Learn how to care for Tephrocactus strobiliformis, also known as the pinecone-segmented cactus. This unique and low-maintenance house plant features stunning white flowers and can thrive in a variety of temperatures and lighting conditions. Discover tips for watering, lighting, and propagation to successfully grow this captivating succulent.


Are you looking for a unique and low-maintenance house plant to add to your indoor garden? Look no further than Tephrocactus strobiliformis, also known as the pinecone-segmented cactus. This small succulent plant is not only visually stunning but also relatively easy to care for. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of Tephrocactus strobiliformis and provide you with detailed care instructions, propagation methods, and common issues to help you successfully grow and enjoy this fascinating house plant.

Care Tips for Tephrocactus strobiliformis


When it comes to watering Tephrocactus strobiliformis, it’s important to strike the right balance. During the growing season, water the plant when the soil is thoroughly dry. However, in winter, when the plant is dormant, it should not be watered at all. This cactus is drought-tolerant, so it’s better to underwater than overwater.


Tephrocactus strobiliformis loves bright, indirect sunlight. Place it in a well-lit spot with as much light as possible. A south-facing window is an ideal location for this plant. However, be cautious about intense afternoon sun, as it can scorch the plant.


Tephrocactus strobiliformis is a hardy plant that can tolerate temperatures down to 0 degrees Celsius. It thrives in hot conditions, with temperatures above 70 ºF during summer. Cooler temperatures ranging from 50 to 60 ºF during winter can promote flowering. In regions with wet, cold winters, bringing the plant indoors is advisable.

Growth Habit

Tephrocactus strobiliformis has a compact growth habit and can reach a height of up to 50 cm. Its spherical shape and unique pine cone-like appearance make it a stunning addition to any collection.


One of the highlights of Tephrocactus strobiliformis is its beautiful white flowers. The plant typically produces these flowers in summer, providing a lovely contrast to its light green color. A colder winter can increase the chances of flowering.


Propagation of Tephrocactus strobiliformis is relatively easy. The plant sheds its segments easily, allowing it to propagate elsewhere. These segments can also cling to feathers and fur of passing animals with their spines. When the segment breaks off from the mother plant, it can reroot wherever it lands. You can also propagate Tephrocactus strobiliformis through cuttings. Simply allow the cuttings to callus for a few days before planting them in dry soil. Keep the cuttings dry until they root.


A word of caution: Tephrocactus strobiliformis is covered in tiny spines. These spines resemble the shape of a pine cone and can cause injuries if not handled with care. It’s advisable to wear gloves when handling this plant to protect yourself from these spines.


Tephrocactus strobiliformis, with its unique appearance and easy-care nature, is an excellent choice for any house plant enthusiast. Its compact growth habit, stunning white flowers, and ability to propagate easily make it a fantastic addition to your indoor garden. By providing the right amount of water, light, and temperature, you can ensure the health and longevity of this captivating house plant. So why not consider adding Tephrocactus strobiliformis to your collection? Enjoy the beauty and simplicity of this remarkable cactus!


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