Mammillaria cactus (MammiLaria) is one of the richest genera of Cacti, containing, according to various sources, from 150 to 500 species, sometimes very different from each other. When describing mammillaria, it is emphasized that these cacti are small, mostly unpretentious, bloom easily and simply multiply. Representatives of this genus are so charming and diverse that some cactus growers collect collections only from them.
Most species are native to Mexico and the southern states of the United States. Mammillaria are also found in the Caribbean and South America.
Mammillaria – small spherical or cylindrical cacti with a dark green stem, a characteristic feature of which is the complete absence of ribs. Instead, as seen in the photo, mammillaria are covered with cone-shaped papillae. The spines of these cacti are varied, but, as a rule, light, similar to bristles and hairs. Some species have dense hairy pubescence, due to which they look white or yellowish and very fluffy. But you should be especially careful with such specimens, sharp hooked spines are hidden in this soft “fur coat”.
Above are a lot of photos of the mammillari cactus: they all have small funnel-shaped flowers of white, yellow, greenish, pink or red. Often the flowers have a dark center, open around the top in the form of a “wreath”.
Mammillaria care at home
To accommodate cacti, choose bright windows with shading from direct sunlight at noon. In winter, cool maintenance is necessary (temperature is about +8 … +1 0 ° C) and rare watering (once every few weeks). In summer, caring for mammillaria at home provides for moderate watering: the earthen lump should have time to dry out between waterings.
Top dressing is carried out from mid-May to mid-July once every 2 weeks with a special fertilizer for cacti. Very useful periodic spraying in the warm season, but care must be taken that water should not remain on the stem after sunset.
When caring for mammillaria at home, it is necessary to observe the frequency of transplantation. It is carried out in the spring, when the roots completely occupy the container, that is, young specimens about once every 2-3 years, adults once every 4-5 years. It is easy to propagate cacti with “kids”, but in such a way that degeneration does not occur. Periodically, the culture should be updated by growing from seeds.