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My Lifesaver Cactus bloomed and I've never been happier

Updated: Aug 20, 2020

I highly recommend having one of these in your collection! Super low maintenance and the blooms are UNREAL Here are some tips for keeping them happy:

Huernia zebrina AKA the Lifesaver Cactus. If you get one, you can essentially pot it in a pot with drainage and well-draining soil and forget about it for most of the time (but why would you want to??)

Like most plants, you'll need to let the soil dry out before watering, these guys are very prone to rot if they are left in wet media. The roots can rot, but also the base of the plant can get yellow and squishy as it rests directly on the soil also.

These guys like to be crowded, and grow well all snuggled up together, so even if you find yourself needing to change the soil after a few years, you'll probably still be good with the same pot.

These little guys need a good source of bright light, but don't love to be in extremely intense heat or direct sun all day. I keep mine in an east-facing window that gets a few hours of direct afternoon sun, and clearly, he's living his best life. Similarly, they don't want to be too cold- you can grow them outdoors in the summer, but they shouldn't be in temperatures below 50 degrees ideally.

I have read that the flowers smell like rotting flesh (what?!) which was kind of a bummer, but obviously that didn't stop me from getting one. I'm not sure how big the flowers have to get for this to become apparent, but I didn't smell anything from this flower, which was a ehhh about the size of a quarter. Fun fact, the smell attracts flies- because that is how these plants are pollinated in the wild! Isn't nature friggin' amazing.

*I have also read a lot of sources that say these are easily prone to mealy bugs. I have never experienced mealybugs with any indoor plants so I'm 100% not the expert on this topic, but it is something to consider if you have one of these growing outdoors!

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