M. madisoniorum is native to Peru where the plant grows in very porous and draining soil.
M. madisoniorum is a globular dwarf cactus belonging to the Cactaceae botanical. The stem is usually solitary but sometimes may clump, it is spherical, blue-green in color, with vertical furrow and can reach up to 15 cm tall and 10 cm in diameter. The number of spines is variable: in some species there are a few of them or there are none at all, in others there are quite many spines on the plant. Blooming occurs several times during the summer and blossom are borne at the apex of the stem. Buds are small, round and with white hairs. The flowers are funnel-shaped, bright orange to red in color, up to 10 cm tall and 4 cm in diameter.
This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a light shade sun exposure but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 7°C so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly in Spring and Summer: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. If you want a faster and lush growth you can fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for cacti; stop fertilizing throughout the winter. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.
The easiest and fast method of propagation is to use seeds. By seed it is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam soil and keep it with a high level of humidity and at temperature of 20 C°. The seedlings will be ready to be repotted when they begin to emit thorns at the apex.
It takes its name from the city of Matucana, Peru, in the area where they developed and then spread throughout South America. The species owes its name to the American lawyer Marshall Madison who supported the Botanical Garden of the University of California at Berkeley.
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