Notocactus haselbergii is actually a synonym for the accepted name “Parodia haselbergii”. Other synonyms for this species name are:
Notocactus haselbergii is endemic to Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina, where it occurs in a wide range of altitudes: from 200 to 1500 meters above the sea level. The habitat of this species is the grassland, where it grows either on rocky plains or outcrops, or in walls, always on a rather rocky substrate. Though it’s endemic and subject to collection by local people, that use it as an ornamental, its range of distribution is still acceptably wide. The major threat to the survival of the species is mainly loss of habitat due to land conversion to pastures and in general for agricultural activities.
Notocactus haselbergii is a little, solitary cacti, rather fast-growing. As it ages, it tends to form small clusters. Its stems are globose-shaped, with their apex slightly depressed or flattened, bright green but with their surface completely hidden by densely crowded spines. They never exceeds 10 centimeters in height and 15 in diameter, but they might form little clusters as the plant ages. As in many cacti genera, stems are divided into many ribs: in this species, in particularly, the ribs are around 30 and not so prominent. All along the stem, numerous, white areoles, covered in a white wool and arranged in a geometrical pattern, give birth to the spines. The areoles are the typical buds of cacti, from which the spines are grown. Here, spines show a beautiful, pure silvery white colour. Flowers are also very flashy and attractive, and are another reason why this cacti is so appreciated among succulent lovers. They in fact are bright red, with pointed, gut-shaped petals arranged in a scaly patterns on a funnel-shaped corolla. The blooming season, instead, occurs in the end of the Winter.
Notocactus haselbergii is a fast-growing cacti, not particularly difficult to grow. Here below are our tips for cultivation:
Choose always sunny positions. These plants withstand well direct sunlight but, for an additional precaution,if you place them outdoors, we suggest to choose a spot that has just filtered light or shade in the afternoon. Indoors, instead, they will enjoy full sun.
The minimum tolerated temperature is -5°C, as long as it’s placed in a sunny spot and a well-draining substrate. However, to stay safe, we suggest to keep it at temperatures above at least 8ºC. 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 genera 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. It’s even better if the irrigation comes from rain water.
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 with a specific product for cacti, that should be poor in Nitrogen and rich in phosphorus, with also some micronutrients added.
The plant needs frequent repotting as it has a rather fast growth rate. As a general rule, repot every year or any time you notice that it outgrows its pot.
Notocactus haselbergii is propagated mainly through sowing, as it rarely form offshoots. Seeds usually take like 7 to 14 days to germinate, if put in a light, well-draining substrate at temperatures of 21-27ºC. We suggest to sow in a container and to cover it with some glass or a plastic sheet, to maintain the seeds moist. The substrate, in fact, should be maintained at moist until seeds germinate. Another important thing to remember is that young plants should avoid direct sunlight.
If the plant produce offshoots, these can be detached from the mother plant and used as cuttings. It though happens rarely.
Il nome Notocactus deriva dal greco ‘nòtos’ che significa meridionale. Questo genere inaftti cresce più a sud rispetto a molte altre cactaceae che crescoono in America centrale.
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