For the gardening lovers out there, you know how special and amazing it is to grow a cactus.
These plants have some very specific characteristics that make them stand out and shine in the realm of plants.
Now we all know that cactuses are very interesting in themselves, but the Starfish Cactus took that to a whole new level.
The plant’s shape is very unique and hard to forget once you’ve laid your eyes on it, which is the reason why a lot of people love to grow this cactus in their backyard.
If you’re still reading, this means you’re really interested in growing Starfish cactus, which is why you’ve come to the right place.
Follow along for a full guide on how to grow Starfish cactus in your backyard, as well as all the tools and requirements that you’ll need for this process.
- All-Purpose Household Bleach
- Wax Paper
- Isopropyl Alcohol
- Serrated Garden Knife
- 1 Tablespoon Rooting Hormone Powder Containing Auxin
- 1.5 Gallons of Horticultural Perlite
- Quarter Gallon of Coarse River Sand
- 1 Gallon of Sandy Loam
- Container for Mixing Soil
- Soil Sifter with 0.5-inch Apertures
- Mesh Screen
- Fine Gravel
- Distilled Water
- Watering Can Fitted with a Fine Rose
- 8-inch & 12-inch Pots
Once you get these out of the way and make sure you’ve got everything you need, it’s time to jump into the actual action and guide you through the steps you’ll need to get done to correctly plant this wonderful cactus.
How to Grow the Starfish Cactus
- The first thing you’re going to need to do is prepare a solution that consists of 1-part all-purpose household bleach, and 9 parts water. After that, take the blade of a serrated garden knife and soak it in the solution.
- Using your serrated garden knife, cut a 4 to 6-inch portion from the tip of a healthy stem of a cactus at a 45° angle. The angle is important if you don’t want water to accumulate in the cut of the original cactus.
- Now it’s time to grab a wax paper and pour 1 tablespoon worth of rooting hormone powder with auxin into it. Then, grab your knife and wipe it with a cloth you’ve previously rinsed with isopropyl alcohol.
- Dip the cut end of the cactus into the rooting powder, and then position it upright in a covered area in your backyard, and let it sit there from a few weeks up to two months. You’ll know when it’s time when you notice that the wound develops a drawn, grayish appearance, and is dry.
- Now it’s time to pinch the leaves growing from the bottom 2 inches of the cutting. Now grab ½ gallon of horticultural perlite, ¼ gallon of coarse river sand, and ¼ gallon of sandy loam and sieve everything through a soil sifter that has a 0.5-inch aperture into a container, and mix everything together.
- Pour everything into an 8-inch pot that has a piece of mesh screen at the bottom, and tamp everything down with your hands.
- Put the cutting from ½ to 1 inch deep into the propagation medium, and then pour on top of everything a 1/3 inch of fine gravel.
- Make sure the cactus has enough sunlight and air flow, and that its temperature is at least 65° F.
- Use distilled water to water the cactus either 1 or 2 days after planting it. Make sure you keep watering it until water starts draining from its pot.
- Wait 1 or 2 months, and then take 1 gallon of horticultural perlite, and ¾ gallon of sandy loam, sieve them into a container, and mix everything together.
- Pour everything within the top 2 inches of the 12-inch pot, but make sure there is a piece of mesh screen at the bottom of the pot.
- Remove the top dressing from the original pot, and carefully take out the starfish cactus and its root system from the pot. You can use a garden trowel for maximum efficiency.
- Put the starfish cactus on top of the growing medium in the second pot and start spreading out the roots laterally while filling the top of the pot with what’s remaining of the growing medium.
- Grab some fine gravel and use it to cover the growing medium. Now it’s time to water the plant until water starts draining from the pot again.
- The growing medium should be checked every few days for moisture. You can do this with your fingers. You should also water it just like previously every few days.
- After 1 year, it’s time to move the plant into an even bigger pot.
- The starfish cactus should not be irrigated during the winter season.
We hope this article was beneficial for you and wish you best of luck with your new cactus!