Gymnocalycium mihanovichii f. prolifera variegated red


No synonyms are recorded for this species name.


Gymnocalycium mihanovichii f. prolifera variegated red is a nursery cultivar, thus it doesn’t exist in nature. The regular form, “Gymnocalycium mihanovichii”, is native to foggy, cold areas in Southern Argentina and Paraguay.


Gymnocalycium mihanovichii ‘Hibotan’ is a widely variable cultivar, consisting in a big group of mutant plants, characterized by many different colour patterns and shape. The “Hibotan” form is actually a hybrid, usually found grafted on more resistant forms such as Hylocereus sp. Some variegated forms of “Hibotan” may also be found grown on their own roots. It includes also Gymnocalycium mihanovichii f. prolifera variegated red. This cultivar is a spherical cacti that stands out for its incredible, fire red colour of its stem. It’s a small-sized plant, reaching up to 10-30 centimeters in height. Its stem is divided into 10 to 12 deep ribs, slightly wavy on their crests and equipped with poorly pronounced lumps. At the top of the lumps lie the white areoles, from which the spines grow. Every areole has three spines, greyish-brownish to black, pointing in three different directions. The red colour of the stem shows also blackish parts, depending on the individual, as every plant is unique. At the top of the stem, spines get crowded and longer. Variegations might be also yellow, though in this specific form, “Gymnocalycium mihanovichii f. prolifera variegated red”, variegations are red most of the times. Flowers are borne at the top of a funnel-shaped calyx and are usually yellow, made of crowded petal, very flashy and decorative.


Gymnocalycium mihanovichii f. prolifera variegated red is a dwarf cacti, not so difficult to cultivate. Here below are our cultivation tips:

Choose a bright spot, as long as it’s sheltered from direct sunlight. This plant enjoys filtered sunlight and afternoon shade, though it’s actually rather tolerant also to direct, intense sunlight. If you keep it indoors, instead, place it by a sunny window, as it will need some direct sunlight.
Gymnocalycium mihanovichii f. prolifera variegated red is rather frost-tolerant . It tolerates temperatures down to -5º. Its substrate must though be kept completely dry during the cold season. If you live in a climate area with rainy Winters, we suggest to keep it indoors or at least to shelter it.
Water every 3-4 days in Spring and Summer, always waiting for the soil to dry up before each irrigation. Reduce watering frequency in autumn and stop completely to water in Winter.
Choose a very draining substrate, with sand, gravel and peat. A standard substrate for cacti is the ideal choice, better if slightly acid: avoid calcareous substrates.
Fertilize once a year during the vegetative period,in Summer, using a product rich in phosphorus, diluting half the doses recommended on the label with watering.
Repotting is rarely necessary: this plant is a dwarf cacti and will stay okay in the same pot for several years. The only extra attention could be the choice of the pot: if possible, choose clay pots rather than plastic ones, as they increase drainage.
Plants grafted on Hylocereus should be cultivated as they were Hylocereus: keep them always above 10ºC.


Gymnocalyciums are generally propagated by seeds, and so it is Gymnocalycium mihanovichii f. prolifera variegated red. Variegated forms may or not be found grafted on Hylocereus. Seeds require one or twoo weeks to germinate, at 21-27 ºC in Spring. Sow them in a light substrate and covere the pot with a glass or a plastic sheet to enhance the greenhouse effect and to maintain the seeds moist. When they germinate, you can gradually remove the glass covering while they put solid roots: definitely take it off when you notice that the plantlets have developed solid roots. The simplest method, however, is division of the lateral clump: remove one of them, let the wound dry up for a few days, and then plant it in a light, sandy substrate.


The genus name “Gymnocalycium” comes from the greek words “gymnos”, “naked” and “calyx”, for “calyx”. The external flower tube, the calyx, is in fact bare, deprived of bristles, spines or hairs.

Official Web Site:

Italian Blog:

Read our advice

Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search