The hedgehog cactus , or Echinocactus grusonii , is native to the southwestern part of the United States of America. These are the areas that border Mexico. In its natural habitat it is largely extinct due to commercial exploitation. We can also find it as Mother-in-law’s Seat, Grusoni, Equinocactus, Golden Ball, Gold Barrel, Hedgehog Cactus, and Mother-in-law’s Cushion.
This species is easily propagated by seeds, which germinate in 5 or 7 days, the plants reaching 10 cm in diameter after the first or second year after being sown. It is necessary to cut the children from the mother plant in spring or summer. In winter and autumn, children do not take root well.
It has a globular, roughly spherical form. Its flowers are among the most well-known in the cacti world because of their vibrant hues, which are primarily yellow, pink, and red. It contains between 20 and 30 lateral ribs and ringed, flat, somewhat uncinate, sulfur-yellow spines.
These cacti have cylindrical-shaped stems. At the top of these stems, various plant species’ flowers that differ in color bloom. Ferocactus, fishhook cactus, golden cactus, and other species of barrel cacti are examples. Depending on the species, they also come in a variety of sizes.
Reproduction of cacti.
Reproduction by children
Children are the most typical means of cacti reproduction. Babies are made for reproduction, which makes it simple to separate them from the cactus’ body and then root them.
Even if it is simple to break the infant off, cutting it off is preferable. This will result in less harm to the infant and the cactus. You must ensure that none of the baby’s body parts are left on the mother plant while separating the baby from it and that the mother plant’s body parts are also not left on the baby. The body’s residual components may cause deterioration.
It is necessary to cut the children from the mother plant in spring or summer. In winter and autumn, children do not take root well.
It is best to let the infant dry for about a week before rooting. This should be carried out upright in a dry, warm, and well-lit area. After that, the kids grow more quickly and hardly ever decay.
Children require a specific rooting substrate in order to be rooted.
I plant the young in a substrate made of Sphagnum moss, charcoal, and calcined sand.
Reproduction by cuttings
Cacti can reproduce asexually (without the requirement for fertilization) by taking cuttings from other plants. In this sort of reproduction, a portion of the plant, in this case the cutting, separates from the parent plant due to environmental factors or the actions of an animal (including a human), at which point it starts to grow roots and transforms into a plant.
It involves cutting off one of the mother plant’s limbs or sections, which is a much quicker and easier method of reproduction than using seeds. To avoid harming the cuttings or the original plant, this process must be carried out carefully. The steps for growing cactus from cuttings are as follows after the cutting has been extracted:
- Drying the cut comes first after the cutting has been separated. Ash is sprinkled on the wound or a flat sheet covered in sand to do this. Additionally, it must be kept out of direct sunshine and in an area with low humidity. A minimum of five days must pass during this procedure.
- When the wound is already healed, the cutting can be positioned with the scar facing down on a moist substrate to encourage root growth. The administration of hormones can speed up this growth process, but it is not necessary.
- Open a hole in the pot that is 3 cm deep and insert the roots once they have developed. The pot is set up much like if we were going to plant seeds. For the young cactus to be supported, the stem needs to be partially submerged. In order for the cactus to grow healthily, it is preferable to let the substrate loose rather than pressing it.
- Try to keep the substrate moist by using a fogger.
- Finally, it should be watered as if it were a normal cactus.
Both stem and leaf cuttings are available. The optimal period to make all kinds of cuttings is from spring through early summer. This is because the plant regains its vitality and can take root more readily at this time. The mother cactus, on the other hand, produces new shoots and keeps growing.
How do you care for a hedgehog cactus?
This kind of cactus requires a substrate that is soft and well-drained. While the smallest specimens enjoy a little semi-shade, adults should be placed in full sunlight because they require direct sunlight and a minimum average winter temperature of 15° C. As long as they are healthy plants and dry soil conditions are followed, the majority of echinocactus can withstand cold temperatures, frequently down to -7 °C. Therefore, this cactus can be a fantastic alternative if you live in a cold climate and have a terrace. But to keep the substrate’s original properties, be sure to maintain the humidity level!
It is best to fertilize it from spring to summer and place it in a cactus substrate with a large part of coarse sand to facilitate drainage. Frequent watering in summer and almost none in winter, if the plant is adult, watering is usually suspended completely at this time.
It would be good for it to have shade in the middle of the day because it can get burnt or develop burns.
This cactus has a kind of golden hair around it when it is young that turns white as it matures and gray as it gets older.
The sharp spines, on the other hand, are grouped together in smaller clusters of roughly 10 spines and are positioned close to one another. Due to its rounded shape, the hedgehog cactus is best kept at home in a container that is not too tall and sufficiently wide.
Cleaning: Use a hair drier with the “fresh air” setting to clear the dust that collects on the ribs of your echinocactus once a month.
When do I have to water a hedgehog cactus?
As it is a succulent plant, which accumulates liquid to be able to survive because it is native to arid regions and high temperatures, so sunlight is essential for its development and to keep it alive, for its part, the substrate where it is planted it must be sufficiently porous or rather, accumulation in it must be avoided at all costs because it will harm it.
Only once per week of irrigation is advised during the warmer months, and the plant should be treated every twenty days with cactus-specific fertilizers. Keep in mind that irrigation should be extremely little during colder weather.
N. scientificEchinocereus chisoensis
FamilyCactaceae, Cacti, Cactus
OriginSierra Mojada in Mexico
Flowers purple, pink
Plant and cultivate
hardiness – 4°
Soil well drained
Humidityvery dry ground
Utilisationgreenhouse, rock garden
How to Plant Hedgehog Cacti
Get the seeds first, then put them in a pot with a substrate that allows water to drain and makes the soil loose enough.
An ideal germination will reveal a small plant after a week, and in approximately you can have a cactus of about 10 to 15 cm. In this first stage, it is important to place it in the shade and take care not to water it excessively.
Using a cutting or seedling from a larger plant, we can also grow a hedgehog cactus. It will grow the necessary roots for a new cactus to grow if we plant it in a pot with a substrate that fits the requirements and water it as often as necessary.
As you can see, the hedgehog cactus, like the others in the same family, are extremely easy to maintain and make an excellent decorative choice for our terrace or garden. If you have the plant in a pot, we advise that you transplant it every two years and give it particular soil for this type of species.
How Do Cactus Reproduce Naturally?
Cactus reproduce in a very interesting way. It is almost entirely done by cross-pollination. The male part of the cactus is the pollen, which floats on the wind and sticks to the female part of another cactus. This is called pollination.
When pollinating, birds, bats, and insects are attracted to the bright colors or scent of cactus flowers. While feeding, these creatures transfer pollen from one part of the plant to other parts of the plant. In some cases, this happens naturally, but in others it is done artificially. A variety of different species are cultivated for their attractive flowers, including Mexican firecracker plants and Easter lilies. Some species are grafted onto other plants to encourage pollination and growth.
In order for cactus to reproduce naturally, an egg cell in the female part of the plant must be fertilized by pollen from another cactus flower’s male part. This process can take months or even years before it leads to fruit production.
How Big Does a Hedgehog Cactus Grow?
Sometimes referred to as “hedgehog” cacti, plants seldom grow larger than 1 foot (30 cm.) tall and a few inches in diameter. Echinocereus plant varieties are often characterized by their showy blooms, which range in color from red, yellow, and even bright pink.
What Does a Hedgehog Cactus Look Like?
With their colorful flowers and unique names, it’s no wonder that Echinocereus cacti are some of the most cherished succulents in the garden. While some Echinocereus cacti grow to be as tall as a foot, these hardy plants seldom grow larger than 1 foot (30 cm.) tall and a few inches in diameter.
Echinocereus plant varieties are often characterized by their showy blooms, which range in color from red, yellow, and even bright pink.
Echinocereus plants can be found growing in a variety of habitats throughout North America and Mexico, ranging from deserts to rocky hillsides. Like other types of cacti, Echinocereus plants are best kept outdoors.
How Long Do Hedgehog Cacti Live?
Echinocereus cacti are easy to care for and can live for at least 10 years. They may even live much longer in appropriate conditions.
Echinocereus cacti come from the Sonoran desert, the hottest and driest desert in North America. They are also known as hedgehog cactus, pincushion cactus, and porcupine cactus. There are over 200 species of Echinocereus that grow either as a single stem or as a branching cluster of stems. Their flowers range from white to pink to red.
They are very well-suited to indoor conditions—they do best in bright light, but don’t require direct sunlight to thrive.
Their requirements for water are minimal—it’s best not to let their soil dry out completely, but it’s fine if this happens occasionally. This is especially true for outdoor plants; they need regular rainfall but don’t necessarily need to be watered regularly (the drier the climate the less frequently they need watering).
Echinocereus do not like sudden changes in temperature, so it’s best not to expose them to extreme heat (above 100 degrees Fahrenheit) or cold (below 40 degrees Fahrenheit).
How Often Does a Hedgehog Cactus Bloom?
It typically blooms in spring, but can occasionally bloom in winter or summer. At the end of each stem, the stem forks off into two branches; each branch ends in a flower bud. When the buds begin to open, they protrude from the plant like hedgehogs’ quills. After a week or so, they fall off, leaving behind a bare stem.
Why is it called a hedgehog cactus?
Hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus engelmannii) is a small, solitary cactus that grows in arid, rocky areas of the southwestern United States. Its name comes from its short spines, which are arranged in two clusters on either side of each joint like the spines on a hedgehog. It’s also called Engelmann’s hedgehog cactus because it was first discovered by George Engelmann, a 19th-century German-born physician and botanist.