Parodia Cactus Information: Learn About Parodia Ball Cactus Plants

Multiple Parodia Cacti
ball cactus
(Image credit: Katrin_Timoff)

You may not be familiar with the Parodia family of cactus, but it is certainly well worth the effort of growing one once you learn more about it. Read on for some Parodia cactus information and get the basics of growing these ball cactus plants.

What is Parodia Cactus?

Native to the high regions of South America, Parodia is a is genus consisting of about 50 species ranging from small, ball cacti to tall, narrow varieties reaching heights of about 3 feet (1 m.). Cup-shaped flowers of yellow, pink, orange, or red appear on the upper part of mature plants.

According to Parodia cactus information, Parodia is suitable for growing outdoors where winter temperatures never drop below 50 F. (10 C.). In cool climates, the smaller Parodia ball cactus, also known as silver ball or snowball, makes a great indoor plant. Be careful, though, as members of the Parodia family tend to be very spiny.

Tips on Growing Ball Cactus

If you’re growing ball cactus outdoors, the plant should be in gritty, well-drained soil. Place indoor plants in a container filled with a potting soil formulated for cacti and succulents, or a mixture of regular potting mix and coarse sand.

Place Parodia ball cactus in bright, indirect sunlight. Outdoor plants do well in a spot with morning and evening sun but afternoon shade, especially in hot climates.

Water Parodia cactus regularly throughout the growing season. The soil should be kept slightly moist, but cactus plants, either indoors or outdoors, should never sit in soggy soil. Cut back watering during the winter, providing only enough to keep the soil from becoming bone dry.

If possible, place indoor plants in a cool room during the winter months, as Parodia is more likely to flower with a cooling period.

Feed ball cactus regularly during spring and summer, using a fertilizer for cactus and succulents. Withhold fertilizer during fall and winter.

New Parodia ball cactus plants are easily propagated from offsets growing at the base of mature plants. Just pull or cut an offset, then place it on a paper towel for a few days until the cut forms a callus. Plant the offset in a small pot filled with cactus potting mix.

Mary H. Dyer

A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.