Mammillaria magnifica F.G. Buchenau
Mammillaria magnifica var. minor
Mammillaria magnifica is native to the Mexican states of Morelos and Puebla.
Mammillaria magnifica is a fast-growing cactus with cylindrical stems covered with pyramidal or conical tubercles tipped with clusters of spines, including one long and hooked central spine. The stems can reach a height of 16 inches (40 cm) and a diameter of 4 inches (10 cm). Each areole bears 18 to 24 white or yellowish radial spines and 4 to 5 yellowish-brown spines. The hooked central spine is up to 2.2 inches (5.5 cm) long. Radial spines and other central spines are up to 0.3 inches (0.8 cm) long.
The flowers are purplish-red or pinkish-red, up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long and up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) in diameter, and appear crowning the upper portions of the stems from late winter to early spring. Fruits are pink with a green tip and contain tiny brown seeds. They are club-shaped and up to 0.9 inches (2.2 cm) long.
USDA hardiness zones 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, Mammillaria feature raised tubercles, from which spines emerge. When you water, the tubercles expand to allow for increased water storage. The flowers appear from these tubercles' axils 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, fertilize during the growing season for the best results.
Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot Mammillaria, ensure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, removing any rotted or dead roots. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill it with potting soil, spreading the roots as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Mammillaria.
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