially sensitive during winter when it is difficult to drain the soil.
Temperature: cactus are built for dry areas and will, therefore, survive with six to eight hours of sunshine each day. You only need to balance temperature with commensurate watering, whereby you water more during sunny days and less during cloudy winter.
Pests and diseases: the most common pests to look out for are mealybugs and scale insects. Keep the plant in an aerated space with low humidity to keep pests away. Root rot and mealybugs will appear if the water is too wet. Ensure that the soil drains properly to avoid these pests and diseases. If the bugs fail to disappear, experts recommend that you repot the plant.
The above are just the tip of the iceberg in the care of a hedgehog cactus. A beautiful and healthy plant is one of the easiest cactus varieties to grow because it can tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions. Its graceful appearance during and after the flowering season gives you the ideal plant to decorate your space throughout the year.
Hedgehog Cactus Basic Caring Guidelines
The small stature of the Echinocereus cacti makes it easily identifiable. Its size makes the thorns prominent alongside the bloom at the top of the cacti. The flowers take multiple colors, including red, bright pink, or yellow. You should also check the spine pattern when choosing your cactus because the motif adds to the beauty of this variety.
However, the small size might present potting and presentation problems because the pot may overshadow your cacti. We will look at how to overcome this challenge during propagation. For now, let’s look at the vital details of care for your Echinocereus cacti to guarantee a beautiful bloom.
Here are the basics:
The hedgehog cactus requires very bright light to bloom. The love for bright light means that you should place the cactus on the west-facing window if the plant remains indoors. Do not worry about direct sunshine up to eight hours a day.
You only need to balance the lighting and sun with adequate watering. During winter, the plant will survive in a cool, frost-free, and well-lit environment as long as the temperature does not go below 50°F (10°C).
This cactus can survive in more fertile soil. Nevertheless, it is recommended to provide the ideal desert soil mix. Since you are using a pot, a mixture of sand and loam soil will suffice. It allows natural drainage to protect your roots.
Cactus species are meant for the desert and will easily survive with minimal watering. It is recommended that you water the plant once every two weeks or even less. However, the primary determinant of watering frequency is the type of soil used in the pot, plus the current temperature in your area.
Cactus love hot and dry areas, meaning that a lot of moisture will affect the health of your flower. Also, too much humidity makes your plant susceptible to pests.
Hedgehog cactus love dry areas and can, therefore, survive high temperatures. Hence, you should only worry about the prevailing temperature during cold seasons because the plant cannot withstand temperatures below 50°F (10°C).
Hedgehog Cactus Advanced Care Guidelines
Finer details about the care for hedgehog cactus will help you to get an even more satisfactory bloom. You also need to know how to handle the flower during blooming, propagation, and when to repot.
Below are a few more tips that guarantee a healthy, fresh, vibrant cactus.
Echinocereus cactus is propagated using seeds or through an offset. If you use the offsets, you will remove the plantlets, dry until they produce the callous, and then transfer them to warm and moist soil. If you use the seeds, it will take two weeks for them to sprout in warm and moist soil.
Because cactus grow slowly, repoting will only be necessary after two to three years. Root rot and mealybugs can be the only other reason to repot your plant sooner. Because the roots are so fragile, be cautious during repotting to avoid damage.
Cactus are desert plants that can survive in poor soil. However, the nutritional composition of your soil will determine the amount and strength of the fertilizer you apply. Experts recommend diluted fertilizer.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Hedgehog Cactus
The flowers usually present unique challenges while sending visual signals that feel strange to some.
Here are common questions regarding Echinocereus cacti that will make it easier to care for this cactus:
Can you eat hedgehog cactus?
This cactus is referred to as strawberry cactus because of the taste. The fruit is buried in deciduous spines that fall upon maturing. You can eat the fruit if you can handle the awkward taste.
What does a hedgehog cactus look like?
The cactus gets its name from a greek combination of two words, Echinos to mean hedgehog and Latin Cereus for candle. The description explains the short stature with spines all around. The flower will appear showing-ly at the top, giving you the most beautiful potted plant.