Mammillaria polythele 'Toluca'
Botanical Name — Mammillaria polythele 'Toluca'
Plant Family — Cactaceae
Mammillaria polythele 'Toluca' is a nursery produced cultivar. It was cultivated to have no spines or one or two small spines per areole. Mammillaria polythele is native to Mexico.
- These cacti prefer lots of sun, at least five hours of direct sun daily.
- Indoors a south facing window is ideal. Outdoors, place them in a spot where they will get plenty of sun exposure. If you are growing this plant outdoors be sure to provide it with light shade to protect it from intense, peak afternoon sun.
- Mammillaria polythele 'Toluca' do best in high temperatures and low humidity. Ideal temperatures are above 70 ºF. These plants should be brought indoors when nighttime temperatures fall below 50 ºF. They are a little frost hardy down to 32ºF.
- Mammillaria polythele 'Toluca' prefer to stay on the dry side. In the summer water them only when the soil has dried out entirely. Always err on the side of underwatering. They are built to withstand drought, and overwatering is one of the quickest ways to kill them.
- During the winter it’s safe to cut back on watering entirely. This will encourage flowering during the spring!
- These plants require a gritty, sharply draining soil mix. Amend regular potting soil with sand or fine pumice up to 50% to improve drainage and soil texture.
- These plants will typically flower in mid-spring, producing a “crown” of dark red flowers around the growing tip of the plant.
- To encourage flowering, regularly water your Mammillaria polythele 'Toluca' during the spring and summer, cutting back on water during the fall and suspending water entirely during the winter. Be sure to give your cactus plenty of sun, as this is necessary for flowering.
- Fertilization of this plant is generally not necessary. If you want to refresh your soil or give your plant a boost during the growing season, you can feed it monthly with a fertilizer for cacti and succulents. Fertilize only during the spring and summer, when the plant is actively growing.
- This plant can be propagated by offsets or by seed.
- These plants are not especially susceptible to pests or diseases. Keep an eye out for pests that commonly affect houseplants, such as scale and mealybugs. Also look out for any unusual spotting that may be a sign of an infection.
- Treat infested plants with diluted neem oil. If plants are infected with a bacterial or fungal disease, prune away any affected parts of the plant.
Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)
- Little maintenance is required to keep these plants happy. They should only need to be repotted once every two to three years. When transplanting, select a pot that is at least two to three inches wider in diameter to give the plant plenty of room to grow.
- This plant is not reported to be toxic, still, to be safe, it is a good idea to keep out of reach of pets and children.