How to Grow Parodia

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Parodia is a globe or ball-shaped cacti. They produce numerous blooms once they reach 3 to 5 years old. Lage flowers are in shades of red, yellow, and orange.

Parodia remains small, not growing to more than 10 inches tall. They grow individually or form small groups. Parodia is ideal for dish gardens, windowsills, and greenhouses.

Parodia spines have many shapes and colors. The ribs are arranged spirally. The center spines are straight, bent, or hooklike,

Parodias grow well in an average, fast-draining soil mix. They need frequent watering during the growing season. They are sensitive to cold winter temperatures and should be protected during the winter dormancy period.

Get to know Parodia

  • Plant type: Cactus, ball cactus
  • Hardiness temperature: 30℉ (-1.1℃)
  • Shape and size: Small with a hemispherical shape; spines have many shapes and colors; ribs are arranged spirally and divied into tubercles; center spies are straight, bent or hooklike.
  • Flowers: red, orange, or yellow flowers grow in multi[ples nar the crown of the plant; flowers remain opern for a few days
  • Bloom time: Summer
  • Common name: Ball cactus
  • Genus name: Parodia
  • Family name: Cactaceae
  • Origin: South America

Planting Parodia

  • Grow Parodia in a sunny and airy place.
  • Grow Parodia in slighlty humous, slightly acidic soil with a bit fo sand, perlite, or pumice stone.
  • Parodia should be protected from winter chill.

How to water and feed Parodia

  • Water Parodia regulalry; long dry periods and too much watrer can damage Parodia.
  • Feed Parodia during the growing season with a cactus fertilizer.

Parodia care

  • Growing Parodia from seed is difficult.

Parodia species to grow

  • Parodia aureispina (tom thumb). Small bright green spherical body with hooked, golden spines; bears large yellow-orange flowers.
  • P. mutabilis. Fast-growing; central spines needle-sharp, hooked, and red; early-blooming species has yellow flowers, often with red throats.
  • P. sanguiniflora (crimson parodia). Spiral, hooked, central spines are reddish; large brilliant red flowers appear in summer.

Written by Stephen Albert

Stephen Albert is a horticulturist, master gardener, and certified nurseryman who has taught at the University of California for more than 25 years. He holds graduate degrees from the University of California and the University of Iowa. His books include Vegetable Garden Grower’s Guide, Vegetable Garden Almanac & Planner, Tomato Grower’s Answer Book, and Kitchen Garden Grower’s Guide. His Vegetable Garden Grower’s Masterclass is available online. has more than 10 million visitors each year.

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