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Information About Powder Puff Cactus

Information About Powder Puff Cactus


Mammillaria Powder Puffs: Growing Powder Puff Cactus

By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

You would not really want to use these little cacti as powder puffs, but the shape and size are similar. What is a powder puff cactus? Find out in this article and learn how to grow these little jewels in your home.


How to Grow Powder Puff Cactus Indoors

The Spruce / Anastasiia Tretiak

If you've spent any time at a nursery or garden center, chances are you've probably spotted one of the most popular members of the cacti family, the powder puff cactus. Beloved for its classic appearance, the powder puff cactus is part of the mammillaria genus, which contains at least 275 species of cacti, many of which are highly prized among collectors. Although this genus includes some plants that are difficult to maintain, the most common ones, like the powder puff cactus, are very easy to grow.

Native to Mexico, the powder puff cactus grows rapids, producing small, round offsets that cluster around the parent plant. The body of the cactus itself is stocky and usually a blue/green color, covered in white, silky hairs that encase the entire plant. It may look fluffy, but take care not to touch it—the spines are pretty sharp. It will produce small white or red flowers in summer, often in a circular or halo shape.

Botanical Name Mammillaria bocasana
Common Name Powder puff cactus, powder puff pincushion, snowball cactus, fishhooks
Plant Type Cactus
Mature Size 3–5 in. tall, 2–4 in. wide
Sun Exposure Full sun
Soil Type Sandy, well-drained
Soil pH Acidic
Bloom Time Summer
Flower Color White, pink, red
Hardiness Zones 9–11 (USDA)
Native Area Mexico
Toxicity Non-toxic


No. 9. Variegated Monstera Deliciosa plant

Variegated Monstera Deliciosa Plants

Variegation is when the chlorophyll undergoes a mutation with the plant’s green pigmentation. This is called Chimera Variegation.

The result when the tissue with chlorophyll and tissue without chlorophyll. Maybe that’s why this Monstera Variegated is really, really expensive. Because it’s really difficult to explain. Really though! Just G.M.T to know more.

After all, this Monstera can only be seen in this open backyards. I saw there were a lot of Monstera around but they said that these are called Monstera Dragon Tail.

I don’t know. But all I can say it that, Monstera is really expensive. The cheapest Monstera I saw was heaping 6,000 Php (123.52 United States Dollar). It could already pay my house rent.


Powder Puff Cactus *Rare*

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"Powder Puff Cactus" is a small, mounding cactus native to Mexico. This cactus grows wooly silver-white hair and is covered in long hooked spines. Known to grow in extreme conditions like canyon walls and volcanic rock. A bonus to this cactus is that it grows rapidly, producing multiple pups at the base of the mother plant. Will bloom white, yellow, pink or red flowers in Spring through Summer.

Native to: Mexico

Hardiness : tender soft succulent - will not tolerate frost

Recommended light conditions: full sun to partial shade

Bloomtime: Spring through Summer

Bloomcolor: pink, white, yellow, red

Watering Needs Indoors: Instead of giving your succulents gradual sips of water throughout the week, give them a good soaking, to the point where water runs out the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Be sure to empty the water that runs into the saucer, succulents do not like to sit in water. Then let the soil dry out completely before watering again.

Watering Needs Outdoors: In the Summer water your succulents every two weeks, by soaking them and letting them dry before watering again. In the Winter water your succulents once a month.

Technical Information About This Plant

  • Requires bright light for most of the day. Or constant dappled shade.
  • Best to water every 2 weeks.

Knowing what your planting zone is can be vitally important to your plants thriving. Keep in mind that the zones pertain to OUTDOOR planting. If you plan to keep your plants indoors for fall-winter the zones may be irrelevant.


There are about 2,000 different varieties of cacti, but some are better than others at indoor life. Because there are so many to choose from, we could only highlight the most popular. Here are a few great cacti for indoor use in Denver.

Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera)

Native to Brazil, this plant gets its name from the festive colors it produces, and because it blooms in December. It works great as a hanging plant because of its long scalloped-shaped branches. Each branch has a series of softly rounded, flat bulbs that form a long, hanging stem. A healthy plant will produce red blooms on the tip of each stem during the long winter days.

Care: Although it is a member of the cactus family, it doesn't have any thorns, and requires more water than most cacti. Christmas cacti prefer indirect sunlight, and can be moved outside in the summer. Water as a normal houseplant during the summer months, but in the winter, only water when the soil is dry.

Bunny Ears Cactus (Opuntia microdasys)

A perfect example of the traditional cactus shape, the bunny ears cactus has thick pads with short bristles. It's an easy to care for plant, that requires very little water, and lots of sun. The bunny ears cactus grows to about two to three feet tall. When kept as an indoor plant, it will generally grow at a slower pace and only reach about two feet.

Care: This plant is low maintenance, so perfect for beginning gardeners. Only water when the soil is dry, about every three or four weeks. Bunny ears may occasionally need to be repotted as it outgrows its container. About every year or two, move the plant carefully to its new home and avoid watering until it has been in its new pot for a week.

Old Lady Cactus (Mammillaria)

Sometimes also called the Powder Puff Cactus, this plant gets its name from the long white wisps that grow from its bulbous form. When healthy, it can produce a ring of pink or purple blooms around the top. Popular at shows and garden centers, because of its original appearance, the old lady cactus can be a great addition to any indoor garden.

Care: The old lady cactus prefers bright light, and dry soil. Good drainage is important, so be sure to use a pot with holes in the bottom. In the winter, you can usually suspend watering, but may mist occasionally. It prefers temperatures between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but in the winter it can be kept at 60 to 65 degrees. At lower temperatures, the plant will become dormant until it warms up again.


Watch the video: Mammillaria species u0026 Mammillaria Cactus Care Tips - Cacti Plants Profiles