August Succulent – Mammillaria plumosa “Feather Cactus”
Feather Cacti (Mammillaria Plumosa) earned their name for their name for their downy spines and are native to Mexico but grow from the Southwest United States all the way to Northern South America. While they look cute and cuddly, you still want to handle with care as there are some sharp spines hidden under the feathery ones. They blossom year round with white or pink flowers.
Mammillaria Plumosa planted outdoors should be treated like annuals. They will not over-winter outdoors in any zone in the US and will die shortly after the start of cold weather. Plant outdoors in the summer when any and all threat of cold weather has passed or enjoy indoors year round.
Mammillaria Plumosa require very high light conditions so you will want to place yours in a Western or Southern facing window. You can also use a grow light to supplement. We recommend these if you need a grow light bulb. Your Feather Cactus can get sun burned if you put it directly into strong light, so transition your plant slowly into a high light location after unpacking and for any future location changes.
Water Feather Cacti are rot prone and require very little water. For best results plant in a small well-draining shallow container with cactus mix or a blend of potting soil and sand, and moderately dry soil except during the Spring. Water the soil and avoid getting too much on the plant, then allow the soil to dry completely before watering again. Your schedule will vary depending on the conditions in your home but typically about once every 2 – 6 weeks. The most common issues people have with this species are from over watering.
Mammillaria Plumosa can be fertilized in the spring to encourage blossoms. Use a slow release or water down an all purpose liquid fertilizer with watering to 1/2 to 1/4 the suggested ratio on the packaging.
Long Term Care
With a little attention and care, Feather Cacti can be stunning house plants that keep for years! After about 2 years re-pot into a larger container for continued growth.
Pet info Mammillaria Plumosa are not toxic to animals or people. They look soft and fluffy but beware, there are sharp spines hidden underneath the soft feather looking ones.