July Succulent: Echinocerus Rigidissimus Rubrispinus
This beautiful ombre cactus is also called the Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus. It’s quills transition from a pale white to a vibrant pink on top and it has a deep rose blossom with a white center in late spring, making it a magical edition to your cactus planter or plant it on it’s own to add a pop of color to your window sill year round. Echinocerus rigidissimus rubispinus needs bright light. It can handle direct light if transitioned into it, making it a great fit for a south window or, if you don’t get a lot of light in your home you can supplement with a lamp with a plant bulb helping to supplement the light. Make sure to plant it in high drainage soil like cactus mix or make your own cactus mix by mixing potting soil with sand or rocks. Water lightly once a week during the growing season using a spray bottle to wet the soil, avoiding the foliage. Anacampseros Rufescens are from a warm environment, so if you take your plant out on a hot day, don’t forget to bring it in at night to keep it from getting too cold.
Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus can handle bright indirect to direct liht. Remember to transition into direct light slowly to avoid sun-burning your plant. Grow lights have become more compact and easier to use than ever. If you don’t have any high light in your home, this is a cactus that will need you to supplement light. We reccomend these if you need a grow light bulb.
During the summer water when the soil has completely dried out – about once a week, though if there is a lot of humidity in your home you may want to water even less. Reduce watering in the fall to every 3 or 4 weeks and water rarely in the winter. This will help your cacti be more frost tolerant. In the winter watering can be stretched out to just often enough to avoid shriveling. Planting in a small well-draining container with cactus mix or a moderately dry blend of potting soil and sand will help you avoid over watering. If you have a pot with a hole and a dish under it make sure to empty water from the dish afterwards.
Echinocerus rigidissimus rubrispinus can be fertilized a monthly during the Summer. During the Fall and Winter the plant is dormant and will not require fertilizer.
Long Term Care
Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus do not do well as an outdoor plant, but they can last for years indoors if they are kept warm and dry. They will need to be repotted every 3 years in the spring. Avoid watering for a week after repotting, then water generously. Don’t fertilize for a month after repotting. Rainbow Cacti can have issues with aphids, mealy bugs, scales and spidermites. If pests appear spray them with insecticidal soap, checking the cactus every other day and spraying it again if more pests appear.
Rainbow Hedgehog Cacti are not toxic to your pets or kids, but they are prickly so you may want to keep them away from curious hands and paws.