The Parodia genus comprises several showy, pretty and easy-to-grow small ball cacti plants. They belong to South America and fit well with those who are new to growing and nurturing cacti and plants. They grow in clusters and hence, they are commonly known as ‘ball cacti’.
- 1 Types of Parodia Cacti
- 2 How Do You Care for a Parodia?
- 3 How to Propagate Parodia
- 4 Parodia Species and Varieties
- 4.1 Parodia alacriportana
- 4.2 Parodia buiningii
- 4.3 Parodia chrysacanthion
- 4.4 Parodia comarapana
- 4.5 Parodia concinna
- 4.6 Parodia erinacea
- 4.7 Parodia formosa
- 4.8 Parodia fusca
- 4.9 Parodia gibbulosoides
- 4.10 Parodia haselbergii
- 4.11 Parodia hausteiniana
- 4.12 Parodia herteri
- 4.13 Parodia horstii
- 4.14 Parodia lenninghausii
- 4.15 Parodia linkii
- 4.16 Parodia maassii
- 4.17 Parodia magnifica
- 4.18 Parodia mairanana
- 4.19 Parodia mammulosa
- 4.20 Parodia microsperma
- 4.21 Parodia mueller-melchersii
- 4.22 Parodia muricata
- 4.23 Parodia nigrispina
- 4.24 Parodia nivosa
- 4.25 Parodia ottonis
- 4.26 Parodia oxycostata
- 4.27 Parodia penicillata
- 4.28 Parodia procera
- 4.29 Parodia ritteri
- 4.30 Parodia schumanniana
- 4.31 Parodia scopa
- 4.32 Parodia stuemeri
- 4.33 Parodia subterranea
- 4.34 Parodia tenuicylindrica
- 4.35 Parodia tuberculata
- 4.36 Parodia warasii
- 4.37 Parodia werdermanniana
Types of Parodia Cacti
1,000 Types of Cacti With Pictures
How Do You Care for a Parodia?
If you are habitual of nurturing cacti and are aware of what their growing and nurturing needs are, you will be able to care for these cacti just fine. To begin with, they don’t have very high maintenance needs. They prefer sunlight and warmer climates and will thrive if you get the basics right.
Parodia is a cactus that loves light. This does not mean, however, that you place them in the scorching sun. You need to keep this cactus in a place that receives bright, indirect sunlight.
During early mornings and late evenings, you can place them in full sun. However, during the hours when the sunlight is at its peak, do not place them in direct exposure to the sun.
If you are treating your Parodia as an indoor plant, you ought to keep it in a container that is easy to move around. This is because you can’t expect the plant to thrive when it is kept in a damp corner in the house.
Ball cacti do not like a lot of water so you need to water these cacti with caution. Overwatering can be counterproductive and may lead to rot and pest infestation. Spring and summer months call for watering, but only when the top layer of the soil is dry.
The plant enters dormancy during the winter months and does not have specific water requirements. The choice of container is an important one while nurturing the Parodia and you ought to ensure there are several holes in the container to ensure the passage of water.
Dry and airy soil will be ideal for the Parodia cacti. You can, therefore, go for a regular cacti mix. In case you have other cacti at home, you can use the soil you use for the other cacti.
If you are getting a store-bought mix for your cacti, make sure you sprinkle it with pumice or sand to help aerate the soil. Acidic soil mixtures are the best bet for the Parodia cacti .
The plant does not have major fertilizing needs. However, you can spray some during the growing season to aid its growth. This does not have to be a concentrated fertilizer but you can go with a diluted fertilizer that together with a good cacti mix will ensure the plant archives its full potential.
Pests and Diseases
The Parodia cacti are mostly resistant to disease. However, occasionally you may notice mealybugs or infestation in the roots and stems because of overwatering. Therefore, it is important to water the cactus very carefully. At no point in time, you should overwater this cactus.
How to Propagate Parodia
Parodia is a gorgeous-looking cactus that is made more attractive by its flowers. This is why several plant lovers get attracted to this plant. The fact that this cactus is easy to grow and propagate makes it even more ideal for those who love cacti.
Offsets can be used to propagate this cactus easily. These can be found in the clusters in a mature plant and you need to use these offsets carefully to propagate new plants.
Follow these steps to propagate Parodia from stems:
- Remove an offset from a mature plant and let it dry for some time by placing it on a towel.
- Let the moisture evaporate from the offset completely before propagating it in a new container.
- Wait for the callous to form over the offset.
- Once you see the callus, take the offset and place it in a cacti mix and spray it with light fertilizer.
- Keep the container in a warm place to ensure that the plant receives ideal conditions to grow and thrive.
- If you manage the light, water and soil well, you will see roots emerge in the plant within a few days.
- Once the cactus gets a little stable, place it in a full-sized container.
Remember, warmer seasons call for repotting of the Parodia cacti. The soil that you use for repotting needs to be dry. While you are repotting the plant, ensure that you remove any rots and diseases in the roots completely. Add some fungicide to the plant at this stage. This will keep it healthy and safe.
Once you have finished repotting, leave the plant as it is for at least a week. Water the plant after a week once the plant has adjusted to its new container. This will make sure there isn’t any rot in the Parodia.
Parodia Species and Varieties
Parodia alacriportana is a variable species with small solitary stems and bright yellow flowers. It has 4-7 yellow central spines and approx. 20 thin radials.
Parodia buiningii is a solitary, flattened cactus only a few cm in height with long, straw-yellow spines. It bears large and showy yellow flowers and produces hairy fruit and black seeds.
The Golden Powder Puff (Parodia chrysacanthion) is a globular to columnar cactus, with a much-ribbed, green stem densely covered with bristle-like, golden spines. The crown bears a mass of large golden flowers in spring and, often, pale yellow wool.
The flowers of Parodia comarapana are mostly orange tinged with red or rusty-red, but also yellow or pink.
Parodia concinna is small cactus species forming a flattened and much-ribbed sphere. Its flowers are bright yellow, funnel-shaped, large, and about 5 to 8 cm across.
Parodia erinacea is a simple, flattened-globular to short-cylindrical cactus, very woolly at the top, the ribs are obtuse, strongly undulate with areoles in the depressions on ribs. The central spine is not much longer than the radials. The flowers are yellow broad when fully open with bright red stigma-lobes. It is a widespread and morphologically variable taxon. The young plants generally are very different from the more woolly, older individuals.
Parodia formosa is a solitary cactus species noteworthy for its ribs divided in spiraled tubercles and short, white spines. It is less flamboyant in bloom than other species of the genus and its golden-yellow flowers are relatively small in comparison with its 12 cm diameter, or even larger, body.
Parodia fusca is a small solitary cactus with a globular stem, 10-12 cm wide and up to 18 cm tall. Flowers are yellow or pale yellow with a typical glossy shine.
Parodia gibbulosoides is a low-growing cactus species forming cushions to 40 cm wide. It is similar to Parodia formosa but flowers are smaller and numerous 5 or more borne together. The stems are densely covered by short clusters of spines and the crown of the plant is completely shrouded in a thick short white wool.
Parodia haselbergii is a solitary, fast-growing, little cactus. The stem is spherical, more or less flattened, bright green, almost completely concealed by dense spines, up to 10 cm tall, 15 cm in diameter. The crown of the plant is usually set at an angle to prevent water-sitting. The flowers are bright orange to brick-red up to 2 cm wide and each can last one to three weeks.
Parodia hausteiniana is a small growing, solitary cactus to only 5 cm in diameter with tiny yellow or orange flowers. It is remarkable for its thick, yellow or amber-colored spines.
Parodia herteri is a large growing plant, usually solitary or slowly branching from the base. The stem is almost spherical that can become shortly cylindrical when old, up to 15 cm in diameter and tall with a shiny deep green skin, the apex is depressed, white-grayish and woolly. Its flowers are pale violet-pink to dark purple with whitish or yellow centers in the spring.
Parodia horstii is a solitary or slowly clustering medium-sized barrel cactus with many flowers in early spring. Flowers range from yellowish-orange, pink to violet-purple.
Parodia lenninghausii is a very popular cactus species appreciated because glistens under a haze of harmless golden spines and will produce silky yellow flowers, with a lovely reflection in the petals only when mature (5 years or so), but the blossom in summer is worth the wait. Sometimes, they present monstruous and cristate forms.
Parodia linkii has stems that grow up to 15 cm in diameter and produces several yellow flowers together.
Parodia maassii is a small globular South American cactus species with long hooked spines and yellow to red flowers. The extensive distribution range of this species has led to the formation of many local forms or varieties which in the years have been formally named. Most of these names are not accepted by many botanists that treat them as synonyms, but they still have a value for a collector because they identify plants with particular characters.
Parodia magnifica is a bluish-green geometric globular cactus with wool that grows in clusters and produces absolutely brilliant yellow flowers. These cacti develop a slight depression on the crown, which may become distorted with age. Parodia magnifica glistens under a haze of pale yellow spines. Cristate (wavy-edged) forms are available but these are usually grafted plants.
Parodia mairanana is a small free-flowering cactus, with many apical flowers mostly orange tinged with red or rusty-red, but plants with different flowers colors are often found in cultivation.
Parodia mammulosa is a usually solitary cactus more or less covered by interlacing spines. Plants have 18-25 ribs, 2-4 central spines and 20-30 radials. The flowers are pale pink to golden yellow beautifully emphasized by the purplish/red stigma lobes, 4 cm in diameter, with a short tube covered with white wool and brown bristles.
Parodia microsperma is a compact small to medium-sized, perennial cactus densely covered in dense white, yellow or brown spines and red, central spines, some of which are hooked. The name refers to the small seeds. It bears blood-red, occasionally yellow flowers in spring.
Parodia microsperma subsp. horrida
Parodia microsperma subsp. horrida has reddish-grey cylindrical stems with either hooked or straight central spines, the radials are rigid, and the flowers yellow.
Parodia mueller-melchersii has flowers ranging from creamy yellow to lavender. The spines are also variable ranging from yellowish-white to dark red-brown.
Parodia muricata is a rare and poorly known species strictly related to Parodia carambeiensis that will flower early in its life. The stem is at first globular, glaucous bright green, often depressed apically, but they become progressively more cylindrical as they grow older and can ultimately attain a height of 20 cm (or more) in cultivation and up to 20 cm in diameter.
The flowers are yellow at the apex and large, up to 3 cm long.
Parodia nigrispina is a very spiny cactus specie forming more or less compact clusters with age. This plant is often synonymized with Parodia schumanniana, but it has wider and lower growing body, darker brownish-black spines and comes from a totally different type of habitat. Flowers are up to 6.5 cm long and 7 cm in diameter, yellow, and funnelform.
The powder puff cactus (Parodia nivosa) is a small ovoid, perennial cactus that has a solitary green stem with fine, stiff, white spines, each 1-2 cm long. It has a white, woolly crown from which bright red flowers appear in summer.
Parodia ottonis is a common attractive dwarf clumping cactus and particularly is fun as it matures and flowers at an early age. The stem is more or less spherical, tapered at base, and eventually cylindrical with a flattened top. Flowers are bright satiny yellow in one rare variant orange-red, pericarpels and tube with dense white to brownish wool and bristles.
Parodia oxycostata is a common attractive dwarf clumping cactus that flowers at an early age. The stem is flattened globose to globose, grey-green, to 9 cm high and in diameter. Flowers are borne several at a time apically, bell-funnel shaped to sometimes urn-shaped, yellow, to 1 cm long and 4,5 cm in diameter; pericarpels and floral tubes with scales, white wool, and reddish-brown bristles in clusters.
Parodia penicillata is usually a solitary, small- growing, cactus with a stem that is pale green or bright green, spherical, later cylindrical, growing up to 40-5m cm tall and 9 cm wide. Flowers are funnel-shaped, orange-yellow or brilliant red in an apical circle.
Parodia procera is a cute lime green cactus with beautiful brownish-red spines and yellow to orange flowers.
Parodia ritteri is a cute columnar cactus with beautiful rose to whitish spines and blood-red to yellowish-brown flowers.
Parodia schumanniana is one of the larger species of the genus, with a dark green, rounded body densely clothed with yellowish to brownish spines growing up to 1.8 meters high. Large yellow blooms develop in summer at the crown of the plant and are followed by round green fruit.
Parodia schumanniana subsp. claviceps
Parodia schumanniana subsp. claviceps is less than 50 cm tall, areoles only 3-4 mm apart, and 1-3 central spines.
Parodia scopa is a silvery spined cactus often clustering with showy yellow flowers. The stems are almost hidden by soft tufts of bristly spines somewhat similar to small brushes. The mixture of white and red-brown spines, varying from plant to plant.
Parodia stuemeri is a distinct solitary species that at times may form small or huge clumps. The spines range from dusky-yellow to nearly black, and flowers may be yellowish, orange or reddish, to 4 cm long.
Parodia subterranea is an amazing white-topped cactus species from Bolivia that reputedly grows almost completely hidden below the soil (in habitat) and is extremely hard to find unless it is in bloom. The flower color is usually red (but ranging from yellowish-orange to dark purple).
Parodia tenuicylindrica is one of the smaller species in the genus with tiny yellow red-brown spines and white wool remembering of a Frailea. Flowers are 2.5-3 cm tall and 4-5 cm in diameter, bright lemon yellow, stigmas dark red. The pericarpel and flower tube with purple scars filled almost entirely with white wool and yellow bristles.
Parodia tuberculata is a simple or rarely clustering globular cactus species with small orange-red blooms.
Parodia warsii is a short columnar cactus usually solitary or slowly clustering related to the well-known Parodia leninghausii and similar to Parodia magnifica but with the bright green surface (not bluish-green). Stems became tall and erect as it ages (up to 60 cm tall, 30 cm in diameter). As typical with most cacti, this plant varies from specimen to specimen and whether it suckers or remains single makes each plant unique and fantastic when it gets a large growth size. Large and very floriferous, this species produces big yellow flowers with a satin sheen around the crown of the plant in the Summer.
Parodia werdermanniana is a poorly known species from Uruguay with delicate and colorful spines varying from yellowish-white to brown. Several of its color and morphological variant was early classified in garden trade as different independent varieties, but nowadays all this plant are considered part of a multiform species, where each variant form is linked to others by populations of plants with intermediate characteristics. The flowers are very showy, glossy yellow.