Rebutia minuscula is native to Argentina Northwest where the plant grows in forest on rocky outcrops and can spread up to 2800 m of altitude.
Rebutia minuscula is a popular small cactus belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The cactus has a solitary habit when young and is mound-forming in age. The stem is globose with the apex depressed, bright green in color and can reach up to 6 cm in diameter. The stem is arranged in 16-21 spiral ribs made of flat conical tubercles. The roots are very developed and are fibrous. The areoles are located on the apex of the tubercles and are small, woolly and whitish and bear the spines. The spines are 25-30, bristle-like, short and whitish to yellow in color depending on sun exposure. When the illumination is reduced the spines are thin, less in number and whitish; if the plant grows with high radiation the spines are numerous, stronger and yellowish. Blooming occurs from the late spring to the early summer and the abundant blossoms are borne at the apex of the stem in a ring arrangement, forming a crown of flowers. The flowers are funnel-shaped, with many petals bright red to violet but sometimes also yellow. The stamens are yellow. The fruits are globose, red, very small and containing tiny black seeds.
The plant has a slow growth rate but it easy to cultivate. The best sun-exposure is in bright place but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The minimum temperatures that the plant can withstand are 0° C, below this temperature it begins to suffer so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. The perfect soil is a well-drained soil that let the water to drain away and avoid root rot. To achieve this feature, you can mix the pumice soil, clay and soil. Using a perforating pot, you can drain excess water. Watering is very important for this species and should be done well: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. About fertilization, for this plant is sufficient to fertilize moderately during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for succulents and stop fertilizing during the winter. You should repot the plant every 2 years in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.
Propagation can be done by cutting or by seed. By cutting you can make the cut during the spring and then let the cutting dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C. By seed it is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam soil and keep it with a high level of humidity and at temperature of 14 C°.
Although they have been identified as a genus since the late 1800s, the classification of Rebutia is still being discussed, given their proximity to other genus of dwarf cacti.
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