Echinocereus enneacanthus: Care and Propagation Guide
Echinocereus enneacanthus is a species that belongs to the Echinocereus genus. It is a flowering plant commonly found in parts of Texas in the US as well as some parts of Mexico.
Echinocereus enneacanthus grows in clumps that can then bear several stems with areoles or spikes. The flowers can be purple, pink or red in color that can also bear edible fruit, earning it the name of the strawberry cactus.
146 Types of Echinocereus With Pictures
How To Take Care of Echinocereus enneacanthus
If you are a beginner in gardening and want to grow a cactus that is not too high in maintenance, this is the ideal choice for you. These cacti grow slowly but tend to have a long life if you get the basics right.
So, how do you take care of Echinocereus enneacanthus? Are there any special tips that you need to follow? Keep reading to find out!
Echinocereus enneacanthus needs bright light to grow well. This is why it matters a great deal where you place the plant. Mostly, placing it near a balcony that receives bright sunlight will be ideal.
If you place it in a damp place, chances are it won’t bloom to its full potential and even shrivel and wither away. Flowering is also difficult if the plant does not get ample sunlight. These plants can withstand slightly cold weather but they prefer warm temperatures.
Echinocereus enneacanthus does not need heavy watering. A good indication of when the plant needs to be watered is when the top layer appears crusty and dry. On average, watering the cactus once every two weeks in the summer season and once a month during the winter season should suffice.
If you live in a humid area, you need to water the plant even lesser. Overwatering should be avoided at all costs because it will damage the plant irreversibly.
Echinocereus enneacanthus does well in well-drained soil. A cactus mix works well for these plants. You can find these in any nursery easily or even online. If you have other cactus plants at your home, you can even use that soil for the Echinocereus enneacanthus, provided the soil is well-drained.
The summer seasons are ideal for spraying the plants with cactus fertilizers. This can aid the blooming of flowers and also lead to faster plant growth. You should avoid something that is heavily concentrated and instead use a diluted fertilizer for best results.
A steady supply of light fertilizer periodically is the best way to keep these plants healthy and strong. You don’t have to go overboard and get a strong fertilizer. It won’t make any difference to the plant.
Pests and Diseases
Scale insects and mealybugs are common in Echinocereus enneacanthus plants. The good thing is that these bugs can be easily dealt with. Repotting the plant periodically (0nce a year works well), avoiding overwatering it and spraying it with a natural insecticide such as neem oil is going to keep it free from pests and diseases.
How to Propagate Echinocereus enneacanthus
Echinocereus enneacanthus is an easy-to-grow plant and is also incredibly beautiful to look at. It works for both plant connoisseurs and those who are just warming up to gardening. It can also be propagated easily using a few simple steps.
Stems are most commonly used to propagate these plants. It is easy to do and very popular among professionals and those who do gardening on the side. Here is what you need to do:
- Remove a small stem from a fully mature Echinocereus enneacanthus plant.
- Let it air dry for some time so that it rids itself of moisture.
- Now take the stem and repot it in a well-drained cacti mix.
- Spray with well-diluted fertilizer and place the plant in an area that receives bright sunlight.
- Within a few days, you will see it bloom.
Some people also use seeds to propagate Echinocereus enneacanthus. All you need to do is to get some seeds from a nursery or an online store and sprinkle them over a well-drained potting mix. You need to keep the soil slightly damp and moist to allow the plant good conditions to germinate.
If you do everything right, you should see the plant come to life within two weeks.
While propagating, you need to remember that these plants are shallow-rooted and therefore, should be treated as such. If you bury them too deep, it can lead to rot and damage to the plant.
Also, you need to repot Echinocereus enneacanthus once every year. This keeps the roots strong and sturdy and ensures that the plant grows to its full potential.