Also known as
Mammillaria elongata cristata, Mammillaria elongata Cistata and Mammillaria Elongata crested
Mammillaria elongata f. cristata
How to care for Brain Cactus
How often to water your Brain Cactus
Brain 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.
Water 0.5 cups every
Check the growing potential in your area
A plant's growing potential is determined from its location, the time of year, and current local weather.
Select a city to check sunlight intensity
Finding light for Brain Cactus in your home
Brain Cactus love being close to bright, sunny windows 😎.
Place it less than 1ft from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.
Brain Cactus does not tolerate low-light 🚫.
Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Brain Cactus in your home 🏡.
How to fertilize Brain Cactus
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 Brain Cactus after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.
Brain 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.
Brain 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 🏡.
Greg does not have confirmed data on this plant’s toxicity. If you, a family member, or a pet consumes plant material of unknown toxicity, it’s always best to consult a medical professional.
If you or someone else ingested this plant, call Poison Control at US (800) 222-1222. If a pet consumed this plant, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA at US (888) 426-4435.
Brain Cactus prefers dry environments. Providing extra humidity or misting your plant allows water to linger on leaves, which can create the perfect environment for harmful types of fungi.
Brain 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!
Brain 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!
It’s common for Brain Cactus to go dormant in the wintertime and you may notice their growth slow down. Waterings should be spaced out more during this time.
Brain Cactus is native to the Southwestern United States, Central America, and the Caribbean.
Brain Cactus produces flowers in the wild, but does not flower when kept as houseplants.
Care Summary for Brain Cactus
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.