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Mammillaria prolifera (Texas Nipple Cactus)

Nipple Cactus, Grape Cactus, Hair-covered Cactus, Pincushion Cactus, Silver-cluster Cactus, Little Candles, Texas Hair Cactus, West Indian Nipple-cactus, Texas Nipple Cactus, Cactus mammillaris var. prolifera, Cactus proliferus, Cactus stellatus, Chilita prolifera, Ebnerella prolifera, Escobariopsis prolifera, Neomammillaria prolifera

Mammillaria prolifera, Nipple Cactus, Grape Cactus, Hair-covered Cactus, Pincushion Cactus, Silver-cluster Cactus, Little Candles, Texas Hair Cactus, West Indian Nipple-cactus, Texas Nipple Cactus, Cactus mammillaris var. prolifera, Cactus proliferus, Cactus stellatus, Chilita prolifera, Ebnerella prolifera, Escobariopsis prolifera, Neomammillaria prolifera

Mammillaria prolifera (Texas Nipple Cactus) is a low-growing clustering cactus that can form a dense clump of globose stems, 4 in. tall (10 cm) and up to 24 in. wide (60 cm). Each dark green stem, 2-3 in. in diameter (5-7 cm), bears dense, golden-yellow to white spines. In summer, a profusion of creamy-yellow flowers tinged pink, up to 0.7 in. long (1.8 cm), appear in old axils towards the top of the stems. They give way to edible red berries, 0.8 in. long (2 cm), that taste like strawberries. Easy to grow, this freely clustering 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.

  • Grows up to 3-4 in. tall (7-10 cm) and up to 3-24 in. wide (7-60 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, Texas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti.

Requirements

Hardiness 9 - 11
Plant Type Houseplants, Cactus & Succulents
Plant Family Cactaceae
Genus Mammillaria
Common names Pincushion Cactus, Cactus
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3" - 4"
(8cm - 10cm)
Spread 3" - 2'
(8cm - 60cm)
Spacing 3" - 24"
(8cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Texas
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 bocasana (Powder Puff Cactus)
Mammillaria hahniana (Old Lady Pincushion)

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 Houseplants, Cactus & Succulents
Plant Family Cactaceae
Genus Mammillaria
Common names Pincushion Cactus, Cactus
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early, Mid, Late)
Summer (Early, Mid, Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 3" - 4"
(8cm - 10cm)
Spread 3" - 2'
(8cm - 60cm)
Spacing 3" - 24"
(8cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy, Evergreen, Fruit & Berries
Native Plants United States, Texas
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?
Guides with
Mammillaria
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