Cactus and Succulents forum: Best common mammilaria to grow(for future purchases.

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Name: Stefan
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skopjecollection
Apr 26, 2018 10:39 PM CST
Ok, this is a simple question. Which COMMON(ive sown big flower types) mammilaria , are the easiest and funnest to grow, and which ones have the best blooms?
Name: Thijs van Soest
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mcvansoest
Apr 26, 2018 11:48 PM CST
Well, I guess it depends on what you call simple.

But for a simple answer I'd go with M. karwinskiana ssp. nejapensis aka M. nejapensis. Gets pretty big, is pretty wooly, has cute flowers and for me it has been a no hassle Mammillaria. Alternatively you can go with M. vetula ssp. gracilis aka M. gracilis fragilis, which grows like a weed for me and makes huge clumps. Has nice looking spinage and not great but still cute flowers. Hard to kill and may be suitable for lower light conditions.

OK for the less simple part of the answer:
Now, given another thread you have started regarding the need to winter cacti inside somehow, I'd say that most Mammillarias are not really ideal for that. Many get etiolated in low light conditions very very quickly. Most are also incredibly sensitive to overwatering and/or cold high humidity conditions, but will also croak readily if left dry too long. So even with 'easy to cultivate' Mamms I see at lot of trial and error ahead of you.

I feel that through experience I have become a pretty accomplished cultivator of cacti, and over the years I have gotten a lot better at growing Mammillarias and getting them to thrive, but is still one of the types of cacti where I have the most 'unexplained/unexpected' casualties - along the line of I was doing everything the same as the same time last year, with plant A, but this time whatever it was I was doing stopped working and the plant rotted and died, or just shriveled up and wasted away for no apparent reason. I have not kept records, but I guesstimate that over the time I have been growing cacti, I probably have had one out of every three of four Mamms that I have bought or traded for die on me.

Here is a picture of one of my multi-mammillaria baskets with M. karwinskiana ssp. nejapensis in it (it is the big Mamm. at the back of the hanging basket with the mostly yellow flowers):
Thumb of 2018-04-27/mcvansoest/6b124c

And here is a pic of the hanging basket with M. ventura ssp. gracilis (it is the huge clump right at the front):
Thumb of 2018-04-27/mcvansoest/3a08ba

It is what it is!
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
Apr 26, 2018 11:51 PM CST
I own both those species......
Name: Thijs van Soest
Tempe, AZ (Zone 9b)
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mcvansoest
Apr 27, 2018 12:00 AM CST
Well good for you.

It is what it is!
Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
Apr 27, 2018 12:02 AM CST
Anything else? Something that blooms fast?
Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Apr 27, 2018 8:51 AM CST

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Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
Apr 27, 2018 10:03 AM CST
The elongata just made it on my list. Traded a bryophyllum hybrid for a mammilaria prolifera today. I think i own a spinnosisima(or something that looks like it(just needs a soil change).
Name: Baja
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Baja_Costero
Apr 27, 2018 1:42 PM CST

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M. elongata is a fun and relatively easy cactus to propagate from cuttings, and it takes a lot of sun at a pretty small size. It is very easy in full sun (here) and probably would suffer in low light (like the other Mammillarias). Prone to rot if soil does not have excellent drainage (50% rock) or the container is too deep.

While we're on the subject of Mammillarias, here is our native species, which has 2 sexes (female and bisexual, there are no males) and makes delicious fruit, the best of the Mamms I've sampled. It is not common in cultivation, especially outside its native range.




My experience growing Mammillarias from seed is limited to just that one plant, but I did sow a couple of batches and it seemed pretty easy here in its native climate. They like lots and lots of light, especially in winter, and they flower in their second year.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Apr 27, 2018 1:43 PM (+)]
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Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
Apr 27, 2018 1:50 PM CST
Thats probably a species ill have to seed order, so sadly no. Ive tried a mix of coryphantha, escobaria(maybe), acharagma and big flower mammilaria, and they germinated. My pachypodium croaked today, and im not particularly happy about that Grumbling
Guess ill have to order seeds for it(think they ran out of those at the greenhouse i buy stuff from.
What i mean by simple to grow?
Pilosocereus, cute plant, fast growing, pest free. Easy, right? The plant has costed me two pairs of gloves.
Ferocactus horridus- tiny spine ferocactus, shouldnt be too hard...... until it becomes a pest magnet(gave up comepletely on that one
Sempervivum-one of the most common plants here. Easiest plant ever...... until it rains in the summer. It only rots then, and in no other season. And it got sunburned....
Echinopsis- one of the easiest plants to grow....with the right soil. Turns out the "thrift" sellers(you cant find em much in dutch wholesale) placed the clones in clayish mud. It takes hours to clean the roots
Some plants have a hidden issue with them, and id like to be aware of, or grow ones that are issue free,
[Last edited by skopjecollection - Apr 27, 2018 1:58 PM (+)]
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Apr 27, 2018 2:47 PM CST

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It is interesting to hear which plants are troublesome for other people, to compare notes and understand why that might be.

Sempervivums are touchy in hot summer sun. Even here where we have no heat to speak of, they seem to be unhappy with lots of exposure (and I would imagine lots of water) at that time. Where you are, the temperatures are probably prohibitive.

Pachypodiums are not easy when light is limiting... in case that makes you feel better, or gives you a new strategy for another attempt. Smiling I love them as a group because they love the sun and I don't have to give most of them any protection after the first year or so. With lots of light, the watering becomes simpler... basically there are 2 modes, winter and summer, with a period of adjustment in between. Strong light makes it harder to overwater in and around dormancy. It also allows you to pour on the water during summer growth when they are usually most active.
Name: Daisy I
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DaisyI
Apr 27, 2018 3:56 PM CST
Just a note of caution: The whiter and hairier a Mammillaria is, the more sun it needs. And, they are incredibly easy to overwater - all Mammillaria are easy to overwater but the white hairy ones are especially so.
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Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
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skopjecollection
Apr 27, 2018 6:07 PM CST
The pachypodium has been grown in rather poor conditions, a has been so for a while at that same greenhouse. Cause of death was infrequent watering coupled with overwatering by ammount.
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Baja_Costero
Apr 27, 2018 8:58 PM CST

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DaisyI said:The whiter and hairier a Mammillaria is, the more sun it needs.


And as a corollary, the whiter and hairier the spines on any cactus (definitely including the Mamms), the better it will tolerate maximum exposure (ie. day-long sun) in the absence of extreme heat. And the stronger the light, the better the spines, if you value thickness and fullness. Smiling

This plant (growing in day-long sun) is at the extreme for Mammillarias and would not be recommended for a low light situation.

[Last edited by Baja_Costero - Apr 27, 2018 9:10 PM (+)]
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Name: Stefan
SE europe(balkans) (Zone 6b)
Cactus and Succulents Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Procrastinator Bulbs Foliage Fan
Purslane Bromeliad Container Gardener Houseplants Sedums Sempervivums
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skopjecollection
Apr 29, 2018 10:17 PM CST
Ok, gotta ask, so im hijacking ?my own thread, in lieu of the gymnocalcium one-
Which mammilaria has the greatest size/speed growth characteristics, being commonly available......
So, not sound like a broken record, please exclude offsetting ability.
[Last edited by skopjecollection - Apr 29, 2018 10:20 PM (+)]
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