GOLDEN BALL CACTUS/Parodia Leninghausii
This beautiful, tall-growing, goldenfrom Brazil is easy to grow and should be in every collection of . Eventually, it will grow to about 1m (3ft) tall, but this will probably take almost a lifetime. As a small plant, it is equally attractive, its soft golden spines being arranged neatly along its ribs. As it grows larger, it starts to make white fluffy wool in the growing point and gradually tilts its face towards the sun. Plants need to be about 15cm (6in) tall (five years old) before they will produce their large, papery, golden flowers, which appear in Summer. Larger plants also offset freely at the base, making clusters of smaller stems. This is a fairly trouble-free and easy Cactus to grow. Despite its common name, it is, in fact, columnar in habit.
The Golden Ball Cactus is easily grown and quite tolerant of low temperatures if kept fairly dry. Like most plants, it will benefit from good ventilation, but not draughts.
This Cactus requires a bright situation at all times. It will grow happily if placed in a South-facing window.
Water well during the Summer and then allow theto dry out before watering again. During the Autumn and Winter, keep the Golden Ball Cactus fairly dry, giving only enough water to prevent shrivelling. This plant will soon rot if kept wet at lower temperatures.
Coming from very arid areas, this plant will benefit from a dry atmosphere.
Cacti andare hungry plants and should be fed regularly every 1 – 2 weeks during the Spring and Summer. Use a food or one recommended for tomatoes at about half strength.
The Golden Ball Cactus will do best in a well-drained compost containing about one third grit.
Because even an old plant may only be about 8cm (3in) in diameter, it tends not to outgrow its pot very quickly. Consequently, in many collections, this plant becomes underpotted and the compost stale. Then it fails to grow, looking tired and neglected. The plant may often have wrinkles around its girth, indicating a lack of food and water. Repot this plant every other year into fresh compost, which will ensure that it grows well. A plant in good condition is very attractive and worth the extra effort.