Gymnocalycium, commonly called Chin Cactus, is a genus of about 70 South American species of cacti. The genus name Gymnocalycium (from Greek, "naked calyx") refers to the flower buds bearing no hair or spines.
Their main distribution area is Argentina, part of Uruguay, Paraguay, southern Bolivia, and part of Brazil. Most species are relatively small, varying from 2 to 6 inches (5 to 15 cm) in size. In cultivation, they are popular for their easy flowering habits, and the flowers are generally brightly colored. Where temperatures fall below 50 °F (10 °C), they must be cultivated under glass with heat.
Light: Some Gymnocalyciums are shade-seeking in the wild, among shrubs or grasses, while others grow completely exposed. Therefore, some will need a light shading from the sun in the hottest months, but to overdo, this will result in the loss of flowers.
Soil: The potting medium's balance should be sufficient to allow good drainage so that the plants do not sit in soggy soil for more than a day or two after watering.
Water: Watering in the summer months, while the plants are growing well can be frequent (weekly for small plants in small pots), but always allowing the compost nearly to dry out before rewatering. Watering in the winter months at all is unwise, and certainly not necessary. The difficult times are spring and autumn.
Those species which produce offsets can be readily propagated by cuttings. Gymnocalycium seed germinates well when fresh and will keep for a few years if stored in cold conditions.
It is not usually necessary to graft Gymnocalyciums, except for chlorophyll-less or strongly variegated plants. Still, it may be resorted to grow on seedlings of slow-growing species more quickly or propagate more easily solitary or cristate plants. Flat grafting seems to be the most commonly used these days, and it is the easiest to do. The best time for grafting is when both the stock (the bottom part, usually a ceroid cactus) and the scion (the top part, i.e., the Gymnocalycium you are grafting) are actively growing, generally from about April to August.
As much as any other cacti, Gymnocalyciums suffer from the persistent pest, mealybug, in both its forms. Gymnocalyciums, like other cacti, will suffer from fungal disorders if overwatered. Still, often only the root system will collapse, leaving you the job of cutting out any rot in the base of the plant and dusting with a fungicide powder before rerooting.
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Flower color pink the flower multi-petals
Well-drained soil, grow better in temperature above 10°C+, loose soil and well ventilated
How to care:
Let it dry between watering
What is the best way to start growing?
Plant / Seeds / Vegetative reproduction
Is it necessary to graft or use vegetative reproduction?
No, but when grow from seeds it’s harder than to grow from pups
Difficulties or problems when growing:
Spring to summer in hardiness zone 10a, spring to autumn in hardiness zone 10b-11, possible all the year in hardiness zone 12
How to plant:
Plant in well-drained soil when there is problem with a lot of rains need to grow the plant with raising bad
Pests and diseases:
How to prune:
No special requirements
Size of the plant:
1-15 cm (1-6 inches), in moon cactus if the base of the graft depend what you choose to use
Growth speed in optimal condition:
Watering requirement – How often to water:
Small amount of water, let it dry between watering and do not over water if it’s grow in pot possible to put the water from down to soak the water and let it dry
Light conditions in optimal condition for growing:
Half Shade better morning sun / Full Shade with a lot of light
Is it possible to grow indoor as houseplant?
How to care indoor:
Locate the plant in a place without high humidity, if it’s cold in the winter choose a place with heater next to the plant (do not burn the plant), when growing indoor the plant require less water, unless the plant next to heater or air condition
Growing is also possible in a pots, planter, flowerpot, containers:
Yes, pot or clay pot that will be 20-50% bigger (not need deep because the root shallow) for good drainage that important use in the bottom of the container with little rocks like: gravel, lava rocks or pebbles, soil should be cactus potting mix, make holes in the container for good drainage and need to take care that the soil will be well ventilated
Switch the soil after few years:
Removing the cacti from their pots, take paper and put slowly the plant on the paper, possible to “help” the cactus with the hands better to cover with papers or plastic wrap, after that prepare again the “little rocks” in the bottom, put part of the cactus potting mix, take the plant with and locate it in the new place, if it’s small take the soil mix with spoon and organize it (not to get the spines in hands) if it’s bigger use small garden shovel and squeeze the soil that the cactus will be stable and won’t fall, sometimes when it’s not stable better to add some stick that will hold the cactus.
Spring / Summer
General information about the flower
Pink multi-petals flowers
Sow in in half sun or full shade, better sandy soil or well ventilated soil like cactus potting mix and good drainage is important
Saving seeds and care until sowing:
Dry and dark place in room temperature
Spring but possible in autumn and winter in hot climate, in summer put it in half shade, in hardiness zone 10 spring to summer, hardiness zone 11 spring to autumn, hardiness zone 12 all year
How to plant:
Well drained soil and potting mix or sandy soil
10*20cm, (4-8 inches) or for transplanting 2*2cm (1*1 inch)
Depth of Sowing:
Conditions for seeds germinate:
Moist soil but do not over water and don’t let it dry
Watering requires for Seeds:
Small amount of water, lightly moist soil and don’t let it dry
Condition of seedling:
Half sun or full shade and don’t overwater
Growing speed of the plant: Slow growing plants
Requirements for watering the plant: Small amounts of water
No matter how many cacti you already have, there is always room for more! If you want to grow Chin Cacti, you should know that they are pretty, low-maintenance, and most of them will forgive your mistakes.
Chin cacti have all these traits and make for a great lifetime companion as long as their environment mimics their natural habitat. Moreover, as a thank you for your efforts and unconditional love, these beauties will exhibit gorgeous flowers that will bring a nice dash of color into your surroundings.