Aztekium ritteri (Boed.) Boed.
Aztekium ritteri is a small cactus with spherical stems with 9 to 11 ribs that usually have transverse wrinkles. The stems grow up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, slowly offsetting to form small clumps over the years. Its color varies from pale green to grayish-green. The center of the stem contains a lot of white wool. Flowers are small, up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) wide, with white petals and pinkish sepals, and appear throughout the summer. They are followed by small pink fruits that open when ripe and let out tiny seeds.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Aztekiums are by far the most challenging and difficult cacti to grow. They are having extremely slow growth, probably the slowest of the entire Cactus family. They usually take several years for growth to be even noticeable. Once a specimen is established on its own roots, it is no trouble to keep it and becomes an easy plant to manage.
Because of the difficulty of cultivation, Aztekiums are most often grafted to hardier stock. They need good drainage and regular water in summer. Keep nearly dry in winter. If grafted, the plants can take a little more water. Just remember the graft stock is also a cactus and will rot if overwatered. Provide shade from midday through the afternoon. A little morning sun is OK.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Aztekium.
Native to Mexico.
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