Fat plants

Mother-in-law's pillow


Question: an accented scallop


I have a small pillow for my mother-in-law of two years, during the winter she lives at home and in the summer in the garden where for several hours she is in the sun, I noticed he has grown around him six children that grow quickly. Should I take them off? Thanks

Mother-in-law's pillow: Answer: an accented scallop


Dear Paola,
it is commonly called pillow of mother-in-law a cactus of Mexican origin, belonging to the species echinocactus grusonii; it seems strange that your cactus is really an echinocactus, because these globose cacti tend to acclimatize with great difficulty, and even in nature usually one sees adult specimens, which are many years old, and which have in the vicinity only specimens born from seed; if you do an online search you will see many photos of single echinocactus, and rare cases of echinocactus with basal, or apical, shoots, which are generally very large, and therefore have dozens of years. Try to check that your own is an echinocactus grusoni. In any case, if it is fine and even stiff, it means that you are cultivating it at its best, so the basal suckers, the so-called "children" should not cause any concern. As for detaching them depends on your wishes, you can leave them where they are, as long as they find the space you need, or remove them. If you detach them in the spring and wait a few days before burying them; if in the picking operation you have caused damage to the mother plant, put mastic for pruning, or risk that the wounds are easily accessible for harmful fungi, bacteria or viruses.