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Care of the plant Melocactus schatzlii or Melocactus pescaderensis.

Care of the cactus Melocactus schatzlii or Melocactus pescaderensis

The genus Melocactus, family Cactaceae, comprises 40 species of cacti native to Mexico, Cuba, Central and South America. Some species are: Melocactus schatzlii, Melocactus peruvianus, Melocactus oreas, Melocactus deinacanthus, Melocactus curvispinus, Melocactus conoideus, Melocactus bahiensis, Melocactus azureus, Melocactus matanzanus, Melocactus intortus.

Scientific synonyms: Melocactus pescaderensis. This species is native to Colombia and Venezuela.

They are cacti with a matte green color and a solitary globular body that reach 20 cm (7.87") in diameter. They have up to 15 ribs, 8-10 radial spines 1 cm (0.39") in length of reddish color and a single central spine. The large white cephalium becomes cylindrical until it reaches 20 cm (7.87") in height. The cephalium can divide and produce new shoots with new cephalia but this is not usual. The flowers are small and fuchsia pink. The fruits are red and elongated.

These very slow-growing cacti are used in pots to protect them from the cold in winter. Indoors it is important that there is good ventilation to avoid the accumulation of ambient humidity.

The Melocactus schatzlii needs full sun exposure and a hot, dry climate. In winter the temperature should be above 10 ºC (50 ºF).

The soil can be a mixture of 75% heather soil or leaf mulch and 25% coarse siliceous sand.

These plants need little water; always water waiting until the substrate has completely dried. In the second half of autumn stop watering until spring begins.

They do not need fertilizers or pruning.

The biggest enemy of these plants is excess humidity.

They propagate from seeds sown in spring in a sandy seedbed but it's a very slow process.

Images of the cactus Melocactus schatzlii or Melocactus pescaderensis

Melocactus schatzlii
Melocactus schatzlii