Gymnocalycium paediophilum F.Ritter
Gymnocalycium paediophilum is a small cactus with globose to shortly cylindrical stem that branches profusely from the base. The stem is with 7 to 10 ribs, pale green, up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall and up to 4.8 inches (12 cm) in diameter. It has 5 to 9 radial spines and one central spine. The radials are reddish brown, later grey with a brownish tip and up to 1.2 inches (30 cm) long, while the central spine is grey with a darker brownish tip and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long. The flowers are white to pale pink with reddish throat, up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) long and about the same in diameter. They appear in summer and are followed by oval to spherical, green to blue-green fruits.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Some Gymnocalyciums are shade-seeking in the wild, among shrubs or grasses, while others grow completely exposed. Some will therefore need a light shading from the sun in the hottest months, but to overdo this will result in loss of flowers.
The balance of the potting medium should be sufficient to allow good drainage, so that the plants do not sit in soggy soil for more than a day or two after watering.
Watering in the summer months, while the plants are growing well can be frequent (weekly for small plants in small pots), but always allowing the compost nearly to dry out before rewatering. Watering in the winter months at all is unwise and certainly not necessary. The difficult times are spring and autumn.
Those species which produce offsets can be readily propagated by cuttings. Gymnocalycium seed germinates well when fresh and will keep for a few years if stored in cold conditions.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Gymnocalycium.
Gymnocalycium ochoterenae is native to Paraguay.
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