Ariocarpus confusus: Care and Propagation Guide

Ariocarpus confusus is a Mexican cactus also known as living rock or star rock. It grows a thick stem with triangular green leaves arranged in rosettes.

It is most known for its striking magenta flowers, which are different from any other species in this genus. It stays close to the ground and only grows to a height of 2 cm.

Ariocarpus confusus

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How To Care for Ariocarpus confusus

Ariocarpus confusus cacti require several optimal conditions under which they can grow healthily. Let’s take a look at some of these conditions in detail here.

Light

This cactus needs plenty of direct sunlight to be able to grow well. Thus, you should keep it under the sun for a few hours during the day if you are growing it outdoors. If you are growing it indoors, you can locate a balcony or windowsill that receives enough sunlight.

However, you should not provide extremely intense light to this cactus either since this can cause burns and damage its growth. A good way to avoid this if you live in hot climates is by keeping it in shade during the hottest parts of the day.

Ariocarpus confusus can grow well in room temperatures and can also withstand lower temperatures.

Watering

You should water Ariocarpus confusus on a regular basis during its growing season, which is usually spring and summer. You can extend your watering routine till fall as well. Make sure you water this cactus well but make sure you do not overwater it as this could lead to root rot, as is common with several cacti.

To get a better idea about how often you should water this plant, you should test out how moist or damp the soil is. Water the plant only once the soil has become dry.

You do not need to water this cactus in winter since it becomes dormant during this season and can survive without much care.

Soil

You should use well-draining soil for this cactus. You can simply buy a cactus potting soil or soil mix from a store or nursery. Make sure that this soil is loose and coarse enough to allow the water to drain through quickly.

You can also add some perlite and sand to the soil to improve the aeration. Limestone is another element that will enrich the growth of this cactus.

Ariocarpus confusus

Fertilizing

You can fertilize this cactus once a month or simply whenever you water it (which will also be around once a month). You should use a fertilizer that has a good and equal balance of the necessary nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.

You should also dilute this fertilizer a bit so that its strength does not overwhelm the cactus too much. Do not feed too much fertilizer to Ariocarpus confusus as this will do more harm than good.

You do not need to add fertilizer to the soil during winter as it does not need too much care during its dormant period.

Pests and Diseases

This cactus is prone to pests like mealybugs and scale diseases. You can try to spot them early on and use a pesticide or insecticide to get rid of them. You can also use a homemade solution using rubbing alcohol.

Commonly, overwatering and overfertilization can cause issues as well. You should also find a large enough pot for this cactus to accommodate its roots otherwise it could wither quickly.

How to Propagate Ariocarpus confusus

Ariocarpus confusus

You can propagate Ariocarpus confusus using either seeds or cuttings. Go through the following points to learn about the process.

  • You will need to plant the seeds or cuttings during spring so that you can give the cactus enough time to grow. Seeds will take a bit longer than cuttings.
  • If you are using cuttings, you should let them become dry enough before planting them.
  • Take a large enough pot or container. If it is not naturally well draining, you can use one with holes.
  • Cover the pot with soil mix and then plant the seeds or cuttings into it.
  • Add a bit of water and fertilizer at this point and then follow the required care conditions.
  • Make sure you do not water the cactus too much at the beginning, as this could harm the growth.
  • You should also gradually introduce the plant to sunlight so that it does not burn early on.
  • You will need to repot the cactus within a couple of years to a larger container.