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PlantFiles: Aztec Cactus
Aztekium ritteri

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

10 members have or want this plant for trade.

Cactus and Succulents

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:
Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping
Suitable for growing in containers

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

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By palmbob
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There are a total of 14 photos.
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3 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive spiny1000 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.
Avoid burning sunshine, mature plants may tolerate lots of sun in northern climates (like in Norway), but then ventilation is needed.

Fantastic plants that may take 10 years or more to gain an inch in width.

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

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

Positive palmbob 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)


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

Phoenix, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Austin, Texas

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