Gymnocalycium Is A Prickly Charm. Home Care. Photo

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Gymnocalycium Is A Prickly Charm. Home Care. Photo
Gymnocalycium Is A Prickly Charm. Home Care. Photo

Video: Gymnocalycium Is A Prickly Charm. Home Care. Photo

Video: Gymnocalycium Is A Prickly Charm. Home Care. Photo
Video: Learn how to properly care for Gymnocalycium mihanovichii "Moon Cactus"! 2023, December

Gymnocalycium is a spherical cactus, native to South America, whose name comes from the Latin words: "gymnos" - "naked" and "calycium" - "calyx". The flower tubes of this plant, unlike other cacti, are naked (without hairs and bristles), covered with smooth scales. Formed from areoles at the top of the stem. How to care for the hymnocalycium, read our article.



  • Description of the hymnocalycium
  • Gymnocalycium care at home
  • Reproduction of hymnocalycium
  • Gymnocalycium vaccination
  • Diseases and pests of hymnocalycium

Description of the hymnocalycium

Gymnocalycium - plants with a spherical flattened stem; the diameter of adult specimens ranges from 4 to 15 cm, while the height of the plants is about half the diameter.

The color of the stem of the hymnocalycium is usually grayish-green (sometimes almost gray) or brownish-green (sometimes almost brown). Among cultivars there are plants with red and yellow coloration of the stem; these chlorophyll-free cacti can only grow grafted onto another green cactus.

The stems of the hymnocalycium are mostly ribbed. There are chin-like tubercles on the ribs. The flowers are red, pink, white, yellow, greenish or brownish yellow with a short flower tube.

Gymnocalycium grows in South America (Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay), at an altitude of 800-3000 m above sea level, on granite and gneiss soils, as well as in campos on clay soils.

Gymnocalycium is prized for its beautiful stem shapes and large flowers.

Gymnocalycium care at home


Gymnocalycium are photophilous, require bright light, especially in winter. If kept in a greenhouse during hot seasons, shading may be required. They are demanding for fresh air - on hot days, open windows.


The temperature for hymnocalycium requires moderate from spring to autumn. In winter, it is desirable to maintain a temperature of +8.. + 12 ° С (for some species +15.. + 18 ° С), it can be kept at a lower temperature, up to + 5 ° С. Plants placed on windowsills in an unheated room should be brought into the room on cold nights.


In the spring, watering of the hymnocalycium is gradually increased; in the period from late spring to late summer, the watering regime is the same as for other indoor plants, i.e. as needed, preferably with warm water. From the end of summer, watering is reduced and from the middle of autumn it is sharply limited - watering occasionally and little by little. Air humidity for the plant requires low. Do not require spraying in summer.

Gymnocalycium wine red
Gymnocalycium wine red
Gymnokalycium Mikhanovich
Gymnokalycium Mikhanovich
Gymnocalycium multifloral
Gymnocalycium multifloral


A transplant for Gymnocalycium is required annually at a young age, and subsequently as needed in the spring. The new pot should only be slightly larger than the old one.

The soil

The soil for the hymnocalycium is leafy and soddy soil, peat, coarse sand (3: 2: 2: 3) with the addition of charcoal and brick chips. The soil should be slightly acidic, without lime, it should be watered with acidified water.

Reproduction of hymnocalycium

Vegetative propagation

Some hymnocalycium form lateral layers. These species are most easily propagated by separating the latter from the mother stem. But it is important to know when to stop. You should not tear off all the lateral shoots in pursuit of the quantity - each plant can form only a limited number of them, and if left completely without them, it will look pitiful and tattered. Meanwhile, the species that grow in curtains in nature are especially beautiful in multi-headed groups.

On the other hand, in some hymnocalycium, lateral processes are formed so intensively and in such large quantities that they impede the growth of each other and inhibit flowering. Therefore, thinning removal of some of them is simply necessary for the formation of an ornamental plant.

The lateral process of the hymnocalycium, which does not have its own roots, is very easy to separate: turn it with your fingers or tweezers, and the delicate connection with the maternal stem will easily break. The separated shoot of the hymnocalycium can be left in a dry place for a day or two, and then put on a wet substrate (sand, a mixture of sand with peat, a usual planting soil mixture) and care for it like a regular plant. Quite quickly, he will "release" the roots and cling to the ground. But this should be done, of course, in spring or early summer - during the growth of cacti.

If the lateral cut of the hymnocalycium has its own roots intertwining with the root system of the mother plant, it can be carefully dug out, but it is better to combine this operation with the transplant of the whole plant. The separated shoot with roots is planted in another pot as an independent cactus.

Seed propagation

Most hymnocalycium is propagated by seed. First, it's pretty simple. Secondly, the offspring obtained from seeds are of better quality and healthier than those grown from the lateral processes. Thirdly, most hymnocalycium, in general, reproduce only by seeds.

The substrate for sowing hymnocalycium can be the same as for planting adult plants, but finer grained. It is better to steam it or bake it in the oven for disinfection. It is better to sow in small pots or bowls, spreading the seeds over the surface of the wet substrate. It is important that the substrate does not dry out. Therefore, for the first time, the inoculated dishes should be covered with a transparent lid. Gymnocalycium seeds germinate well at temperatures around 20 ° C. If the substrate dries up, it is moistened with a pan or sprayed with a spray bottle.


It is possible to sow hymnocalycium at any time of the year, if it is possible to provide the nascent plants with sufficient light and the necessary heat.

Young hymnocalycium grow rather quickly, and already at the age of one year can be transplanted into separate pots.

Gymnocalycium vaccination

Most hymnocalycium is completely unnecessary inoculation - they grow well anyway, and on the rootstock-stick they look unnatural and almost ridiculous. But vaccination is necessary for chlorophyll-free hymnocalycium. In addition, sometimes it is used to quickly grow some rare species, or in order to save a rotten seedling.

The grafting rules for hymnocalycium are common for all cacti: a growing and healthy stock and scion are cut evenly with a sharp and disinfected instrument, the sections are quickly and tightly connected so that their conducting bundles at least partially coincide, and they are kept in an easily pressed state (with the help of an elastic band, bandage, cargo) within about a week.

Diseases and pests of hymnocalycium

Flat red tick

The most ineradicable and noxious cactus pest, the flat red mite, obviously “does not like” hymnocalycium. Probably because of their thick skin, which is simply difficult for this microscopic arthropod to pierce. But, nevertheless, it settles on them.

These small mites (the body length of adults does not even reach one millimeter) can sometimes be seen with the naked eye, but most often traces of their sabotage are found - dried rusty spots on the epithelium of cacti. On hymnocalycium, this rarely happens - only on young plants and near the point of growth, where the skin is not yet sufficiently strong.

It is especially easy to fight ticks on hymnocalycium: rare thorns make it easy to wash the stem with hot water or grease with a solution of ethyl alcohol. The use of acaricidal and universal pesticides is even more effective. But such processing makes sense if you have a large collection of different cacti. If the matter concerns only one or several hymnocalycium, washing with water or smearing with alcohol is quite a sufficient measure.


But the worms - small insects, the worm-like females of which settle on the roots and stems of plants and, in the literal sense of the word, suck juices from them - parasitize on hymnocalycium no less often than on other representatives of this family. But it is easier to determine their presence on these cacti than on others: the pink bodies of the parasites are covered with a white cotton wool-like “coat” and are especially clearly visible on a flat surface with rare thorns.


It is more difficult if the worm is wound up on the roots. Stopping growth, lack of flowers should alert the owner. At the slightest suspicion, it is necessary to examine the roots of the plant, on which the white covers of the worms are perfectly visible. Prolonged washing with hot water (as hot as the hand can tolerate) or root baths (the roots are kept in hot water at a constant temperature for 10-15 minutes) kills the pest, as well as the use of insecticidal and universal preparations in the form of solutions or granular additives to the substrate …

Root rot

Like other cacti, hymnocalycium in case of erroneous care (too "greasy" substrate, excessive watering, especially in cool weather) are affected by various rot. But most often the process of decay affects only the roots, which is found when transplanting suspiciously not growing and not flowering specimens.

In such cases, the cacti themselves can be saved. They need to be washed with hot water, cut off the roots to healthy tissue, disinfected (with alcohol, crushed coal, fungicidal preparations), dried and put on rooting, like a shoot during vegetative propagation.