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Mammillaria hahniana (Old Lady Pincushion)

Old Lady Pincushion, Birthday Cake Cactus, Old Lady of Mexico, Old Woman Cactus, Neomammillaria hahniana

AGM Award
Mammillaria hahniana, Old Lady Pincushion, Birthday Cake Cactus, Old Lady of Mexico, Old Woman Cactus, Neomammillaria hahniana, small Succulents, Small Cactus
Mammillaria hahniana, Old Lady Pincushion, Birthday Cake Cactus, Old Lady of Mexico, Old Woman Cactus, Neomammillaria hahniana, small Succulents, Small Cactus
Mammillaria hahniana, Old Lady Pincushion, Birthday Cake Cactus, Old Lady of Mexico, Old Woman Cactus, Neomammillaria hahniana, small Succulents, Small Cactus

Mammillaria hahniana (Old Lady Pincushion) is a small cactus, with solitary or clustered stems, that tends to form large clumps over time. At first globular, later cylindrical, the stems, up to 12 in. tall (30 cm) and 4 in. wide (10 cm), are covered with dense white bristles and fine spines. Blooming profusely, it produces a pretty ring of rose-red flowers, 0.5 in long (1 cm). The blossoms are followed by small red fruits that are edible. Easy to grow and fast-growing, 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 12 in. tall (30 cm) and 8 in. wide (20 cm). Needs lots and lots of space to grow.
  • 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.
  • Native to Mexico.

Requirements

Hardiness 9 - 11
Plant Type Cactus & Succulents, Houseplants
Plant Family Cactaceae
Genus Mammillaria
Common names Cactus, Pincushion Cactus
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 10" - 1'
(25cm - 30cm)
Spread 6" - 8"
(15cm - 20cm)
Spacing 8" (20cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Deer, 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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Alternative Plants to Consider

Mammillaria candida (Snowball Pincushion)
Mammillaria carmenae (Carmen Pincushion Cactus)
Mammillaria senilis
Mammillaria plumosa (Feather Cactus)
Mammillaria prolifera (Texas Nipple Cactus)
Mammillaria bocasana (Powder Puff Cactus)

Recommended Companion Plants

Astrophytum myriostigma (Bishop’s Cap)
Encelia farinosa (Brittlebush)
Cylindropuntia bigelovii (Teddybear Cholla)
Agave

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Succulents
Mammillaria
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.
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Requirements

Hardiness 9 - 11
Plant Type Cactus & Succulents, Houseplants
Plant Family Cactaceae
Genus Mammillaria
Common names Cactus, Pincushion Cactus
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 10" - 1'
(25cm - 30cm)
Spread 6" - 8"
(15cm - 20cm)
Spacing 8" (20cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Plant of Merit, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought, Deer, Rabbit, Dry Soil, Rocky Soil
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Patio And Containers
Garden Styles Gravel and Rock Garden, Mediterranean Garden
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
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Mammillaria
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