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Care of the plant Parodia mammulosa or Tom Thumb.

Care of the plant Parodia mammulosa or Tom Thumb

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

Common names: Tom Thumb, Lemon Ball. Scientific synonyms: Echinocactus mammulosus, Ritterocactus mammulosus, Malacocarpus mammulosus, Notocactus mammulosus. This species is native to Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil.

They are small cacti with a globose body of dark grayish green color that reach 10 cm in height. They have 18-20 tuberculate ribs, 10-13 yellowish radial spines and 3 central spines 1.5 cm long, yellow with a brown tip; at the apex of the plant they do not present thorns. The attractive yellow flowers are up to 4 cm in length. Very young plants can bloom.

Due to their small size they are used in pots as terrace, balcony and window plants and as indoor or greenhouse plants in well ventilated locations.

Parodia mammulosa needs full sun exposure and warm weather. They do not resist temperatures below 4 ºC.

The soil can be a mixture of 1/3 volcanic gravel, 1/3 blond peat and 1/3 topsoil or a commercial cactus substrate with a little organic matter and volcanic gravel. The transplant is done in early spring.

Water regularly in spring and summer, waiting for the substrate to dry. Reduce watering in fall and do not water in winter.

Fertilize in mid-spring with mineral cactus fertilizer.

They do not need pruning.

They are resistant plants to the habitual plagues and diseases but sensitive to the excess of irrigation.

They are easily propagated from seed sown in spring.

Images of the plant Parodia mammulosa or Tom Thumb

Parodia mammulosa
Parodia mammulosa
 

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