Acanthocalycium thionanthum: Care and Propagation Guide
Acanthocalycium thionanthum is a cactus species native to Argentina. It also carries the name Echinopsis thionantha. This plant mainly grows in rocky areas and features either singular or multiple short and cylindrical stems.
Each stem further displays multiple ribs that give way to white and brown spines. The tips of the stems also bloom forth yellow flowers that are typically bell-like in their shape. These flowers usually bloom in the months of summer.
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How to Care For Acanthocalycium thionanthum
This is known to be a low-maintenance plant. All you need to look out for really is the type of soil and a suitable watering schedule. We will tell you all about that and more in this piece.
These cacti really love the sun. so, you should try to find a place that gets full sunlight all day long and is also a bit airy. However, you can put them in a place with some shade during the summer months.
This cactus will grow well in USDA 8b to 11 hardiness zones.
Acanthocalycium thionanthum is a drought-tolerant plant and its needs resemble those of a regular cactus. So, you should focus more on the method of watering than the other details to keep it healthy. That means you should try to follow the soak-and-dry method.
This means the cactus shouldn’t be allowed to sit in water. Overwatering is a real risk because it can damage the roots and lead to root rot. You only need to water the Acanthocalycium thionanthum once in 3-4 days in the summer months and just about once a week or so in the winter months.
Either way, you should ensure that before you water the plant, the soil is absolutely dry.
Speaking of dry soil, Acanthocalycium thionanthum is not a demanding cactus and that applies to its soil needs as well. You should get porous, well-draining soil that has sand and clay. The standard cactus mix will do the trick.
You should also get a pot that can contain the taproot of this plant. Make sure you place the pot where it gets enough light and it will be fine.
Acanthocalycium thionanthum could use regular fertilizing for it to recognize its true potential. So, once every month in those growing months from May to October is a great idea. But even if not, it will grow well if the soil, light and watering details are taken care of.
Acanthocalycium thionanthum cacti grow well when the temperature is about 45 degrees F. If the mercury dips, you will see the growth dip as well. So, if you live in a region that experiences a cold climate, you should keep the plant sheltered from such an environment.
Pests and Diseases
Apart from root rot, you can expect Acanthocalycium thionanthum cacti to attract whiteflies, mealy bugs and aphids. If you spot an infestation, you should find non-toxic solutions and treat the individual leaves as soon as you can.
This isn’t a major issue since Acanthocalycium thionanthum cacti are not invasive by nature. But if it comes to that, you can prune them according to the availability of space because you must grow them in an airy space.
Potting and Repotting
You can grow Acanthocalycium thionanthum cacti in a shallow clay or a plastic tray if not a pot.
These cacti usually need to be repotted only when they outgrow their first container. Spring is a good time for repotting because that’s their growing season. If you missed that, summer is not a bad idea either.
Tap the pot gently to loosen the roots and remove them. Then you should get rid of the current soil and any dead roots that might be in the pot. After that, plant it in a new pot with fresh soil. Give the plant a week before you water it lightly.
Propagating Acanthocalycium thionanthum
You can propagate these cacti with a seed and watching the seedlings grow can be interesting. Just make sure that the pot or tray is cleaned with a bleach solution made with one part bleach and nine parts water.
Soak the pot for 10 minutes and then clean it with dish soap and water. Once the pot is dry, you should cover the holes at the bottom and fill the pot with soil. Make sure you place the seed in the soil by tapping the container against the ground instead of pressing the seed firmly.
Plant the seed evenly and push it in gently.