Ariocarpus Retusus (Biznaga-maguey Peyote Cimarrón)

Ariocarpus Retusus Image

This slow-growing cactus appears naturally in the Chihuahuan desert in Mexico. It grows on limestone in nature. Besides, it forms rosettes and is quite varied in appearance. It is commonly known as Star Rock.

Scientific Name:Ariocarpus Retusus
Other Names:Living Rock, Star Rock, False Peyote.
Growth Season:Spring to summer
Preferred Temperature:The ideal temperature range for optimum growth is 80 – 90oF (27 – 32oC). It can withstand frost to 25oF (-3.9oC), especially in dry conditions.
Hardiness Zone:USDA Zone 9b – 11b
Average Mature Height & Width:It attains a width of 10 – 25 cm and a height of 10 cm to 20 cm.
Dormancy:It is dormant in winter.
Toxicity:It is a toxic plant since it contains hordenine, which causes high blood pressure and an increased heart rate when ingested.
Ariocarpus Retusus Summary

Ariocarpus Retusus Physical Characteristics

The plant is characterized by thick triangular tubercles, which are one of the constant features of this diverse species. Those tubercles’ size and shape may differ from plant to plant. It is a geophyte that grows slowly, and it is solitary.

Being a geophyte, much of its body is underground, but some tubercles appear above ground. The color of its stem ranges from grey to blue–green. It is globular, and it is rounded on the top. This plant’s tubercles look like leaves, usually convex or flat.

This cactus flowers in fall, producing pink or magenta. Once in a while, the flowers have red midribs. The flowers mature into white, green fruits, and sometimes they can be pinkish. It has a large taproot that offers anchorage and water storage. 

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Ariocarpus Retusus Plant Care

This plant is hardy, and it requires just a little water. Please give it to drink during its growing season using the soak-and-dry method. Though it can live without water, getting it some water to drink makes it healthy and strong, increasing its ornamental appeal.

Planting it in a well-draining substrate of at least 70% pumice would be best. The organic matter should be minimal to prevent too much moisture from remaining in the soil. Too much moisture makes predisposes the plant to root rot.

Also, you can feed the cactus with some fertilizer in summer. The fertilizer should contain little to no nitrogen, as nitrogen makes cacti soggy. A fertilizer rich in potassium is the best.

It prefers bright light and can withstand direct sunlight or a light shade. Keep it under a shade if the sun is too hot, and move it indoors when temperatures get too cold. It can withstand frost, especially if you keep it dry.

DO YOU KNOW? Caring (propagating, pruning/trimming, beheading, watering, …) is a set of skills that is widely applicable to succulents. Read the in-depth guide here >>

Richard Miller – Succulent City

Ariocarpus Retusus Growth

Andriocarpus Retusus is a highly slow-growing plant. It takes between 8 to 12 years to mature reproductively. This is when it flowers for the first time. These flowers mature to produce fruits that contain viable seeds.

Propagation is primarily by seeds. It is good to repot the plant at least every other year. Being a geophyte, a considerable amount of its body is underground, and you need to accommodate this growth.

Due to its slow-growing nature, it usually doesn’t require pruning and is mainly resistant to pests and diseases. Nevertheless, mealybugs and scale, and aphids may attack it. Protect the plant by applying organic pesticides and especially by keeping it healthy.

Before you leave …

You can see all plants from the Ariocarpus genus on Succulent City on this page. Or the previous/next plant: 

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Richard Miller

Salute everyone. It's Richard, the author of this Succulent & Xeriscaping blog. I am a traveler and a nature lover looking for a connection with the wild green. In my journey, I found a love for succulents and xeriscaping. What attracts me is the long-lasting & unique beauty of every plant I have the chance to see with my own eyes. Welcome to my little blog and let's enjoy a good time together!

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