Cactus mammillaria (mammillaria) belongs to a very diverse genus in the family Cactus. Its miniature and very unusual forms conquer flower growers immediately. During the flowering period, babies become even more charming. It is enough to see once a photo of mammillaria and you want to quickly buy a small plantation of these plants. These costless cacti live in a vast territory from the south of the USA to the center of Latin America. Today, this flower is found in any greenhouse and in most gardeners.
Mammillaria is widespread both on the sea coast and on calcareous mountains up to 2.5 km high. The plant has thick, tenacious roots and a spherical or cylindrical stem. The maximum height of the cactus is 20 cm, and the width can be 40 cm.
A distinctive feature of mammillaria is the absence of ribs on the stem. Numerous papillae with bundles of needles densely and randomly cover the entire surface of the stem. In some varieties, papillae (tubercles) are arranged in the form of horizontal rings or in a spiral. Sharp, stiff spines are usually found in the apical tubercles, while the lower papillae are covered with down. The number of villi increases in places where a flower bud begins to form.
Mammillaria bloom is very beautiful. In the upper part of the cylindrical stem, a corolla of several small flowers is formed. Spherical varieties can be covered with buds over the entire surface. The flowers are in the form of a tube, bell or a wide-open disk. The diameter of the flower is from 1 to 6 cm. Narrow, glossy petals are painted in white, silver, yellow, pink or red.
Pollination occurs with the help of insects or wind. After the flowers fade, miniature ovaries are located between the papillae and are almost invisible. Ripening lasts several months. Gradually, tubular bright growths (berries) 1-3 cm long appear on the stem. Inside the berries are small seeds of mammillaria, painted in brown, red or green.
The genus of mammillaria has about 200 species, each of them can be grown as a culture. Even today, botanists continue to find and register new species. We list the most unusual and popular patterns.
Mammillaria Wild. The plant consists of many branched cylindrical columns of dark green color. The stem is covered with whitish short spines. The diameter of the stems is 1-2 cm. During the flowering period, the cactus overgrows with small white flowers with a bright yellow core.
Mammillaria Seilman. A short cylindrical stalk of cactus is covered with hooked needles and long soft threads. Abundant flowering lasts up to six months, during this period, many pink bells form on the top.
Mammillaria Luti forms several pear-shaped heads of dark green color. Short spines are quite rare. During flowering, 2-3 large flowers with violet petals and a whitish core are formed at the apex. Diameter of flowers reaches 3 cm.
Mammillaria Baum forms cylindrical branched bushes of light green color. Their height can reach 15 cm. The plant is covered with whitish soft thorns. The top is decorated with many yellow fragrant flowers with an elongated tube.
Mammillaria Blossfeld differs in a spherical stalk densely covered with hard yellowish needles. Large bell-shaped flowers have pink and white petals and a yellow protruding core.
Mammillaria Bokasana. The cactus forms a thick cylindrical stem up to 6 cm high with hooked stiff spines and a large amount of long whitish pile. White-pink flowers form a beautiful wreath.
Mammillaria Carmen has dense oval stems about 5 cm high and up to 15 cm wide. The stem is covered with many branches and densely dotted with short yellow-brown spines. Small white flowers form on the tops.
Mammillaria elongated forms several tall upright columns up to 4 cm wide. Bundles of white or yellowish spines are adjacent to the stem. During flowering, a wreath of red small flowers opens.
Mammillaria Prolifera forms small balls on the surface of the earth with long yellow spines. Single yellow flowers bloom at the tops.
Mammillaria slender has long cylindrical stems overgrown with small children. Bunches of long spines adjoin the stem, and central brownish needles are directed perpendicularly. The top is decorated with small, yellow-pink flowers.
Florists who could not determine their appearance can purchase a mix of mammillaria mix in the store - a mixture of several decorative varieties.
Mammillaria form children very actively, therefore vegetative propagation is the simplest and most effective. For planting prepare flat pots with a mixture of sand and turf land. The soil is slightly moistened. Children are carefully separated from the mother plant and placed on the surface of the soil. You can slightly push them, but do not dig deep. Before the formation of roots, it is recommended to create a support from twigs or pebbles.
Seed propagation avoids degeneration and immediately obtain a large number of plants. In a bowl with drainage holes distribute the sand-turf soil mixture. Seeds are placed on the surface and do not sprinkle. The container is covered with film or glass. The optimum air temperature for germination is + 22 ... +25 ° C. Mammillaria seeds should be sprayed regularly so that they do not dry out. When shoots appear, the shelter can be removed, and the detection of thorns is a signal for a pick and transplant.
Taking care of mammillaria is not difficult. Cactus is very fond of bright light. However, on the southern windowsill at noon you will need a small shadow or frequent airing. During the flowering period, and it can even occur in winter, it is important to provide him with a 16-hour light day. If necessary, use a lamp.
Cacti can withstand the most intense heat. In winter, it is better to provide the plant with a dormant period and transfer to a room where the air temperature does not exceed + 10 ... +15 ° C. Some varieties can withstand frosts of -7 ° C.
Mammillaria should be watered rarely and in small portions. The earth must dry completely. In summer, you can water 2-3 times a month, and in winter it is worth monthly only slightly moisten the surface of the substrate. The cactus does not suffer from dry air, but occasional sprinkling is welcome.
From April to October, a portion of fertilizers for the cactus must be added to the water for irrigation on a monthly basis. This will ensure active growth and abundant flowering.
Once every 2-3 years, mammillaria needs a transplant. The procedure is carried out in the spring. Before transplanting, the land is dried. For cactus, choose flat and wide pots with large drainage holes. The bottom of the tank is covered with expanded clay or brick chips, and from above the substrate is distributed from the following components:
- turf land;
- sheet earth;
With proper care, mammillaria does not suffer from diseases. Its main pests are scabbard and spider mite. If parasites are found, you need to immediately treat the cactus with an insecticide and repeat the procedure again after 7-10 days.