Propagated Mammillaria Plants and Seeds
Mammillaria is a very large generic with most of it's members growing in Mexico; some in the southwestern United States, in the Caribbean and a few species scattered from the Central America down to northern South America. They grow in a wide range of habitat conditions like low elevation grassy planes, sun baked rock cracks, but most of them grow in mountain regions. There are a lot of different shapes sizes and spine colors in this group, but most can be considered small globular cacti. They fun to grow because most varieties grow quickly and it is only a few years to wait for them to become large enough to bloom. These plants are sometimes given the common name of 'Pincushion Cactus', but this name seems to be given to lots of cacti.
Most of the flowers are small and come in wide range of flower colors; from creamy to bright yellows, white to pink, magenta to purples, oranges and deep reds too. They are known for the way they form their flowers in a distinct ring around the top of the stems, and this it because the flowers open on the second year of stem growth.
If you find unmarked cactus plants in greenhouses and hardware stores, many of them will likely be Mammillaria. Some people may say that these cacti are the, 'best windowsill cactus' and most of them do very well with water, fertilizer and a sunny window. There are a few species which are more difficult and will rot easily if they have wet soil in cool winter conditions. Like most cacti which tend to grow in alpine conditions they are more likely to survive winter on a windowsill if they are not given water for at least 3 months. However, it is surprising how well most Mammillaria will survive even if they are watered all year long even while they are in their winter rest period. Mammillaria which are more challenging to grow and die easily if they are over watered tend to be harder to find in propagation. These plants often turn up in greenhouses and hardware stores, so if a person wants to experiment with starter cacti these are among the easiest to keep alive.
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