Pincushion Cactus

Pincushion cactus usually grows in clusters. See more pictures of cacti.

Pincushion cactus may grow small flowers and elongated red berries if given the right conditions.

The pincushion cactus is a small, ball-shaped to spherical plant that is usually covered in spines or white wool. Some are solitary, but most are clustering. Small flowers in white, pink, or red appear in a ring around the top of the plant and are often followed by elongated red berries.


Total dryness, cool to cold temperatures in winter, and full sun in summer are the secrets to getting this cactus to bloom.

Pincushion Cactus Quick Facts

Scientific Name: Mammillaria sp.

Common Name: Pincushion Cactus

Light Requirement for Pincushion Cactus: Full Sun to Bright Light

Water Requirement for Pincushion Cactus: Drench, Let Dry

Humidity for Pincushion Cactus: Average Home

Temperature for Pincushion Cactus: Cool to Cold

Fertilizer for Pincushion Cactus: High Phosphorus

Potting Mix for Pincushion Cactus: Cactus

Propagation of Pincushion Cactus: Division, Seed

Decorative Use for Pincushion Cactus: Table

Care Rating for Pincushion Cactus: Demanding

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Larry Hodgson is a full time garden writer out of Quebec City in the heart of French Canada where he grows well over 3,000 species and varieties. His book credits include Making the Most of Shade, The Garden Lovers Guide to Canada, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, Houseplants for Dummies, and Ortho's Complete Guide to Houseplants, as well as other titles in English and French. He's the winner of the Perennial Plant Association's 2006 Garden Media Award.