Gymnocalycium Horstii Care | Soil, Light, Water, Repot, Propagation

Gymnocalycium horstii cactus care is minimum. Like other succulent varieties, it prefers slightly acidic well-drain soil. However, since it is natively growing in arid climates, it is needs very little water to thrive. This plant

This is a flowering cactus type that produces pale pink blooms from spring to summer. Flowers are pretty large compared with the plant and develop a long floral funnel. Gymnocalycium horstii has a bulky appearance and have spikes. It is natively growing in southern America (in Brazil) farmlands.

Gymnocalycium Horstii Care

This is a low-light cactus variety that prefers to grow in the shade. Therefore you can grow Gymnocalycium horstii in your home windowsill without much effort. This is a slightly cold hardy cactus that can survive in freezing temperatures.

Gymnocalycium Horstii grows up to 1inch-2inch (5cm to 6cm) in height and 4inch to 6 inches (12cm to 16cm) in diameter. This is a winter dormant and summer actively growing cactus plant.


How To Care Gymnocalycium Horstii.


Gymnocalycium Horstii thrives in a fast-drain cactus soil mix. Like other cactus types, it is not preferred to sit on high moisture potting mix for a longer period. The recommended soil ingredients particle size is 1/4 inch (6mm). In this size, it improves the potting mix looseness, aeration, and drainage.

Indoor Gymnocalycium Horstii soil mix.

When growing Gymnocalycium Horstii Indoor, it requires less moisture-retaining porous soil mix. In an indoor space, there is low temperature, and potted plants soil water evaporation is too slow compared to outdoor. Therefore, the best potting mix for Gymnocalycium Horstii is slightly acidic soil.

  • 40% of Pine barks – Recommended particles size is 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch (6mm to 3mm) – 4 parts.
  • 40% of Coarse Sand, Gritty mix, Turface, Granite sands -4 Parts.
  • 20% of Perlite/pumice – 2 Parts.
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Personally, I recommend pine bark and gritty mix particles size is 1/4 inch (6mm). Smaller particle size does not improve aeration or well drainage.


Outdoor Gymnocalycium Horstii soil mix.

Outdoor Gymnocalycium Horstii cacti need a slightly moist potting mix. Therefore I recommended using 40% of commercial cactus potting mix.

  • 40% of commercial potting mix – 4 parts.
  • 40% of Coarse Sand, Gritty mix, Turface, Granite sands which as particles size 1/4 inch to 1/8 inch (6mm to 3mm) -4 Parts.
  • 20% of Perlite/pumice – 2 Parts.

I do not recommend using peat moss containing a potting mix. This is because peat retains a high level of moisture.



Gymnocalycium Horstii is a low light prefer cacti. It naturally grows under the shade of bushes in its native environment. Therefore always provide partial shade. When growing indoors, place it close to a bright light source, something like a windowsill. Gymnocalycium Horstii prefers the morning sun rather than the afternoon.

In an outdoor Gymnocalycium Horstii, you have to provide partial shade during the year. Moreover, in the cooler winter months, you have to provide reasonable protection against frost.

However, this plant needs bright light to produce its flowers, though, do not expose it to direct sun for a longer time. Therefore, it can result in sunburn Gymnocalycium Horsti stem.



Between two waterings Gymnocalycium potting mix should completely dry. Since it is a cactus, it stores water on the stem. Therefore it requires very little water, and it is an excellent drought-tolerant cactus.

Always check the Gymnocalycium Horstii potting mix moisture before watering. I do recommend checking cactus topsoil and subsoil moisture before watering.

See also  How To Plant Cactus In Pots Without Drainage Holes?

The soak and dry method is a good cactus watering technique. Also, I do recommend using a squeezing water bottle for the water cactus.

When the temperature drops below 50°F (10°C), you must be extremely careful, and we recommend that you stop completely watering if the subsoil is not fully dry.

Overwatering may result in the cactus turning yellow and root rotting.



Gymnocalycium Horstii tolerates a wide range of temperatures. However, it grows best in a warmer climate. The optimum temperature is over 64°F (18°C). It can grow USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b.

Ensure that the temperature does not fall below 30°F (-1.1°C) as it is not a cold hardy cactus. Therefore, it is preferable to provide an ambient temperature of at least 64°F (18°C) during the winter months.



Gymnocalycium Horstii is not a heavy fertilizers feeder. However, it would definitely benefit the plant to add some balanced fertilizers since the plant is high in flesh and is not suitable for high nitrogen.

A good solution is a liquid fertilizer. It would be helpful to mix a few organic composts, but excessive compost can slow down the water drain and retain high moisture.



The right pot size for Gymnocalycium Horstii cactus is a wider pot. This provides sufficient space for the plant to grow. Mature plants grow in diameter between 4 and 6 inches (12 and 16 cm). Cactus does not develop a deeper root system. Hence shallow pot is the right post for the cactus.

It is better to use a breathable pot to improve drainage and aeration. Terracotta is a good pot material. You can either choose porcelain, ceramic, cement, or wood pots which has suitable drainage holes.



Gymnocalycium Horstii cactus can be propagated either seeds or division. When the plant is getting mature, it develops small offsets around the plant. The best time to propagate is late spring and early summer.

See also  Mammillaria Elongata | Ladyfinger Cactus Care | Soil, Light, Temperature, Water, Repot, Propagation

Once these offsets matured, you can carefully separate and air dry for few days. Using a tweezer, you can gently rotate the pup. Once the offsets are airdried, you can plant them on a cactus well-drain propagation soil medium. Spray water directly into the soil and keep the potting mix moist until it produces roots.

Well-developed roots can be expected for about 3 or 4 weeks. Then, when you see the offsets begin to grow, you can plant them in a separate cactus pot carefully.

Seeds are somewhat difficult to propagate. It produces seeds once the flower blooms. The seed can be placed on cactus soil, and water can be sprayed.



Gymnocalycium Horstii doesn’t need to be repotted every year. The best time to change the potting soil is 12 or 24 months. The container soil can now be compacted with less depletion of nutrients and reduce faster drainage.

You can read more about repotting cactus by referring to my previous post. Early summer is the best time to report Gymnocalycium. Do not repot in falls or winter. These cool months Gymnocalycium Horstii, are getting dormant.

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