Astrophytum capricorne, commonly known as Goat's Horn Cactus, is a slow-growing cactus native to the Coahuila regions of Northern Mexico. It grows mainly on limestone soils, among rocks and prickly bushes.
This cactus gets its common name from the characteristic shape of its long curled spines, a grass-mimicry to camouflage the cactus among its surroundings.
Goat's Horn Cactus is grown for its display of the spines, making it a strange specimen between cacti collections and a stunning feature as an old giant cactus in xeriscaping or rock gardens. Young small specimens of Goat's Horn Cactus are ideally suited to window-sill conditions, balconies, or patios.
Growing Conditions and General Care
Goat's Horn Cactus is a desert cactus. Therefore it loves the sun and will grow well if provided with plenty of direct sunshine. However, the young specimens should be provided with indirect sunlight. Inadequate light could result in poor growth and unnatural shape.
Use alkaline lime-based soil with good drainage as this species is rot prone.
It thrives in average room temperatures between 60 and 75 °F (16 and 24 °C ) from spring until fall. Then, from late fall to late winter, give them a rest at temperatures between 45 and 50 °F (7 and 10 °C).
Average indoor humidity is fine for the Goat's Horn Cactus. Provide good air ventilation for healthy growth.
During the active growth period, water this cactus moderately but allow the top 3/4 of the soil to dry out thoroughly between waterings. During the rest period, give only enough water to prevent the soil from drying out.
Give Goat's Horn Cactus a diluted cactus fertilizer during spring and until the end of summer, once every four weeks. They thrive in poor soils and need a limited supply of fertilizer. Do not overuse fertilizer as this can affect and damage the roots.
Nearly all cultivation problems with Goat's Horn Cactus occur due to overwatering and poor ventilation, especially when weather conditions are dull and cool or very humid.
Goat's Horn Cactus can be propagated easily from seed as it seldom produces offsets. The seeds can be sown in pots with fine, well-drained soil during the spring when temperatures are warm at about 70 to 80 °F (21 to 27 °C ).
Sometimes Goat's Horn Cactus is grafted to avoid root rot problems as plants grafted on a hardy stock are easy to grow, and no special skill is required.
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