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|Nom commun||Mammillaria Mix|
|Germination||In general, Mammillaria are easy to grow, except for the small or miniature species which need constant attention or require grafting. First of all, the pots used need to be disinfected. Then, prepare the soil; first sift the earth and coco peat to take out all the pieces that are too big or too hard. The only difference with usual soil is the addition of one part of chippings (tiny gravel).
For sowing, use pots of 5x5x4.5 cm (LxlxH) that are filled up to 0.5 cm from the upper side; the soil is slightly tamped with a piece of wood, the labels are placed and the seeds are put in, and again slightly tamped. As soon as the pots are ready, place them in a tray containing boiled and cooled off rain water. Then, place the pots in a mini-greenhouse that is heated at about 28C during the day and that cools off at night to 18C. For the germination period, attention should be paid that the soils remains moistened.
The seeds will need lighting from 7 AM to 10 PM, (15 hours). Make sure that all the pots receive enough light. The seedlings should remain in there for about three months, afterwards, they won?t need the heat in the mini-greenhouse and you should start ventilating them and getting them acquainted with the adult living conditions. A first potting on is done after about 6 months, but that can be done much later as well, even after a year. Germination can take longer. Be patient!
Several taxa are threatened with extinction, at least in the wild, due to habitat destruction and especially over collecting for the pot plant trade. Cactus fanciers can assist conservation of these rare plants by choosing nursery-bred specimens. Besides helping to preserve rare plants, one can gain experience in growing and breeding cacti in general with nursery-bred rare mammillaris: several mammillaris are quite easy (for cacti) to grow from seeds. One such species, popular and widely available from nursery stock but endangered in the wild, is Mammillaria zeilmannian.
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