Mammillaria backebergiana F.G. Buchenau
Mammillaria backebergiana subsp. backebergiana, Mammillaria fertilis
Mammillaria backebergiana is an attractive columnar cactus with green stems with pyramidal tubercles and tipped with clusters of yellowy or brownish-yellow spines. It is similar to Mammillaria spinosissima, but its stems are more slender. The stems are globose, becoming cylindrical, up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall and 2.4 inches (6 cm) in diameter. Flowers are purplish-red, up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long, and up to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) in diameter. They appear in spring, circling near the top of the plant during the growing season.
USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
To encourage better flowering, allow the plants to enjoy a cooling period in the winter and suspend watering. Unlike many other cacti, which use their ribs as storage devices, the Mammillaria feature raised tubercles, from which spines emerge. When you water, the tubercles will expand to allow for increased water storage. The flowers emerge from the axils of these tubercles on the previous year's growth, which accounts for their interesting halo effect. The cactus mustn't be exposed to prolonged dampness and sitting water. Never let your cactus sit in a dish of water. Lastly, make sure to fertilizer during the growing season for the best results.
Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot a cactus, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Mammillaria.
This species is native to Mexico.
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