Mammillaria magnifica F.G. Buchenau
Mammillaria magnifica is a fast-growing cactus with cylindrical stems that can reach a height of 16 inches (40 cm) and a diameter of 4 inches (10 cm). It has 18 to 24 white or yellowish radial spines and 4 to 5 yellowish-brown hooked central spines per areole. Flowers are purplish-red or pinkish-red, circling the crown of the stem, up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long and up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) in diameter. They are followed by club-shaped, up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, pink fruits with a green tip.
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 will 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, make sure to fertilize during the growing season for the best results.
Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot Mammillaria, 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. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out 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.
This species is endemic to the Mexican states of Morelos and Puebla.
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