Cacti

Rebutia Fiebrigii Guide: How to Grow & Care for “Orange Crown Cactus”

Our Guide to the Rebutia Fiebrigii Cactus - everything you will ever need to know! Tips for growing and caring for "Orange Crown Cactus"
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If you are looking to add a staple piece to your cacti and succulent collection, look no further than Rebutia fiebrigii. Commonly known as Orange Crown cacti, the genus Rebutia includes some of the most beautiful and popular flowering cacti. On top of that, they are among the easiest to grow, so they’re an excellent choice for beginners.

Orange crown cacti are native to the Bolivian Andes. They grow in fully exposed sites such as plateaus, rocky slopes, and rocky grassland valleys at high altitudes between 6,900–13,100 ft (2,100–4,000 m). Because they had to withstand such harsh conditions, the Orange Crown cacti have become quite robust. This abundant species has a stable population, as it does not face any major threats.

Orange crown cacti are visually appealing, standing out from the other cacti because of their bright orange daisy-like flowers. Other subspecies feature red or green flowers, so you can choose the one that best matches your home’s design. These amazing cacti are frequent bloomers that grow in clusters. Even specimens that are only two or three years old will send out offshoots. So, your Orange Crown cactus will become the centerpiece in the room in no time.

In cultivation, they will grow larger and cluster more than in their natural habitat. So, if you are looking for an attractive, easy to grow cacti recommended for beginners, Rebutia fiebrigii a.k.a. orange crown cactus is worth considering.

About Orange Crown Cactus

  • Because it comes from the mountain areas, Rebutia Fiebrigii prefers cool and dry conditions during the winter.
  • Even if Orange Crown cacti are slow growers, they flower easily given the right conditions.
  • Botanists have included several species that were previously considered independent. These include the ‘Flame Crown’, with its bright red flowers, the ‘White-haired Crown’, ‘Rebutia muscula’, and ‘Rebutia Donaldiana’.
  • The cultivars ‘Muscula’ or ‘Litte Mouse’ and ‘Donaldiana’ have gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
  • Orange Crown cacti are great for a rock garden and contrast well with low-growing flowering plants, agaves, and yuccas.
Rebutia Fiebrigii Cactus
Rebutia Fiebrigii Cactus

Orange Crown Cactus Features: An Overview

  • This ornamental plant has white, soft, furry spines that cover its body. Each stem is about 1-3 inches (3-8 cm) wide and 1,5-3,5 inches (4-6 cm) tall. Even mature plants remain under 3″ (8 cm) in height.
  • Rebutia fiebrigii flowers profusely at the end of spring and often go dormant during summer. The flowers stay open for approximately six days.
  • Its flowers are funnel-shaped and can reach 0.7 inches (2 cm) in diameter. They appear from the base of the stem or between individuals in the same cluster. The fruit is tiny and similar to a berry, hidden among the plant’s spines.
  • As a houseplant, it is also likely to flower under the right conditions.
  • Orange Crown cacti is a perennial that can withstand cold hardiness zones 9b or higher.

Growing Orange Crown Cactus

If you can grow cacti or other succulents successfully, then the popular Rebutia won’t give you any trouble. Just like most cacti, it needs bright light and warm temperatures. If you plan on adding the Orange Grown cactus to your garden, keep in mind that temperatures shouldn’t drop below 23 degrees Fahrenheit (-5° C) in the winter. Although it can take a frost and tolerate low temperatures, it must be protected from torrential rain and hail.

During summer, it enjoys temperatures above 70 degrees temperature (21° C). Indoors, grow it at normal room temperature. Mid-summer the Orange Crown cactus will go dormant and resume growing toward the end of the season when the weather cools. Kept at too high temperatures or watered too much during winter, Rebutia might not bloom the following year.

Orange Crown Cactus
Orange Crown Cactus

Most Rebutia species grow in partial shade to full sun conditions. The best location for it indoors would be near a bright, sunny window. Although it can tolerate extremely bright light situations and direct sun, it appreciates filtered sunlight and afternoon shade. Strong light encourages the plant to flower and develops dense spines. However, it can suffer from sun scorch if overexposed to sunlight, especially during the hottest part of summer days.

Rebutia fiebrigii can suffer from rot, a common problem for this species. When winter temperatures get too high, root tends to appear near the base of the plant. Minor rot can be managed by cutting away the damaged parts and applying a fungicide. Sever rot can cause the cactus to die, so make sure to propagate with cuttings before this happens. A smaller container might prevent this issue. The Rebutia cactus is low-maintenance and doesn’t need any grooming.

Watering Orange Crown Cactus

Orange Crown cactus has water requirements that are typical for many cacti species. Watering should be done with caution, allowing the soil to almost dry out between watering. You mustn’t expose it to prolonged dampness or sitting water. Make sure your plant will never sit in a dish of water. After each watering, empty the tray.

Although the plant doesn’t like too much water, it still requires some moisture. To prevent damage to the roots, water your Rebutia regularly. It is recommended to water Rebutia Fiebrigii once a week during hot summer months and occasionally during the winter. During dry spells, it is recommended to water two times per week. If you notice the ball is starting to shrivel after a prolonged period of drought, the soil might be too dry. During winter, it only needs watering once every three to four weeks.

Planting Orange Crown Cactus

Rebutia fiebrigii prefers a rich, fast-draining cactus or succulent mix combined with pumice or perlite. To make sure the soil drains properly, you can add a layer of gravel or charcoal to the bottom of the pot. The pH must be slightly on the acidic side for this plant to thrive. During the growing season, you can apply a cacti fertilizer mix with potassium. In the winter, suspend all feeding so the plant can rest.

Repotting your Orange Crown Cactus is best done during the warmer season at the end of the dormancy period. Transplant the plant if it outgrows the current container and fills the entire surface, making it difficult to water the soil. Rebutia occupies a small pot comfortably and remains at a manageable size. However, it is recommended to repot yearly to encourage stem growth. After the plant has reached its maximum size, repotting can be done every few years.

Do not water a few weeks after repotting to give the cactus time to adjust to its new conditions. This will also prevent the broken roots from rotting and damaging the plant. Before repotting your Orange Crown cactus, make sure the soil is dry. Gently remove the old soil from the roots and clean any rotted or dead roots. Cuts can be treated with a fungicide. Next, place the plant in the new pot and spread the roots out as you add new soil. Begin watering after a couple of weeks and then resume the regular watering schedule as mentioned above.

Propagating Orange Crown Cactus

Orange Crown Cactus is such a beautiful, low-maintenance plant, so why settle only for one? Luckily, propagating Rebutia fiebrigii is quite simple. There are two methods gardeners use, from seeds or offsets.

The easiest method to propagate is from offsets, which form in clusters around the mother plant. Once your plant grows to a decent size and sends out a few offsets, you can start the propagation process. Carefully remove the offsets and set them on a paper towel for a couple of days or until a callous will form over the cut surface.

Beautiful flowers
Beautiful flowers

Once you notice the callus closing the wound, place the new plant in a pot with a suitable potting mix. You can also dip the dry cutting in rooting hormone powder to encourage faster rooting and reduce the risk of fungal disease. Keep it in a warm place until the plant is established, and afterward repot it in a regular container.

To propagate Rebutia fiebrigii from seeds, you will need to collect the seeds after the flower blooms. At the beginning of spring, scatter the seeds over the cacti soil mix and then add a layer of sand on top. Cover the container with a glass or plastic cover. Makes sure to lift it occasionally to allow the air to circulate. After you notice seedlings appear, place them into larger pots in a sunny location indoors and make sure to water them occasionally.

In Conclusion

The genus Rebutia includes some of the most beautiful and easy to grow cacti. These amazing cacti can become the centerpiece in any room. Surprisingly, Orange Crown specimens will grow larger and cluster more than in their natural habitat provided with the right care. If you are looking to add the popular Rebutia fiebrigii to your cacti collections, there are a few simple things you must keep in mind.

Although they can tolerate direct light, it is recommended to have some shade or filtered light during the hottest part of the summer days to prevent sun scorch. Their watering requirements are similar to other cacti species. They must be watered regularly during warmer months but allowed a cooling period during winter.

Root rot is one of the most common problems with Rebutia, so make sure they never sit in a dish of water. Although Rebutia prefers a small container, repotting is necessary. The soil must be rich, fast-draining, and with a slightly acidic pH. Keeping in mind these simple tips will make sure your Orange Crown cactus will grow happy and healthy, rewarding you with its beautiful flowers.

Are you growing Orange Crown cacti? Share your experience with us in the comments!

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Miruna Secuianu

Miruna is an experienced content writer with a passion for gardening. She is the proud owner of an outdoor rose garden and an indoor collection of tiny succulents. She bought her first succulent 10 years ago - an adorable Echeveria Setosa. Now she owns more than 100 succulents and cacti of different colors, shapes, and sizes. Miruna is a versatile writer and, as you might have guessed, her favorite topic is gardening. Contact miruna@gardenbeast.com

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