Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay
Gymnocalycium damsii, firstly described as Echinocactus damsii , is a very easy to grow and very free-flowering cactus.This is a plump species with somewhat rounded ribs. Flower colour is variable, typically white but in Bolivia they are usually more coloured, from pale pink to reddish violet. Typically it has shorter spines less than 12 mm long. In its resting state the plant assumes a characteristic deep brown pigmentation, while new growth emerges as a deep green colouration. It is a relatively rapidly growing and easily flowering species that will make clumps given the best conditions.
G. damsii (anisitsii) 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, but is likely to suffer from sun scorch or stunted growth if over exposed to direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day in summer. The soil is usually a rich sandy loam. Rains are frequent during the summer.
Needs moderate to copious waterings in summer, but do not overwater. Feed with a high potassium fertilizer in summer.
It is an excellent plant for garden rockery settings, desert type landscapes, patios and botanical gardens
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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