Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mammillaria In Bloom

Mammillaria elongata 'Copper King'

Mammillaria hahiana

Mammillaria mystax

Mammillaria flowers form a ring on new tissue that's grown during the previous growing season. To get flowers, it is necessary to watch watering and fertilizing schedules during the growing season to assure flowers for the next year.

Sometimes it's hard to tell that a cactus has grown from the previous year because in the dormant months when the cactus is kept dry, it has a tendancy to shrink as internal moisture is absorbed. Once watering begins again in early spring, the cactus will plump up and flowers will form.

9 comments:

nikkipolani said...

Those bronzy colors are so unusual!

Pudgeduck said...

This is the first time my copper king has bloomed! I have had it for over 6 years! I just love your cactus collection!

Anonymous said...

You mentioned fertilizing...what type of fertilizer and scheduler do you follow for Mammillaria? I recently added a Hahiana (actually, about a month ago), and had assumed it wouldn't need any supplements.

Great blog btw! My wife and I are relatively new to AZ, and it's been fun to see what all you have. We're up to about 30 sp of cacti and succulents in the ground, and another handful in pots.

Barbara said...

Mammillaria haiana and mystax look really perfect and elegant! And this pink colour is stunning! I like these pictures very much!

beckie said...

I have a cactus that looks like the copper king except my spines are whiteish. I have had it for years and it is getting so big. It has bloomed a couple of times in Feb-March, but not every year. What am I doing or not doing?

The pictures are really great! And I love the bright pink color. The hahiana blooms look like daisys and the mystax like lilies. So interesting!

No Rain said...

Thanks for all the comments. I've had several other Mamms bloom today, so I'll have to post a couple more photos soon.

Anonymous,
Thanks for visiting. Glad you like the blog.
As far as fertilizing, I don't fertiize any cacti that's in the ground. I fertilize those in pots after the first year. When purchasing from nurseries, they've usually been fertilized. If you see any tiny green or yellow balls in the soil--that's the fertilizer they've added. I use Cactus Juice--one capful per one gallon of water every few weeks when watering. It's not essential--but after a few years in the same pot the soil gets a bit depleted of nutrients. When I repot, I don't fertilize until the following year. Again, many folks never fertilize and their cacti are just fine.

Beckie,
Copper King is a variation of Mammillaria elongata. Sounds like you have the regular elongata. I've found that M. elongata is not a reliable bloomer. There are so many variables it would be hard to determine what would cause your cactus' irregualr blooming. I wouldn't worry about it--if it continues to grow, it will just bloom when it wants to.

Julie said...

Beautiful blooms! I agree the bronze one looks so amazing!

Shady Gardener said...

It looks as though the Mammillaria cacti blooms form little rings around the tops. Is that typical? Very, very pretty.

No Rain said...

Shady Gardener,
Yes, cacti in the Mammillaria genus form flowers in a ring on the new growth each year. If there isn't any new growth, then there are no flowers. Sometimes the flower ring isn't complete, and often the flowers may not bloom at the same time--maybe just a few close together and a week later, some more on a different part of the ring. When all the flowers bloom at once, it is really beautiful. Some species are more inclined to do that, such as M. matudae. Within the next couple of weeks, my specimen will bloom and I'll have a photo on my blog.