Red Crown Cactus flowers
(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)
Height: 6 inches
Spread: 6 inches
Hardiness Zone: (annual)
Other Names: Fire Crown Cactus, Violet Crown Cactus
This mounding cactus produces striking red-orange blooms in abundance during spring and summer; does not tolerate freezing temperatures; water only occasionally; a stunning rock garden or container plant
Red Crown Cactus is clothed in stunning orange cup-shaped flowers with white eyes along the stems in mid spring. Its attractive succulent round leaves remain green in colour throughout the year. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.
Red Crown Cactus is a dense herbaceous annual with a mounded form. It brings an extremely fine and delicate texture to the garden composition and should be used to full effect.
This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and should never be pruned except to remove any dieback, as it tends not to take pruning well. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Red Crown Cactus is recommended for the following landscape applications;
- Rock/Alpine Gardens
- General Garden Use
- Container Planting
Planting & Growing
Red Crown Cactus will grow to be only 5 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 inches. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. Although it's not a true annual, this slow-growing plant can be expected to behave as an annual in our climate if left outdoors over the winter, usually needing replacement the following year. As such, gardeners should take into consideration that it will perform differently than it would in its native habitat.
This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers dry to average moisture levels with very well-drained soil, and will often die in standing water. It is considered to be drought-tolerant, and thus makes an ideal choice for a low-water garden or xeriscape application. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.
Red Crown Cactus is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers and foliage against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.