Mammillaria vetula Mart.
Mammillaria vetula subsp. vetula
Mammillaria vetula is a small cactus with blue-green globose to cylindrical stems with bluntly conical tubercles tipped with clusters of spines. It offsets freely to form large spiny clumps. Stems are up to 4 inches (10 cm) long and 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter. Each areole bears 1 to 2 brownish central spines and 25 to 50 white radial spines. Flowers are pale yellow, up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long, and up to 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) in diameter. They appear in the upper part of the stems from spring to summer.
USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °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, make sure to 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 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.
See more at How to Grow and Care for Mammillaria.
This species is native to Mexico (Hidalgo, Guanajuato).
Subspecies and Cultivars
- Back to genus Mammillaria
- Succupedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus
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