Astrophytum asterias Ooibo Description: Astrophytum asterias cv. Ooibo Kabuto is a Japanese selected strain with big areoles.
The “Ooibo” is very similar to the standard Astrophytum asterias, but it has very large characteristic and woolly areoles, the colour of the wool also varies from pure white, to pastel, yellowish, orangish or brownish depending on the clone. So it is easily distinguishable from the common asterias that has relatively small scarcely woolly greys-white areoles.
Remarks: However the large areoles “trait” can appear in combination with other Astrophytum asterias cultivars.
i.e. Astrophytum asterias cv. Ooibo + Superkabuto, Astrophytum asterias cv. Ooibo + Rury Kabuto, etc.
Cultivation and Propagation: It is not too difficult in a greenhouse, although grows quite slowly. The plants need a loose well-drained mineral soil. They need a good amount of light. Watering can be done weekly during summertime, if the weather is sunny enough, with a little fertilizer added. Kept this way, plants will show a healthy, although slow growth. They are frost hardy to -4° (-10°) C.
Propagation: By seeds, remembering that seedlings dislike strong light and dry conditions and need to be repotted frequently. Eventually, as they become mature, they attain a maximum size of 8-10 cm (20) cm. However, old plants become senile and have a tendency to succumb to disease and a weak root system. At this stage, as is well known, they die suddenly. So, after they reach 10 cm in diameter grow them slowly, and adopt a new repotting period, using intervals of every 2-3 years. Additionally grow them under drier conditions or with stronger sunlight. But plants are often grafted to accelerate growth as they would generally take at least a five years to reach maturity on their own, but the grafted plants are typical rather tall growing, compared with plants on their own roots that are usually more flat to the ground.