Strombocactus Pulcherrimus Care | A Rare Cactus |

Strombocactus pulcherrimus are wonderful succulent which you may come across in the succulents and the cactus world.

They are endemic plants to Mexico and to Northern America. You would commonly find them grown in rock crevices, cliffs in those countries. Succulents in general require easy maintenance and Strombocactus pulcherrimus would require the same.

As such anybody could grow these beauties without any gardening experience. Are you excited to discover these amazing plants, then it would be worthwhile reading this article since you can educate yourself on how to grow these plants, how to propagate them and how to overcome the pests’ attacks and the diseases as well.

Strombocactus Pulcherrimus

How do I identify Strombocactus pulcherrimus?

You could identify the Strombocactus pulcherrimus by simply looking at the plant’s foliage. 

These plants have a close resemblance to Strombocactus disciformis plants as well. 

However, you could separate these two plants from their flowers only. They would usually grow as solitary plants. However, chances are that they would form as geophytes as well.

Strombocactus pulcherrimus stem would be more flattened or spherical. They would reach a maximum height of 3 cm. 

furthermore they would be 8 cm in diameter. Moreover, their crown would be depressed or felt as well. You could spot them in blue-green color. 

Further they may also consist of a gray tinge. Not only that but also, they would comprise imbricate tubercles. They would be 1-1.8 cm in height. Apart from that, Strombocactus pulcherrimus roots are strong napiforms. 

They have about 4-5 spines which would usually form with dark gray tips. Besides they would be pale gray at the base. Furthermore, those spines would be 1.2 – 2.0 cm in length. 

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In addition to these features, they would bloom with bright magenta-colored flowers. Those flowers would be 3.5 cm in length. 

Their flowering season would usually form in early spring. Further they will keep blooming until summer. What is more special about these plants is that those flowers would stay in bloom for several days.

One look care guide

Botanical NameStrombocactus pulcherrimus
Plant TypeSucculent , cactus
Mature SizeMaximum height of 3 cm / 8 cm in diameter
Sun ExposureFull sunlight to partial shade
Soil TypeWell draining, sandy
Soil pHNeutral
Bloom TimeSpring to summer
Flower ColorBright Magenta color
Hardiness ZonesUSDA hardiness zone9.
Native AreaMexico / Northern America
Average price 8 USD

How do you take care of Strombocactus pulcherrimus?

Light Requirement 

It is vital that you expose them to full sunlight, preferably during the morning hours. Do not leave them exposed to direct sunlight especially in the intense hours of the day as it would not be healthy on the plants. 

Further, when you cultivate them as indoor plants, I recommend placing them near a bright sunny window spot. If you find it difficult to supply the essential sunlight levels, you could place grow lights closer to the plants. 

On another note if you had grown them indoors for quite a while and if you wish to bring them outdoors, best is to slowly accustom them to outdoor full sunlight. That is simply because it would otherwise result in the scorching of the plants.

Temperature and humidity

They are not the type of plants which would withstand the colder temperatures below 4 degrees Celsius. 

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The prolonged exposure to colder weather could even kill the plants. Hence be mindful to not expose them to such conditions at any given time. 

Strombocactus pulcherrimus would prefer to have warmer conditions right throughout. In terms of the right humidity levels, they would prefer to have moderate humidity levels. 

On the other hand, excess humidity levels would be harmful for the plants.

Is it cold hardy?

Strombocactus pulcherrimus are not cold hardy and they do not handle colder conditions well. They can withstand a colder temperature up to 4 degrees Celsius only.


Strombocactus pulcherrimus prefers to grow in USDA hardiness zone 9.

Watering Requirement 

Strombocactus pulcherrimus require only a minimal watering in general. To elaborate further on this, you may water them once every two weeks during spring and summer. 

Further you should water them only if their soil is dry too. You need to minimize watering the plants towards the mid-autumn. 

Further you need to skip watering them during winter as they would be literally in sleeping mode and would not consume any of the energy. 

As you may already know, you need to avoid over watering the plants as it would lead to unnecessary troubles.

Soil Requirement Type / pH

You could proceed with a commercially made cactus or a succulent soil mix to grow the Strombocactus pulcherrimus

They would consist of 20 % coarse sand. Strombocactus pulcherrimus would grow vigorously given that they get a well-draining and well aerating soil mix. 

Once you use a well-draining soil mix, it will not retain the excess moisture within the soil mix. Instead, they would tend to drain them away from the pot. 

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Unless it would create a soggy and waterlogged condition in the pot which would contribute to diseases such as root rot.

Pot size Potting and Repotting

Best would be to choose a porous material pot to grow the Strombocactus pulcherrimus as it would suit these plants the best. Apart from that it needs to have sufficient drainage as well.

Where to Plant 

You could plant them both outdoors and indoors. However, when you plant them outdoors, you need to protect the plants from colder weather as they cannot withstand the colder conditions.

Fertilizer and time of year

You could feed the Strombocactus pulcherrimus with mineral fertilizers during early spring. Never feed them when they are dormant.

Strombocactus Pulcherrimus


Strombocactus pulcherrimus blossoms with bright magenta-colored flowers during early spring to summer.


Strombocactus pulcherrimus dormancy would be in winter.

Common bugs and illnesses

Strombocactus pulcherrimus are susceptible to regular pests’ attacks from aphids, scales and mealybugs as well. 

They will tend to attack the plants if they feel welcome towards them and if they find favorable conditions for them. 

So, if you ensure that you look after them well and provide the right growing conditions it is very unlikely that you may go through these conditions. 

In addition to that , if you end up over watering the Strombocactus pulcherrimus, it will create root rot in the plants. In fact, over watering could be the biggest culprit for so many diseases.

How to propagate Strombocactus pulcherrimus?

You could go ahead with the seeds propagation method to propagate the Strombocactus pulcherrimus plants.

Strombocactus pulcherrimus benefits 

They are useful as houseplants as well as outdoor plants.


Strombocactus pulcherrimus are such versatile great looking plants which anybody would love to have. 

So, I hope this article was very useful for you to equip yourself with the knowledge you need to have when growing them. Happy cultivating with Strombocactus pulcherrimus !

Credit to : Carlos Ruiz
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About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.