Plant Family — Cactaceae
Sulcorebutia arenacea is a hardy native of Bolivia with less than a 20sq km habitat range. This small cactus thrives in high deserts, regularly higher than 5,000 feet above sea level. If given the proper conditions in winter, its spherical crown will give way to brilliant large yellow blossoms in the late winter or spring.
- Sulcorebutia arenacea 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.
- Sulcorebutia arenacea 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.
- Surround the taproot where it meets the plant with coarse sand so water never gathers there.
- This plant flowers profusely in the springtime, sprouting clusters of yellow blossoms at the stem crown.
- 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.
- Sulcorebutia arenacea will form pups at the base of the plant once mature. These can be separated from the mother plant and grown on their own.
- Sulcorebutia arenacea 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)
- Sulcorebutia arenacea require very little maintenance. Container grown plants prefer to be rootbound and should only be repotted once every two to three years.
- Sulcorebutia arenacea are non-toxic to humans and pets.
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