Stenocactus is a genus of around ten species related to Ferocactus. It now includes Hertrichocereus and Echinofossulocactus. The species are native to northern and central Mexico. They are mostly small globular cacti of very variable characteristics, generally below 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter, often solitary, but sometimes clustering as they age. The short funnel-shaped flowers are usually striped with a darker median line and just above 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. They appear in late summer and last 3 to 4 days.
Light: Stenocactus like bright sunlight and thrive in full sun and intense light.
Water: Throughout the growing season (spring to fall), let the potting soil almost completely dry out between waterings, then water thoroughly. In winter, cut back on watering.
Soil: A fertile, fast-draining potting soil is ideal.
Fertilizer: During the growing season, feed with a fertilizer for cacti. Suspend feeding during the dormant winter period.
If you can grow cacti and succulents successfully, you can likely grow Stencactus without too much trouble. Their water and light requirements are typical for most cacti, including a cooling period in the winter to promote better blooming. Watering should be done carefully, allowing the soil to almost dry out between waterings. The cactus must not be exposed to prolonged dampness and sitting water. Never let your cactus sit in a dish of water. Instead of propagating your offsets, let the plant form a large cluster for the best viewing. Lastly, make sure to fertilize during the growing season for the best results.
Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot cacti, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.
Stenocactus propagate easily from seeds. Sow the seeds in a cactus seedling starter mix and keep them barely moist until they sprout. The seeds readily germinate.
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