Ball Cactus: Care, Growing Guide, & Facts
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Ball Cactus Description
A variety of colourful and easy-to-grow tiny ball cacti belong to the Parodia magnifica genus. They are easy to care for and are native to central South America, making them good starting cacti.
Their shapely moniker comes from their circular form, and they may grow in clusters up to a foot wide. Though they require a warm, dry climate, they are more versatile than some of their cactus relatives, and can endure temperatures as low as frost if kept dry.
Ball cactus are slow-growing plants that add around 4 inches to their height per year. Flowers in lovely hues of yellow, red, orange, or pink are common on older plants, and all cultivars have ridges of spikes that start off white and become golden-brown with age.
The flowers are usually yellow, pink, or orange in color. They can grow up to 3 to 12 inches tall and 3 to 18 inches wide.
How To Care Ball Cactus?
If you can grow cacti and succulents, you should have no trouble growing the well-known ball cactus.It’s crucial to keep in mind that the ball cactus dislikes bright sunlight and requires more water than many other cacti.
Furthermore, the cactus must not be subjected to extended wetness or standing water. Make sure you never leave your cactus in a bowl of water, and make sure the soil is very well-drained.
Allow the plants to chill off in the winter and drastically reduce the watering frequency to stimulate better blooming. Finally, for the greatest results, fertilise throughout the growth season.
How To Grow Ball Cactus?
Ball cactus want a lot of light, but not too much. But don’t be fooled by this; it’s actually a lot easier than it appears. They can withstand direct sunlight in the mornings and afternoons, but they should be kept in partial shade during the warmest hours of the day.
If your yard or garden can’t accommodate both, consider growing your cactus in a container that you can relocate to a shadier location during the day. If you’re growing your cactus indoors and placing it on a window sill for sunlight, rotate it on a regular basis to encourage even development.
The ball cactus, like many other cacti, prefers a light, dry soil mix. If you’re using a store-bought blend, such as a cactus or succulent-specific mix, we recommend introducing coarse sand, perlite, or pumice to the mix to help improve soil quality.
The pH of the soil isn’t particularly critical to the ball cactus, although it performs best in a mildly acidic combination with a pH of 6.1 to 6.5.
Ball cactus, despite its drought resistance, requires water during its growing season. During, the spring and summer months, water on a regular basis, but only when the soil seems dry to the touch, fully saturating the soil.
The cactus will fall dormant in the winter and require very little water, so you may stop watering totally and allow the soil to practically dry during waterings, but not fully dry. If you’re planting in a container, ensure that there are multiple drainage holes at the bottom of the pot.
iv. Temperature and Humidity
Ball cacti, by their very nature, love the warm, desert-like conditions. They can, however, live at temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but it is not advised that they be kept that cold for lengthy periods of time.
Ball cacti do not fare well if they are subjected to too much moisture, which might come from irrigation or humidity. As a result, spritzing them or increasing the humidity in their habitat is unnecessary.
Fertilizer will benefit the ball cactus, but it is not required. Fertilize with a cactus fertiliser mix throughout the growth season, and stop feeding during the dormant winter months.
How To Propagate Ball Cactus?
Ball cacti are easily replicated through offsets, which grow in clumps around the mother plant’s base. To propagate, gently remove an offset and dry the cut piece on a paper towel for a few days—a callous will grow over the cut surface, depending on the size of the cut region.
Place the new plant in a container with a cactus or succulent soil combination and heat it up until new roots develop once the callous has formed. Replant the cactus into a regular-sized container once it has entrenched itself.
Ball Cactus Repotting and Potting
If necessary, repot your ball cactus, ideally during the summer. Prior to repotting, ensure that the soil is dry, then carefully remove the cactus and associated dirt from the pot. Remove the old dirt from the roots, taking care to get rid of any rotting or dead roots as well.
Fungicide should be applied to any cuts. Refill the pot with potting soil and repot the plant, stretching the roots out as you go. Allow the plant to dry out for a week or so before watering gently to avoid root rot.