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Parodia penicillata

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Scientific Name

Parodia penicillata Fechser & Steeg

Synonyms

Notocactus permutatus, Parodia permutata, Ritterocactus permutatus

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Notocacteae
Genus: Parodia

Description

Parodia penicillata is a cactus with green, spherical, later cylindrical stems that grow up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall and up to 3.6 inches (9 cm) in diameter, and have white, pale yellow or pale brown spines. The radials are very thin, clear, and silky, while the central spines are longer, stiffer, and more colorful. In summer, it produces funnel-shaped, orange-yellow, or brilliant red flowers.

Photo via fotki.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

If you can grow cacti and succulents successfully, you can likely grow the popular Parodia without too much trouble. It is key to remember, however, that Parodias don't like direct sunlight and are accustomed to more even water than many other cacti species. The cactus mustn't be exposed to prolonged dampness and sitting water. Never let your cactus sit in a dish of water. To encourage better flowering, allow the plants to enjoy a cooling period in the winter and dramatically cut back watering. Unlike other cacti species, however, you don't need to stop watering entirely. Lastly, make sure to fertilize during the growing season for the best results.

Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot Parodia, 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.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Parodia.

Origin

Parodia erinacea is native to northern Argentina.

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