Notocactus buiningii is native to Brazil South and Uruguay.
Notocactus buiningii is a small cactus belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The plant has a solitary habit but sometimes can branch from the base. The stem is globose to spherical and it can reach up to 8 cm in height and 12 cm in diameter. The stem is globular, dark green and it is arranged in 16 pronounced and sharp ribs made of tubercles. The tubercles are narrow, blade-shaped and prominent. The areoles are white, woolly, large, placed very close to each other and bear the spines. The 3-4 central spines are straight, stiff, yellowish and dark brown at the base, forming a cross. The 2-3 radial spines are similar to the central ones but they are smaller. Blooming occurs from the spring to the summer and blossoms are borne at the apex of the stem. The flowers are large, funnel-shaped, showy and eye-catching with pale yellow to shiny violet petals and bright purple stamens. This small cactus is ideal to give beauty and color to your office and home. The flowering is diurnal and last for few days. The fruits are elongating at the base containing helmet-shaped, black seeds. The gorgeous flower makes this cactus one of the most distinctive Notocacti and so one of the most sought after.
This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a full light sun exposure but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 6°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 succulents; 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.
Propagation can be done by cutting or by seed. By cutting you can make the cut during the spring and then let the cutting dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C. 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 14 C°.
Its name reflects its geographical area of distribution, that is further south than the one of many other cacti, which usually come from central part of the Americas. In fact, the Greek word ‘nòtos’ means southern.
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