× Chamaelobivia 'Orange'
- available to order from spring
- 1 litre pot
- Standard £4.95
- Position: bright but indirect light
- Compost: specialist cacti compost
- Rate of growth: slow
- Hardiness: half hardy
- Current height: approximately 10cm (including pot)
- Pot covers: choose a 14cm pot cover to give a good fit over the pot.
This interesting little cactus may not get very tall, but it will still put on a great show when its larger than average (up to 7cm across) bright orange flowers open. A mix between two species (Chamaecereus and Lobivia), it is hailed as being hardier than most (it is said to tolerate temperatures as low as -10C for very short periods), but despite this it should be grown inside where you can keep an eye on the watering. Please note that these plants may not be sent out in bloom.
- Home care: Place it in a bright spot and in spring and summer, water when the compost gets dry, but make sure it never sits in excess water for any length of time. In autumn and winter cut back on the watering but do not let it dry out completely. Avoid a humid atmosphere (no bathrooms or steamy kitchens) and in the warmer months, open a window or door occasionally so it can enjoy the fresh air. Repot every year or two into a slightly larger pot using cacti compost. You will find it easier to tackle if you concertina a couple of sheets of newspaper and then fold these around the spines, leaving a 'tail' that you can use to lift the plant out of one pot and into another. Otherwise invest in some thorn-proof gloves!