The Goat’s Horn Cactus (Astrophytum capricorne) is a rare cactus native to Mexico’s Chihuahuan Desert. It is a slow-growing, drought-tolerant cactus with a few unique characteristics that distinguish it apart from other cacti. This cactus will add charm to any space with its brilliant blossoms and dramatic horns.
It derives its name from its long, curving “horns,” which resemble goat horns. However, as these spines mature, they become increasingly disorganized, losing their resemblance. Clumps of these spines extend from the areolas on the ribs, slender and bent. The ribs are normally no more than eight in number, however, variations have been observed in the wild and in culture. The cactus’ skin is green with delicate white patches that look like freckles.
It is a good choice for indoor growers since it is simple to care for and requires little water. Astrophytum capricorne can survive for many years if properly cared for.
Astrophytum Capricorne Propagation
Seeds or offsets can be used to grow this cactus.
- Sow the seeds in a cactus mix and lightly water to reproduce by seed.
- Cover the leaves with a light coating of grit; don’t smother them with too much. Poor ventilation is a sure way to kill these cactus.
- It may also be beneficial to water from the bottom so that the seeds are not disturbed.
- Keep the soil gently wet and place it in a warm, sunny setting.
- Maintain high humidity by covering the pot with just a plastic sheet to keep moisture locked within.
- Seeds germinate in two to four weeks.
Note: Offsets can also be used to propagate these plants, although they are rare. Seeds germinate quickly, so there’s no need to look for alternatives.
Capricorne Astrophytum Care guide
The Goat’s Horn Cactus is a lovely, low-maintenance cactus ideal for indoor gardening. We will detail the maintenance needs for this cactus in this post so that you can maintain its health to look its best.
Location And Lighting
Astrophytum capricorne loves full sun but may grow in partial shade. Place this cactus in a south or west-facing window if growing it indoors. The cactus should be cultivated outdoors in a location that receives at least six hours of direct sunshine every day.
Despite being a cactus, this plant requires regular watering, but be sure to let the soil dry completely between sessions. During the actively growing stage, water once every two weeks (spring and summer). Stop watering completely during the dormant season (autumn and winter).
Humidity and Temperature
Astrophytum capricorne is endemic to Mexico’s deserts and prefers warm, dry environments. It is ideal to keep the temperature above 50 degrees Fahrenheit indoors. Ideally, temperatures should range from 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintain a dry environment; this has the extra benefit of allowing the cactus to endure below-freezing temperatures for limited periods of time.
Fertilize with caution. Overfeeding results in less-than-desirable growth. Every two weeks, a normal cactus mix will suffice. During the dormant season, do not fertilize.
Astrophytum Capricorne Potting and Repotting
Astrophytum capricorne grows on a porous soil mix. A cactus mix or succulent-specific potting soil would work nicely. Proper air circulation is critical for these cacti. The majority of issues arise as a result of inadequate ventilation.
You should also be cautious to avoid wet circumstances for the cactus. This necessitates the existence of drainage holes as well as a fast-draining mix. If you’re using a cactus mix, this is already taken care of. Just make sure the drainage holes are functional and the pot isn’t too large. Pests and illnesses are attracted to large pots.
Every 2 to 3 years, repot using the same soil mix. Remove as much old dirt as possible while repotting. In the process, avoid damaging the roots. Tease them apart gently with your fingertips if required. Then, plant them in the fresh soil mix and softly water them.
How quickly does Astrophytum capricorne grow?
It’s a slow-growing cactus plant. It might take up to ten years to reach flowering size. Use a well-draining mixture with enough inorganic medium. Good drainage is essential. Water only when the soil is dry during the growing season; keep the soil dry throughout the winter.
Common Pests and Diseases
Mealybugs & spider mites can infest Goat’s Horn Cactus. Mealybugs can occasionally develop underground, making them difficult to eradicate. Spider mites, on the other hand, are more obvious when they infect the plant.
Take urgent action if you spot any of these pests. A heavy stream of water from the garden hose should remove it. In the case of serious infestations, you might have to apply pesticides.
Root rot is a common problem with Astrophytum capricorne. This occurs when the roots sit in water for an extended period of time and begin to degrade. The initial indication of root rot is generally leaf yellowing, followed by wilting and, finally, death. Take action as soon as you notice any signs.
Also see: Easter lily cactus an ultimate maintenance for your home lawn.