Astrophytum Capricorne

Goat's Horn Cactus

The Goat's horn cactus is one of the most popular cacti from the Astrophytum genus (Astrophytum Capricorne), although quite rare. These drought tolerant cacti will adapt well to various temperatures, but prefer the temperature to be above 50°F (10°C).

Not the most attractive looking plant for indoors, however, some growers love the peculiar look and the yellow petalled flower that blooms.



How it looks: Most definitely a strange looking species, the A. capricorne is a hardy fellow native to Mexico which displays curved spines from it's globe shaped stem (can become egg-shaped with age). The succulent globular stem has prominent ribs that form around the edge from the top of the cacti to the bottom.

Handling: Because this cacti has fairly sharp prickly spines do protect the hands with gloves when handling.

Flowering: The light and subtle yellow petalled flowers (center of the flower is red in color) bloom during summer and then fruits, after a couple of weeks. The reddish fruits contain black seeds that you can germinate to produce new plants.



Encourage blooming: A plant will bloom at approximately 3 years old or possibly less if the conditions are very good. The Astrophytum capricorne enjoys it's rest period during winter which encourages new growth and flowering. The rest period during winter is a time to provide less watering, and cool temperatures of approximately 55°F (13°C).


Origin: North Mexico.
Names: Goat's horn cactus (common). Astrophytum Capricorne (botanical/scientific).
Max Growth (approx): Height 18 in/45 cm, diameter 10 in/25 cm.
Poisionous for pets: Not known.

Close up picture of an Astrophytum Capricorne

Goat's Horn Care

Temperature: Average temperatures between 60-80°F (15-21°C) from spring until fall, and between 50-55°F (10-12°C) during winter.
Light: Desert cacti loves sun in it's natural habitat and will grow well if you provide plenty of sunshine or partially shaded.
Watering: It's best to water the plant when the soil becomes dry from spring until near the end of fall. Just before the end of fall and throughout winter water now and again, only. If the cacti begins to shrivel then do water straight away, otherwise if it's dry and not shrivelling it's doing fine.
Soil: A well draining soil mix is advised..something like 60% perlite, 20% peat, and 20% compost, or a variation of this. You can buy a mix that is prepared if you do not want to prepare your own. You can add a type of gravel mix or small pebbles, laid at the top ( maybe an inch deep) which gives the cactus a dry desert look.
Re-Potting: When they're young (up to 3 -4 years) you can re-pot in to a slightly bigger pot every spring. After 3 -4 years only re-pot when necessary.
Humidity: Normal indoor humidity is fine for the Goat's horn cactus and provide fresh air when it's hot inside.
Propagation: These are easily propagated with seeds and the germination temperature should be approximately 70°F - 80°F (21°C - 26.6°C).

Overall this cacti is an easy grower which even the worst plant neglecter should be able to manage. Follow the care instructions above for better growth and flowering, but remember it's kind of neglect it wants during winter.


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