2019 55¢ Cactus Flower (Parodia microsperma)
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: February 15, 2019
First Day City: Mesa, AZ
Type of Stamp: Definitive
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset
Format: Double-sided booklet of 20
Quantity Printed: 400,000,000
Growing and collecting cacti is a fun and rewarding hobby that rose in popularity during the 21st century. Some of these collections contain hundreds of plants, but nearly every collector began with a single cactus.
When first introduced to cacti, experts recommend choosing an easy-to-grow genus like Parodia. One of the best species to start with is the golden Tom Thumb (Parodia microsperma). It is a small to medium-sized ball cactus that will not overwhelm a beginner, but is still showy and impressive looking when well cared for.
The golden Tom Thumb cactus is native to southern Bolivia and northern Argentina. Because it is from South America, this cactus is used to a bit more water than cacti from North American deserts. So when keeping a golden Tom Thumb as a house plant, it needs similar growing conditions. This means well-draining soil mixed with small rocks and sand, indirect sunlight, and water as needed to keep soil slightly damp. In winter, the soil should be allowed to dry out more.
The golden Tom Thumb is a resilient cactus and rarely dies off unless severely overwatered or exposed to extreme cold. Otherwise, the golden Tom Thumb blooms readily and will brighten the new grower's home with yellow, orange, or red flowers every spring.