Habitat: South America
Cultivation: Notocacti are slow-growing cacti, not particularly difficult to grow. Place them in a sunny spot with a well-drained substrate. Water regularly in Summer and fertilize in Spring and Summer.
Curiosity: 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.
The genus Notocactus includes about thirty species native to semi-desert grasslands, with a globular or elongated shape, small to medium-sized (the maximum height is usually about 30 cm), although some species can be more than 60-70 cm tall.
In the 1980s the genus Notocactus was included in the genus Parodia, but this choice was not universally accepted. In fact, plants named as Notocactus are often found on the market nowadays.
Like other cactaceae, Notocactus also have the typical “ball” shape when young, but become more elongated when mature.
They live alone or in groups and sometimes produce offshoots. Notocactus is a rather long-lived plant genus.
Their stems have numerous ribs with white areoles covered with many spines, which can be either short and thin or long and thicker and also of different colours on the same plant.
The flowering season is June-July. Flowers are rather large and funnel-shaped, with narrow petals. They grow on the top of the stem after three or more years depending on the species and are quite long-lived for a cactus: they last about a week!
VARIETY AND TYPES
Here below we list a few currently recognised species of Notocactus.
Try to look for them in our online shop!
- N. agnetae
- N. buenekeri
- N. buiningii
- N. concinnus
- N. crassigibbus
- N. depressus
- N. Eugeniae
- N. floricumus
- N. graessneri
- N. haselbergii
- N. herteri
- N. horstii
- N. leninghausii
- N. magnificus
- N. mammulosus
- N. megapotamicus
TIPS FOR GROWING
Notocactus are slow-growing cacti that are not particularly difficult to grow. Here is our advice:
- Choose always sunny positions. These plants withstand well direct sunlight, even in the hottest hours, because their stem is well protected by the intricate thorns.
- The minimum tolerated temperature is a few degrees above O°C, nevetheless some species can withstand short frosts as long they’re placed in sunny spots and in a well-draining substrate.
- In winter, it is generally advisable to protect your Notocactus from cold in a suitable way. The best way to do this is to put it indoors and, as always for cacti, keep its substrate completely dry during the coldest periods.
- Notocactus requires a little more water than other kinds of cacti; water regularly in spring and summer and suspend instead the irrigation during the winter. The plant will tell you when it’s thirsty by losing turgidity.
- Choose a standard soil for cactaceae and remember to add a large layer of drainage at the bottom of the pot.
- During the vegetative period, fertilize once a month with a specific product for cacti
- The plant doesn’t need frequent repotting as it has a rather slow growth rate. As a general rule, repot every 2-3 years
- Notocacti reproduce mainly by sowing, but if they produce offshoots, these can be detached from the mother plant and become new plants.