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Care of the plant Melocactus oreas or Melon Cactus.

Care of the plant Melocactus oreas or Melon Cactus

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

Common names: Turk's cap cactus, Melon Cactus. Scientific synonyms: Cactus oreas. This species is native to Brazil.

They are slow-growing cacti with a dark green body shaped like a sphere or barrel that reach 35 cm in height. They have 10-16 rounded ribs, 3-9 central spines 4.5 centimeters long and 8-11 radial spines measuring 8 cm. The cephalium reaches 12 centimeters in height and has reddish-brown bristles. The flowers are small and fuchsia pink. Until they have developed the cephalium they do not bloom.

They are not easy to grow cacti; They are used in pots for greenhouses, brightly lit interiors, terraces, balconies and patios and in rockeries.

Melocactus oreas can grow in full sun or light shade exposure. They do not resist temperatures below 13 ºC.

The soil can be a mixture of 30% leaf mulch and 70% coarse sand. Plant in pots wider than tall because the roots are shallow. Do not transplant when the cephalium has appeared.

When they are young, water regularly in spring and summer waiting for the substrate to have dried. Adult plants withstand drought very well. In winter do not water.

Fertilize in mid-spring with mineral fertilizer for cacti and succulents.

They do not need pruning.

They are very sensitive to excess moisture.

They propagate by seeds sown in sandy substrate but it's a slow process.

Images of the plant Melocactus oreas or Melon Cactus

Melocactus oreas
Melocactus oreas
 

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