Native to north-western Argentina and Southern Bolivia, Blossfeldia liliputana has the distinction of being the smallest cactus in the world. Belonging to the Cactaceae family, Blossfeldia liliputana grows to a maximum of 1.3 cm.
The spineless and ribless, globular cactus has white dots and produces beautiful white (sometimes pink) blooms in summer.
Named after the fictional land of tiny people, “Lilliput” from the book, “Gulliver’s Travels”, the Blossfeldia liliputana is a unique and beautiful cactus.
With its pretty white dots and white-pink flowers, the plant makes a lovely addition to your cacti collection.
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Blossfeldia liliputana needs adequate sunlight to grow and bloom and does well in areas with full to partial sun, considering it has good ventilation.
The Blossfeldia liliputana is a drought-tolerant cactus and does not need a lot of water. The thin and fibrous roots of the Blossfeldia liliputana suffer if there is any humidity.
You should water the plant during its growing season i.e., from spring to fall. Water the plant using the “soak and dry” method, watering thoroughly when the soil is fully dry.
Avoid wetting the body of the plant when it is in the sunlight because this can cause the plant to get sunburned, leading to fungal infections and scars and even cause the plant to die.
To keep your Blossfeldia liliputana plant healthy, prevent it from sitting in the water.
Avoid watering the plant and keep it dry when the temperature begins to drop.
During the winter months, keep the plant completely dry when the temperatures are between 40°F and 60°F. Avoid watering the plant on humid or overcast days.
The Blossfeldia liliputana plant needs good, well-draining soil and does well in gravel-rich and fertile soil having a pH level of 6 to 7.
The roots of the plant need adequate oxygen to thrive. If the soil is not permeable to water and air, then it can cause root rot.
When you water the plant, the water must pass through the soil quickly instead of collecting at the surface and then seeping down slowly. You can add sand, vermiculite, peat moss and coco coir to improve the permeability of the soil mix.
The Blossfeldia liliputana plant grows and thrives when fertilized once a month during its growing season with liquid fertilizer. The plant does not need fertilization during the winter months.
When repotting the plant in fall or spring, add some slow-release fertilizer to the soil.
It is better to use a low-concentration fertilizer many times, rather than using a high concentration one.
Excessive use of fertilizer can cause the base of the plant to grow very slowly and turn yellow.
In its native habitat in the Andes, the Blossfeldia liliputana plant grows at altitudes between 1,200 m and 3,500 m and it grows in rock crevices and near waterfalls.
The plant grows well in the USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 10. The plant grows well when planted outdoors.
During the winter months, when the plant is in dormancy, it is best to keep it in a cool, dry place. If kept dry, the plant can even tolerate a little bit of frost.
The plant can withstand temperatures down to 15°F; however, it is better not to expose it to temperatures less than 40°F during the growing season, even if the plant is in a protected and well-aerated location.
During its resting phase during the winter, if the plant is wet, it tends to rot.
Generally, the Blossfeldia liliputana plant is quite healthy and not susceptible to pests and diseases, especially if it is grown in a well-draining soil mix with good light and ventilation. Overwatering the plant can cause root rot and fungal infections.
The Blossfeldia liliputana plant does not need pruning. Simply remove any dead branches and flowers so that the nutrients are used by the plant for healthy growth.
The Blossfeldia liliputana plant does not need to be repotted frequently. But it is essential to repot the plant when you bring it from the store initially. Every year, you should loosen the soil to ensure air permeability.
The Blossfeldia liliputana is a slow-growing cactus and the plant propagates mainly by seeds and grafts. The seeds of the plant are very tiny and they must be sown on the surface of a finely sifted soil mix.
Since the cactus is very slow growing, they are quite difficult to keep alive on their own roots for up to 4 to 6 months. You must take care of the plants very carefully until their roots become established and strong.
The plants must be misted very carefully with a spray bottle for the first few months until they are larger and stronger to be watered normally.