boobie cactus (Myrtillocactus geometrizans)

Boobie Cactus Care: Essential Tips for Success

Welcome to the fascinating world of the Boobie Cactus! With its unique and adorable appearance, this little succulent is sure to capture your attention and bring a smile to your face. The Boobie Cactus, scientifically known as Myrtillocactus geometrizans, gets its delightful name from the rounded, globular shape of its stems, resembling stacked spheres that seem to have a playful personality all their own.

Its charming green hue and clusters of small spines add to its endearing character. Don’t let its cute appearance fool you though, as this cactus is a resilient and low-maintenance plant that can bring joy and beauty to any space.

So, whether you’re a seasoned cactus enthusiast or just starting your plant journey, get ready to embrace the whimsical world of the Boobie Cactus and enjoy the delightful presence it brings to your home or garden!

Boobie Cactus Overview

boobie cactus careThe Boobie Cactus, also known as Myrtillocactus Geometrizans Fukurokuryuzinboku, is a rare and eye-catching succulent native to Central and Northern Mexico.

Belonging to the Cactaceae family, this intriguing cactus is characterized by its thick green pillar-like stems tinged with blue, and unique rib shapes that resemble a woman’s breasts.

As such, this fast-growing cactus has garnered various names like the Breast Cactus, and its botanical name, Myrtillocactus geometrizans Fukurokuryuzinboku.

The term “Fukurokuryuzinboku” is a Japanese name given to a specific cultivar or variety of Myrtillocactus geometrizans. It is sometimes used to refer to a specific form or mutation of the plant, often characterized by its unique growth pattern or appearance. So, while the two names may differ slightly, they both refer to the same species of cactus.

While it may seem intimidating, caring for your Boobie Cactus is not as complex as you might think. Your cactus enjoys bright light, so placing it near a south-facing window would be ideal. Keep an eye on the humidity – maintaining a level between 30% to 40% is fine, as these succulents can trap water in their foliage, making misting unnecessary.

Providing optimal temperature is also key to ensure the well-being of your Boobie Cactus. Ideally, temperature levels should range between 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind, though, that Myrtillocactus geometrizans cannot tolerate cold temperatures or frost. If temperatures drop consistently into the 50s at night, you will need to bring your cactus inside.

Regarding watering, it’s best to wait until the soil has completely dried out before giving your Boobie Cactus another drink. This typically happens once every two weeks.

A shriveled appearance can suggest that your cactus needs more water. During the growing season, you can also add a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 at half strength once a month to maintain its growth.

As your Boobie Cactus matures, it can grow up to 24 inches in height, and will sprout beautiful white flowers about an inch and a half in diameter. Keep these care tips in mind, and your unique Myrtillocactus geometrizans will thrive, adding an eye-catching focal point to your collection of houseplants.

Light Requirements

When it comes to light, your Boobie Cactus needs a good amount of sunlight to thrive. As a cactus, it requires more light than many other houseplants, so it’s essential to provide it with the right conditions. Here’s a breakdown of the various light requirements for your Boobie Cactus:

  • Indirect Light vs Direct Sunlight: Ideally, the Boobie Cactus should be grown in indirect but bright sunlight. Although it can handle some direct sun exposure, avoid keeping it in direct sunlight for more than 5 hours, as it may lead to scorched or yellow stems over time. If your plant receives too little sunlight, it may experience stunted growth.
  • South-Facing Window: A great spot for your Boobie Cactus would be near a south-facing window, as this provides ample light throughout the day without excessive exposure to direct sun.
  • Grow Light: If your home doesn’t have a south-facing window or you find that your cactus isn’t receiving enough natural light, consider using a plant grow light to provide the necessary brightness for healthy growth.
  • Shade: When your Boobie Cactus is still young, it’s best to keep it in a lightly shaded area and away from full, direct sunlight. As it matures, you can gradually move it to a sunnier location.

Pay close attention to the light requirements of your Boobie Cactus to ensure it thrives. Monitor its growth, and adjust the lighting conditions as needed to help your cactus reach its full potential.

Temperature and Humidity

When it comes to providing the ideal environment for your Boobie Cactus, paying attention to temperature and humidity is crucial.

Your Boobie Cactus thrives in average room temperatures between 60-85°F (15-30°C). During the day, it prefers a slightly cooler range of 50-70°F (10-21°C). When entering dormancy, you can lower the temperature to 40°F (14°C) to encourage a healthy dormant state and prevent etiolation.

Temperature range:

  • Normal conditions: 60-85°F (15-30°C)
  • Daytime: 50-70°F (10-21°C)
  • Dormancy: 40°F (14°C)

Boobie Cactus isn’t cold-tolerant; temperatures below 50°F (10°C) may harm or kill your plant. Therefore, protect it from cold drafts and frost during the winter months.

As for humidity, your Boobie Cactus prefers moderate levels around 30-40%. It can tolerate lower humidity levels as well. Since it’s a succulent, the plant can store water in its foliage, meaning that regular misting won’t be necessary, as it might be for some other houseplants.

Humidity range:

  • Ideal: 30-40%
  • Tolerable: Lower levels are acceptable

In conclusion, monitoring temperature and humidity levels, while protecting your Boobie Cactus from frost, will ensure your plant stays healthy and continues to thrive.

Soil and Watering

When it comes to soil for your Boobie Cactus (Myrtillocactus geometrizans), a well-draining soil mix is essential. To create an ideal soil mix, combine a cactus soil mix with coarse sand, perlite, pumice, or vermiculite. Adding some bark, gravel, or peat moss to the mix can further improve drainage and aerate the roots.

Here’s a suggested soil mix for Boobie Cactus:

  • 2 parts cactus soil mix
  • 1 part coarse sand
  • 1 part perlite, pumice, or vermiculite
  • Optional: small amounts of bark, gravel, or peat moss

Watering is crucial for the health of your Boobie Cactus. Make sure to water your cactus only when the soil is completely dry to prevent root rot. To check the moisture level, you can use a moisture meter or simply insert your finger into the soil about an inch deep. If the soil is dry at this depth, it’s time to water.

During the active growing season (March-October), you may need to water your Boobie Cactus every watering or bi-weekly, or even once a month, depending on the environmental conditions. In the winter months, you should reduce watering frequency as the plant enters a dormant phase.

Remember that the Boobie Cactus is a drought-resistant plant, so it’s better to err on the side of underwatering rather than overwatering. Additionally, place your cactus in a well-ventilated area to minimize the risk of root rot and other moisture-related problems.

Fertilization

Fertilizing your Boobie Cactus is an essential part of its care routine to ensure healthy growth and development. Start by choosing the right fertilizer for your cactus. A good option is a balanced, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer that is specifically designed for cacti and succulents.

When to fertilize:

  • Begin fertilizing your cactus in early spring when new growth starts.
  • Continue throughout the active growing season, tapering off as fall approaches.

To fertilize your Boobie Cactus, follow these steps:

  1. Dilute the fertilizer by following the package instructions. For cacti, it is generally recommended to use a half-strength solution.
  2. Apply the diluted fertilizer to the soil and water your cactus as usual. Be cautious not to splash fertilizer on the plant itself, as it may cause damage or burns.
  3. Fertilize your Boobie Cactus every 4 to 6 weeks during the growing season to provide the necessary nutrients for optimal growth.

Remember not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to potential issues such as root burn or excessive growth. If you notice any signs of stress, such as yellowing or wilting, stop fertilizing and assess your cactus’s overall care routine.

By incorporating proper fertilization techniques into your Boobie Cactus care routine, you can ensure that your plant will grow healthy and strong for years to come.

Propagation and Repotting

Propagation

To propagate your Boobie Cactus (Myrtillocactus geometrizans Fukurokuryuzinboku), you have two options: seeds or stem cuttings.

  • Seeds: Gather seeds from the ripe fruits of your cactus, clean, and dry them. Plant the seeds in well-draining soil during the growing season, which is typically spring and summer. Ensure they receive ample light and water, but be careful not to over-water them.
  • Stem cuttings: Choose a healthy stem, and make a clean cut from the top of the plant. Allow the cutting to callus over for a few days to prevent over-watering issues when rooting. Once the cut end has callused, place it in a pot of well-draining soil. Proper callusing increases the chances of successful propagation.

Repotting

It’s essential to repot your Boobie Cactus every 2-3 years or when it has outgrown its current pot. Repotting is best done during spring when the plant enters its active growth phase.

Follow these steps for repotting:

  1. Carefully remove the cactus from its existing pot, taking care to minimize root disturbance.
  2. Examine and trim any dead or damaged roots.
  3. Choose a new pot that is slightly larger than the current one and ensure it has drainage holes.
  4. Fill the bottom of the new pot with a layer of well-draining soil.
  5. Place the cactus in the center of the new pot, and gently fill in around the roots with additional soil, pressing it down firmly.
  6. Water the cactus lightly after repotting to help the roots settle.

Repotting your Boobie Cactus provides it with fresh soil and ample space for its growing roots, ensuring a healthy and thriving plant.

Growth and Size

The Boobie Cactus is an easy-to-grow plant that can reach a considerable size. It can grow up to 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide, with several branching ribs adorned with spines. During its active growing season, typically between spring and fall, this cactus requires certain care to thrive and reach its full potential.

To support its growth, ensure your Boobie Cactus receives bright light, ideally 12-14 hours per day. Position it near a south-facing window, or if natural light is lacking, consider using a grow light placed 12-18 inches above the cactus. Acclimate the plant gradually to direct sunlight, especially during the warmer months, to avoid sunburn.

A well-draining soil mix is essential for the plant’s health, as it helps to prevent root rot and excessive moisture.

Keep in mind that overwatering can cause the cactus to shrivel, so it’s crucial to wait until the soil dries out completely before watering again. During the active growing season, you can expect to water your Boobie Cactus every two weeks.

In addition to its unique appearance, these cacti can produce flowers and fruits. The blooms appear at the top of the ribs and tend to be small and white, while the fruits are round, juicy, and edible.

Although not every cultivar will produce flowers, providing optimal care with sufficient light and water will increase the chances of blooming.

Common Pests and Diseases

boobie cactus plantCaring for your Cactus involves monitoring for pests and diseases. Here are some common issues and how to address them:

Yellowing Leaves: If your Boobie Cactus starts to yellow, it may mean your plant is getting too much water. Be sure to only water this cactus when the soil completely dries out. This means watering approximately once every two weeks.

Mealybugs: These small, cottony pests can be found on your cactus, feeding on its sap. Treat mealybugs with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Keep an eye out for any infestations to prevent severe damage to your cactus.

Spider Mites: These tiny pests are hard to see but can cause your cactus to become sickly and discolored. Like mealybugs, you can treat spider mites with insecticidal soap, neem oil, or horticultural oil. Remember, consistency is key, so continue to apply the solution until the issue is resolved.

Scale Insects: These pests are often found on the stems and leaves of your cactus. They feed on its sap and create a sticky substance called honeydew. To get rid of scale insects, use an insecticidal soap or neem oil solution. Be sure to check for infestations regularly and treat them as soon as possible.

Root Rot: Overwatering your cactus can cause root rot, which will ultimately harm the overall health of your plant. Prevent root rot by avoiding overwatering and ensuring your cactus has proper drainage.

If you notice symptoms of root rot, such as a foul smell or mushy roots, remove the affected parts and let the plant dry out before repotting it.

By staying vigilant and checking your Boobie Cactus for pests and diseases, you can keep your plant healthy and strong.

Tips for Boobie Cactus Care

Caring for your Boobie Cactus (Myrtillocactus geometrizans) is relatively easy due to its hardy nature. Here are some essential tips to help your cactus thrive:

  1. Choose the correct soil: A well-draining cactus soil mix is crucial for your Boobie Cactus. Combine equal parts of potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite or pumice to create the perfect mix. This will ensure proper aeration and prevent root rot.
  2. Provide adequate light: Place your Boobie Cactus in a spot that receives bright indirect light. It is also tolerant of some direct sunlight, which is ideal for replicating its natural desert environment.
  3. Watering regimen: Water your cactus when the soil is completely dry Overwatering can lead to root rot, so be cautious. During the colder months, reduce the watering frequency as the plant requires less water while it’s in hibernation1.
  4. Fertilization: Feed your Boobie Cactus with a cactus-specific fertilizer during the active growing season, typically from March to October2. This will provide the necessary nutrients for optimal growth.
  5. Proper care for indoor plants: For those growing the Boobie Cactus indoors, ensure proper ventilation and avoid overcrowding with other plants. This will help maintain a healthy environment for the cactus and prevent diseases.
  6. Safe handling: Use tongs or wear gloves when handling your Boobie Cactus to avoid injury from its prickly spines. This is especially important if you’re repotting or relocating the plant.
  7. Toxicity: Be aware that the Boobie Cactus, like many other succulents, can be toxic to pets. Keep your plant out of reach if you have cats or dogs in your house.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to successfully growing and maintaining your Boobie Cactus.

FAQs

Q: How often should I water my Boobie Cactus?

A: Boobie Cacti are succulents and have low water requirements. It’s best to water them sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Depending on the climate and conditions, you may need to water approximately once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season and reduce watering even further in winter.

Q: What kind of light does the Boobie Cactus prefer?

A: Boobie Cacti thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. They enjoy a few hours of direct morning or evening sun, but intense midday sunlight should be avoided, as it can scorch their delicate skin. Place them near a window with filtered light or provide light shade if growing them outdoors.

Q: Can the Boobie Cactus Plant Grow Outdoors?

A: Yes, the Boobie Cactus (Myrtillocactus geometrizans) can be grown outdoors in suitable climates. It is native to arid regions of Central Mexico and thrives in warm, dry environments. If you live in a region with a similar climate or have a suitable outdoor space, you can successfully grow the Boobie Cactus outside.

Here are some important considerations for growing the Boobie Cactus outdoors:

  1. Climate: Boobie Cacti prefer warm and dry climates. They are more suited for USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11. Ensure that the temperatures don’t drop below freezing, as prolonged exposure to frost can damage or kill the plant.
  2. Sunlight: Provide your Boobie Cactus with plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. They enjoy a few hours of direct morning or evening sun, but intense midday sunlight may cause sunburn. If your climate is extremely hot, providing some light shade during the hottest part of the day can be beneficial.
  3. Soil: The soil should be well-draining to prevent waterlogged conditions that can lead to root rot. A cactus or succulent-specific potting mix blended with perlite or coarse sand is ideal. If planting in the ground, ensure the soil is sandy or loamy and well-draining.
  4. Watering: While Boobie Cacti are drought-tolerant, they still require some watering. Water deeply and infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. Adjust the watering frequency based on the climate and seasonal changes.
  5. Protection: If your region experiences heavy rain or extreme cold, it may be beneficial to provide some protection for your outdoor Boobie Cactus. Use overhead coverings during rain to prevent excessive moisture and provide temporary insulation during colder months if needed.

Remember to monitor your Boobie Cactus closely and adjust care as necessary based on your specific climate and conditions.

Outdoor cultivation allows the Boobie Cactus to enjoy natural sunlight and thrive in a more spacious environment, showcasing its unique beauty in your outdoor landscape or garden.

Q: How fast does the Boobie Cactus grow?

A: The growth rate of Boobie Cacti can vary depending on various factors such as light, temperature, and care. Generally, they are considered slow to moderate growers. With proper care and optimal conditions, you can expect noticeable growth and expansion of their spherical stems over several years.

Q: Does the Boobie Cactus require special soil or fertilizer?

A: Boobie Cacti prefer well-draining soil to prevent root rot. A cactus or succulent-specific potting mix mixed with perlite or coarse sand works well. Fertilizing is not necessary but can be done sparingly during the growing season using a diluted, balanced fertilizer. Remember to follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging.

Q: Can I propagate my Boobie Cactus?

A: Yes, Boobie Cacti can be propagated through various methods, including stem cuttings and offsets. Stem cuttings should be allowed to dry and callus before planting in well-draining soil. Offsets can be carefully separated from the main plant and rooted. It’s a rewarding way to expand your collection or share with fellow plant enthusiasts.

Q: Is the Boobie Cactus safe for pets?

A: While Boobie Cacti are generally non-toxic to humans, they can cause mild irritation if touched or ingested. However, it’s always best to keep any plant out of reach from curious pets to avoid potential discomfort or digestive issues.

Q: Is the Blue Candle Cactus the same as the boobie cactus?

A: No, the Blue Candle Cactus (Myrtillocactus schenckii) is not the same as the Boobie Cactus (Myrtillocactus geometrizans). Although both cacti belong to the same genus, they are different species with distinct characteristics.

The Blue Candle Cactus, also known as the Whortleberry Cactus or Bilberry Cactus, is native to Mexico. It is named for its bluish-green stems that resemble candles or columns. This cactus species typically has multiple cylindrical stems with prominent ribs and spines. It can grow quite tall, reaching heights of up to 10 feet (3 meters) or more.

On the other hand, the Boobie Cactus, also referred to as Myrtillocactus geometrizans is native to Central Mexico. It is known for its rounded, globular stems that resemble stacked spheres. The stems are usually green and covered in clusters of small spines.

The Boobie Cactus tends to be shorter and more compact compared to the Blue Candle Cactus, reaching heights of around 3-5 feet (1-1.5 meters).

While both cacti share the same genus name, they have distinct growth habits, stem shapes, and overall appearances. It’s important to differentiate between the two to accurately identify and care for each species.

Q: What are some similar houseplants to the Boobie Cactus

A: If you’re looking for plants similar to the Boobie Cactus (Myrtillocactus geometrizans), here are a few options that share some characteristics or aesthetic qualities:

  1. Mammillaria elongata (Ladyfinger Cactus): This cactus species features elongated cylindrical stems with spines. While not as spherical as the Boobie Cactus, it has a unique and appealing appearance.
  2. Gymnocalycium mihanovichii (Chin Cactus or Moon Cactus): Although different in shape, these cacti often have colorful, bulbous tops grafted onto a rootstock. They can exhibit vibrant shades of pink, red, or yellow, adding a playful touch to your collection.
  3. Echinocactus grusonii (Golden Barrel Cactus): While its shape is more barrel-like, the Golden Barrel Cactus shares a similar green color and spiky texture. It’s a striking and popular choice for desert-themed gardens.
  4. Notocactus magnificus (Balloon Cactus): This cactus species has rounded, balloon-like stems with prominent spines. Its unique shape and attractive yellow flowers make it an eye-catching addition to any collection.
  5. Astrophytum asterias (Star Cactus): This cactus has star-shaped, flattened stems covered in prominent tubercles. Its distinct appearance, along with its yellow or white flowers, makes it an interesting alternative to the Boobie Cactus.
Q: Are Boobie Cactus Rare?

A: Boobie Cacti (Myrtillocactus geometrizans) are not considered rare in the world of cacti and succulents. They are relatively common and widely available in the plant trade. You can find them in nurseries, garden centers, and online stores specializing in cacti and succulents.

While they may not be rare in terms of availability, Boobie Cacti still hold a special charm and uniqueness with their rounded, globular stems, making them popular among plant enthusiasts. Their appealing form, easy care requirements, and ability to adapt to different growing conditions contribute to their popularity.

That being said, specific variations or cultivars of Boobie Cacti, such as certain color forms or rare mutations, may be more uncommon and sought after by collectors. These variations can have distinct characteristics that make them stand out from the typical green Boobie Cacti.

If you’re interested in obtaining a Boobie Cactus for your collection, they can usually be obtained without much difficulty from reputable plant sources.

Final Thoughts

Caring for a Boobie Cactus (Myrtillocactus geometrizans) can be straightforward once you understand its essential needs. To ensure your cactus thrives, consider these integral aspects:

  • Temperature: Maintain an ideal temperature range of 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, avoiding exposure to temperatures consistently below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, as this can be harmful to the plant.
  • Humidity: Keep humidity levels moderate, between 30% and 40%, as excessive moisture is not required for the plant’s survival.
  • Light: Place your Boobie Cactus in a spot with bright indirect light, as too little light may affect the growth and flowering possibilities.
  • Watering: Water your cactus only when the soil has completely dried out, as overwatering can cause more harm than good.

Regarding its edibility, it seems there is not enough information to conclude whether the Boobie Cactus is safe for consumption. Therefore, you should not consume it without proper research or guidance.

Following these care tips, you can enjoy the unique appearance and low-maintenance nature of the Boobie Cactus in your indoor gardening space. Remember to be attentive to its requirements, and you will have a healthy, thriving plant.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top