'Bruch's Chin Cactus'
Gymnocalycium bruchii is a miniature cactus with flattened, blue-green, thick growing, clumping stems, up to 1.5 inches (4 cm) in diameter and up to 2.5 inches (6 cm) long. The spines are white, bristly, straight or curved. The flowers are bell to funnel-shaped, up to 2.5 inches (6 cm) wide, with an unusual shade of lavender-white in early spring, followed by green fruits.
Gymnocalycium bruchii is a summer grower species that is easy to cultivate. The plant tolerates extremely bright situations but enjoys filtered sunlight or afternoon shade, inside it needs bright light, and some direct sun. Tends to bronze in strong light, which encourages flowering and heavy spine production.
It likes very porous standard cactus mix soil. Prefer a low pH compost, avoid substrata rich in limestone; otherwise growth will stop altogether. Needs moderate to copious waterings in summer, but do not overwater (Rot prone), keep dry in winter. Feed with a high potassium fertilizer in summer.
It is an excellent plant for container growing. It always looks good and stays small. It is suitable in a rockery.
For watering cacti, the golden rule is to make sure the soil is completely dry before watering! This will stop the roots from rotting. It is advised to always use a pot with a drainage hole so that excess water can get drained out. If kept in a sunny area, you will need to water it once every week. If it is in a semi shaded or filtered light area, you might need to water it once in 2 weeks.
Cacti like soil that is well aerated and fast draining. You can fertilise the cactus in the summer months when it is in its growing season. During the winters it is best to cut back on any fertiliser and let the plant rest.
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