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Epithelantha bokei

Scientific Name:

Epithelantha bokei

Common name:

Pingpong Ball Cactus, Button Cactus, Boke's Button Cactus










United States, Mexico

Hardiness Zone:



ABout the PLant

Epithelantha bokei is a unique and fascinating succulent native to the Chihuahuan Desert of northern Mexico. It is a small, globular cactus that typically grows no more than 4 inches in diameter. Its greenish-gray stems are covered with white tubercles and bristly spines that can reach up to 1 inch in length. The plant produces small, yellow flowers during the spring months, each with five petals. These flowers give way to red fruits which contain numerous black seeds. The leaves of Epithelantha bokei are very small, measuring only 0.1 inch in length. They are densely packed along the stem and have an almost scale-like appearance due to their thick waxy coating. Epithelantha bokei requires well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight for optimal growth. Watering should be done sparingly as this succulent is prone to root rot if overwatered. During the winter months, it is best to keep the plant dry as it goes dormant during this time. This species has been cultivated by gardeners since at least the early 1900s and remains popular today due its unique form and hardiness. Its slow growth rate makes it an ideal choice for those looking for a low maintenance addition to their collection of succulents.
Epithelantha bokei succulents prefer bright indirect light. They can tolerate direct light for a few hours a day, but should be protected from intense midday sun. Medium to low light is also suitable for this succulent, as long as it is not too dark or shady.
Epithelantha bokei succulents thrive in well-draining soil that is slightly acidic. The ideal soil mix should be a combination of equal parts cactus potting mix, perlite, and coarse sand. This will ensure the soil has enough air pockets to allow for adequate drainage and the right pH balance for the plant.
Epithelantha bokei succulents require a very light watering schedule. Water them only when the soil is completely dry, and then water until it runs out of the bottom of the pot. Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again. Overwatering can cause root rot, so be sure to not overwater this succulent!
The ideal humidity conditions for the Epithelantha bokei succulent are relatively low. It prefers a dry environment with humidity levels of around 30-40%. If you can keep it in an area with these humidity levels, your succulent should thrive!