genus which includes about twenty species of small globose cacti, originating in central-southern America, in particular in Brazil. They have a spherical shape and generally the diameter is kept below 6-7 cm, often producing numerous basal suckers.
The stem is usually dark green and has numerous ribs and areoles small or large depending on the species; they have many thorns of a light colour, often thin as hair; in summer they produce some flowers at the apex of the plant, of an intense yellow colour, being the plant able to self-pollinate often the flowers do not bloom, producing, however, numerous fertile seeds. These cacti are not very common in cultivation, especially for their small size and slow growth.
the frailee, unlike most cacti, do not like the direct sun, are therefore to be kept in a semi-shaded place; they can tolerate the direct sun during the flowering period, seen that the sunlight favours the opening of the buds. They are afraid of the cold, therefore, during the winter months, they are to be kept in places where they can enjoy temperatures over the 10°C, as in a temperate greenhouse or in the house.
water sporadically from March to October, allowing the soil to dry perfectly between one watering and the next. At the same time provide fertiliser for succulent plants mixed with water from the watering, every 15-20 days. In winter, water the plant very rarely, especially if it is kept in a place with little heat.
Use a cacti compost made of rich soil and sand, possibly adding pumice stone or lapillus to increase drainage. These small plants produce a conspicuous root system, so it is best to repot them every year.
The seeds are to be kept constantly humid, in a shady and warm place.
Frailea pulcherrima: Pests and diseases
watch out for mealybugs and mites.