If you’re browsing gardening shops on regular basis, you surely noticed cute little cactus plants displayed, catching your eye with breathing, bright-colored flowers. Experienced cacti growers know that these plants are called Strawflower Cactus and are mostly used to enhance sales. However, they are still beautiful and don’t deserve to be overlooked.
Strawflower Cactus– Take A Chance And Reverse The Trick
As the name implies, Strawflower Cactus has a strawflower attached to its top with hot glue or a pin. This flower is the bract of Xerochrysum bracteatum and has an unusual ability that makes it quite interesting, even thou it’s mostly used as a marketing trick. Strawflowers can open and close in response to humidity it the air, even when they are dead. Sounds a bit creepy? This ability makes them highly desirable, whether they’re grown individually or use to make a cactus that struggles with blooming pop.
There’s a common misconception that Strawflower Cactus doesn’t need any care at all. However, experienced cacti lovers state that you need to give them some extra love in order to make them bloom and remain colorful.
Grow And Care Tips
As we already stated, Strawflower Cactus needs some extra care, as almost any other plant does. Just think of it as any other cactus you have in your collection and act accordingly.
For Strawflower Cactus to bloom and reach its best and brightest colors, it needs sunlight. However, too much of it can make the colors pale and the plant will most likely burn. To stay on the safe side, plant Strawflower Cactus in a pot and place it somewhere with a lot of direct sunlight, but some partial shade as well during the day.
For the soil, stick with well-draining, sandy, or rocky cactus potting mix. Also, avoid planting the Strawflower Cactus in shallow dishes. This will prevent soil from getting too hot in the direct light, which can “boil” the plant. Strawflower cactus also bases its vibrant colors on temperature conditions. It thrives and blooms the best at 65°F to 70°F (18°C to 21°C). You should also keep it from freezing in harsh winter temperatures.
Strawflower Cactus demands a weekly watering schedule. This may seem too frequent for a cactus, but it can be perfectly balanced if you reduce the amount of water you’re giving to the plant every time. Finally, its crucial to protect the Strawflower Cactus from the wind. This usually goes overlooked, but the flowers are not strong enough to withstand strong wind. While a cactus itself may stay up and perfectly fine, flowers may end up being blown away. Because of this, you should move the pot and shelter the plant if there’s a windy day ahead.
Collecting The Strawflower
This part is the trickiest when it comes to Strawflower Cactus. Usually, people pluck the flower as soon as it flourishes. This can be seriously damaging to the plant and affect future blooming. You should try and harvest the strawflower instead. The best time for harvesting is when flowers are partially open. This way you won’t hurt them and they will continue to poet even after you pluck them out.
Be gentle while pulling and do it in the evening, since they’ll be free of dew. Finally, make sure to take out the stems as well. Strawflower stems are quite a hallow and brittle when they dry out. Overall, just make sure you don’t hurt any surrounding flowers in the process, so they can keep blooming healthy.