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Ariocarpus




My little Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus


    Native to southern Texas and northeastern Mexico, Ariocarpus consists of six species of odd and wonderful cacti known as "Living Rocks". In the wild these cacti grow mostly underground, with only the rosette of tubercules protruding to catch the available sunlight. It's environment is harsh, and the plant has evolved this mechanism to escape the worst of the hot dry summer.
    Ariocarpus should be grown in a mineral rich, well draining mix. I've read the addition of limestone chips is beneficial. In the hot summer months they can be watered almost weekly but should be allowed to dry out between waterings. To maintain the appearance of the plant it is best to water from below or carefully around the sides of the plant. This prevents calcium staining and matting of the wool which grows between the tubercules. An application of some half strength fertilizer once a month can improve growth. The type used for tomatoes is best.
    Ariocarpus can be prone to rot in the winter months and should be kept fairly dry during this time. Only water if the plant noticeably shrivels and again, water from below. When the temperature rises again in spring, gradually increase the watering till you are back on the summer watering schedule. Ariocarpus require some patience in cultivation. They can be slow growers and don't usually flower till they are five years or more in age if given enough light (morning to midday sun is best, protect from afternoon sun or they may burn). Once flowering size is reached however you may be rewarded with large white, pink or magenta flowers in fall.

I have five Ariocarpus
Click on a thumbnail below.


Ariocarpus
fissuratus

Ariocarpus
retusus

Ariocarpus
kotschoubeyanus

Ariocarpus
agavoides

Ariocarpus retusus
spp. trigonus

All images and text are copyright 2005-Present, D.S. Franges, unless otherwise noted.