Ball Cactus &
Ball Cactus &
Ball Cactus &

The stunning ball cactus, also known as the Parodia Magnifica, is a vibrant member of the Parodia genus. Native to Brazil and Uruguay, it is also known as balloon cactus, Eriocactus magnificus, Notocactus magnificus, blue ball cactus, green ball cactus, and silver ball cactus. It has its common name, ball cactus, because of its spherical body; giving it the appearance of a little ball. 

The Parodia magnifica stem contains sharp ribs that are lined with golden, bristly spines. As it matures, it develops a bluer, more glaucous tone and can sometimes offset and form a cluster. The ball cactus can grow up to 12 inches tall and 18 inches wide and has a vibrant green color, which adds a pop of color to any succulent collection. 

The flowers of the ball cactus bloom in late spring or early summer. These vibrant yellow, red, orange, and pink funnel-shaped flowers are quite large compared to the size of the cactus balloon. These flowers attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, adding a touch of life to your garden. It is a relatively rapidly growing and better flowering species that will make clumps if given the best conditions. 

For propagation of the Parodia Magnifica, you can easily do this through offsets or seeds. Offsets are small, baby cacti that grow alongside the main plant. If you choose to propagate from seeds, sow them in a well-draining cactus mix and provide them with warmth and sunlight. Parodia magnificais an easy-to-grow ornamental species suited for any well-drained soil in half or full sun. 

Watering Needs 

The ball cactus is a drought-tolerant plant; and has specific watering requirements to thrive. It's important to remember that ball cacti are adapted to arid environments and have evolved to store water in their fleshy stems. 

To water your ball cactus, it's best to follow the "soak and dry" method. This means thoroughly watering the ball cactus until water drains out of the bottom of the pot and then allowing the soil to completely dry out before watering again. Never let your ball cactus sit in a dish of water. 

During the growing season, which is typically spring and summer, you can water your ball cactus every 2-3 weeks, depending on the temperature and humidity levels. In contrast, during the dormant period in winter, you'll want to reduce watering to once every 4-6 weeks, as the cactus requires less water during this cooling period of time. Keep your plant dry in winter. However, this spurge will tolerate dryness and can even thrive in poor, dry soils, but it does better when grown in nutrient-rich dry soil with regular watering. 

Like many other cacti species, it's important to avoid overwatering your ball cactus, as this can lead to rotted or dead roots and other issues. Remember, it's better to be underwater than overwater, as cacti are more tolerant of drought than excess moisture. No water should ever be allowed to stand around the roots. 

Light Requirements 

This ball cactus needs full sun but tolerates moderate shade, and a Parodia cactus that has been growing in the shade should be slowly hardened off before placing it in full sun as the cactus will be severely scorched if moved too suddenly from shade into sun. 

Ideally, place your ball cactus near a south-facing window or in a location where it can receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. The intense sunlight helps the cactus grow and maintain its compact, round shape. 

However, be cautious of scorching your cactus with too much intense sunlight during the hottest part of the day. If you notice signs of sunburn, such as brown or yellow patches on the cactus, you may need to provide some shade or move it to a spot with filtered sunlight.

Remember, finding the right balance of light is crucial for the health of your Parodia magnifica. So, keep an eye on it and make adjustments as needed. 

Optimal Soil & Fertilizer Needs 

The Parodia magnifica ball cactus favors very airy, sandy soil that drains well. Planting them in ordinary soil will result in compacted roots, stunted growth, and, most likely, root rot. Instead, make or buy a well-draining potting mix, or ideally, use our specialized cactus potting mix that contains 5 natural substrates and mycorrhizae to promote the development of a strong root system that helps your ball cactus to thrive.

As for fertilizing, a general rule of thumb is to feed your ball cactus once a year during the growing season, which is typically spring. Use a water-soluble NPK natural fertilizer specifically made for cacti, with an equal mix of 5-10-5. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to burnt roots or excessive growth. Less is more when it comes to fertilizing your Parodia cacti.

Hardiness Zones & More 

This ball cactus cannot tolerate any frost, and it can be difficult to get it to look its best without a good amount of heat. It can be grown outdoors in frost-free climates. It is typically suited for zones 9-11, which are generally warmer regions. These cacti are native to desert areas and can handle hot temperatures with ease. However, they may struggle in colder climates, so it's best to protect them from frost and extreme cold. 

They prefer the warm season and temperatures between 70-90°F during the day and slightly cooler temperatures at night. That being said, they can survive temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit, though it is not recommended that they be kept that cold for very long. 

In terms of humidity, ball cacti are adapted to low-humidity environments, similar to their native desert habitats. The Parodia magnifica can tolerate dry air and doesn't require high levels of humidity. In fact, excessive moisture in the air can increase the risk of fungal diseases. So, it's best to provide them with well-ventilated areas and avoid humid conditions.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to add something truly exceptional to your garden. Order your very own Parodia magnifica ball cactus today! If you can successfully grow cacti and succulents, you should be able to grow the popular Parodia without too much trouble. 

Bloom Season Summer
Botanical Name Notocactus magnificus
Dormancy Winter
Family Cactaceae
Flower Color Gold (yelloworange)
Growth Habit Columnar
Mature Size 2436 in
Native Area Southern brazil
Resistance 6.7 °c

Pests & Common Problems of Ball Cactus

Ball cacti are generally low-maintenance plants, but they can still fall victim to a few common pests and problems. These are: 

Root rot: Overwatering or poor drainage can lead to root rot in the ball cactus. To prevent this, make sure to use well-draining soil and water the plant sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Rot is only a minor problem with Parodia cacti if the plants are watered and aired correctly. 

Sunburn: Ball cacti can get sunburned if exposed to intense sunlight for long periods, especially during hot summer months. To protect them, provide some shade during the hottest parts of the day or move them to a spot with filtered sunlight. 

Pest infestations: Apart from mealybugs, the ball cactus can also be susceptible to other pests like spider mites and scale insects. Regularly inspect your plant for any signs of pests and treat them accordingly using appropriate methods. 

Remember, prevention is key! Providing the right growing conditions for a new plant, such as well-drained soil, proper watering, and adequate sunlight, can help keep your ball cactus healthy and pest-free. 

FAQs - Ball Cactus Plant

How do you take care of a ball cactus? 

Taking care of a ball cactus is pretty easy! Just give it lots of bright, indirect sunlight and water it sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Make sure to use well-drained soil and keep it in a warm temperature range.  

During the growing season, you can give it diluted cactus fertilizer once a year during the spring. Remember to observe its specific needs and adjust accordingly. 

What are the unique features of the ball cactus? 

The ball cactus has some unique features that make it stand out!  Its spherical shape and compact size of about 18 inches wide give it a stunning and charming appearance. It's covered in spines, which not only add to its distinctive look but also serve as a defense mechanism.  

Some ball cacti even produce vibrant yellow flowers that bloom from the top of the ball-shaped body, adding a pop of color to their already adorable appearance. 

How often do you water ball cacti? 

The ball cactus requires specific watering because of its adapted nature in arid environments. To thrive, follow the "soak and dry" method, watering every 2-3 weeks during spring and summer and reducing watering to once every 4-6 weeks during winter.  

Keep the soil dry, but avoid overwatering, as cacti are more tolerant of drought. Avoid allowing water to stand around the roots, as they can tolerate dryness. 

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Ball Cactus 'Parodia magnifica'

sku: 455

14 reviews
Regular price$ 8.25
/
Shipping calculated at checkout.

Size
Height:
Diameter:

Please note: All Landscape Ready plants that are in a 6-inch pot or larger WILL NOT come with a pot as it will be shipped bare root.

  • In stock, ready to ship
  • Inventory on the way

Please note: Our large plants are many years old, and as a result, they might have minor scaring but will arrive 100% healthy and looking great.

Please note: Our large plants are shipped bare root. They are also many years old, and as a result, they might have minor scaring but will arrive healthy and looking great.

If you live in a cold climate and are expecting temperatures below 40 degrees within the next five days after placing your order, we highly recommend adding a heat pack to your order. If you do not order a heat pack, we do not send one with your order.

BUY HEAT PACKS HERE

**FREE HEAT PACK WITH ORDERS OVER $50 before taxes and shipping- BY REQUEST ONLY, PLEASE MAKE A NOTE ON YOUR ORDER.

To prevent plants from freezing while in transit, orders placed for areas with extreme severe freezing temperatures will be held for shipment until it is safe to ship.

Plants that are in 3.5" pots and smaller will be shipped in its pot to prevent any damage to the roots. Any plant that is 6" and larger WILL NOT come with a pot as it will be shipped bare root.

Depending on the species and season, you will receive a very similar plant to the one in the picture. It may or may not be blooming at the time of your purchase.

We ship via USPS Priority Mail, and we calculate the shipping cost based on the weight and volume of your purchase. Care instructions are included in every package you order. Please allow us up to 3 business days to process your order. Depending on your location, we will ship the plants on a certain day to avoid transit time during weekends or holidays. If you wish to receive your order on a specific date, or have special instructions, please add a note on your order. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us at any time.

  • Description
  • Key Plant Features

The stunning ball cactus, also known as the Parodia Magnifica, is a vibrant member of the Parodia genus. Native to Brazil and Uruguay, it is also known as balloon cactus, Eriocactus magnificus, Notocactus magnificus, blue ball cactus, green ball cactus, and silver ball cactus. It has its common name, ball cactus, because of its spherical body; giving it the appearance of a little ball. 

The Parodia magnifica stem contains sharp ribs that are lined with golden, bristly spines. As it matures, it develops a bluer, more glaucous tone and can sometimes offset and form a cluster. The ball cactus can grow up to 12 inches tall and 18 inches wide and has a vibrant green color, which adds a pop of color to any succulent collection. 

The flowers of the ball cactus bloom in late spring or early summer. These vibrant yellow, red, orange, and pink funnel-shaped flowers are quite large compared to the size of the cactus balloon. These flowers attract pollinators like bees and butterflies, adding a touch of life to your garden. It is a relatively rapidly growing and better flowering species that will make clumps if given the best conditions. 

For propagation of the Parodia Magnifica, you can easily do this through offsets or seeds. Offsets are small, baby cacti that grow alongside the main plant. If you choose to propagate from seeds, sow them in a well-draining cactus mix and provide them with warmth and sunlight. Parodia magnificais an easy-to-grow ornamental species suited for any well-drained soil in half or full sun. 

Watering Needs 

The ball cactus is a drought-tolerant plant; and has specific watering requirements to thrive. It's important to remember that ball cacti are adapted to arid environments and have evolved to store water in their fleshy stems. 

To water your ball cactus, it's best to follow the "soak and dry" method. This means thoroughly watering the ball cactus until water drains out of the bottom of the pot and then allowing the soil to completely dry out before watering again. Never let your ball cactus sit in a dish of water. 

During the growing season, which is typically spring and summer, you can water your ball cactus every 2-3 weeks, depending on the temperature and humidity levels. In contrast, during the dormant period in winter, you'll want to reduce watering to once every 4-6 weeks, as the cactus requires less water during this cooling period of time. Keep your plant dry in winter. However, this spurge will tolerate dryness and can even thrive in poor, dry soils, but it does better when grown in nutrient-rich dry soil with regular watering. 

Like many other cacti species, it's important to avoid overwatering your ball cactus, as this can lead to rotted or dead roots and other issues. Remember, it's better to be underwater than overwater, as cacti are more tolerant of drought than excess moisture. No water should ever be allowed to stand around the roots. 

Light Requirements 

This ball cactus needs full sun but tolerates moderate shade, and a Parodia cactus that has been growing in the shade should be slowly hardened off before placing it in full sun as the cactus will be severely scorched if moved too suddenly from shade into sun. 

Ideally, place your ball cactus near a south-facing window or in a location where it can receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. The intense sunlight helps the cactus grow and maintain its compact, round shape. 

However, be cautious of scorching your cactus with too much intense sunlight during the hottest part of the day. If you notice signs of sunburn, such as brown or yellow patches on the cactus, you may need to provide some shade or move it to a spot with filtered sunlight.

Remember, finding the right balance of light is crucial for the health of your Parodia magnifica. So, keep an eye on it and make adjustments as needed. 

Optimal Soil & Fertilizer Needs 

The Parodia magnifica ball cactus favors very airy, sandy soil that drains well. Planting them in ordinary soil will result in compacted roots, stunted growth, and, most likely, root rot. Instead, make or buy a well-draining potting mix, or ideally, use our specialized cactus potting mix that contains 5 natural substrates and mycorrhizae to promote the development of a strong root system that helps your ball cactus to thrive.

As for fertilizing, a general rule of thumb is to feed your ball cactus once a year during the growing season, which is typically spring. Use a water-soluble NPK natural fertilizer specifically made for cacti, with an equal mix of 5-10-5. Be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to burnt roots or excessive growth. Less is more when it comes to fertilizing your Parodia cacti.

Hardiness Zones & More 

This ball cactus cannot tolerate any frost, and it can be difficult to get it to look its best without a good amount of heat. It can be grown outdoors in frost-free climates. It is typically suited for zones 9-11, which are generally warmer regions. These cacti are native to desert areas and can handle hot temperatures with ease. However, they may struggle in colder climates, so it's best to protect them from frost and extreme cold. 

They prefer the warm season and temperatures between 70-90°F during the day and slightly cooler temperatures at night. That being said, they can survive temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit, though it is not recommended that they be kept that cold for very long. 

In terms of humidity, ball cacti are adapted to low-humidity environments, similar to their native desert habitats. The Parodia magnifica can tolerate dry air and doesn't require high levels of humidity. In fact, excessive moisture in the air can increase the risk of fungal diseases. So, it's best to provide them with well-ventilated areas and avoid humid conditions.

Don't miss out on this opportunity to add something truly exceptional to your garden. Order your very own Parodia magnifica ball cactus today! If you can successfully grow cacti and succulents, you should be able to grow the popular Parodia without too much trouble. 

Bloom Season Summer
Botanical Name Notocactus magnificus
Dormancy Winter
Family Cactaceae
Flower Color Gold (yelloworange)
Growth Habit Columnar
Mature Size 2436 in
Native Area Southern brazil
Resistance 6.7 °c

Pests & Common Problems of Ball Cactus

Ball cacti are generally low-maintenance plants, but they can still fall victim to a few common pests and problems. These are: 

Root rot: Overwatering or poor drainage can lead to root rot in the ball cactus. To prevent this, make sure to use well-draining soil and water the plant sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Rot is only a minor problem with Parodia cacti if the plants are watered and aired correctly. 

Sunburn: Ball cacti can get sunburned if exposed to intense sunlight for long periods, especially during hot summer months. To protect them, provide some shade during the hottest parts of the day or move them to a spot with filtered sunlight. 

Pest infestations: Apart from mealybugs, the ball cactus can also be susceptible to other pests like spider mites and scale insects. Regularly inspect your plant for any signs of pests and treat them accordingly using appropriate methods. 

Remember, prevention is key! Providing the right growing conditions for a new plant, such as well-drained soil, proper watering, and adequate sunlight, can help keep your ball cactus healthy and pest-free. 

FAQs - Ball Cactus Plant

How do you take care of a ball cactus? 

Taking care of a ball cactus is pretty easy! Just give it lots of bright, indirect sunlight and water it sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Make sure to use well-drained soil and keep it in a warm temperature range.  

During the growing season, you can give it diluted cactus fertilizer once a year during the spring. Remember to observe its specific needs and adjust accordingly. 

What are the unique features of the ball cactus? 

The ball cactus has some unique features that make it stand out!  Its spherical shape and compact size of about 18 inches wide give it a stunning and charming appearance. It's covered in spines, which not only add to its distinctive look but also serve as a defense mechanism.  

Some ball cacti even produce vibrant yellow flowers that bloom from the top of the ball-shaped body, adding a pop of color to their already adorable appearance. 

How often do you water ball cacti? 

The ball cactus requires specific watering because of its adapted nature in arid environments. To thrive, follow the "soak and dry" method, watering every 2-3 weeks during spring and summer and reducing watering to once every 4-6 weeks during winter.  

Keep the soil dry, but avoid overwatering, as cacti are more tolerant of drought. Avoid allowing water to stand around the roots, as they can tolerate dryness. 

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Be the first to share your unique experience using the product.