Cochemiea poselgeri is found spontaneously in the peninsula of California, in particular in northern and southern Baja California and in Mexico.
Cochemiea poselgeri is a cactus with cylindrical, erect stems and white and black spines, 9-12 millimeters long. This tiny cactus is the most popular species of its genus and will captivate you for two reasons: the first is its marvelous red-orange flowers that flock to the top of their stems at the end of summer. These flower are typically asymmetrical, bell-shaped, bell-shaped, or with the petals fused at the base and which branch off into lobes on the top, with very elongated and evident stigmas, fiery red, which protrude from the flower by a few millimeters. Stygmas are the “female organs” of the flower, namely the structures through which it receives the pollen and is thus fecundated. The anthers, that is the “antennae” of the flower, where the pollen is produced waiting for some hummingbird to involuntarily collect it to take it to some other flower, are many, yellow, protruding from the flower not so much as the stigmas, but enough to make themselves showy and contribute to the particular beauty of these flowers.
The other reason this cactus will win you over is its stems full of conical protuberances that end in a soft, circular, white cushion from which the cluster of spines develops. The group consists of a circular crown of half white and half black thorns, in the center of which stands a modified, elongated thorn that almost resembles a tendril or a strange tentacle but in reality it is a hooked thorn, always white with a black tip.
To succesfully grow your Cochemiea poselgeri you will just need to follow the tips for cultivation of all Cochemiea species.
Cochemieas are not very difficult to cultivate: it’s sufficient to follow a few rules and they will grow healthy and produce their gorgeous red flowers.
They usually grow slowly (depending on the species) so you won’t have to repot them frequently. Every two-three years it’s ok.
Due to their slow growth and their somewhat strange but original appearance, they are suitable for cultivation in indoor pots (where they can best express their decorative potential) or even in an unheated greenhouse outside the home.
There’s no need to water them in Winter, indeed they should not be watered at all. The growing season begins in March and it’s necessary to increase gradually the watering frequency until the end of May, when the plant should have reached the full growth season. On the contrary, from September you should start to reduce gradually the watering frequency until suspending water intake in Winter. The roots of Cochemiea need to breathe, especially if it’s cold: hence the suspension of irrigation in winter and the need for a very draining substrate to avoid root rot.
If you just bought your Cochemiea or you have recently repotted it, there’s no need of fertilization. After 2-3 years from last repot you can fertilize it using compost or a cacti fertilizer, 273/5000
as long as you do not apply it from September onwards: a fertilization carried out in autumn could cause accelerated growth in a period in which the plant should instead enter “hibernation” and the cold of winter could prove fatal for a growing plant.
Better to fertilize at the end of winter or the beginning of spring, the moments when the plant can make the most of the nutrients we have provided.
Cochemiea, if we keep their soil dry, can resist even down to -4ºC for short periods! For safety, however, it is better that the temperature does not drop below 5ºC also because, in the cold, these plants develop ugly spots in the stems.
The ideal spot to put your Cochemiea should receive filtered light, but these plants also tolerate a spot in full sun if it’s not too hot. Better to protect them from the sun during the hottest hours in summer.
The propagation of Cochemieas can be done by seed or cutting. If you choose sowing, it’s better in Spring, with temperatures between 21 and 27ºC, in a soft soil and always kept humid until germination, which could take from 7 to 14 days.
Cochemieas are very similar to Mammillarias, but their real name is still unresolved! Botanists can’t decide whether to define Cochemiea as an autonomous genus or only as a subgenus of Mammillaria!
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