Gardening Tips

Gymnocalycium: care

Gymnocalycium: care

The Gymnocalycium are some small cacti very easy to care for that, despite their small size, have enormous decorative potential thanks to their striking flowers. Given that they are not demanding with their care and that they can be grown in practically any corner, they are very popular for decorating all kinds of spaces.

If you want to learn about the Gymnocalycium care To have yours in the best conditions and very beautiful, keep reading us in this EcologĂ­aVerde article.

Characteristics of Gymnocalycium

The Gymnocalycium, popularly called dwarf chin cactusThey have the following characteristics and curiosities:

  • They are actually a whole genus of plants of the Cactaceae family.
  • It has approximately between 60 and 70 species of cacti.
  • Almost all of them originate from the northern and central areas of Argentina, as well as from Brazil, Uruguay and Bolivia.
  • The Gymnocalycium are similar in size and shape, most of them being species of no more than 10 cm highwith diameters of about 7 cm.
  • Its marked ribs are striking in all species, divided into visible tubercles in most cases.
  • From these sprout between 5 and 7 radial spines.
  • The most showy and striking are its flowers, which appear at the beginning of summer, in the upper part of the plant or its suckers. The Gymnocalycium flowers they have colors red, pink or purpleappearing even in very young individuals.
Gymnocalycium: care - Characteristics of Gymnocalycium

Location and weather

One of the main advantages of these small vegetable companions is their small size. Thanks to this, we can place them in a large number of locations. And it is that although the most common and recommended thing is to put them outdoors, this does not necessarily have to be the case: just attend to their needs and you can also grow them indoors.

In fact, Gymnocalycium usually need a location where they receive at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight. However, in the case of nursery-acquired chin cactusor of grafted species, it is very probable that they were cultivated in semi-shade locations, and suddenly exposing them to direct sun could burn them. In these cases, locate indoors, in a well-lit room, or in an outdoor area where they are protected from the hours of greatest incidence of sun at midday. If you want to grow them indoors, do it next to a light source where they receive all possible hours of light, and you can even change them between the morning and afternoon of location if necessary.

Regarding the climate, ungrafted cacti are quite resistant to cold for cacti, even tolerating mild frosts of up to -3 ÂșC for short periods. The grafted, on the other hand, will not tolerate very low temperatures in any case.

Gymnocalycium irrigation

As with most cacti and succulents, these small plants do not tolerate excess moisture. Too abundant or frequent watering runs the risk of causing root rotwhich can easily prove fatal.

water some biweekly in the warm months if the environment is very dry in your area, and approximately once a month when the weather is humid or in the cold months. In short, do it only when the soil is dry beyond the topsoil.

When you water, yes, make sure that the humidity penetrates well into the substrate, although always without flooding. If you have a saucer under the pot to catch the water from the drainage holes (which are completely necessary) make sure to remove the excess water about ten minutes after watering.

In this other post you can learn more about watering cacti: how often and how to do it.

substrate and soil

The most important thing about the soil for these cacti is that it be a light mix and with the best possible drainage. Outdoors, rockery areas commonly designated for succulents are a great option as long as they have adequate drainage. Water before planting and check that water does not accumulate there.

In a pot, any light and airy mixture will give good results, as it is not a demanding plant with nutrients. The mixture of coconut fiber with peat and earthworm humus in equal parts, together with an addition of vermiculite and perlite, will usually give good results. You can also prepare a coarse gravel bed at the bottom of the pot to make sure it doesn’t accumulate excess moisture.

Gymnocalycium: care - Substrate and soil

Gymnocalycium subscriber

As usual, it is highly recommended. fertilize the plant during the warm months to support its development and flowering. In this case it is very important to use specific fertilizer for cacti and thus not fall into excess nutrients that harm your dwarf chin cactus.

We recommend you read this other article on How to make homemade organic fertilizer for plants, but remember that it is convenient to use nutrients adjusted to chin cacti, so find out more about the necessary nutrients at the garden store or purchase the specific fertilizer.

Gymnocalycium multiplication

As for the multiplication or reproduction of the dwarf chin cacti, it is possible to do it by seeds from its fruits, but the method by suckers or grafts It is very simple and much faster, being successful in a very high percentage of cases. It is convenient to always do them in the warm monthsand in the case of suckers, let them dry for 48 hours before replanting.

Here you can learn some tips about How to reproduce cacti by cuttings and suckers and Cacti grafting: how to do it and care.

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