‘Domino Cactus’, or Echinopsis subdenudata, is a stunning cactus species that can grow up to 6 inches tall and 8 inches wide. It has green stems covered with small white dots, giving it a “domino” appearance. The plant produces large, showy flowers in a range of colors, including white, pink, red, orange, and yellow. The flowers bloom in the summer and last for only a day or two, but the plant can produce multiple blooms throughout the season. The Domino Cactus has a columnar growth habit, with a central stem that produces offsets or “pups” around the base.
Fair Warning: I’m a total paparazzi when I catch any of my cacti blooming. Their flowers don’t last very long, but they’re by far the most beautiful flowers of any plant ever in the history of ever.
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‘Domino Cactus’ is native to Argentina and Bolivia, where it grows at altitudes of 600-1,800 meters. It thrives in a dry, desert-like environment with well-draining soil.
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How to Water ‘Domino Cactus’
‘Domino Cactus’ is a drought-tolerant plant and should be watered sparingly. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings, and then water thoroughly. During the winter months, when the plant is dormant, water even less frequently.
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‘Domino Cactus’ requires well-draining soil to prevent root rot. A mix of cactus soil and perlite, pumice, coarse sand, and Turface is ideal. The soil should be slightly acidic, with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. My ‘Domino Cactus’ is in a mix of mostly pumice and a little bit of potting soil.
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How to Propagate ‘Domino Cactus’
‘Domino Cactus’ can be propagated by seeds or offsets. To propagate with offsets, wait until the pups are about 1/3 the size of the parent plant and then remove them with a clean, sharp knife. Allow the cuttings to dry for a few days, and then plant them in a well-draining cactus mix. Water sparingly until the cuttings take root. I think I might pot mine up soon so that it has room to grow pups.
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‘Domino Cactus’ prefers bright, indirect light but can tolerate some direct sun. In the hottest months of the year, it is best to provide some shade during the hottest part of the day. If growing indoors, place the cactus near a sunny window or under a grow light.
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‘Domino Cactus’ does not require much fertilizer. During the growing season, fertilize once a month with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half-strength.
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‘Domino Cactus’ Common Problems & Solutions
One common problem with the ‘Domino Cactus’ is yellowing. This can be caused by overwatering or poor soil drainage. To remedy the issue, allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings and improve soil drainage by adding extra perlite or pumice to the mix. I planted mine in probably 80% pumice and 20% potting soil. It’s been a while, but my cactus is happy so I’m not going to touch it. Another common problem is bud drop, which can occur when the plant is exposed to sudden changes in temperature or light. To prevent bud drop, avoid moving the plant once buds have formed.
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Hardiness Zone & Temperature
Domino Cactus is hardy in USDA zones 9-11 and can tolerate temperatures as low as 20°F (-6°C). In colder climates, it is best to grow the plant in a container and bring it indoors for the winter.
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‘Domino Cactus’ is also known as the Easter Lily Cactus or Hedgehog Cactus. It is a popular cactus species among collectors and is relatively easy to care for. With proper care, it can bloom multiple times a year, producing large and showy flowers in shades of pink, red, and white.
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The fruit of the ‘Domino Cactus’ is edible and is sometimes used in traditional South American cuisine. The fruit is small and red, with a sweet flavor and a slightly crunchy texture. However, the fruit should only be consumed in moderation, as it contains small amounts of toxic alkaloids.
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Some cultivars may have variegated or striped foliage, which can add visual interest to your collection. These unique specimens may be harder to find and more expensive, but they can be a great addition to any succulent garden.
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