Dwarf Chin Cactus Gymnocalycium baldianum

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
dwarf chin cactus


Commonly known as the dwarf chin cactus, this plant boasts a globe-shaped body that can be solitary or might produce multiple offsets in a cluster. Its color is a soft green, sometimes with a bluish hue, which serves as a backdrop to the numerous white or tan, spine-covered projections called ribs. These radial ribs give the cactus a ribbed appearance, each adorned with clusters of spines that can range from white to reddish-brown. The spines are relatively short and curved; they spread outward and can be densely packed, making a protective shield over the surface of the cactus. Bloom patterns provide a stark contrast to its body with flowers ranging a spectrum of pinks to sometimes nearly red shades. These flowers tend to form a halo near the top of the cactus, like a crown, often drawing pollinators such as bees with their vibrant allure. Underneath the show of flowers and spines, the cactus surface may exhibit areoles—small, round, cushion-like mounds, where spines grow from. The dwarf chin cactus has a prominent central spire, which is the tallest projection on the plant, commonly surrounded by smaller radial spines. This plant typically possesses a stout, rounded stem. Its overall formation allows it to have a pleasing symmetry that's easy on the eyes, while its relatively small and compact shape makes it a favorite among indoor plant enthusiasts and perfect for small-space gardening.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Dwarf Chin Cactus, Spider Cactus, Baldian's Gymnocalycium.

    • Common names

      Echinocactus baldianus, Echinocactus sanguiniflorus, Gymnocalycium sanguiniflorum, Gymnocalycium schlechteri.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Argentine cactus, commonly referred to as Gymnocalycium baldianum, is not known to be toxic to humans. In general, cacti of the genus Gymnocalycium are not associated with toxicity and do not typically pose a risk if touched or ingested. However, the physical risks posed by the spines and the potential irritation they can cause should be considered when handling. There are no documented symptoms of poisoning from the Argentine cactus because it is not considered poisonous.

    • To pets

      The Argentine cactus, known as Gymnocalycium baldianum, is not recognized as a toxic plant to pets. Similar to their effects on humans, cacti in the Gymnocalycium genus do not typically contain substances that are harmful if ingested by pets. Consequently, there are no specific symptoms of poisoning associated with this plant in animals. Nevertheless, the spines of the cactus can cause physical injury or irritation if a pet comes into contact with them, so it is still important for pet owners to be cautious and prevent pets from interacting with the plant.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6 inches (15 cm)

    • Spread

      6 inches (15 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental value: Gymnocalycium baldianum, commonly known as the dwarf chin cactus, is a popular ornamental plant due to its attractive spherical shape and colorful flowers.
    • Low maintenance: This cactus species requires minimal care, making it an ideal choice for busy individuals or those new to gardening.
    • Drought-tolerant: Being a cactus, it is highly drought-resistant, which is beneficial for water conservation and suitable for xeriscaping.
    • Suitable for indoor and outdoor settings: It can thrive both indoors and outdoors given the right conditions, offering versatility in landscaping and interior decorating.
    • Compact size: Its small size makes it suitable for cultivation in containers, terrariums, and small gardens where space is limited.
    • Non-toxic: The dwarf chin cactus is considered non-toxic, making it safe to grow in homes with pets and children.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Photography Prop: Due to its attractive spiny appearance and colorful flowers, Gymnocalycium baldianum, commonly known as dwarf chin cactus, is often used as a subject in macro photography and botanical art projects.
    • Educational Tool: Botanists and educators may use dwarf chin cactus to teach about cactus anatomy, reproductive strategies, and adaptation mechanisms within arid environments.
    • Feng Shui: Some practitioners of Feng Shui value dwarf chin cactus for its supposed ability to add balance, harmony, and positive energy to a home environment when placed in appropriate areas.
    • Thematic Decor: Dwarf chin cactus can be featured in desert-themed terrariums or miniature landscapes, complementing the aesthetic with its small size and interesting shape.
    • Collectible: Enthusiasts of succulents and cacti often seek out dwarf chin cactus as a collectible plant due to its variation in spine coloration and blooming patterns.
    • Gift Plant: Its small size and comparatively easy care make dwarf chin cactus an ideal gift for occasions such as housewarmings or as a part of a plant gift basket.
    • Stress Relief: Caring for and observing the growth of dwarf chin cactus might provide a form of relaxation and stress relief for some individuals, similar to other forms of gardening therapy.
    • Symbolic Gift: In certain cultures, giving a dwarf chin cactus can symbolize protection and endurance, due to the plant’s hardy nature and protective spines.
    • Seasonal Decorations: Dwarf chin cactus can be decorated with miniature holiday ornaments during festive seasons, turning it into a living seasonal decoration.
    • Crafting Projects: The unique form of dwarf chin cactus can inspire crafting projects, serving as a natural model for sculptures, pottery designs, or needlework patterns.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Argentine Cactus is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Argentine Cactus is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Resilience: The Gymnocalycium baldianum, commonly known as the Spider Cactus, is able to thrive in arid environments, showcasing its ability to endure and adapt to challenging conditions.
    • Beauty and Uniqueness: Its circular, symmetrical form combined with the distinctive beauty of its blooms makes the Spider Cactus a symbol of the unique allure found in unexpected places.
    • Persistence: The steady growth and slow bloom of the Spider Cactus represent persistence and the idea that patience can lead to rewarding outcomes.
    • Simplicity: Due to its minimal care requirements, the Spider Cactus is often associated with simplicity and an appreciation for the basics in life.

Every 2-3 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Dwarf Chin Cactus should be watered deeply but infrequently. During the active growing season in spring and summer, allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings, which typically means watering every 7-10 days, depending on humidity and temperature. Reduce watering in fall and winter to once a month or when the soil is completely dry. Water the plant with about 8-10 ounces of water each time during the growing season, ensuring you do not overwater as this can lead to root rot.

  • sunLight

    The Dwarf Chin Cactus thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. A spot near an east or west-facing window is ideal, providing plenty of light without the harshness of direct midday sun. If grown outdoors, provide partial shade to prevent sunburn, especially during the peak intensity hours.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Dwarf Chin Cactus prefers a warm climate with temperatures ranging from 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It can survive brief periods of colder temperatures down to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit but sustained cold can damage the plant. The ideal temperature range for robust growth is between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • scissorsPruning

    Dwarf Chin Cactus generally requires minimal pruning. Pruning is mostly done to remove any dead or damaged spines or to shape the cactus if desired. The best time to prune is during the growing season. Pruning can be done once a year or as needed depending on the condition of the cactus.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for Dwarf Chin Cactus is a well-draining cactus mix, with added perlite or coarse sand to improve drainage. Aim for a soil pH between 6.0 to 7.5.

  • plantRepotting

    Dwarf Chin Cactus should be repotted every two to three years, or when it has outgrown its current pot.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Dwarf Chin Cactus thrives in low to moderate humidity levels, typical of arid environments it originates from.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place in bright, indirect light with good ventilation.

    • Outdoor

      Needs partial sun to light shade, protect from heavy rain.

    • Hardiness zone

      9-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Gymnocalycium baldianum, commonly known as the dwarf chin cactus, begins its life cycle when seeds germinate in warm, moist soil. As seedlings establish, they develop fleshy, green stems and radial spines, entering a slow growth phase that can last several years until they reach maturity. During their growth, dwarf chin cacti experience periodic growth spurts, especially in warmer seasons, when water and light conditions are optimal. Once mature, typically after several years, they produce colorful, trumpet-shaped flowers from the crown during spring or summer, which are pollinated by insects. Following pollination, the flowers develop into fruit containing seeds, which, when dispersed, have the potential to start new plants. Throughout its lifetime, which can span many decades, Gymnocalycium baldianum endures as a resilient succulent, requiring minimal water and care, while adapting to periods of drought by storing water within its stem.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Gymnocalycium baldianum, commonly known as the spider cactus, is typically propagated through seeds. The ideal time for sowing seeds is during spring or early summer when temperatures are warm, which provides an optimal growing environment for seedlings. To propagate spider cactus by seeds, one should first acquire a soil mix that is specifically designed for cacti, and ensure it is well-draining to prevent root rot. The seeds should be scattered on the surface of the moistened soil and then lightly covered with a fine layer of sand or the same soil mix. The container with the seeds should be placed in a warm spot with indirect light and covered with a clear plastic wrap or placed inside a propagator to maintain humidity. Regular misting is necessary to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Seedlings usually emerge within a few weeks and can be carefully transplanted into individual pots when they are large enough to handle.