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Care of the plant Melocactus curvispinus or Melocactus guatemalensis.

Care of the cactus Melocactus curvispinus or Melocactus guatemalensis

The genus Melocactus, family Cactaceae, comprises 40 species of cacti native to Mexico, Cuba, Central and South America. Some species are: Melocactus curvispinus, Melocactus conoideus, Melocactus bahiensis, Melocactus azureus, Melocactus oreas, Melocactus intortus, Melocactus matanzanus, Melocactus deinacanthus, Melocactus schatzlii, Melocactus peruvianus.

Scientific synonyms: Melocactus guatemalensis, Melocactus maxonii, Melocactus salvador. This species is native from Mexico to the south of Peru.

They are bluish-green cacti with a solitary globose body that reach 30 cm (11.8") in height. They have 10-16 ribs with oval woolly areolas. The cephalium appears after 4 years of life of the cactus and has white wool and red silks. They have 6-11 curved radial spines and 1 to 4 central spines. The flowers are small, magenta in color and appear on the cephalium.

These slow-growing cacti are used in pots for patios, decks, greenhouses, and indoors. In tropical and subtropical regions they can be used in rockery or to form groups.

Melocactus curvispinus can be grown in full sun or semi-shade exposure. It does not resist temperatures below 15 ºC (59 ºF).

The ideal soil is a mixture of 75% heather soil or leaf mulch and 25% coarse siliceous sand.

They need a little more water than most cacti. Water in spring every 10 days, in summer every 5-7 days and in autumn every 15-18 days. In winter there is no need to water.

They do not need fertilizers or pruning.

They are quite resistant plants to the usual pests and diseases.

They propagate from seeds sown in spring but it's a slow process.

Images of the cactus Melocactus curvispinus or Melocactus guatemalensis

Melocactus curvispinus
Melocactus curvispinus