Ruby Ball Cactus

By: Larry Hodgson

Ruby ball cactus sits atop a green pillar that helps it absorbsolar energy. See more pictures of cacti.

The ruby ball cactus is a bright red, ball-shaped cactus that grows on a green base. A mutation of a normal cactus, it totally lacks the green pigmentation that allows other plants to absorb solar energy. The only way it can survive is to be grafted on a green cactus that absorbs energy for it. It is generally short-lived.

There are also yellow, orange, and bicolor versions of the ruby ball cactus. This plant only produces its pink blossoms under optimum conditions.


Ruby Ball Cactus Quick Facts

Scientific Name:Gymnocalycium mihanovichii ‘Ruby Ball’

Common Names: Ruby Ball Cactus, Rose Plaid Cactus

Light Requirement for Ruby Ball Cactus: Full Sun to Bright Light

Water Requirementfor Ruby Ball Cactus: Drench, Let Dry

Humidityfor Ruby Ball Cactus: Average Home

Temperaturefor Ruby Ball Cactus: House to Cool

Fertilizerfor Ruby Ball Cactus: High Phosphorus

Potting Mixfor Ruby Ball Cactus: Cactus

Propagation ofRuby Ball Cactus: Grafting

Decorative Usefor Ruby Ball Cactus: Table

Care Ratingfor Ruby Ball Cactus: Easy


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Larry Hodgson is a full time garden writer out of Quebec City in the heart of French Canada where he grows well over 3,000 species and varieties. His book credits include Making the Most of Shade, The Garden Lovers Guide to Canada, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, Houseplants for Dummies, and Ortho's Complete Guide to Houseplants, as well as other titles in English and French. He's the winner of the Perennial Plant Association's 2006 Garden Media Award.