Toothpick Cactus - Stetsonia coryne canarias

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Scientific Name
Stetsonia coryne canarias (Stetson's plant that looks like a club, from/of the canaries)

Common Name
Toothpick Cactus

Native to South America, especially Argentina

This cactus will eventually grow taller, but for now it's more like a reverse pin cushion- with all the spikes pointing outwards! The deep blue-green of this cactus is contrasted with the spikes, which grade from deep maroon to red to white. Put this plant in your brightest window and it will thank you with stunning colours- and sharp spikes! Watch your fingers and don't water too much and you're in for a treat.


This cactus is happiest in full sun, though it can tolerate some shade. A window that gets a few hours of sun per day will be a great place to put this plant!


Allow all the soil to dry out between watering; if the plant becomes crispy it may have too much sun and too little water; if it starts to grow mushy or rot at the roots, likely too much water and too little sun.

Low humidity is perfect for cacti; a hose down to clean now and again is fine as long as the plant dries and doesn't sit damp.

Needs a well-draining pot and potting mix; look for specific 'cacti and succulent' soils with plenty of sand and other well-draining materials. Repot every couple of years in the spring, once the roots crowd the pot.

Feed every two months in the growing season, and every three in autumn and winter. Use 'cactus' labelled feed.


Likes temperatures of 10-28°C; on the warmer end in spring-summer and preferably around 12°C in its autumn-winter dormancy period.

This plant is not toxic to pets when nibbling but it is very spiky so it's a good idea to put it out of reach of small hands and paws!

Sprouts Top Tips
Cacti don't need much water. The best way to water is to give it a big water once all the soil has dried out. This will be more frequent in summer, when it is warmer and the soil dries out more quickly. Be especially careful not to overwater in winter! It may not even need water in the coldest part of the year- ideal for the lazy gardener!



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