Parodia Mairanana | Cute Cactus With Sharp Thrones |

Parodia mairanana or ball cactus are native plants to Bolivia. You could commonly find them in humid rocky areas, grasslands and in inter Andean valleys. 

They would usually grow densely. Parodia mairanana cactus Is a synonym for Parodia comarapana. Having said that, some consider these two as different species. 

Besides, they produce offsets around the base of the plants. They are called ball cactus simply due to its shape. 

This article is a full guide on how you should look after them, the modes of propagating them and the common bugs and issues they may come across. 

So, brace yourself and get ready to learn about these precious plants. If you are a succulent enthusiast in growing the Parodia mairanana cactus, keep reading this article.

Parodia Mairanana

How do I identify Parodia mairanana?

You can identify the Parodia mairanana cactus by simply looking at them

Parodia mairanana cactus stem is small and rounded. They are gray green to dull green in color. Further you could spot them forming offsets around the base of the plants. 

Fully grown stems would be about 8 cm in width and 4-5 cm in height. Further chances are that they may consist of 15-16 ribs.Those would form small tubercles.

Parodia mairanana cacti have large areolas when they are young. Moreover, they will be covered with white wool. 

Additionally, they may comprise about 9-15 radial spines which would be slender. They would further carry tips either in yellow or in brown. 

In addition to that they may also comprise of 3 or 4 central spines which would look similar to the radials.

Last but not least, you could use their flowers to identify the Parodia mairanana cactus. They will be funnel shaped and apical. 

Moreover, you could spot them forming in yellow to coppery orange colors. Parodia mairanana cactus flowers would be 2.0 – 3.5 cm in width. 

Once the Parodia mairanana cactus flowers, they would remain on the cactus for a long time. Their flowering season would be from spring to summer. Finally, they would form a red or green fruit too. Moreover, they have white hairs as well.

Size of the plant

Parodia mairanana cactus would be about 2 inches ( 5 cm) in width when they grow to their best potential.

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Growth rate

Parodia mairanana cactus are slow growing plants. Literally, it would take a few years for them to mature.

One Look Care Guide

Botanical NameParodia mairanana
Common NameBall cactus
Plant TypeCactus
Mature Size2 inches ( 5 cm) in width
Sun ExposureFull sunlight to light shade
Soil TypeWell-draining
Soil pHSlightly acidic 
Bloom TimeSpring to summer.
Flower ColorYellow to coppery orange
Hardiness ZonesUSDA hardiness zones 9b-11
Native AreaBolivia
ToxicityNon toxic
Average price 7 USD

How do you take care of  Parodia mairanana?

Light Requirement

Light shade and bright indirect sunlight during morning hours would work well with the Parodia mairanana cactus. 

The exposure for adequate sunlight is crucial specially to produce new growths as well as the flowers. So, select a bright sunny windowsill to place them when you grow them as houseplants. 

Having said that, you should not expose them to direct sunlight during intense mid-day hours and you need to provide shelter for them.

Parodia Mairanana

Temperature and humidity

Warmer temperatures would be optimal for the Parodia mairanana cactus healthy growth. They would prefer to stay dry, especially during winter. 

Having said that, you need to slightly mist them during late winter. Unless they would lose their roots during winter. 

They can withstand a colder temperature of -4 degrees Celsius This literally means they can tolerate a light frost as well. 

Having said that , the more you expose them for colder temperatures the more their roots would tend to rot.

Is it cold hardy?

Parodia mairanana cactus are cold hardy up to -4 degrees Celsius ( 25 degrees Fahrenheit )

USDA Hardiness Zone

The recommended USDA hardiness zones to grow the Parodia mairanana cactus would be USDA hardiness zones 9b-11.

Watering Requirement 

In terms of watering the Parodia mairanana cactus, it is best recommended to water them regularly during summer. 

On the other hand, you need to minimize watering them during winter as they can thrive with minimum water during colder times. 

Ideally you need to  allow their soil to wither between two watering sessions. Consequently it will create less potential for  root rot in the substrate.

Soil Requirement Type / ph.

A fast-draining potting medium would be ideal to grow the Parodia mairanana cactus. It will provide a healthy base for them. 

Selecting the right soil mix is a critical factor when growing them. Unless the plants will end up growing in damp conditions and make them vulnerable for fungal and bacterial infections. 

Additionally , the selected potting medium should be a porous one too so that there will be a good aeration around the plants. 

This would be beneficial for the plant’s root’s healthy growth. You can either go ahead with a readily available cactus  / succulent soil mix or make one on your own. 

You can make a soil mix on your own by mixing coarse sand, chalk, and loam. You can consider adding perlite also to better drain them.

Pot size Potting and Repotting

You can repot them periodically. In case if you let them grow in the pot for prolonged periods, they would become root bound. 

Consequently, it will impact their growth. So,  you need to consider transplanting at that point of time. 

Further when selecting a pot to repot, you need to ideally choose one which is slightly bigger than the older pot. To repot, you need to simply take the plant out of the plant gently.

After that check whether you can find any rotten parts of the plants and if you find any you can remove them and treat those wounds with fungicides. 

Next dry them and place them in a fresh pot. The pot should contain a  fresh soil mix as explained above.

When you plant them, ensure that you do not pack the Parodia mairanana cactus with soil. ideally there should be a good aeration around the roots. Skip watering them for about one week’s time. Moreover, do not feed them as well.

Parodia Mairanana

Where to Plant 

Parodia mairanana cactus should be planted in a spot where they can absorb sufficient sunlight levels. Additionally, you need to adhere to the aforesaid guidelines when selecting their potting medium too.

Fertilizer and time of year

You need to fertilize them with a rich fertilizer when they actively grow. Ideally you need to feed them during spring and summer. 

A balanced fertilizer would work well with them, and you can only feed them just once a month. Avid feeding them during their dormancy.


Parodia mairanana cactus produce flowers in yellow to coppery orange. Those flowers would tend to take a funnel shape. 

Despite the flowers drying out, they would still tend to remain on the plants for some time. Their flowering seasons would usually be spring and summer.


Parodia mairanana cactus are winter dormant plants.


These plants are not toxic to humans or pets. 

Common bugs and illnesses

Parodia mairanana cactus are strong contenders when it comes to resisting diseases. However, root rot is a commonly spotted disease among them. 

That purely happens due to the excess watering they get. To avoid that happening, it is important that you water them in moderate levels without exposing them to excessive moisture. Further you need to water them only if you find out their soil is dry only.

On the other hand, there are common pests such as mealybugs, aphids which could attack them. You may encounter these pests particularly right after they produce flowers.  

Special Care tips

Parodia mairanana cactus require only a minimum supervision from you for their survival. You do not need to prune them regularly. 

However, ensure that you avoid over watering them. Besides, do not leave them exposed for winter temperatures as well. 

I suggest you remove dead blooms of the plants so that it would give a pleasant look for the plants.

Parodia Mairanana

How to propagate Parodia mairanana 

By offsets

I recommend doing the offset propagation method to make new Parodia mairanana cactus as this is the fastest way of having successful results

You can spot they are offsetting around the base of the plants.  So, all you need to do is to safely remove them and wither them for a couple of days. 

That will allow them to develop callousness. When they develop callousness, you can plant them in a soil mix which is explained in the above. 

Leave the specimen in a warmer place so that they can develop new roots. When they developed the roots, you could transplant them in a fresh pot and look after them as regular plants.

By seeds

If you are a patient gardener, you can conduct the seeds propagation. All you need to do is to place  them in a well-draining soil mix.


Hope this article gave you a broader view of how you should look after the Parodia mairanana cactus. Moreover, I hope now you are much more confident in propagating them as well. Happy cultivating with Parodia mairanana cactus and enjoying growing them !

Credit to : salvador tellez
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About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.