Mammillaria haageana subsp. schmollii
Mammillaria haageana var. schmollii
Mammillaria haageana subsp. san-angelensis
Mammillaria haageana subsp. haageana
Mammillaria haageana subsp. elegans
Mammillaria haageana subsp. conspicua
Mammillaria haageana subsp. acultzingensis
Mammillaria haageana is native to Mexico. In particular, it is endemic to the states of Puebla, Mexico, Veracruz, Morelos, Tlaxcala, and Oaxaca. It can be found in a wide altitude range, goinng from 400 to 2600 meters above the sea level. Its habitat are deciduous tropical forests, juniper woods and pine forests, frequently in areas disturbed by human presence. M. haageana is threatened in its natural habitat by excessive collection to be used as an ornamental.
M. haageana is a solitary cacti, made of a single, globose or cylindrical stem, not branched or, sometimes, branching from the very base, but only when the plant gets older. Like in every Mammillaria, the stem is furrowed by dense tubercles, similar to nipples, that earned the genus its name. At the top of each tubercle, the short spines sprout. They are organized in 14 to 38 radial ones, white and bristly, not sharp, and two central spines, which range from a creamy yellow, to redddish or black. The central spines are erect and point straightly outwards, while the radial ones are slightly curved and form a star-like structure, pointing in all direction. Spines are so numerous that, often make the stem almost invisible and the plant, overall, seems completely white. In its natural environment, it may also camouflage among white rocks. Only the central, brownish yellow spines are visible into the white. Flowers, as it happens in every Mammillaria, form an apical, circular crown at the top of a stem, made of numerous, solitary pink flowers, that can range actually from a deep magenta to a pale pink and, as usual in Mammillarias, are funnel shaped. They are not so big, reaching 10 millimeters in length and 1,5 centimeters in diameter, but they are abundant and the flowered crown at the top of the stems is very decorative. The blooming season of this species ranges from February to April.
M. haageana is not so difficult to grow. Here below are our cultivation tips:
M. haageana needs plenty of light: if you place it indoors, choose a spot exposed to direct sunlight. If, instead, you choose to place it outside, provide some shade, at least during the hottest hours of summer days. Don’t move it too harshly from shade to full sun: it may remain sunburnt.
Mammillaria haageana needs a rest period exposed to cold temperatures, to carry out a healthy blooming. If its substrate is kept completely dry, it resists to temperatures down to -5ºC. By the way, to stay safe, we advice to put it indoors during the cold season or to shelter it, especially providing protection from Winter rains. Also, it requires strong light and a good airflows; a good idea could be to place it exposed to air drafts.
Water moderately from spring to autumn and regularly in summer. Also during the hottest period of the year, however, wait always for the soil to dry up completely before each watering, as this plant is subsceptible to rot. During the winter, suspend completely any irrigation.
Mammillaria haageana requires a very well-draining substrate, with an abundant mineral part. A standard mix for cacti will do good. Some perlite or pumice could be either added.
During the summer, fertilize once with a product specific for cacti, rich in potassium and poor in nitrogen.
Mammillaria haageana needs to be repotted frequently, as repotting increase the number and size of the stem and will enhance flowering. It’s ok to repot once every year until it reaches a size of about 3 centimeters, then once every two years. Use the smallest diameter pot that can host the plant.
Propagation can be carried out either through sowing and cuttings. Seeds must be placed on the surface of a sandy and humid soil at about 20 ° C. Some species produce lateral suckers that can be cut and used as good cuttings. It is the case of M. decipiens it will form dense clumps in a very few years and it can be propagated very easily through cuttings. When your M. decipiens gets old and you see it’s sufficiently clustered, you can start to take off cuttings in spring and summer by cutting off the stem with a sharp knife. Put the cut branch in a warm place for around a week to let the wound dry up and then plant it in a pot filled with some cactus potting mix. It’s important to create a superficial layer of coarse grit and to lie the cutting on it: it prevents the wound to become too wet. If you choose sowing as a method of propagation, remember that seeds usually germinate in 8-13 days at temperatures of 21-27ºC. They should be placed in a light substrate and maintained slightly moist and covered with a glass until they germinate.
The genus Mammillaria takes this name from the nipple-like tubercles present on the stems of any plant of thiis genus.
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