Plant Family — Cactaceae
Rebutia heliosa is a hardy native of Bolivia. This small clustered cactus thrives in high deserts, regularly as high as 10,000 feet above sea level. If given the proper conditions in winter, its cylindrical 1mm long spikes and curved heads give way to brilliant orange blossoms in the springtime.
- Rebutia heliosa will grow in full sun to part shade. At least five hours of direct sun a day is ideal.
- These plants prefer warm temperatures and low humidity. They will thrive in temperatures above 70 ºF.
- During the winter months they’ll appreciate a cool down period with temperatures at or below freezing. However, their native habitat is very dry in winter. Wet winters where the topsoil saturates and freezes may shock and kill the plant.
- Rebutia heliosa are extremely drought tolerant and prone to rot if overwatered. Let the soil dry out between watering, but when you do water, water them thoroughly, fully saturating the soil.
- If you are unsure whether or not the soil is dry, wait a few days before watering. It is much better to underwater than to overwater.
- Cut back on watering dramatically in winter, especially if you’re overwintering this plant outside. If kept indoors, water this plant every month to month and a half.
- These plants prefer a gritty, sharply draining mix. Use cactus soil or amend regular potting mix with sand and fine pumice up to 50% to improve texture and drainage.
- In desert climates these plants can be potted directly in the earth and grown outdoors year round.
- This plant flowers profusely in the springtime, sprouting clusters of orangish-pink blossoms at the stem crowns.
- These plants do not require much fertilization. To give them a boost during the growing season fertilize once monthly with a fertilizer formulated specifically for cacti and succulents.
- Only fertilize during the spring and summer. Cut back on fertilizing entirely during the winter months.
- Rebutia heliosa plants are easily propagated by stem cuttings.
- Rebutia heliosa are not especially prone to disease but they can fall susceptible to root rot if overwatered.
- Pests are not particularly common for this plant. Still, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for common pests such as scale and mealybugs.
Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)
- Rebutia heliosa require very little maintenance. Container grown plants prefer to be rootbound and should only be repotted once every two to three years.
- Rebutia heliosa are non-toxic to humans and pets.
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