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An adorable addition to any sunny windowsill, it is easy to see how Mammillaria boscana ‘Powder Puff’ got its common name. The rounded, bluish green stems are covered in tubercles from which a profusion of white hairs emerge, coating the entire plant in a puffy layer of cottony texture – while reaching out even beyond this layer is a series of rusty brown spines that curve at the end, similar to a shepherd’s crook. Last but not least, during the spring and summer months a ring of dusty pink blooms will surround the apex of the plant. Altogether, these elements create a delicate, even feminine, aesthetic not common for a genus of plants more often known for its prickly spines!
Reaching only 3 inches tall and wide at maturity, ‘Powder Puff’ prefers plenty of bright or even direct sunlight and a thorough but infrequent watering schedule – both of which help to replicate its native Mexican environment, in which it often grows in conditions as rigorous as cliff sides! A relatively quick grower for a cactus, ‘Powder Puff’ will soon begin to produce offsets, which can either be left in place to form a mass or cut away and re-rooted within their own pots.
A porous soil mixture within a well-draining pot, coupled with ample airflow around the stems and soil surface, rounds out the key care requirements for this petite variety. During the winter months, while cool weather (45-55 degrees) can help encourage spring blooms, freezing temperatures will cause permanent damage to the stems – so take care to protect ‘Powder Puff’ from frost!
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