Plant Care Lady Finger Cactus

Lady Finger Cactus

4.6 out of 5 (91 experiences)

Lady Finger Cactus has a Survivor plant personality Survivor
Lady Finger Cactus has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower

Also known as

Ladyfinger Cactus, Brain Cactus, Globe Cactus and Gold Lace Cactus


Mammillaria elongata

How to care for Lady Finger Cactus

💦 Water

How often to water your Lady Finger Cactus

Water needs for Lady Finger Cactus
0.5 cups
every 12

Lady Finger Cactus needs 0.5 cups of water every 12 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Lady Finger Cactus

Water 0.5 cups every

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size

☀️ Light

Finding light for Lady Finger Cactus in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Lady Finger Cactus: 1ft from a window
1ft or less from
a window

Lady Finger Cactus love being close to bright, sunny windows 😎.

Place it less than 1ft from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.

Lady Finger Cactus does not tolerate low-light 🚫.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Lady Finger Cactus in your home 🏡.

🪴 Nutrients

How to fertilize Lady Finger Cactus

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Lady Finger Cactus: repot after 2X growth

Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.

By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.

To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Lady Finger Cactus after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

Browse #Mammillaria
💡 FAQs
⭐ Difficulty Level

Lady Finger Cactus is generally easy to care for, though some plant parents report facing challenges with growing it. Check out the reviews down below to read more about their experiences!

Benefits of Growing Lady Finger Cactus →

Common Lady Finger Cactus Problems →

💦 Water Needs

Lady Finger Cactus thrives in dry soil and should be watered sparingly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Lady Finger Cactus Water Frequency →

Lady Finger Cactus Root Rot →

☀️ Sunlight Needs

Lady Finger Cactus requires abundant, bright and direct light. Place it less than one foot from a window to ensure it receives enough light to survive 💪. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.

Lady Finger Cactus Light Requirements →

Lady Finger Cactus Direct Sunlight Needs & Tolerance →

🐶 🐈 👶 Toxicity

Lady Finger Cactus is not known to cause harm to humans or pets. Regardless, if you, a family member, a cat, or dog has ingested any plant material, please consult a doctor or a veterinarian.

💨 Humidity

Lady Finger Cactus enjoys lots of humidity. Provide humidity for your plant by watering regularly and thoroughly, since plants absorb most water through their root system rather than their leaves. They may also benefit from being placed next to a humidifier.

Lady Finger Cactus Humidity Needs →

🪴 Soil

Lady Finger Cactus is very sensitive to wet soil, so choose a potting soil that drains very well and doesn’t retain too much moisture. A good soil will have lots of perlite or vermiculite for drainage and some organic matter for nutrition. A few handfuls of perlite added to regular store-bought cactus soil will do the trick!

When and How to Successfully Repot Lady Finger Cactus →

💩 Fertilizer

Lady Finger Cactus grows very slowly and doesn’t require added fertilizer. Replacing your plant’s potting soil once a year should provide them with more than enough nutrition. Remember, plants get their energy from sunlight, not fertilizer!

❄️ Dormancy

It’s common for Lady Finger Cactus to go dormant in the wintertime and you may notice their growth slow down. Waterings should be spaced out more during this time.

🌎 Native Region

Lady Finger Cactus is native to the Southwestern United States, Central America, and the Caribbean.

🌸 Flowers

Yes, you may see your Lady Finger Cactus bloom with the right amount of sunlight and water.

Lady Finger Cactus Flowers →

⬆️ ⬇️ Growth Pattern

Lady Finger Cactus is a clumping plant, meaning new growth will emerge from the soil around the parent plant.

How and When to Prune Lady Finger Cactus →

🌦️ Growing Outdoors

USDA Hardiness Zone
Lady Finger Cactus can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10-12b. Find your local hardiness zone here.

Lady Finger Cactus Temperature Tolerance →

🌱 Propagation

The seeds of Lady Finger Cactus can be used to grow new plants! After your plant flowers, any seeds that formed can be collected and germinated in potting soil.

How to Propagate Lady Finger Cactus →

🧐 Troubleshooting

When troubleshooting a sad-looking houseplant, start by checking for signs of distress in its leaves, such as yellowing, browning, or drooping, which can indicate overwatering or nutrient deficiencies.

Inspect the soil moisture; too dry or too wet soil can cause problems.

Ensure the plant is getting the right amount of light, as too much or too little can stress it.

Finally, consider environmental factors like temperature and humidity, and adjust care routines accordingly to revive your plant.

😖 Common Issues

Overwatering is a likely cause of issues with Lady Finger Cactus. These plants are very sensitive to wet soil so if you notice your plant becoming squishy or translucent, overwatering is the likely culprit.

Cut your plant just past where the rot ends and allow it to callus over for a few days before replanting it in fresh, dry soil. Download Greg to make sure your plant never gets overwatered again!

Care Summary for Lady Finger Cactus

Lady Finger Cactus

Lady Finger Cactus

Greg recommends:


0.5 cups every 12 days


< 1ft from a window


Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

What other plant parents say

Lady Finger Cactus has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 72
Lady Finger Cactus has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 24
Lady Finger Cactus has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 10
Lady Finger Cactus has a Blooms easily plant personality Blooms easily 6
Lady Finger Cactus has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily 3
Lady Finger Cactus has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 2
Lady Finger Cactus has a Pest magnet plant personality Pest magnet 1
@Louiseb avatar
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 209 XP

Once a forgotten ikea buy and now he’s flourishing with a regular watering plan. Repotted him today and he’s very much grown! Can’t wait to see him sprout up more!

Survivor Survivor
@hippiechickie avatar
leaf-1 3 Plants
xp 44 XP
globe Amherstburg, Ontario

Lady finger cactus need little maintenance and look pretty cute!

Survivor Survivor
Timur avatar
leaf-1 2 Plants
xp 26 XP
globe Farnham Common, England

Don’t spike your hands

Survivor Survivor
@Alannahoc avatar
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 142 XP
globe Brookhill, County Clare

This Cactus used to be my brothers , it’s survived for nearly 10 years , in this time we’ve moved 3 times and he’s always made it. This cactus is the reason I grow anything. Absolute Trooper ;)

Survivor Survivor
@kaylanicholed avatar
leaf-1 6 Plants
xp 184 XP
globe Killingly, CT

Honestly this plant will survive with anything. Like when i first got this plant i didn’t have any like proper dirt for it so i went outside and dug up some dirt and this guy thrived off of it for months. he was so tiny when i got him like the size of a pinky toe

Survivor Survivor
@CellaKay avatar
leaf-1 57 Plants
xp 1,322 XP
globe Lake Stevens, WA

Very easy to grow. Requires very little attention. Just needs a sunny window and a little water.

@maisierose avatar
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 131 XP

super easy to keep alive and the different “branches” and unique needles are super cute

Survivor Survivor
@ihaveapigplant avatar
leaf-1 3 Plants
xp 75 XP
globe Bellingham, WA

super cute and easy to care for

Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Caitlin avatar
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 307 XP
globe Snodland, England

Has really pretty flowers, easy to care for!

Blooms easily Blooms easily
Survivor Survivor
Hannah avatar
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 206 XP
globe Auckland

For a cacti this thing grows very well and has been alive for probably four years now and still thriving. It’s Probably tripled in size since I brought it

Fast grower Fast grower
Survivor Survivor
@sharnirose avatar
leaf-1 20 Plants
xp 710 XP

This is a special one, my husband gifted it to me on our second date (4 odd years ago). And it’s still going!! Its got two little babies and of course being a cactus is undemanding.

Survivor Survivor
@honeyyvoiced avatar
leaf-1 28 Plants
xp 8,962 XP
globe Mount Prospect, IL

Easy to stab yourself but worth it for how cute it is

Evie avatar
leaf-1 12 Plants
xp 412 XP

I really don’t do much with my Lady Finger cactus. Water occasionally and sit by a window seems to make it happy.

Survivor Survivor
Adz avatar
leaf-1 2 Plants
xp 47 XP
globe Oak Park, CA

low maintenance and incredibly cute. mine is tiny but definitely a fighter, had him for about a year and he’s doing great. :)

Survivor Survivor
@bevanne avatar
leaf-1 1 Plants
xp 332 XP

mine falls to the side… as cacti do

Survivor Survivor
Browns easily Browns easily
@jam1s0n avatar
leaf-1 13 Plants
xp 556 XP

she just stays and chills 😎

Survivor Survivor
@jenkobeeno avatar
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 224 XP


Large, lush leaves Large, lush leaves
Survivor Survivor
Drake avatar
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 202 XP

Really hard to kill

Survivor Survivor
Cara avatar
leaf-1 8 Plants
xp 118 XP

Pretty cool plant. I think it looks great and it doesn’t die quickly. Really spikey tho. Like really spikey. These needles latch on so easily but not super difficult to remove.

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