Mammillaria vetula Description
Mammillaria vetula subsp. gracilis ‘Arizona Snowcap’ is a small cactus, up to 4 inches (10 cm) tall and up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) wide. The stems are cylindrical, dark green, almost concealed by the spines, up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) long and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter, and branching profusely by sides. Spines are short, white and thick. The flowers are small, cream-yellow with pinkish or brownish midstripe, up to 0.7 inch (17 mm) long and up to 0.5 inch (12 mm) wide.
How to Grow and Care
To encourage better flowering, allow the plants to enjoy a cooling period in the winter and suspend watering. Unlike many other cacti, which use their ribs as storage devices, the Mammillaria feature raised tubercles, from which spines emerge. When you water, the tubercles will expand to allow for increased water storage. The flowers emerge from the axils of these tubercles on the previous year’s growth, which accounts for their interesting halo effect. It’s imperative that the cactus is not exposed to prolonged dampness and sitting water. Never let your cactus sit in a dish of water. Lastly, make sure to fertilizer during the growing season for the best results.
Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot a cacti, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot…
Cultivation: Readily forms many offsets from sides and top. It does best in a mineral soil, good drainage is essential. Water sparingly during the summer months and keep dry in winter. It is a slow growing plant and once established, it will be content in its position and with its soil for years. Extremely hardy, can tolerate full sun, long periods of dryness and light frost (-4° C). It can also grows in moderate shade, and a plant that has been growing in shade should be slowly hardened off before placing it in full sun as the plant will be severely scorched if moved too suddenly from shade into sun.
Propagation: It is propagated exclusively from cutting during spring or summer.