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Care of the plant Parodia magnifica or Balloon cactus.

Care of the cactus Parodia magnifica or Balloon cactus

The genus Parodia, family Cactaceae, comprises 50 species of cactus native to South America. Some species are: Parodia magnifica, Parodia leninghausii, Parodia haselbergii, Parodia concinna, Parodia werneri, Parodia mammulosa, Parodia nivosa, Parodia ottonis, Parodia penicillata.

Common names: Balloon cactus, Green Ball Cactus, Blue Ball Cactus. Scientific synonyms: Notocactus magnificus, Eriocactus magnifica. This species is native to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina.

They are cacti with a bluish-green body and globular in their youth that become cylindrical and reach 1 meter (3.28 feet) in height; they tend to form colonies. The ribs are very marked, have areoles with white woollyness and numerous fine yellow or white spines. The flowers are very showy, appear at the apex, are of an intense yellow color and measure 5 cm (1.96") in diameter. They bloom from late spring to early summer.

These easy-to-grow plants are used in pots that are wider than they are tall (the roots are very shallow), on rockeries, in greenhouses, and in cactus and succulent gardens.

The Parody magnifica prefers a semi-shadow exposure avoiding direct sunlight in the central hours of the day. They do not resist temperatures below 5 ºC (41 ºF).

The soil can be a mixture of 1/3 of coarse sand, 1/3 of blond peat and 1/3 of vegetal substrate or a commercial substrate for cacti with 10% organic matter. The transplant is done in spring.

Always water moderately in spring and summer, waiting for the substrate to dry. In autumn reduce watering and do not water in winter.

Fertilize once in early spring with mineral cactus fertilizer.

They do not need pruning.

They are quite resistant plants to pests and diseases but can be attacked by aphids and mealybugs indoors with poor ventilation and by fungi if watering is excessive.

They are propagated by rooting suckers in summer or by seeds sown in spring.

Images of the cactus Parodia magnifica or Balloon cactus

Parodia magnifica
Parodia magnifica
Parodia magnifica
Parodia magnifica