Astrophytum coahuilense cv. hakuran Kikko
Botanical Name — Astrophytum coahuilense cv. hakuran Kikko
Plant Family — Cactaceae
Fuzzy and silver-white, Astrophytum coahuilense cv. hakuran Kikko is a stunning collector cultivar out of Japan. Instantly recognizable by its snowy, pointed peak structure, this drought-tolerant nursery cultivar of the Mexico-native Astrophytum coahuilense often produces yellow flowers with blushing red throats.
- Astrophytum plants do best in full sun, at least 5 to 8 hours a day. Avoid intense afternoon sun. Grow outdoors in light shade or indoors in a sunny window with southern exposure and direct sun.
- Astrophytums like it hot! Above 70 ºF in the summer is preferred. As these plants are native to mountainous areas of Central America, they are accustomed to seasonal cool weather.
- During the winter they prefer cooler temperatures, between 50 and 60 ºF. If grown outdoors, move them to a sunny windowsill inside if temperatures regularly drop below 50 ºF.
- Astrophytums prefer to stay on the dry side. In the summer water them only when the soil has dried out entirely. Always err on the side of underwatering. They are built to withstand drought, and overwatering is one of the quickest ways to kill them.
- During the winter water very infrequently. Maybe even once a month or month and a half! It’s safe to cut back on watering entirely. This will encourage flowering during the spring.
- Astrophytums are native to rocky, mountain slopes and desert climate. They prefer a gritty, well-draining soil mix. A cactus mix would work fine. You can amend it with sand or fine pumice up to 50% to improve grittiness and drainage.
- Cacti will produce one or more flowers between spring and summer. Look for wide, 6-10 cm in diameter flowers. They are typically yellow with red centers.
- Astrophytum plants flower once they’ve matured. This can take up to six years. Exposing your cactus to drought while it is dormant during the winter will encourage blooming during the growing season.
- Typically, Astrophytums do not require fertilization. You can feed them during the active growing season to give them a boost or refresh their soil. Apply a balanced fertilizer diluted at half strength, once a month. Never fertilize in winter.
- Astrophytums are typically propagated by seed. Seeds are fragile and have a fairly short shelf life. Be gentle with them and sow quickly after harvesting to improve chances of germination.
- Very occasionally these plants will produce offsets which can be separated and grown independently.
- Astrophytums are not especially susceptible to pests or diseases. Keep an eye out for common pests such as aphids, mealy bugs, and scale.
- Root rot can be a common issue in the instance of overwatering.
Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)
- Astrophytum plants are very low maintenance. They prefer to be pot bound. Repot them once every two to three. Early spring is the best time to repot, when they are just waking from their dormancy.
- Astrophytums are not known to be toxic to humans or pets.