Gymnocalycium Baldianum - Cactus Seeds (FREE GIVE AWAY ,WHILE STOCK LAST)
G. baldianum is uniquely suited for growing locally. Dragon fruit trees (Hylocereus) is a tropical cactus species, so it flowers well locally. But most cacti need a winter's rest, so you won't see many flowering cacti in Malaysia. However, G. baldianum is a South American species that may be a natural hybrid, it does not really follow the winter's rest rule. If grown well, it will produce quite large (for cacti) nice red flowers when mature (stem at about 8cm in diameter), and may continue to flower almost all year round, with some rest in between.
G. baldianum is not the prettiest cactus species, most plant nurseries do not import it, so it is hard to find. But no other globular cacti species flowers quite so happily, so I would say it is a unique species, an easy-to-grow species that is too often overlooked, most Malaysians have no opportunity to enjoy them. I think I have at least 8 plants that flower, and I don't really bother to grow other cactus species any more.
The seeds are all harvested by me, and they can keep for a long time. Germination rate is about 50-75%. The commercial value of 1000 seeds is at least USD18
Gymnocalycium baldianum Growing from Seed
Germinates in 3 to 10 days.
Use a well-drained soil or soilless medium in plastic pots. Sow seeds on top of the soil, do not
cover the seeds. Some growers sprinkle coarse gravel on top. Keep the soil moist, but not
wet. Pots can be covered or kept in a closed container to retain moisture. Many growers keep
the pots indoors near a window.
Once seeds germinate, tiny roots will dig into the soil, anchoring the seedling, and the pots
can be uncovered to let in more air and light. Treat seedlings as tiny, fragile plants. If the soil
dries out, a seedling's tiny roots will be damaged and growth will be stunted. Prolonged wet
conditions may promote the growth of algae, a problem with soil-based mediums, and
seedlings may rot. Spray or water carefully so that the soil is never water-logged nor
Seedlings grow slowly and can be left in their pots for months. Seedlings can be fed with a
dilute liquid fertilizer. As they grow and start to look more like normal plants, they will better
tolerate normal conditions and can be gradually exposed to stronger sunlight.
Care of Plants
Originally from the highlands of Argentina, but widely commercialized as an easy-to-grow
cactus species. Mature plants are globular, 3–4 inches in diameter, usually non-branching.
While most cacti need a winter's rest to produce flower buds, this species produces big red
flowers at mature size, about 3 inches in diameter, in Malaysia. Almost all other species of
cacti will not flower easily in a tropical climate, but this species will do so happily, possibly
because it may be a natural hybrid and thus exhibit unique characteristics.
Use a well-drained soil, and apply a weak fertilizer regularly. It will grow fast with rich soil
and heavy feeding, but the spines will look weak. In its highland habitat, it grows among
grasses and shrubs in poor, rocky soil. For the best-looking plants, please read "The Stone
Eaters", a special issue of the Romanian cacti journal Xerophilia that discusses the use of
mineral rock mixtures (this journal is freely downloadable.)
Plants should be kept free of dust to avoid spider mite attacks by spraying them with water
regularly. Spraying during hot days is completely safe, as long as the stem dries quickly and
the soil is not water-logged.
A plant that does not get nutrients will grow weak and become susceptible to attack by insects
or it may rot and turn into mush. If your plant does not have a healthy green colour or the
lower stem looks yellowish, give it fertilizer feedings and supplement feedings with
magnesium sulphate sprays to avoid chlorosis. Often the yellowing is chlorosis, due to
insufficient magnesium (which is needed for chlorophyll) because of calcium-rich conditions.
Magnesium sulphate can be bought in pharmacies as Epsom salt.