Aztec Cactus

Aztekium ritteri

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Aztekium (az-TEK-ee-um) (Info)
Species: ritteri (RIT-ter-ee) (Info)


Cactus and Succulents

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


under 6 in. (15 cm)


9-12 in. (22-30 cm)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 °C (25 °F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling


Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer


Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Phoenix, Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Austin, Texas

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 17, 2010, spiny1000 from Lillestrøm
Norway (Zone 5a) wrote:

These are very slow growing plants. In their habitats, in a valley in Nuevo Leon in Mexico, they grow on steep walls of some strange porous gypsym material, associated by Selaginellas, that may give shelter and a sometimes a bit humid microclimate for the tiny seedlings.

Different from other cacti, I have given seedlings (not mature plants) some moisture during winter. In my greenhouse I sow seeds in small propagators seated below some thin see-through shading cloth. I grow Strombocactus disciformis seedlings in the same way. I use a thick cactus spine, rounded in the sharp end to carefully brush algae away from the seedlings in ther pots, if it occurs. This may seem strange, but it works for me. And I do not think too many people have success sowing this species.
A... read more


On Dec 13, 2007, Kada from Southern
Taiwan wrote:

awesome cacti, but i thought i should emphasize the SLOW part of it....


On Aug 17, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

slow growing pale green, clumping nearly spineless Mexican cactus. Older specimens start to develop a bit of a tan cephalum (fur at growth center)