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Gymnocalycium baldianum (Dwarf Chin Cactus)

Dwarf Chin Cactus, Spider Cactus

AGM Award
Gymnocalycium baldianum, Chin Cactus, Dwarf Chin Cactus, Spider Cactus

Gymnocalycium baldianum, commonly known as Dwarf Chin Cactus or Spider Cactus, is a delightful, small cactus that is perfect for enthusiasts and beginners alike. Its compact size, attractive flowers, and ease of care make it a popular choice for a variety of indoor and outdoor settings.

Gymnocalycium baldianum: An In-depth Look

Gymnocalycium baldianum is admired for its small, globular form and its propensity to produce beautiful flowers. It possesses a smooth, green body with ribs and relatively few spines, making it a less intimidating species of cactus.

Native: Native to the mountainous regions of Argentina, this cactus is accustomed to rocky outcrops and grasslands.

Plant Type and Habit: Dwarf Chin Cactus is a slow-growing, solitary cactus that typically doesn’t branch or produce offsets. Its globular shape is characteristic of the Gymnocalycium genus.

Size: This dwarf cactus usually grows to about 2-4 inches in height and diameter (5-10 cm), making it an ideal choice for small spaces.

Flowers: Dwarf Chin Cactus is renowned for its large, showy flowers, which can be red, pink, or white. The flowers emerge from the top of the cactus. The flowering season typically occurs in late spring to early summer. Each flower lasts for several days. After flowering, it produces small, elongated fruits that are initially green, turning red when ripe.

Body: This is a globose cactus with a gray-green to blue-green hue. It features 8-10 ribbed areoles with 6-8 curved, pale grey spines, giving it a spider-like look. This species typically doesn’t divide but may form offsets.

Uses: Ideal as a houseplant, in cactus and succulent gardens, or as part of a rockery. It’s also a popular choice for container gardening and terrariums.

Award: Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Hardiness: It’s suited to USDA zones 8-11. As a desert plant, it prefers warm, dry conditions and is not frost-tolerant.

Toxicity: Dwarf Chin Cactus is not known to be toxic. However, caution should be exercised due to its spines.

Deer and Rabbit: It is resistant to deer and rabbits, mainly due to its spiny nature.

Drought: Highly drought-tolerant, reflecting its desert origins. It can survive long periods without water.

Invasiveness: This species is not considered invasive and is well-suited to controlled environments like pots and gardens.

Benefits: Its main benefits are ornamental, with its striking flowers adding aesthetic appeal. It’s also low-maintenance, requiring minimal care.

Growing Tips

Light: Full sun to light shade. Prefers bright, indirect sunlight; can tolerate some direct sun, but avoid prolonged exposure to intense midday sun to prevent scorching.

Soil: Requires well-draining cactus or succulent mix. Soil should allow for quick water drainage and aeration.

Water: Water sparingly, allowing the soil to completely dry out between waterings. Reduce watering in the winter during the cactus’s dormant period.

Fertilizer: Feed with a high potassium fertilizer in summer.

Pruning: Generally, no pruning is necessary. Remove any dead or damaged parts as needed for health and aesthetics.

Propagation: Propagate by seeds. Seedlings require gentle care and consistent moisture until established.

Pests and Diseases: Watch for pests like mealybugs. Be vigilant about root rot, which can occur in overly moist conditions.

Requirements

Hardiness 8 - 11
Plant Type Houseplants, Cactus & Succulents
Plant Family Cactaceae
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 2" - 4"
(5cm - 10cm)
Spread 2" - 4"
(5cm - 10cm)
Spacing 2" - 4"
(5cm - 10cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Plant of Merit
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Deer, Rabbit
Garden Uses Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 8 - 11
Plant Type Houseplants, Cactus & Succulents
Plant Family Cactaceae
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early)
Height 2" - 4"
(5cm - 10cm)
Spread 2" - 4"
(5cm - 10cm)
Spacing 2" - 4"
(5cm - 10cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Plant of Merit
Tolerance Drought, Dry Soil, Deer, Rabbit
Garden Uses Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?

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