The Yellow Tower Cactus, botanical name Parodia leninghausii, is a succulent plant found in the wild in Argentina. It is also known as the Leninghausii Cactus, the Lemon Cactus, and the Golden Ball Cactus. The Yellow Tower Cactus is a medium-sized columnar cactus that can reach a height of up to three feet tall, with a trunk that is about an inch thick. Each column sports around 30 ribs with soft white-gold spines emerging from the areolas. The spines are soft to the touch, unlike most cacti, making handling easy.
Delightful yellow flowers appear in summer from the top of a mature plant. Maturity takes about five years, but new offshoots emerge from the base much before that. Adult specimens remain manageable indoors even after they’ve peaked, as indoor plants don’t get as tall as their wild variants.
Parodia leninghausii is a popular plant for use in landscaping, as it is low maintenance and drought tolerant. It can be grown in full sun or partial shade and does not require much water to thrive. It is quite easy to care for and makes an excellent addition to any succulent collection.
- Parodia leninghausii Main Characteristics
- Parodia leninghausii Care
- Propagating Parodia leninghausii
- Potting and Repotting Yellow Tower Cactus
- Common Pests and Diseases
- Indoor gardening tips: How to grow a healthy Yellow Tower Cactus (Parodia leninghausii) (Video)
Parodia leninghausii Main Characteristics
|Common Name||Yellow Tower Cactus, Lemon Ball, Golden Ball|
|Botanical Name||Parodia leninghausii|
|Synonyms||Echinocactus leninghausii Eriocactus leninghausii Eriocephala leninghausii Malacocarpus leninghausii Notocactus leninghausii Pilocereus leninghausii|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||9a to 11b|
|Mature Size||Height: 3.3 feet, Spread: 6 inches|
|Bloom Time||Spring, Summer|
|Propagation methods||by seeds, by cuttings|
Parodia leninghausii Care
If you’re ever in the market for a unique houseplant, look no further than the Yellow Tower Cactus. The plant’s unusual name comes from its gorgeous yellow flowers, which bloom at the top of the stem. So if you’re looking for a spiny addition to your home or garden, be sure to check out the Lemon Cactus!
Light and Location
The Yellow Tower Cactus grows best in full sun but can also tolerate some shade. In hot climates, some protection from the afternoon sun is appreciated but not needed. For indoor plants, place them near a sunny window where they’ll receive plenty of bright light.
The Yellow Tower Cactus is a drought-tolerant plant, so it doesn’t require much water to thrive. When watering, be sure to allow the soil to dry out completely between watering. This succulent is susceptible to root rot, so it’s important not to overwater.
The plant goes dormant during winter and won’t need as much water. Don’t water unless you test the potting mix and find it completely dry.
Temperature and Humidity
The Yellow Tower Cactus prefers warm temperatures and low humidity. In hot climates, this plant is perfect for you! The plant can tolerate some cold but should be protected from frost. Anything below freezing is a problem if it persists. Keep dry in winter to prevent any problems.
Indoor plants will do best in a room with average household temperatures and humidity levels. If your home is particularly dry, the cactus will appreciate the lack of moisture.
The Yellow Tower Cactus doesn’t require fertilizer at all. Too much fertilizer is harmful to the plant. If you do choose to fertilize, use a low-nitrogen fertilizer and apply it sparingly (once in a season). Only fertilize in the spring and summer as that’s when the plant is actively growing.
As the Yellow Tower Cactus matures, it will produce new shoots at the base of the plant. These can be twisted off and replanted to create new plants.
Propagating Parodia leninghausii
The Yellow Tower Cactus can be propagated by seeds or cuttings.
To propagate by seeds:
- Wait until the flowers have blossomed, and then remove the seed pods.
- Allow the pods to dry for a few days, then open them up and remove the seeds.
- Sow the seeds in a well-drained cactus mix and water sparingly.
- Keep the soil barely moist, and place it in a warm, sunny spot.
- The seeds will germinate in 7-21 days.
To propagate by cuttings,
- Wait until the plant is in its growth phase(in the spring or summer).
- Take a 3-4 inch cutting from the stem.
- Allow the cuttings to callus for a couple of days, then plant them in a well-draining cactus mix.
- Water sparingly and keep them in a warm, sunny spot until they root.
- Cuttings will root within a few weeks.
Potting and Repotting Yellow Tower Cactus
The Yellow Tower Cactus are slow growers and don’t need to be repotted often. In fact, it’s best to leave the plant in its pot for several years before moving it up to a larger size. When you do repot, be sure to use a well-draining cactus mix and a pot with drainage holes. If you want, you can force the plant to remain small even past maturity as long as you don’t keep it in a small pot.
To repot your cactus, remove it from its current pot and gently brush away any excess soil from the roots. Place the plant in the new pot and fill in around the roots with a fresh cactus mix. Water thoroughly and allow the soil to dry out completely between watering. Remember, good drainage and ventilation are crucial to keeping your cactus happy.
The Yellow Tower Cactus is non-toxic to humans and animals. And, unlike other cacti, it’s safe to touch as well. So, it’s completely safe to keep around the house if you have kids or pets.
Common Pests and Diseases
The Yellow Tower Cactus is fairly resistant to pests and diseases, but there are a few that can cause problems. These chiefly include mealybugs and aphids.
Mealybugs cause stunted growth and stress. You’ll be familiar with these pesky white insects if you’ve spent any time in a garden at all. Although they rarely appear on a Lemon Cactus, they’re hard to detect since the white spines on the cactus serve as natural camouflage. You could go months without noticing an infestation.
To get rid of mealybugs, you can use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and wipe them away. You can also try using insecticidal soap or neem oil. Aphids can be handled in the same way.
Indoor gardening tips: How to grow a healthy Yellow Tower Cactus (Parodia leninghausii) (Video)
How Fast Do Parodia leninghausii Grow?
The Yellow Tower Cactus grows slowly, only adding a few inches per year. They remain manageable indoors for a long time. Maturity takes about five years.
How Do I Get My Ball Cactus To Bloom?
The Yellow Tower Cactus blooms in the spring and summer. To encourage blooming, make sure the plant gets plenty of sunlight and keep the soil evenly moist (but not wet). If your plant is healthy and mature, it should bloom on its own without any extra effort on your part.
How Big Does A Golden Ball Cactus Get?
The Golden Ball Cactus can grow up to 2-3 feet tall and 1-inch wide at maturity. However, they can be easily kept smaller by keeping them in a small pot. Outdoor plants grow larger than indoor ones.