Generalities: globular or slightly columnar cacti from Mexico. The number of species belonging to this genus is controversial, due to the variability of the forms and the resemblance of some species to other cacti, usually the number is around ten. In nautra, the stenocactus live in the rocky deserts or in the plains, they have numerous thin and waxy ribs, often even more than eighty, very particular as they are wavy.
The areoles are usually small and carry many spines, straight or curved, never hooked; usually the central spine is very long, up to 6-8 cm. In spring, they produce, in the highest part, some small funnel-shaped flowers, white, pink or red, whose petals have a darker line which divides them in half.
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Exposure: these cacti love very bright positions, even in full sun; they fear the cold and can’t stand temperatures below 5-6 degrees Celsius, for this reason it is best to shelter them indoors during the winter or in a sheltered place.
Watering: during the vegetative season, water at least once to the septic, waiting for the soil to be dry between one watering and the other; in winter, water more rarely, once a month or less if the plant is kept at home, but if you store the stenocactus in a colder place is recommended to suspend watering completely to allow the winter rest of the plant. From March to October add a fertilizer for succulent plants to the water of the watering every 15-20 days.
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Stenocactus pentacanthus: Soil and pests
Soil: as for many other cacti, also for the stenocactus, the soil must be very well drained, therefore we suggest to use a soil for succulent plants, rich in sand, duly added of coarse material, such as perlite or pumice stone.
Multiplication: stenocactus are usually single plants without ramifications, so the only way to propagate them is by sowing: they are sown in spring in a compound consisting of sand and peat in equal parts, the seedlings will germinate quickly, but the growth of stenocactus is slow, so they can remain in the sowing container for a long time.
Stenocactus seeds are not always fertile, so if you want to take them directly from the plant you should choose the seeds of more plants, to increase the chances of success; remember that the daughter plants are not always identical to the mother plant.parasites and diseases: Excessive water causes root rot with great ease. Stenocytes are often attacked by mites and cochineal.