Alphabetical Plant Listing

Parodia magnifica (Balloon Cactus)

Balloon Cactus, Green Ball Cactus, Blue Ball Cactus, Eriocactus magnificus, Notocactus magnificus


Parodia magnifica (Balloon Cactus) is a globose to cylindrical bluish-green cactus with 11-15 straight ribs edged with rows of bristly golden yellow spines, 1 in. long (2 cm), that create a pattern of vertical stripes around the plant. At first solitary, the plant forms a large clustering mound over time. Brilliant sulphur-yellow, funnel-shaped flowers, 2 in. wide (5 cm), are produced in summer through early fall. Sitting at the top of each stem, they give way to tiny, round, pink fruits. Parodia magnifica is an easy to grow ornamental species that is suited for any well drained soil and will grow happily in windowsill pots for years.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Slowly grows up to 12 in. tall (30 cm).
  • Easily grown in airy, slightly acid, well-drained soils in full sun or bright filtered light. While this cactus needs full sun, it tolerates moderate shade. Water moderately when in growth. Make sure you let the soil dry out between waterings. No water should ever be allowed to stand around the roots. Do not wet the body of this plant while in sunlight to avoid sun burning, fungal infections or death. Keep the plant dry in winter.
  • Apply a low nitrogen liquid fertilizer every 6-8 weeks. Drought tolerant.
  • Propagate by seed at 66-75°F (19-24°C) in spring and summer.
  • Virtually disease free. Keep an eye out for mealybugs and, while flowering, aphids.
  • Native to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina.

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Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Cactus - Succulents
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 10" – 1' (25cm – 30cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Garden Uses Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden

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Shutterstock, (c) Gerhard Bock, SucculentsandMore.com

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.


Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Cactus - Succulents
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 10" – 1' (25cm – 30cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Garden Uses Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden

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