The Best Succulents Box Review Guide For You

Succulents Box Subscription Review

We love getting plants delivered! Our local nursery is a little slim on the succulent pickings, so plant subscription boxes, like Succulent Box, allow us to try out so many species we never would’ve gotten a chance to own. 

We’re always super excited to receive our plants in the mail, and a little nervous. Succulents are pretty hard to ship. Their leaves are delicate and fragile, so they’re easily damaged in transit. The leaves can even fall off if the succulents aren’t properly packaged and get jostled around too much!

When we got our Succulent Box in the mail, we were relieved to discover that all of our plants were ok! Thanks to the ample padding in the box, none of our succulents were damaged.

Succulents Box Review
Just look at all those packing peanuts! Our succulents could not have been safer.

Time to Unwrap!

We carefully unwrapped all of our new succulents and were really impressed with how they looked.

Succulents Box Review
Plant family photo!

Would you be able to tell that these succulents were wrapped in bubble wrap just a few minutes ago? We wouldn’t—they don’t look misshapen at all!

We loved that every succulent came with a little identification card. It’s easy to figure out which genus your succulent belongs to, but it can be pretty hard to figure out the species and variety.

We definitely would’ve known that the succulent on the left in the photo above was an Echeveria, but we might not have figured out it was a Blue Elf. So we really appreciate the fact that these ID cards were included in the subscription box!

Succulents Box Review
Care instructions and a coupon code—sweet!

We also liked that the subscription box came with care instructions. It had some really helpful tips, like acclimate your succulent plants gradually to sunlight to keep them from burning and water them less during the winter. It had almost everything someone new to succulents would need to know to take great care of their plant babies!

Now let’s take a closer look at each plant that came in the box!

What’s Inside?

Our subscription box came with four succulent plants: one Echeveria, two Sedums, and one Sempervivum.

A Succulent Box like this one with four plants only costs $20, so each succulent costs $5. Not bad, right?

We’d say this cute little Echeveria ‘Blue Elf’ is worth the price!

Succulents Box Review
Echeveria ‘Blue Elf’

And so is this Sedum ‘Firestorm’ below. The edges of its leaves turn a beautiful bright red color in the sun. You can already see that they’re starting to turn red, but we can’t wait until the colors get even more vibrant!

Succulents Box Review
Sedum ‘Firestorm’

Here’s one of the Sempervivums⁠—a beautiful Pachyphyllum plant. Look at those gorgeous fleshy green leaves!

Succulents Box Review
Sempervivum Pachyphyllum

Last but not least, here’s a closer look at the Sempervivum Calcareum.

Succulents Box Review
Sempervivum Calcareum

This succulent has a big, beautiful green rosette with a hint of maroon on the tips of its leaves! Isn’t it gorgeous?

Looks like it’s already sprouting a chick, too, so this succulent is basically two for the price of one!

Overall Consensus

Overall, we’re super happy with our Succulent Box! The plants look healthy and didn’t arrive with any kind of damage. We loved all the extra touches that the box came with, like the succulent identification cards and the care instructions. The bright blue packaging on the outside of the box was super cute too!

As you can see from the photos above, there’s a nice variety of succulents in this box. They’re pretty good size as well—the ones you’d get from a nursery wouldn’t be much bigger.

And who knows if a nursery near you would even have all of these unique succulents! We’ve personally never seen an Echeveria ‘Blue Elf’ at any of the garden centers near us.

Plus, going to the garden center is not nearly as fun as getting a subscription box in the mail. Having a succulent surprise delivered to our door and not knowing what was in it was so exciting!

 

Succulents Box Review

Full Succulents Box

Would you guys get a plant subscription box like Succulent Box? We’d definitely get one again, especially since they start at $5! We also love that their 300 varieties of succulents and air plants are organically grown in California, making them a quick- ship when ordering within the USA.

Ready to get your subscription box started? Head to this link to order yours!


Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below or share in our Facebook group, Succulent City Plant Lounge. We’re sure our fellow succulent lovers would love to hear from you!

Have your own succulent subscription box, or planters, or any succulent- related item you’d like for us to review? Contact us to inquire, we’d love more succulents for the office!

Before your new succulent babies deliver, make sure you check out our care guides so you’re fully prepared! Check out When You Should Water Your Succulents, How to Propagate Your Succulents Successfully, and Your Ultimate Guide on How to Care for Air Plants!

Calling all succulents lovers— rookie or veteran! Succulent City has developed a line of 12 ebooks (see here), ranging on topics from indoor & outdoor succulents, essential tools, the best soil to use, and more! We even threw in a complimentary ebook to help get your succulent journey started you just have to insert your email on our front page for this. With our ebooks you’ll be a succulent guru in no time, have fun!

Have fun and happy planting! 🌱

How to Tell If Your Cactus is Dying

How to Tell if Cactus is Dying

It’s been some time since you got that cactus. You’re doing all you can to make sure it thrives. Watering. Fertilizing. Sunlight exposure.

You name ’em!

But you haven’t seen a slightest change in quite some time. Is the little thingy really growing? How do you know you’re doing the right thing as far cacti care is concerned?

Worse still, is your cactus dying?

Maybe yes. Maybe no.

One thing with cactuses is that they take time (years) to show any considerable change in size – most of them. Even then, as the plants are growing, you have to be on the lookout for any signs of deviation from normal growth patterns.

This is how you tell your cactus is dying.

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@designs4seasons

Signs That Your Cactus is Dying

Discoloring cactus

A cactus plant will take on a tinge that is not naturally its own. Depending on where the problem is coming from, the change in color may start at the top end of stem segments or from the base the soil. Dying is guaranteed if rapid action is not taken.

Droopy leaves on cacti

Dying in the few leaf-bearing cacti (like epiphylum) is signaled by downward pointing leaves that lack vigor.

This gives the cactus plant a general unhealthy look (because it is, right?). It will also appear under watered even when you’ve excelled in quenching it.

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@lindastarguitar

Soft segments around your cactus

The change of colour above may be accompanied by squishy stem segments that appear swollen.

This also means they can break off easily with minimal force applied.

Try pulling a spine off. That’s a dying cactus if you manage to pull off the specialized leaves.

Instability in your cactus potting soil

You’ll know this if the plant has a lean. Not bent – just the whole plant leaning to a particular side. A dying cactus is shaky in its potting mix and may appear as though it’s about to fall off – well, it will definitely fall off if you moved it, for a severe case. A sign of lack of roots. Or the existing ones may be too weak to properly support the plant.

This is assuming you potted the plant just right.

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@plant_n_grow

Foul smells coming from your cactus plant

Now, that’s a really bad sign. A foul smell means a large part of the cactus is completely rotten and there is nothing you can do to save it.

In other words, it is no longer in the dying process, it’s actually deceased now. All you can really do now is dispose of your fighting cactus plant and obtain a new one whether it be from a purchase or from a friend.

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@plant_n_grow

Why is Your Cactus Dying?

Overwatering

The age-old sure way to kill a cactus is by treating it to frequent watering sprees. It may look like a sensible thing to do. Only that with a cactus, the more frequent it is getting water, the higher the chances of it dying. Make sure to check out our article on how often to water your cactus if you need a refresher.

This is so because the water is such a perfect condition for rot.

Inappropriate potting medium

If you didn’t get the memo – your regular potting soil is a no-go zone for a cactus. It just holds on to water for way longer than your plant would prefer.

So, even if you get the watering correct, the soil mix will pull you back a couple of steps. The long periods of dampness are a nice condition for rot. And before you know it, your plant is exhibiting signs of dying.

We highly recommend this soil mix by Bonsai Jack. It is one of the best soil mixes on the market. It doesn’t need to be mixed with any other soil, it helps fight root rot, perfectly pH Balanced & is pathogen-free (ie: won’t kill your plants). This soil is the go-to for our office plants. Go ahead and get the 7 Gallon Bag if you are plant nerd like us :). Pick up some of our favorite soil by clicking here: Bonsai Jack Succulent Soil.

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A wound becoming infected

It may have happened that a part of the stem broke off leaving an open patch.

Such a part is just what bacteria and some pests need to wreck havoc on your cactus. It is soft therefore making it an easy target for insects with munching tendencies. Bacterial infection may come about mainly in the cold weather or when the plant is not exposed to enough sunlight for the injured part to callous over time.

Such wounds cause the plant to start dying from top.

Wrong pot size

Getting the wrong size of a pot for your cactus is a sure way of kicking off its dying process. It could be too small or too large.

Small or large in this case will depend on the size of your cactus.

A pot that is smaller than your plant will choke up its roots as there is little breathing space. A larger than life pot on the other hand is bound to keep so much water sparking off rotting in both the roots and stem. Talk about a double tragedy… you’ll have to find the right balance that’s good for your specific cactus.

 

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@kelseyemstevens

How to Save a Dying Cactus

Whether or not your plant can be saved, depends on the extent of rot. For instance, as you’ve seen above, a foul smell emanating from your cactus is a sign that you’ve lost that plant.

But in cases where dying is just getting started, it’s possible to salvage the plant or part of it for propagation purposes.

If the rot is starting off at the top of the stem, cut away small pieces of it (the stem) as you move down to the base of the plant. You want to make sure the any rotten material is done away with for good. Only stop when you reach healthy tissue.

If the plant is taking a beating from the roots up, you’ll have to take the propagation route. Just as above, cut up the plant until you have only healthy tissue before you stop. Let the cut part dry and set it up in a well-draining mix.

How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@designs4seasons

Also, make sure to check other aspects like the potting medium, the size of the pot and your watering. Make the following changes if you haven’t already:

  • Repot the plant remnant in a pot that fits it exactly, leaving just enough space for the soil mix. Also, remember to use a commercial cactus and succulent mix or create one by mixing regular potting soil with coarse sand and pumice.
  • Water only when the top part of the mix is dry.

Additionally, if pests and diseases were a part of the problem, apply the appropriate chemicals so as the remaining part of the plant is free from these past ghosts.

Now you’re in the know about dying cactus plants. The signs, reasons, handling and preventing. Time to check around your cacti collection and do the necessary.

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How to Tell if Your Cactus is Dying
@lucyonthego1

Have you learned how to tell if your cactus is dying or not? Let us know what we missed out and we’ll be sure to include it in the article, we want to help as many cactus lovers as we can.

REMINDER: We have an ~exclusive~ Facebook succulent group where you can join in on fellow succulent- lovers’ conversations and post your own experiences & photos! Check it out now!

Calling all succulents lovers— rookie or veteran! Succulent City has developed a line of 12 ebooks (see here), ranging on topics from indoor & outdoor succulents, essential tools, good soil to use, and more! We even threw in a complimentary ebook to help get your succulent journey started you just have to insert your email on our front page for this. With our ebooks you’ll be a succulent guru in no time, have fun!

Thanks for reading and happy cacti planting! (:

What is a Cactus Plant?

What is a Cactus?

The cactus is a very popular plant, no questions about that, right?

Among the more than 10,000 succulent species out there, cacti steal the show with just how every plant enthusiast is on the prowl on grabbing at least one of them. They surely reign supreme not just in the succulents’ circles but the whole houseplants empire.

You have one sitting around, right? Definitely. I know we do.

So, it’s only prudent that you at least have a little bit of more information about your plant. Here it is.

What is a Cactus?
cactus on cactus on cactus @olivra.cactusucculents

Why is it Named “Cactus”?

Cactus is a Latin-inspired word from the ancient Greek life. Back then, kaktos was the word used to refer to a spiky plant that was prevalent in Sicily.

But as time will have it, the name gradually became a reference to the present day plants we know, most which are desert dwellers in the wild.

Cactus in the Botany World

In scientific terms, cactus belongs to the family— Cactaceae. This family is a vast collection under which there are more than 120 genera and an upwards of 1,700 species.

Though the majority here grow in arid and semiarid areas, a select few cacti thrive in tropical regions with far much better conditions for lush growth.

Here’s an article depicting the difference between cacti and succulents.

What is a Cactus?
stand tall @thornlesscactus_

Origin of Cactus

Cacti are largely endemic to the American continents. The whole regions from north to south are home to dozens of known cactus plants.

The northern limit stretches all the way to Western Canada. In the south, the cacti cover extends to Chile, British Columbia, Alberta Argentina and Patagonia.

Mexico takes the lion’s share, as the country native to the most species of cacti.

The only cactus without its roots in these regions is the Rhipsalis Baccifera, which has been found to be a native of parts of East Africa, Madagascar and Sri Lanka.

Before we continue, we wanted to share this awesome opportunity from Amazon, in honor of our recent partnership with the online- giant! For a limited time, Amazon is offering a FREE 30-day trial of their famous Amazon Prime Membership. Get full access to all the perks, including FREE 2-day shipping on all eligible products. Click this link to learn more and sign up today!

What is a Cactus?
pickles? Or cacti? @houseplantcanvas

General Characteristics of Cacti

Most cacti are adapted to thrive in conditions of little water. The following are the physical attributes that make this possible. Of course, there are exceptions which form just a small part of the cactus type.

If you need some additional help on when to water your succulents, we have the perfect article for you!

What is a Cactus?
bright and sunny @houstonpetals

Short Growing Season and Long Periods of Dormancy

Water availability (rather lack of it) is a strong contributor to this. The growing seasons coincide with periods of rain, which are obviously short-lived. Consequently, the plants have to use this limited time (and the additional vital resource) to develop.

Growth is put on hold as soon the rains are over to preserve as much water as possible.

When it’s time to repot your cactus, check out this article!

A Shallow Root System

This is very important in the desert ecosystem, where rains are far apart. The roots are found near the surface and spread out over a large area so that any water droplets are immediately sucked up and stored.

What is a Cactus?
careful where you walk… @natizxy

Highly Modified Leaves in the Form of Spines

Most cacti are devoid of leaves. Instead, they possess spikes that serve a number purposes

  • They deter desert herbivores from feeding on them
  • Reduce loss of water from the stem by being hindrances to free flow of air around the plant.

The spikes also serve as distinctive features of different cacti plants. By looking at them, you can be able to tell which plant it is that you’re handling. That’s by observing properties like color, number, shape, size and hardness.

Just in case you may be a little clumsy (like some us here), here’s a useful pair of tweezers that have help us pull out a cactus thorn… or two.

What is a Cactus?
too cute to eat @marj.jpg

Store Water in Their Stems

Succulents typically store water in their leaves. But for cacti, their reduced leaves come up short on size.

So, the stem is the part equipped for this function. The presence of spikes and a waxy cuticle greatly reduces the amount that is lost in the air.

The stem is also a food factory for the plant.

Here’s a more in-depth conversation about what adaptations a cactus has. Check it out! And here’s a useful watering bottle for when your cacti become thirsty!

What is a Cactus?
an army of cacti @theboskycompany

Specialized Branches in the Form of Areoles

Areoles are a feature specific to cacti. They are small hairy structures found on the stems.

From the areoles, spikes and flowers emerge. Areoles on the lower parts of the stem become inactive after a few years leaving those at the terminals to keep up with their function.

What is a Cactus?
photogenic cactus @viverolafelicidad

More Than Just Ornamental Plants— Uses of Cacti

Of course cacti are grown for the main reason of raising the aesthetic appeal of a place – be it a home or an office. Or as a hobby.

Here’s a few planters we love tat would look great in your house! Check out this one with a bamboo archway, these cute minimalistic ceramic pots, or even this festive cactus pot!

The large number of species really does provide more than enough options in terms of color, shape and size. But then this same number is a gateway to more cacti benefits. Have a look.

And if you’re curious… Here’s our interpretation of what it means if someone gifts you a cactus!

What is a Cactus?
it’s a cactus… inside of a cactus! @uurscactuses

Food

Cacti are a known source of food in many regions across the world. Generally, any fleshy fruit from a cactus is a potential savory delight.

Apart from fruits, flowers and pads of some cacti species are edible. The Indian Fig Cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica) is one of the plants whose fruits and pads can be munched. It is widely recognized for this in Mexico and parts of Africa. Check out this edible Prickly Pear Cactus.

Other cacti grown for food are Carnegiea Gigantea, Stenocereus Queretaoensis, Hylocereus Undatus among others.

Cacti can even become a part of your daily beauty routine, with this antioxidant serum!

Fodder / Forage

Human beings are not the only beneficiaries of the edible nature of some cacti. Livestock too enjoy a mouthful of these desert vegetation. But first, the spines will have to be removed. Manadacaru (Cereus Jamacaru) is the most common cactus for this purpose.

What is a Cactus?
bloomin’ cactus @thetrexgarden

Medicine

The medicinal properties of cacti are just limitless. Among the numerous species, there are a host of them that can be used to combat common illnesses effectively. They are:

  • Night-blooming Cereus whose stems and flowers are processed to manufacture medicine for urinary tract infections
  • Peyote whose extracts play a role in regulating blood pressure and sleep
  • Prickly Pear which is used to treat a range of conditions like indigestion, burned wounds and oedema. Here’s our article devoted to the Prickly Pear!

Other common uses include fencing and making alcoholic drinks (fermenting fruit syrup).

What is a Cactus?
Lime green cactus! @mook_cactus

What do you think? Are you ready to own a cactus (or add 10 more to your already existing collection)?

Let us help you get started! Have you heard of Succulents Box? They offer more than 200 varieties of succulents and cacti, that are organically grown in California, along with monthly subscription boxes of fresh succulents and air plants! Starting at just $5/month, you could be on your way to creating a beautiful succulent garden, all from the comfort of shopping at home! Click this link to learn more about Succulents Box and start your subscription today! 

Want to continue expanding your cacti knowledge? Check out these additional Succulent City articles — How to Check if Your Cactus is Dying, How to Make Your Own Succulent Soil at Home, 9 Rare Cacti That’s Hard to Find, or What is the Purpose of Thorns on a Cactus Plant + many, many more on our website!

Thanks for reading! Be sure to join our ever- growing succulent community on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Calling all succulents/cacti lovers— rookie or veteran! Succulent City has developed a line of 12 ebooks (see here), ranging on topics from indoor & outdoor succulents, essential tools, the best soil to use, and more! We even threw in a complimentary ebook to help get your succulent journey started you just have to insert your email on our front page for this. With our ebooks you’ll be a succulent guru in no time, have fun!

Happy planting! ?

Jumping Cholla Cactus (Cylindropuntia Fulgida)

Jumping Cholla Cactus Cylindropuntia Fulgida

You may have seen this hairy megaflora shimmering in a golden-brown glow of the hot desert sunset. It has a lazy stem, like an old man trying to stand straight with multiple branches concealed under thousands of spikes upon spikes upon spikes. It has a reputation for being one of the most terrifying foliage in the world, causing woe and pain to any creature that dares cross its path. This is a close-up moment with Cylindropuntia fulgida.

Stretching across the arid plains of the Sonoran Desert to parts of the Colorado Desert in South West USA, the Cylindropuntia fulgida grows wildly, stretching its roots to altitudes about 4000 ft above sea level. There are about 30 different species of cacti belonging to the genus Cylindropuntia, with the Fulgida being the most feared.

Jumping Cholla Cactus Cylindropuntia Fulgida
There are about 30 different species of cacti @labrujaitzel

Cylindropuntia Fulgida

The Cylindropuntia fulgida is an arborescent plant, meaning it takes the shape of a tree. It has a main cylindrical trunk that holds multiple, low drooping branches. It grows to a height between 6 and 15 ft tall (1.8 and 4.5 meters) and 8 ft (2.4 meters) in diameter, and the entire plant is covered in wart-like projections.

Instead of having leaves, the Cylindropuntia fulgida has 0.5 to 1-inch (1.27 to 2.54 cm) long spines coming out of areoles. There are about 6 to 12 spines in every areole, and the spines have a paper-thin sheath that reflects light, illuminating the plant in silver, gold, white, or tan hues. These spines have a double duty to the plant; to protect it from hungry herbivores and to act as a shield, preventing the plant from overheating in the desert sun.

Jumping Cholla Cactus

During February and March, Cylindropuntia fulgida blossoms yellow-green flowers at the edges of the branches. After each flowering season, the plant produces a red, pear-shaped fruit that looks wrinkled and is spotted with a few spines. These fruits have been lifesavers for bighorn sheep and certain deer species, especially during drought seasons.

The fruits grow off the same stalk every year, creating a hanging fruit chain that can get up to 2 feet (60.96 cm) long. This fruit string gives this plant the colloquial names Hanging Chain Cholla, Chain Fruit Cholla, Cholla Brincadora, Velas de Coyote, and Boxing Glove Cholla. This cactus is also known as Jumping Cholla Cactus from the ease at which the thorny stems break off or ‘jump’ on anything that passes by.

Jumping Cholla Cactus Cylindropuntia Fulgida
Jumping Cholla In The Desert

Spiky on the Outside, As Well as the Inside

As if the sharp spikes were not enough to dissuade you from going near the plant, the spikes of the Cylindropuntia fulgida are hollow and have barbs called glochids. When these indented spines attach themselves to any place or surface with moisture, for example, the skin, the glochids curve once they have made contact, interlocking their spines underneath the surface of the skin. Just the thought of it makes you want to wince in pain and agony.

A Challenger For Green Thumbs

As absolutely insane as this plant sounds, it can be the showstopper to break the usual garden plant monotony. The one thing that Cylindropuntia fulgida is picky about is the type of soil it grows in.

This cactus prefers soil with pH levels of between 6.0 and 7.5. Too much acidity or alkalinity in the soil will destroy the roots of the plant. The soil must also be well-draining, because like other succulents, the Cylindropuntia fulgida is very susceptible to root rot.

The Cylindropuntia fulgida is a hard-core, drought-resistant cactus that loves to spend at least 6 hours a day in direct sunlight. This water-once-and-forget-about-it plant does well with short, infrequent drinks of water during the summer and an occasional spritz during winter. When you want to get the best out of your Cylindropuntia fulgida, you could treat your plant to a granular fertilizer that is formulated for succulents and cacti, or good quality, water-soluble fertilizer.

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Next time you are roaming around the desert, keep your eye out for this spiky little creature because wherever it lands if there is moisture, it will immediately start to grow. As mother always said, be careful, don’t bring home strangers!

Thank you for reading! Be sure to check out similar articles from the cacti species like “Giant Barrel Cactus – Echinocactus Platyacanthus” or even “Mysterious Christmas Cactus – Schlumbergera Bridgesii“.

If you’d like this read you’re going to love our full in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers asking for more, we listened and can’t wait to share it with you here! With our very detailed ebooks, you’ll get more information than these short articles, some ebooks are 30+ pages, perfect for a weekend read. 

Happy Planting! 🌵

Mammillaria— The Pincushion Cactus, All About It

The pin cushion cactus mammilliaria

The pincushion cactus is just one of the huge collection of cacti available in beautiful homes and apartments. And in the wild for that matter.

It is already a sure thing that you’re interested in knowing more about this particular cactus. We know you want it to be part of your houseplants collection, plus it’s one of the most popular cacti out there.

If the pincushion cactus plant is already in your home, then you want to ensure it doesn’t just survive but thrives to change your home for the better. In other words, we always love when someone compliments our plants indoors, we appreciate them so much and i’m sure you do too!

And that’s exactly what you’ll walk away with at the end of this post. No holds barred; everything you need to know about the pincushion cactus plant.

Ready. Set. Go!

The pin cushion cactus mammilaria
@jazzalicioussucculents

The Pincushion Cactus

Scientific classification

The pincushion cactus is a common name for the variety of cacti in the genus Mammillaria of the family Cactaceae. With over 200 known species, Mammillaria is the largest genus in the family.

The first species was named back in the 16th century by Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus. Cactus mammillaris was the name given with the second part of it being an alteration of the Latin word for nipple (mammila). It had all to do with the shape of this particular plant as you’ll see later.

Apart from pincushion cactus, other common names include:

  • Nipple cactus
  • Globe cactus
  • Fishhook cactus

Interesting names, right?

Well, here are some more of different species from this genus: Woolly Nipple, Old Lady, Cushion Fox tail and Owl’s eyes. Talk about a weird variety of cacti names!

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Origin

Being such a huge collection of species, Mammillaria is native to several countries. But a good deal of plants have their roots in Mexico. The remaining minority have been traced to have originated from

  • Venezuela
  • The Caribbean
  • The United States
  • Honduras
  • Colombia
  • Guatemala
The pin cushion cactus mammillaris
@kelseychapmann

Description

The pincushion cactus has a small size perfect for these cute owl planters we have in the office and other varied shapes as per the particular species. On average, it can grow to a height of up to 40 cm (15.75 in) and a diameter of up to 20 cm (7.87 in). Most plants are cylindrical, conical, round and pyramidal in shape.

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Some species of the pincushion cactus plant grow as loners while others throw up as much as 100 little ones around them. 

This spiny hardy pincushion cactus plant bears funnel-shaped flowers with a wide variety of colors – red, yellow, pink, white and greenish. The flowers later develop into fruits of a host of shapes and colors. These fruits can bear resemblance to a berry, be elongated or club-shaped. They’re usually red, but other common colors include white, green, magenta and yellow.

How to take care of Mammillaria

Nurturing the pincushion cactus plant is a breeze especially if you’re just getting started with houseplants. It is by nature, adapted to fight through harsh conditions.

So that goes to say that a little too much pampering on your side could prove to be fatal. But that doesn’t mean you completely forget about your plant. Here are a few care regimens to follow for the pincushion cactus plant.

Watering Mammillaria Plants

The general rule for succulents applies – not too much water.

That means you water over prolonged periods of time. But how long should you wait before watering your pincushion cactus again?

Depends with what the condition is of the topsoil that’s in your favorite pot.

Allow enough time for this top part to completely dry out before you water your pincushion cactus again. And when you do water, do it well, here’s a full in depth article for watering succulents that can be applied to cacti as well.

If you already have a plethora of knowledge in watering cacti or succulents, just remember to let the water run off before you stop, drainage holes are very important to both succulents and cacti.

Tip: During winter, cease watering for the whole season.

If you are unsure of how much water to give your pincushion cactus or other succulents be sure to join Succulent City Plant Lounge on Facebook to have an exclusive member answer your questions for you. The community is rapidly growing, don’t miss out on the succulent fun!

Pin cushion cactus mammillaris
@rosemountnursery96

Ideal Temperature for Mammillaria Plants

Cold temperatures are a deal-breaker for the pincushion cacti, it’s not like they have cute “plants are friends” sweaters laying around the office. So winter can be a rough season for them if you’ve set them up outdoors. Consider bringing them inside as the cold catches on.

For best growth, these plants need temperatures of between 10°C to 24°C (50°F to 75.2°F).

In short, warm is the way to go. To lear more about winter for succulents read: “How To Take Care of Succulents in The Winter”.

Soil Mix that Works well with Mammillaria Cacti

The soil mix is of ultimate importance for the pincushion cactus.

Because, even if you’re keeping your watering far apart, the soil should drain faster to provide the ideal growth for your pincushion cactus plant. Remember it doesn’t need that much water just like other cacti plants.

So your potting mix should be ideal for cactus growth. Either buy the commercial cactus and succulent mix or prepare your own at home by mixing regular potting soil, pumice and coarse sand in measured quantities.

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01/21/2021 06:37 am GMT

Fertilizing Your Mammillaria Cactus

This isn’t much of a bother but it definitely goes a long way in improving the general development of your plant.

You can incorporate a slow-release fertilizer in the potting mix above and you’ll be set for life. Or, for even better results, use a specially-formulated feed for cacti every other two weeks during the growth period – any other season except winter.

The pin cushion cactus mammillaris
@photosyntheticphotography

Giving Enough Sunlight for Your Mammillaria Cactus

The pincushion cacti love light. Lots of it. Be sure to give your pincushion cactus plenty of light, for this particular plant, a normal grow light might not be sufficient enough in case you were wondering.

Therefore, it’s only sensible that you give your pincushion cactus the sunlight love it deserves as much as possible. They will appreciate you with all the colors they can get (recall them from above).

As if we can’t say it enough, basically, they thrive on full day sunlight all year round.

How to Propagate Pincushion Cactus

The pincushion cactus can be propagated through two simple ways; offsets and seeds.

For offsets, all you need to do is to pluck them from the mother plant. Careful, don’t hurt the plant or your hands use gardening gloves if you can. Now, allow the cut part to dry up for a few days and pot the pups in a well-draining soil mix.

Side note: Speaking of the PinCushion Cacti, we have succulent pins of all kinds, pinning it on your book bag or tote like us in the office is the way to go, they’re just super cute!

For seeds, the process should start off in spring. Use a cacti-mix-filled flat. Sow the seeds on top of the mix and lightly cover them with sand. Keep the top moist and store this set up in a warm place. Ideal temperature should not be less than 21°C (69.8°F). Remember to be watering the mix so that the seeds don’t dry out.

Pot the plants when they’ve grown to a considerable size.

For more tips and tricks read: “5 Tips For Propagating Succulents”.

Repotting the Pincushion Cactus

Repotting cacti is an essential step for most succulents, if not all. Especially for the pincushion cactus that bares offsets.

As a rule, repot when the roots start showing through the drainage holes in the post. Also, when pups have filled up the container.

Before embarking on this process, be sure to loosen up the soil using something like a blunt knife or your normal gardening tool. And the soil here should be dry. Once again, dry, that’s a very important detail to keep in mind when repotting.

Use a pot just large enough for the plant. Not something major. Again, beware of the spikes. You can use a rolled up once of cloth or thick gloves to stay in the safe. 

New to repotting plants? Check out our tailor-made guide: “How to Repot A Cactus Plant (Beginners Guide)”

Fiskars Softouch Garden Tool 3 Piece Set, 70676935J
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Fiskars Softouch Garden Tool 3 Piece Set, 70676935J
Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Working Gloves for Women and Men. Ultimate...
Fiskars Softouch Garden Tool 3 Piece Set, 70676935J
Fiskars Softouch Garden Tool 3 Piece Set, 70676935J
Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Working Gloves for Women and Men. Ultimate...
Pine Tree Tools Bamboo Working Gloves for Women and Men. Ultimate...

Last update on 2021-01-19 / Amazon

The pin cushion cactus plant mammillaris
@mauliflower14

The Pincushion Cactus Pests and Diseases Problems

The most common types of pests affecting the Mammillaria plants are mealybugs and scale bugs.

Obviously, they are going to negatively interfere with your plant’s growth. So, it’s important to wipe them away as soon as you spot them. Control their spreading by separating affected plants from the rest of the pack. Spray the affected plants with an effective pesticide or a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water.

The pincushion cactus isn’t prone to disease. But watch out for any signs of rot – majorly due to overwatering habits.

Uses of the Pincushion Cactus

How many colors have you read so far in connection to the pincushion cactus? A lot! From the tubercles themselves to the flowers and fruits. They’re quite a number.

To have such colors in your home can be a nice feeling. For this reason, these cacti are grown for their colors. They are valuable collections for anyone who fancies themselves as gardeners. 

Where Can I Buy the Pincushion Cactus?

The pin cushion cactus mammillaris
@oregongardening

Just about everywhere with a succulents’ section. For online, you can check out Amazon, Mountain Crest Gardens, Leaf and Clay and Succulent Gardens.

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For offline purchases be sure to browse around in your local nurseries. Here’s a full article on where you can buy succulents and cacti both online and offline.


Thinking of getting a pincushion cactus for yourself now? Comment below if you’re going to get one soon!

If you’d like, share it with us in the Succulent City Plant Lounge, I’m sure the exclusive members would love to hear how you take care of your pincushion cactus.

Loved learning about this pincushion cactus succulent and now inspired to add more to your collection?! (We don’t blame you) Check out Succulent City’s new line of ebooks covering topics from, “All the Types of Succulents for Indoor and Outdoor,” “Different Types of Planters,” and many more helpful in-depth ebooks. Head to this link to view our full line of ebooks and get started with our complimentary guide. 

 

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