The plant Rebutia is part of the Cactus family. According to information from various sources, this genus includes 40 to 100 species and even more. In natural conditions this plant can be found in Peru, Argentina and Bolivia. Rebucia is very popular with florists because it is undemanding to the conditions of cultivation and care, and is not very large. Also this plant forms many offspring and can bloom in various conditions.
Rebutia is the closest relative of the aylostera, which is also part of the same family and is widely cultivated in room conditions. These plants are very similar to each other. This is why in 2001 the genus Ayloster was included in the genus Rebucia. However, even today there are experts who are against this merger, in connection with this final decision has not yet been made, as there are still some difficulties. But this is not very important to florists as the care of these plants is exactly the same.
- Flowering. If optimal growing conditions are created for the rebush, from its second year onwards, it will flower all year round. However, the setting of the flower buds takes place in the last days of February.
- Brightness. The plant needs bright sunlight all year round, which is why a south-facing window sill is most suitable for it.
- Temperature regime. During active growth, the bush should be at normal room temperature. During the winter, the cactus is moved to a cooler place (8 to 12 degrees).
- Pouring. Moisten the soil mixture in the pot systematically and moderately.
In summer watering is done once every 7 days, but on hot days moisten the soil mixture more often. In winter time, the bush is hardly watered, especially if you need to get babies.
- Air Humidity. The level of air humidity that is characteristic of living spaces is good.
Mineral complex fertilizer for cacti is applied to the substrate once every 30 days between April and September. Before fertilizing the cactus, it is sure to be watered with clean water.
- Dormant period. It is not pronounced. However, it usually lasts from 4 to 6 weeks and begins immediately after the end of flowering.
- Potting. It is only transplanted if necessary and only after the plant feels too cramped in its pot. The flower is transplanted in March.
- Propagation. Most often baby plants (side shoots) are used for this purpose, but sometimes the seed method is also used.
- Pests. Scabies, red spider mites, and mealybugs.
- Diseases. Cork growths as well as stem rot.
Features of rebutia
Rebutia stems are perfectly spherical in shape, with many needles on their surface.
As a rule, the stem is 50-60 mm high, but sometimes it can be up to 100 mm. Low spirally arranged ribs on the stem are very weakly expressed and divided into tubercles. There are at least 11 ribs on one stem. From each areola about 30 needles can grow, which are very thin, heterogeneous and similar in appearance to bristles. Both central needles, about 30 mm long, and radial needles, up to 5 mm, grow.
Since there are so many prickles on one stem, it looks like a fluffy ball. The single and rather large glossy funnel-shaped flowers are quite wide open and can be colored in orange-yellow, pinkish-orange, red or orange hues. The flowers usually form in the lower areolae of the lateral surface of the stem, and they form a banded wreath. In order to understand whether you are looking at a Rebucia or an Aylostera, pay attention to the structure of the flower: the tube of a Rebucia is unbroken and smooth while that of an Aylostera is ½ of its pistil fused with the tube with pubescence on its surface.
Cactus-Rebutia blooms unmatched 😍
Home care for rebutia
The indoor rebutia is very easy to care for.
The reason is that it is a mountainous plant and therefore requires very little care and growing conditions.
If you want your shrub to flower regularly and abundantly, special attention must be given to its overwintering. In winter it should be kept cool (8 to 12 degrees). When buying a cactus in a store, don't forget to ask the seller what the optimum wintering temperature for this particular plant is. The fact is that in recent years there were such varieties, which in winter time should be at a temperature of about 5 degrees.
Also need to remember that for normal growth cactus needs fresh air, and for this the room where the plant is located should be ventilated regularly. Sperm air can be very damaging to the rebutia, but sharp differences between night and day temperature are very useful for it. During the growing period, the flower grows well at any temperature.
This plant is among the light-loving ones, and direct sun rays do it no harm. Therefore you can place it on a southern window and you don't have to worry about it being under the scorching sun because the shrub won't overheat and it won't get sunburned.
When choosing a location for the flower, remember that even a little shading can do it harm.
Rebutia, unlike many other cacti, reacts normally to a little and infrequent overwatering of the soil mixture in the pot. But try to let this happen as infrequently as possible. You have to water the cactus in time and with enough water, and the frequency and abundance of watering is influenced by the rate of moisture evaporation from the substrate as well as the air temperature in the room. In summertime it's enough to water the cactus only once every 7 days.
However, on hot days it's recommended to increase the frequency of watering.
Winter watering frequency also depends on the air temperature and the rate of evaporation of liquid from the soil mixture. You should take into account that in winter the bush is in a cool environment, and moisture evaporates more slowly from the substrate in such conditions. That is why watering at this time is carried out very rarely and use a small amount of water. If a rebucia is overwintering in a warm place or if it has babies growing that are no more than 30 mm across, you also have to water it very infrequently with very little water.
Remember not to stress the cactus by gradually increasing or decreasing the amounts and frequency of watering. Watering should be done with water well drained for at least 24 hours and slightly warm (2 degrees centigrade above room temperature).
Wetting the bush with a sprayer or showering it is not necessary. If, however, dust has accumulated on its surface, then use a brush with soft bristles to remove it.
This cactus does not need nutrition at all.
But if you want the flowering to be long and lush, then feed it from April to September once every 30 days. You can use cacti compound fertilizer, but it has to be non-concentrated. Remember to water the plant before fertilizing.
Transplanting is done at the beginning of the growing season, more specifically in March. But this procedure should only be done when necessary, when the root system becomes very crowded in the pot.
Rebucia grows best in a ready-made soil mixture for cacti and succulent plants, which can be purchased at a specialized store. It is light, water permeable, based on sand and also contains gravel.
It is not necessary to water the flower immediately before transplanting and the clod in the pot should be completely dry. Make a good layer of drainage at the bottom of the new container. Then carefully transplant the bush into the new container from the old one, and fill all the voids with the new substrate, which should be dry.
Take the transplanted bush to a well-lit and warm place. Water the cactus for the first time after transplanting only after 7 days. And for another two to three months, be extremely careful about watering.
Both aylosters and rebutia begin to flower in their 2nd or 3rd year of life. As a rule, the flowers on the bush form in the summertime.
The flowers open only on sunny days, and they close as evening falls. The minimum lifespan of a single flower is two days.
If you take care of it properly and it still refuses to bloom then it could be due to the following:
- It needs a lot of sunlight;
- you have to leave it in the winter when it is cold and it needs to stay at a temperature of around 10 degrees;
- the wrong type of earth mixture that lets the water and air through properly;
- inappropriate watering: The bush needs moderate moisture in the summer, sparingly in the fall months, and in the winter it is better not to water at all.
How does the Rebucia cactus blossom
Rebucia has many side shoots that you can easily propagate. To do this, separate the offspring from the bush and plant it in a loose and light soil mixture, where it should give roots.
These offspring have a very rapid growth, and soon enough new offspring will form on them.
The seed method can also be used to propagate this plant. First the seeds are immersed for 10 minutes in a pinkish solution of manganese potassium to disinfect them, and then they are left outdoors to dry. The seeds are sown in early spring in low but wide flasks that are filled with a mixture of soil combined with sand or stone granules. When sowing between the seeds in a distance of 20-30 mm, in this case in the future young bushes do not need picking.
For the cultivation of young bushes is ideal at a temperature of 15 to 20 degrees, and do not forget to water and ventilate them in time. When the seedlings grow a little and get stronger, they are planted in individual small pots.
Young bushes throughout the year need a lot of bright light. That is why it is recommended to light them in winter for the first two years of life.
Pests and diseases of rebutia
Cork formations can form on rebutia.
They usually appear because the bush has been exposed to too low air temperatures, it has been mechanically damaged or it has been watered too sparingly during the warm season.
The plant sometimes develops stem rot, this occurs if it has been watered during the dormancy period. If the shrub is affected, stop watering and wait for the stem to dry out.
Root rot can also form on the plant's root system. This is usually caused by too much nitrogen or untimely application.
This cactus is quite resistant to pests, but sometimes the scale, red spider mites and mealybugs can occur. If worms or scabworms were found on the bush, you should first try to remove all individuals from it. To do this, use a cotton swab moistened in alcohol. Then the plant is treated with a solution of Fytoverm or Aktellik. These chemical agents are also used in the fight against mites.
Frequent check up and rubbing with an alcohol brush is recommended as a preventative measure.
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Rebutia species with pictures and names
The most popular ones among florists are the rebutia species and varieties that bloom clearly and very abundantly.
Rebutia minuscula, or Rebutia minuscula
This miniature cactus is highly decorative. Its stem shape is spherical and flattened, and it reaches about 50 mm across. On the surface of the ribs there are spirally arranged tubercles, and each of the areola grows about 30 white needles.
The crimson or deep red flowers are quite large. And when the bush blooms, it forms small pale red berries.
This species has a variety, Rebutia senile (Rebutia senilis). This cactus was once isolated as a separate species. It is native to Northern Argentina, and its stem reaches a height of about 80 mm and a diameter of up to 70 mm.
On the surface of the bush, snow-white spiny bristles form, reaching about 30 mm in length. At the beginning of the spring, it produces red flowers with a white center that reach about 30 mm across.
Rebutia marsoneri (Rebutia marsoneri)
This species is also quite showy. In the springtime, the bush produces deep yellow flowers, with a darker shade in the middle. The stems of the bush are narrow and ball-shaped, most often they are fused together to form a dense bunch, the surface of which is covered with numerous white soft and dark hard needles.
The stem is oval or cylindrical in shape, usually not more than 40 mm high. The entire surface of the bush is covered with numerous needles. Numerous offspring are formed on it, which have their own roots. Such a cactus is characterized by spectacular flowering. Tubular flowers with an elegant appearance appear around the base; they can be pale pink or red in color.
Rebutia albiflora or white-flowered Rebutia
This cactus forms a dense cluster consisting of numerous spherules reaching about 20 mm in cross-section. They are covered with many soft needle-like tufts, making the coloration of the stems appear whitish. Cream-colored flowers have pale pink edges on their pointed petals. These flowers reach 40 mm across.
Rebutia canigueralii (Rebutia canigueralii)
This cactus has a very high drought tolerance.
Its not very large stem is shaped like a ball. Its surface is covered with very long needles that are quite stiff. During flowering, a wreath of small bell-shaped flowers forms at the top of the stem. Their whitish petals have a pale blue border and they also have yellow stamens that stick out in a bunch.
Rebutia fulviseta (Rebutia fulviseta)
The stem of this cactus is ball-shaped and painted a dark green shade, and under certain lighting it may appear to have a black color.
The surface of the stem is covered with many sturdy needles of brown color. During flowering, the beautiful flowers are not very large and have a deep red or carrot color.
This species grows very rarely and usually has a large ball-shaped stem. The surface of the stem is covered with many white tubercles, from which white short needles grow. The petals of the rich red small flowers are curled.
The flowers themselves form at one point on the stem rather than in a circle.
Rebutia perplexa (Rebutia perplexa)
The surface of the strongly branched, fleshy stem is studded with smooth tubercles. The needles of this species are quite few. The flowers are usually pinkish, but can also be fuchsia colored, which is not characteristic of rebutia.
Rebutia pulvinosa (Rebutia pulvinosa)
The spherical stem has a scalloped surface that is covered with calibrated tubercles, with short, very hard brown needles sticking out of them.
During flowering, a wreath of small flowers, colored in deep orange or red, forms around the stem.
Rebutia deminuta (Rebutia deminuta)
Native to this species is Argentina. The low stem is ball-shaped and covered with many sturdy needles of a brown hue. Flowering takes place during the first weeks of summer, and the bush is decorated at this time with flowers of a deep red or orange hue.
Rebutia heliosa (Rebutia heliosa)
A very interesting cactus.
It has a very small stem and large flowers that rise on long pedicels, making them appear simply gigantic.
Rebutia golden-flowered (Rebutia chrysacantha)
This cactus differs from the others in its golden-orange flowers and yellowish needles.
Rebutia fiebrigii (Rebutia fiebrigii)
This species is quite spectacular. The fact is that during flowering, the deep orange flowers stand out brightly against the whitish needles.
Rebutia muscula (Rebutia muscula)
The bush usually has several stems, which are small spiny balls that reach about 50 mm across.
They are covered with many light colored needles, which makes them look like mice. Flowers open only during the daytime, and they can be up to 50 mm across. The flowers have a long tube and are orange in color..