Although this small globulargradually becomes taller with age, it never becomes really large. Most Parodia will flower freely on and off throughout the Summer. P. mutabilis is well worth cultivating for the beauty of its spination, although it will produce bright yellow flowers from the crown in Summer. These may measure as much as 5cm (2in) across, and some may have red throats.
Most Parodia are comparatively new to cultivation, being very rare 30 years ago. There are now a great many different species, but many are so similar that microscopic examination is needed to observe the supposed differences. They are not particularly easy to grow, but one or two are worth including in a cactus collection, as they are very attractive plants.
In Winter, ensure that Parodia mutabilis is kept at a minimum temperature of 10°C (50°F).
Like most, Parodia mutabilis should be kept in a bright, sunny position at all times, and an ideal situation is to place it in a South-facing window. This attractive cactus will benefit if provided with good ventilation, but it should not be exposed to any draughts Because of its love of sunny positions, keep a careful check on the to ensure that it does not dry out, as this may cause the plant to lose its roots, as will keeping it too wet.
In Winter, water sparingly; in Summer, water thoroughly, then allow the compost to dry before watering again.
Coming from arid areas, P. mutabilis benefits from a dry atmosphere.
Feed this cactus regularly every 1-2 weeks during the Spring and Summer. Use a cactus food, or one recommended for tomatoes at about half strength.
For best results, grow Parodia mutabilis in a free-draining compost containing about one third grit. Repot this plant at least every two years.
Propagate Parodia mutabilis by separating offsets from around the parent plant in Summer. Allow the offsets to dry for a few days, then pot-up in a free-draining, peat-based compost.
Mealy Bugs may hide among the closely-packed spines of Parodia. Regular inspection for these pests is worthwhile, allowing them to be spotted early when it is an easy matter to correct them. Dissolve the pests with a cotton bud or cocktail stick and methylated spirit, or use a systemic insecticide.