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Gymnocalycium, also commonly called as chin cactus, is a genus of about 70 South American species of cactus. Originally, it came from the Greek words gymnos, meaning “naked” and kalyx, meaning “bud”. The genus refers to the flower buds bearing no hair or spines. Their main area of distribution is Argentina, part of Uruguay, Paraguay, southern Bolivia and part of Brazil.

  • Their genus name “Gymnocalycium” is the Greek for “naked calyx”. This description refers directly to their flower buds that bear no spines or hair.
  • Chin cacti prefer bright, but indirect or filtered sunlight all-year-round. Too much extreme sunlight may damage your cacti, resulting in blooming failure.
  • Unless you live in a warm region, these cacti are suitable only for growing them indoors. They need extra protection from extreme temperatures, especially frost conditions.
  • If the temperatures drop below 50 °F (10 °C), Chin cacti must be placed under glass and cultivated with proper heat.
  • Their potting soil must be well-draining and gritty, such as those commercial mixes that are specifically designed for cacti and succulents. They require fertilizers only when the growth is too slow.
  • Gymnocalycium cacti have a shallow root system that is very sensitive to over-watering. Due to their tolerance of drought, it is always better to provide your cacti with less water than needed.
  • There are no toxic effects reported for Chin cacti. They can be grown in the proximity of curious pets and children, however, their spines can be a bit dangerous.



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