The gold lace cactus is prized for its beautiful oval stems. This cactus may be challenging to grow because of its unique water and temperature needs.
However, so long as you can stick to the tips in this article, you can grow the plant with ease.
- What Is the Gold Lace Cactus?
- Gold Lace Cactus Care
What Is the Gold Lace Cactus?
The gold lace cactus is a cactus native to central Mexico. It has clusters of long oval stems and can grow six inches tall and 12 inches wide. This plant is love by gardeners due to its very sharp brown yellow spines.
Gold Lace Cactus Care
This plant is easy to care for. However, do not be discouraged by its slow growth. As long as you grow it in the right conditions, it will do just fine. Follow the tips below:
– Water Requirements
The gold lace cactus is a xerophyte, so it can grow without water for a long time. This does not mean that you should not water it. You should water your plant when the soil or potting mix is completely dry. You can tell that the substrate is dry when you lift the pot as you can guess the difference in weight between wet and dry substrates.
In the fall and winter months, do not water your cactus as you may be harming it instead of helping it. Only water the plant in the summer and spring months. As a rule, you should water your cactus once or twice weekly in spring and twice weekly in summer.
– Soil Requirements
You want to make sure that you use the right potting mix for your cactus mammillaria elongata. Just like other types of cactuses, this species prefers loose and well-aerated substrate. You can easily get suitable potting mixes for your lady finger cactus from gardening shops nearby. If you will be making yours by yourself, make sure that it has a lot of sand or perlite.
The beauty of this plant shows best when you grow it in a hanging basket. Well, it does not matter if you grow it in a regular pot or hanging basket, just ensure that the container has holes for drainage. Remember that this cactus prefers a dry substrate to a wet one.
You should mulch your cactus if you can, but remember that you do not need mulch to grow it. If you choose to mulch the cactus, make use of inorganic mulch that will not decompose and attract excess moisture into the substrate. Inorganic mulch such as stones and pebbles help to beautify the pot.
You only want to use one layer of mulch. This means that you should not place a layer of pebbles above other pebbles. You want to make sure that the root of your lady finger cactus has access to a lot of air and water evaporates quickly.
– Light Requirements
Light is very important for this cactus as it grows naturally in a habitat with more sunlight than it needs. Therefore, you want to mimic this. Make sure that your gold lace cactus has six or more hours of direct sunlight daily. However, do not over-expose them to the summer sun so that they do not get burnt.
You should use natural light to grow your cactuses. However, if you do not have access to light, you can use at least 12 hours of artificial grow light. Even though this is a slow-growing plant, you can speed up its growth rate by growing it in bright direct light.
– Humidity Requirements
This is a cactus plant, so it naturally prefers below-average humidity. This means that you do not need to install a humidifier when you are growing ladyfinger cactuses. Also, you do not need to water the plant in the fall and winter months because the air is humid. So as long as the humidity is below average, your cactus will grow just fine.
– Temperature Requirements
You want to grow your lady finger cactus at 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit and never below it. The gold lace cactus originates from a warm habitat, so it will get stunted growth or even die when you grow it in a cold place. Low temperatures can also affect the flower of this plant, so you must get the temperature right.
If possible, make sure that this plant grows at its preferred temperature naturally. This means that you should not grow it in a controlled environment. Gold lace cactus produces flowers and pops according to the season, so you may not get it right if you control the environmental factors.
– Fertilizing Requirements
Even though this cactus can grow in nutrient-depleted soil, you want to feed it occasionally so that it can stay beautiful and grow at a much faster growth rate. You can use a cactus mix for your lady finger cactus, just make sure that you dilute the fertilizer by mixing it with a double volume of water.
Feed your gold lace cactus plants once every two weeks in spring and summer so that they will not lack nutrients. In autumn and winter, you do not need to feed the plants because they will have a very slow growth rate by then and can make use of the nutrients in their substrate.
– Pruning Requirements
No pruning is necessary for this cactus, in general. However, it is only necessary to prune the cactus if the part that you you are pruning is infected, or sunburnt.
When you have mature golden lace cactuses, you can propagate them with ease. Here are three easy methods to propagate the beautiful cactus:
– Propagating by Seeds
If you are lucky, your golden lace cactus plants will produce seeds after the fertilization of their flowers. You can store the seeds by keeping them in a dry and airtight container. If you want to plant them, you only need their potting mix sand to use as their first substrate.
Place the seeds on a suitable potting mix and pour a thin layer of sand on the seeds to cover them. You should water the seeds by misting them. In less than a month, they will germinate and in the next two or three weeks, they will be ready for transplanting into a bigger pot (in case you started them in a nursery tray).
– Propagating by Offshoot
You will see new golden laces growing from the roots of your mature plant a year after planting it. You can collect these shoots or pops and transplant them to a new pot. This method of propagation is super easy as long as you are careful with the roots.
Using a brush, remove soil or potting mix from the region where the pop is growing. You should then use a sterilized knife to cut off the pop from the mother plant. If possible, make sure that some roots are attached to the young plant. After the cut in the offshoot is dry, you can plant the offshoot in a suitable potting mix.
– Propagating by Stem Cutting
A more complex method to propagate your ladyfinger cactus plant is by using its stem cutting. Make sure that you are extra careful if you use this method because of the spines in the cactus stems. All you need for this method are your gloves, a sterilized scissor, and a suitable potting mix.
You should collect a stem from the mature plant. Make sure that the stem is at least six inches long as longer stems have higher chances of growing roots. After cutting the stem, wait until the cut dries, and then dip the bottom part of the stem into a suitable substrate. Water the bottom parts of the stem by misting regularly for at least a month.
As long as the stem is not showing any sign of weakness or dying, you can switch to the recommended watering technique (as discussed earlier) after a month. In a few weeks, you should see signs of growth from the base of the cactus stem.
Remember that you should wear gloves when handling your cactus because of the sharp spines. The Mammillaria cactus is easy to propagate, right? Continue reading to learn how to fix problems that you may come across when growing this cactus.
While this exotic plant is easy to grow, you need to be watchful of the following problems:
– Root Rot
Root rot is a very common problem for cactus plants. This is because while cactus plants prefer a dry substrate, many gardeners and plant owners grow their cactuses in dry substrates. Root rot is a fungal disease that attacks plants that are growing in a substrate with more water than they need.
Your golden lace cactus plants will start to lose their roots and die if you overwater them or grow them in a water-logged substrate. While the roots die, fungi will attack the weaker roots and this will lead to a very weak and dying plant. You can tell that your cactus has root rot when it is becoming yellow and weak, especially in fall, winter, and early spring.
If you quickly detect root rot in your cactus, you can fix it by exposing the roots to the air while you remove the dead and weak ones. Additionally, keep in mind that you may cut back on your watering rate so that the plant does not suffer from root rot again. It is important to be mindful that root rot is a serious issue that would damage your plant and how it thrives.
– Insufficient Light
Remember that cactuses require at least six hours of sunlight daily. If you give them anything less than their required amount of light, they will suffer from insufficient light. You can tell that your golden lace cactus has insufficient light when its stems are turning yellow and it is not showing any sign of growth.
You need to keep your cactus outside your home or at a spot close to a window with access to sunlight. Cactuses do not grow so pretty when you do not give them enough light, so you can only help your golden lace to beautify the room if you grow it in the right condition.
If the plant is suffering from insufficient light, shift it a bit closer to the window or take it outside until it gets its color back. You can also install grow lights to support the sunlight if the plant does not get access to enough sunlight.
Even though cactus plants love a lot of sunlight, you do not want to give them too much, else they can get sunburn. Your golden lace cactus can get sunburn in the summer months when the sun and heat are intense. To prevent your plants from getting sunburned, you should shift their position a little bit farther away from the light.
If your golden lace cactus has sunburn, you can tell by the color of the stems and spines. The stems should look brown and dry. Also, the spines might fall off or feel weak when you touch them. In this case, you want to water the plant and grow it in a cool place until the heatwave is over.
– Insufficient Nutrients
It is true that the ladyfinger cactus plant as well as so many other cactus plants can grow in nutrient-depleted soil. However, you do not want to grow your plant in such soil for long because the plant will get stunted growth and will not grow as beautifully as others growing in nutrient-rich soil.
As long as you follow the feeding tips explained earlier in this article, you will have no problems such as insufficient nutrients. However, if you find your plants suffering from nutrient deficiency, you want to feed them as soon as possible. Remember that foliar fertilizer is the best type of fertilizer to correct this problem.
If you grow healthy ladyfinger cactuses in their preferred growing conditions, you may not experience any pest attack as pests hardly attack healthy plants. The regular sight of pests on your cactus can indicate that the plant is unwell or you are growing it in the wrong spot.
For example, the presence of fungus gnats means that you are overwatering your plants. Well, pests such as aphids and spider mites can attack your cactus and you can easily repel them by misting soapy water on the plant stems. Also, consider buying a chemical pesticide that is safe for your cactus from a gardening store.
How do you repot Gold Lace Cactus?
To repot a Gold Lace Cactus, gently remove it from the current pot, shake off excess soil, and place it into a new pot with well-draining soil. Avoid overwatering after repotting.
How many hours of sunlight does Gold Lace Cactus need?
Gold Lace Cactus requires around 6-8 hours of sunlight per day to thrive. Place it in a sunny spot near a window or provide artificial grow lights if needed.
Does Gold Lace Cactus bloom?
Yes, Gold Lace Cactus (Echinocereus pectinatus) does bloom. It produces beautiful flowers that typically appear in the spring or early summer. The flowers are usually vibrant and colorful, adding to the aesthetic appeal of the plant.
While you can now grow your cactuses like a pro, do not forget the following points:
- Make sure that your golden lace cactus gets at least six hours of sunlight daily.
- Do not grow this cactus in a place with humidity that is higher than the average.
- You do not need mulch to grow your ladyfinger cactus, but it is good practice as it helps to prevent weeds and pests.
- You can propagate your ladyfinger cactus plant by its seeds, shoots, and stem cuttings.
- Remember that your cactus can get sunburn in summer, so you want to reduce the amount of sunlight that they receive in the summer months.
Take note of every tip in this article and grow your plants effortlessly.
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