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Parodia scopa (Silver Ball Cactus)


Scientific Name

Parodia scopa (Spreng.) N.P. Taylor

Common Names

Silver Ball Cactus, Snowball Cactus


Parodia scopa subsp. scopa, Notocactus scopa, Malacocarpus scopa, Cactus scopa, Cereus scopa, Echinocactus scopa, Echinopsis scopa, Peronocactus scopa

Scientific Classification

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


Parodia scopa is a ball-shaped or cylindrical cactus, growing up to 20 inches (50 cm) tall and up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter, with a spiny, woolly crown and pale yellow flowers in summer. The specific epithet "scopa" means "broom" and refers to the long spines.

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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's key to remember, however, that Parodias do not like direct sunlight and are accustomed to more even water than many other cacti species. It's imperative that the cactus is not 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 entirely stop watering. 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. 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… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Parodia.


Native to upland southern Brazil and Uruguay.


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