Alphabetical Plant Listing

Mammillaria elongata (Lady Fingers)

Lady Fingers, Golden Stars, Golden Lace Cactus, Golden Lace, Golden Star Cactus, Chilita elongata, Krainzia elongata, Leptocladia elongata, Leptocladodia elongata, Neomammillaria elongata


Mammillaria elongata (Lady Fingers) is a small cactus with clustered finger-like stems, forming a tight clump of erect, ascending or prostrate stems over time. The elongated cylindrical stems, up to 6 in. tall (15 cm) and 1 in. wide (3 cm), are densely covered with short, interlocking, white to golden yellow to brown spines, more or less recurved, and arranged as a star. In spring and potentially later in the year, it bears small, bell-shaped, pale yellow or tinged pink flowers, up to 1.5 in. across (4 cm). Mammillaria elongata freely offsets to form dense clusters. Easy to grow, this miniature cactus is perfect for containers. It can be grown as a houseplant, but also grows well outdoors in frost-free climates. Protect from cold, as this species is frost sensitive and only hardy to 23°F (-5°C) for brief periods.

  • Recipient of the prestigious Award of Garden Merit of the Royal Horticultural Society.
  • Grows up to 4-6 in. tall (10-15 cm) and 12 in. wide (30 cm).
  • Easily grown in a standard cactus compost in full sun or bright filtered light. Water moderately when in growth. Make sure you let the soil dry out between waterings. No water should ever be allowed to stand around the roots. Keep the plant dry in winter.
  • Feed every two or three weeks with a balanced liquid feed when in growth. Drought tolerant.
  • No serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for mealybugs or red spider. Susceptible to rot if over-watered.
  • Propagate by seed sown at 66-75°F (19-24°C) in early spring or by offsets.
  • Repotting every 2-3 years.
  • Native to Mexico.

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Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Cactus - Succulents
Plant Family Mammillaria
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 4" – 6" (10cm – 15cm)
Spread 10" – 1' (25cm – 30cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden

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Forest and Kim Starr, Flickr, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Cactus - Succulents
Plant Family Mammillaria
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 4" – 6" (10cm – 15cm)
Spread 10" – 1' (25cm – 30cm)
Spacing 12" (30cm)
Water Needs Low
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Deer, Drought, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden

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