Pediocactus simpsonii var. minor

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Pediocactus simpsonii var. minor plant

We are altering our website and plants & seeds will become available later in 2018.

All plants are shipped Bare-root


Pediocactus simpsonii var. minor

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This variety will grow quite large over time and with care it is possible for the plant to out grow the limitations of most interior living spaces.

Yes - tolerates low light levels. This variety will do well as a houseplant in locations with short periods of direct sun and some indirect or filtered light.

Yes - does well with cool winter time temperatures. This variety will tolerate temperatures down below 50 °F. if the roots are kept dry, and will do very well in a home with energy saving thermostat setting.

Yes - easy care root system. This variety stores water in the parts of the plant which are above the soil leaving the root system small enough to fit into a proportionally sized flower pot.

This variety is unlikely to flower as a house plant and they should be chosen with flowering as a low priority.

good locations

There are few indoor locations this plant would ever thrive, and an outdoor location with four seasons gives this species the best conditions for survival. Simpsonii var. minor needs a long winter rest with freezing conditions to produce flowers the following spring. Being extreme climate cacti they will survive winters down to -30 °F. Avoid growing in locations where ice builds up on the ground, but lots of winter snow cover is similar to habitat conditions. If they are kept in flower pots; keep them in partial to full sun in the growing seasons, and in a cold dry location in the winter.

Note: Long exposure or very intense exposure to direct sun light will kill these plants.

Avoid growing them; on southern exposures, in direct mid day sun, or near objects like rocks which may radiate heat absorbed by the mid day sun. Plants overdosed on radiant heat or intense sunlight may begin a kind of wasting as they shrink away to their death over the course of a few weeks to a few years. If it appears that a Pedio is shrinking instead of growing year after year it is likely that the location is too intense for the plant to survive.

These cacti produce some of the earliest flowers of spring, and under the same conditions there are probably no other cacti which flower before Pedios. Flower colors range in the pink through white tones, and the flowers in person are far more impressive than they appear in photos.

This species remain single stem cacti and may only produce offsets if the plant is injured. There may be a few forms of simpsonii which will form clumps of stems, but I'm not sure if this growth pattern is not forms of the species making these sorts of observations mythology. Multiple heads on most Pediocactus simpsonii var. minor are more likely caused by injuries to the plants.

These plants have some of the most interesting abilities of any species of cacti, and are worthy subjects for study by scientists. Among their abilities the most written about is that they form snow caves for themselves with chemical reactions inside the plant. They also have regeneration abilities for instance; if the top of the stem is cut off deep enough, then it will grow back as a multi headed clustering plant. Strangely, if the top of a plant is cut off less than what would cause multiple heads it can re-generate the top of the plant, and appear as though it were never injured after a few years of growth.


Pediocactus simpsonii var. minor grows as a globular cactus for many years, and as an older plant it begins to take on a columnar form. They can grow to more than a few inches wide, but can become about a foot high as elderly plants.


Habitat is in the subalpine regions of Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.

plant propagation origin

Plants and seeds are grown and propagated by

items included in purchase

Purchase price includes a bare-root Pediocactus simpsonii var. minor plant.

Seeds are available on Pediocactus simpsonii var. minor seeds page.

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