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Care of the plant Astrophytum ornatum or Monk's Hood.

Care of the cacti Astrophytum ornatum or Monk's Hood

The genus Astrophytum, family Cactaceae, comprises 6 species of cactus native to Mexico and Texas. The species are: Astrophytum ornatum, Astrophytum myriostigma, Astrophytum asterias, Astrophytum senile, Astrophytum capricorne, Astrophytum coahuilense.

Common names: Monk's Hood, Star Cactus, Ornamented Bishop's Cap. This species is native to Central Plateau of Mexico.

They are columnar cacti that reach 1 meter (3.28 feet) in height. They are dark green in their youth (later light green) with small silver spots; they have 8 to 9 ribs (sometimes spiral) with spines about 3 cm (1.18") long and yellow (brown in adult specimens). The showy flowers measure up to 9 cm (3.54") in diameter and are yellow in color. They bloom from mid-spring to late summer.

Monk's Hood is used in pots for their slow growth but also in rockeries and cactus and succulent plant gardens.

Astrophytum ornatum needs full sun or light shade exposure. In winter the temperature should not drop below 5 ºC (41 ºF).

Soil drainage must be perfect; a mixture of 1/2 coarse sand, 1/4 peat or leaf mulch and 1/4 garden substrate is recommended.

Star Cactus needs less watering than most cacti; water moderately waiting for the soil to be completely dry. In winter do not water.

Ornamented Bishop's Cap does not need fertilization or pruning.

Astrophytum ornatum is a plant resistant to pests and diseases but sensitive to excess watering.

Star Cactus propagates by seeds that germinate fairly quickly; seedlings grow fast at first.

Images of the cacti Astrophytum ornatum or Monk's Hood

Astrophytum ornatum
Astrophytum ornatum
Astrophytum ornatum
Astrophytum ornatum
Astrophytum ornatum