Ortegocactus is a genus with only one species, Ortegocactus macdougallii, discovered in the second half of the 20th century. This cactus is an exceedingly rare greenish-grey clumper that grows on limestone in a very small area in Oaxaca, Mexico. However, it is now showing up in cultivation. The stems are 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5 to 3.8 cm) in diameter and offset profusely. These offsets can be used for propagation along with seeds. The plant is self-fertile. Only one is needed to produce fruits and seeds. The flowers are yellow and come in spring or summer.
An interesting characteristic of this plant is the beautiful gray-green dermis which is notably porous and has a skin-like appearance. Like so many small Mexican species, Ortegocactus is highly prized by collectors. However, as this cactus ages, it tends to develop rust-colored spots on them, even in the care of the most accomplished growers.
Growing Conditions and General Care
Ortegocactus macdougallii likes full sun to light shade. It is often grafted since it is tricky to grow on its own roots. Water moderately in summer and very carefully, if at all, in winter. This cactus shows a distinct intolerance to overwatering, either by rotting off or bursting the epidermis. Grow Ortegocactus in a fast-draining potting mix. To prevent growing a monster totally out of proportion to its attractive and natural form, you should limit the fertilizer.
Very slow from seed. Many authors recommend grafting, first on Pereskiopsis and soon on Myrtillocactus geometrizans. If it does not reject the stock, it can be cultivated without problems. If you prefer to cultivate it on its own roots, in that case, you can maintain its characteristics intact without deformities. The grafted plants clump readily, and the offsets can be used for propagation.
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