Astrophytum grow and care cactus of the genus Astrophytum also known as Living rocks, Astrophytum perennial evergreen plant used as ornamental plant and it’s drought tolerant, can grow in desert, mediterranean, subtropical or temperate climate and growing in hardiness zone 9b-12, and with the right care can grow in hardiness zone 9a.
Flower color yellow with multiple petals.
Plant shape like star 5 lobes or round, the color can be green, green-bluish or yellowish-green, can variety of pattern on the plant some of the cultivars cover with like white velvet.
What is the best way to start growing? Plant / Seed / Vegetative reproduction
How to propagate: Daughter plants mostly need to take care when pull it from the ground you take all the roots, take a plastic spatula or something harder depend the soil and uncover the roots, dig around the plant and better to use air blower machine or wash it with stream (but let it dry after)
Cutting – better to take all the cactus and cut it for pieces or else it’s just looks cut in the middle, cut with sterile knife after this let the cut part to stay on the shade to heal it’s might take few weeks and even months, put it on the soil with support (stick or something that won’t fall) cover lightly and lightly from the side and water it small amount of water.
Is it necessary to graft or use vegetative reproduction? No, but it’s easier to start from cutting that to start from seeds
Difficulties or problems when growing: Spines
Planting season: Spring to summer in hardiness zone 9-10, spring to autumn in hardiness zone 11, all the year in hardiness zone 12
How to plant: Main problem it’s the spines get into the skin and it’s hard to get next to cactus, need to relocate the cactus with papers cover enough that the spines won’t get to your hands, to put the soil need to use spoon or small shovel to push and tighten the soil, also possible to do it by hand but don’t squeeze.
Pests and diseases: Fungal, mealy bugs
Pruning season: All year
How to prune: Rotten part of the plant but if not better not to prune
Size of the plant? 0.5-1 m (20-40 inches) (can be kept small 5-10 cm (2-4 inches) for limited time)
Growth speed in optimal condition: Slow growing
Water requirement: Small amount of water, better to let it dry between watering, do not overwater
Light conditions in optimal condition for growing: Full Sun
Is it possible to grow as houseplant? No
Growing is also possible in a planter /flowerpot / containers: Yes, container or clay pot that will be 20-50% bigger (not need deep because the root shallow) for good drainage that important use in the bottom of the container with little rocks like: gravel, lava rocks or pebbles, soil should be cactus potting mix, make holes in the container for good drainage, after few years when the roots fill the container or the soil lose viability, need to switch the soil
Bloom season: Spring / Summer
General information about the flower: Yellow flowers with multiple petals
How to grow Astrophytum from seeds
Sowing requirement: Sow in full sun, better sandy soil or well ventilated soil like cactus potting mix and good drainage is important
Saving seeds and care until sowing: Dry and dark place in room temperature
Sowing season: Spring but possible in autumn and winter in hot climate, in summer put it in half shade, in hardiness zone 10 spring to summer, hardiness zone 11 spring to autumn, hardiness zone 12 all year
How to plant: Well drained soil and potting mix or sandy soil
Planting spacing: 10*20cm, (4-8 inches) or for transplanting 2*2cm (1*1 inch)
Depth of Sowing: 0.5cm, (0.25inches)
Conditions for seeds germinate: Moist soil but do not over water and don’t let it dry
Watering requires for Seeds: Small amount of water, lightly moist soil and don’t let it dry
Germination time: 2-6 weeks
Condition of seedling: Full sun and don’t overwater