How to cultivate Parodia
La Parodia (Parodia Speg., 1923) is a genus of plants belonging to the Cactaceae family, with origins from South America. The name of the genus is in honor of the Argentine botanist Lorenzo Raimundo Parodi (1895-1966) and includes about thirty species among which we recall:
– Parodia microsperma – which is recognized by its golden-yellow thorns and its yellow flowers arranged on the apex of the plant;
– Parodia catamarcensis – characterized by woolly areoles from which a reddish thorn and white-yellowish flowers emerge;
– Magnificent parody – with medium-long spines and yellow flowers;
– Parodia mutabilis – with flat ribs, woolly areoles, hooked thorns and yellow flowers;
– Parodia sanguiniflora – characterized by areolas with short bristly spines with a hooked dark spine and dark red flowers in the center.
In this card we will see how to cultivate the Parodia (pronunciation paròdia) following its climatic and pedological needs.
Parodia can be grown in the ground and in pots. In the first case, since the temperature in the winter should never be lower than 4 ° C, it is clear that, in Italy, it can only be grown in the southern areas and in areas mitigated by the sea temperature.
For cultivation in pots, on the other hand, we must take into account that Parodia requires very small pots.
The substrate on which to cultivate it must be very porous and must be composed of fertilized earth, with the addition of at least a fifth part of very coarse sand. This will allow the plant good vegetative conditions and, above all, a good drainage of the waters to avoid the emergence of radical rot.
For the choice of the area where to cultivate the Parodia it is good to identify very sunny places so as to allow the plant to be in the most suitable climatic conditions.
The waterings must be carried out in the period from the vegetative restart (around the period of March) to October; however, watering should be done only when the soil appears dry, and should be completely suspended in winter to allow the plant a good vegetative rest. Winter rest (vernalization) is necessary to have an abundant flowering in the following season. We still remember that the temperature in the winter period should not be less than 4 ° C.
Finally, the multiplication of Parodia.
The technique of multiplication of this plant can take place only by seed as Parodia does not produce suckers. The seed, which is very small, should be sown, kept lightly pressed on a base of thin sand that must be kept moist and in a shady position at a temperature of around 20-22 ° C. We remember that the growth from seed is slower and the young seedlings will take a year to reach an adequate size in order to be potted or planted in the ground.