Habitat: Northeast of Mexico
Cultivation: Like most of the cacti, the Gymnocactus need little attention to grow well: sunny exposure, scarce watering and fertilizing. Pay attention to the outside temperature and shelter when it goes below 5° C.
Curiosity: According to the latest classifications, Gymnocactus are now subsumed in the larger family of Turbinicarpus. So it is possible to find the name of each species referred to both genders.
The Gymnocactus are small cactus with bulbous or cylindrical body, with conical tubercles from which the thorns come out and often with a thick fluff on top. The stem color is generally bright green, but the thorns and the fluff can be so dense as to give the impression, from a distance, of a much lighter color.
Flowering occurs in summer; the flowers vary from white to various shades of pink (light pink, Fucksia, with streaks) and they can have the corolla which is formed either by separate petals or joined at the base. Usually they grow on the top of the stem, solitary or in small groups. The central stamens are bright yellow.
It is a genre whose classification has often changed: if at the beginning they were considered a separate genre (and were called with various synonyms), today these plants are considered part of Turbinicarpus group. So it is possible to find the name of each species referred to both genders.
Variety and Types
The species of Gymnocactus are few and, as already mentioned, today they are part of the genre Turbicarpus. However for those who came across the old nomenclature, here we report a list of the main species.
We remind you that you will find several of them in our online shop, in the section of Gymnocactus.
- Gymnocactus beguinii
- G. gielsdorfianus
- G. horripilus
- G. knuthianus
- G. saueri
- G. subterraneus
- G. wiereckii (o viereckii)
- G. ysabelae
TIPS FOR GROWING
Here are our tips for growing Gymnocactus gender.
- The exposure must be very bright.
- The minimum temperature, that this plant tolerates, is 5 ° C: it is therefore important to put it indoors during winter.
- The watering must be limited: once every 5-6 days in spring and summer (making sure to have a really dry ground between watering) to gradually reduce and stop completely in winter.
- A specific soil for cacti, sand and drainage, is recommended.
- The fertilizer can be scarce: once every twenty days with a specific fertilizer for cacti, using half of the recommended dose.
- There is no need of frequent repotting. Use pots which are enough deep, they can easily hold the taproot.
The Gymnocactus easily reproduce either by seed and by cuttings.
As cuttings you can use the suckers, which are often produced by the mother plant and give the best chance of success of the operation. Either the sowing and the burying of the cutting should be done in spring.