By Robert Dunkley – UK
(Photo of his plant by the Author)
© Copyright THE AMATEURS’ DIGEST(Click on the small photo to see it full size)
I have had my plant for about four years, it being a young seedling when I acquired it from a friend.
Notocactus uebelmannianus flowers at an early age. In fact it flowered the first year and quickly outgrew the small two inch pot it came in.
I grow most of my cacti in a mixture of John Innes compost mixed with course grit and perlite in the ratio of one part grit, one part Perlite to three parts John Innes. I also use slow release fertilizer on top of the soil before I top dress the soil under the plant with about one quarter inch of small washed pebbles as used in fish tanks. This keeps the base of the plant off the floor so to speak and prevents unsightly marking from the soil and also allows water to drain away from the base of the plant quickly. It also deters insects from laying eggs in the soil.
This is a fairly easy plant to grow. I keep mine slightly shaded from the full sun. It likes to be warm and damp in the summer. I like to water all my plants well and then let them dry out before watering them again. In winter I keep it dry at about 45 degrees.
I use systemic insecticide on all my cacti three times during the summer at equal intervals. If I should see any pests on the plants in the winter I treat them all with a good spraying of malathion. This is unconventional, but it works for me.
My Notocactus uebelmannianus is now in an eight inch pot (20cms), and I would say about 6-7 inches (15-18 cms across). It has shiny dark green tubercled ribs: white woolly areoles: compressed spines: and very large shiny wine-red to violet-red flowers. It is a smasher.