Matucana madisoniorum: main characteristics and care

If you like cacti, surely you have heard of the Matucana madisoniorum. Perhaps you even have it in your collection, since it is one of the most common and that you can find in its normal version and in its variegated version.

But what do you know about him? And what about the care he needs? Next we are going to give you all the keys so that you can see it with different eyes and know how to take care of it as it needs.

How is the Matucana madisoniorum

cactus with flower

The Matucana madisoniorum cactus is native to Peru, specifically the Peruvian Amazon. In its natural habitat, it grows solitary, it is very rare to see it grouped with other cacti of the same species.

Visually, you will find a globular cactus (in the shape of a flattened ball). This is a grayish green color. Now, the ones you find in stores usually have that shape but, over the years, this one grows and there will come a time when it is about six inches tall. It will keep that globular shape, but it will no longer be as perfect as you can now see it.

In addition to its shape, it has between seven and twelve ribs. These are flat, but wide. And in the areolas it will have a series of tubercles. In addition, it has thorns. These are usually dark, between brown and black, very flexible and curved (at least when they are growing, then they become hard).. In each areola it will have about five. However, do not be surprised to see it in stores without them, since it is common.

If you are lucky, you will also see it bloom in spring or summer. These flowers are born from the cactus itself (usually from the upper part, from the areoles themselves and will give rise to a tubular flower that can be orange, white or red. They will measure between four and five centimeters in diameter and behind them it is very likely that the fruits, which they will be half as big as the flowers, that is, about two centimeters.

Matucana madisoniorum care

matucana flower details

Now that you know the Matucana madisoniorum cactus a little better, How about we talk to you about care? If you have one you will be able to see if you are really taking good care of it; and if you don’t have one, you can always know what you’ll need to feel good.

location and temperature

Like all cacti, the ideal location is outdoors, since it needs several hours of direct sun. Of course, you can not put it in the sun as soon as you buy it, because it is the dumbest way to lose it. You have to get used to your climate and the sun you have. Approximately in seven or fifteen days you can leave it in full sun and there will be no problem. In that time you have to get used to it with one or two hours of sun first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon. And every two days increase that time. Now, be careful because if the sun is quite strong where you live, it will be preferable to put it in shade or semi-shade.

We do not recommend it indoors unless you have special lights for plant growth.

As for the temperature, the ideal is that it does not drop below 12ºC. If it is more, there is no problem, because we are talking about cacti and they withstand high temperatures well.


This cactus is normal to have it in a pot, although you could plant it in the garden (but being small it will not be worth it unless you build a cactus garden).

The soil that you will need must be sandy, light and also with drainage. For this reason, we recommend that you make a mixture with pumice or with akadama and kiryuzuna. Another option, cheaper than the previous ones, can be cactus soil with some extra gravel or even small stones. The goal is for the soil to be loose and with plenty of space for the roots to breathe and there are no accumulations of water.

The transplant, for its part, is always done in spring, but when it is seen that the cactus is already too big for the pot it has.


Regarding irrigation, we are talking about a cactus, which means that you will have to water and wait to do it when the soil has dried. In general, it is said that you will water once or twice a week in the spring and summer, and once every three weeks or a month in the fall.

In winter watering is not recommended.

If you are not sure when to water, keep in mind that for cacti it is preferable to water little and every so often than to spend watering.


Although you do not need a subscriber, the truth is that it does not hurt to apply a little mineral fertilizer in spring. Only on that occasion.

But, as we tell you, it’s not that it’s necessary to do it, it’s just a contribution that will help you see it flourish.


The Matucana madisoniorum, as the cactus that it is, does not need to be pruned. But many choose to remove the thorns to make it more attractive and enjoy that peachy skin without any puncture accidents.

Of course, by removing the spines you can make insects and other animals damage the surface of the cactus.

Plagues and diseases

sick cactus

With regard to pests, the one that can perhaps do the most harm is cottony mealybugs. But, in general, cacti are not affected too much.

Yes indeed, There is a disease that you must keep at bay: excess moisture. If you water a lot or where you live there is a lot of environmental humidity, this will weaken the roots of the plant.


Finally, regarding the propagation of Matucana madisoniorum, you should know that it is done through the seeds it produces when it blooms. You can sow them in spring and wait for them to grow little by little. And it is that it is not a fast growing plant; quite the contrary.

In general, caring for a Matucana madisoniorum is not difficult. Also, you should keep in mind that, on many occasions, the thorns can be cut. In fact, it is common to find them in stores or second-hand with the spines cut. These will grow back but this way it is more visually beautiful. What do you think?

Matucana madisoniorum: main characteristics and care

Leave a Reply

Scroll to top
%d bloggers like this: