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How to Care for a Straw Flower Cactus Plant

strawflower image by Lijuan Guo from

Straw flower cactus plants make a beautiful addition to any house. Upon first glance, they appear to be normal cacti with bright, vibrant flowers growing out of the top. However, the flowers are glued to the cacti and not an actual natural part of them. While the flowers are technically dead, they are still capable of opening and closing with moisture and temperature changes, which gives them the appearance of being alive. When properly cared for, a straw flower cactus can last several years.

Provide a pot filled with equal parts peat moss, loam and sand to best replicate the natural conditions of the cactus.

Place the cactus near a window that gets sun throughout most of the day. If you put the plant on a patio or outdoors, make sure it gets partial shade as cacti can burn from too much sun.

Water the soil so it is thoroughly moist. Do not water it again until the soil is completely dried out. Follow this watering regimen for the entire time you have the cactus.

Fertilize the cactus once per month during the spring and summer months. Use a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10, and dilute it with water to 50 percent . There is no need to fertilize it during the cold months as cacti are dormant during this time.

Care For A Straw Flower Cactus Plant

A straw flower cactus is a cactus that has a straw flower (or strawflower) attached to it, either with hot glue or a pin. The flower is the bract of Xerochrysum bracteatum and is named for its papery, straw-like texture. The flowers are used to "dress up" the cactus, usually to enhance sales. Many home gardeners are fooled into believing that the attached flowers are the actual flowers of the cactus. Although this action may seem lifelike, the flowers require no extra care beyond what you give the cactus. Do not place it directly in the hot sun. In addition, the straw flowers fade in the sun. Potted plants need a dose of nutrients added to the soil now and then. Once every six months use a water-soluble, slow-release fertilizer formulated for cacti and succulents. Water your cactus when the soil dries out.

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