Mammillaria elongata DC.
Ladyfinger Cactus, Lady Fingers, Golden Stars, Gold Lace Cactus
Mammillaria elongata subsp. elongata, Chilita elongata, Leptocladia elongata, Leptocladodia elongata, Mammillaria densa, Mammillaria echinata var. densa, Neomammillaria elongata
Mammillaria elongata is a cactus with clustered, cylindrical stems that grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) long. The stems are elongated, finger-like, and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter. The spines are variable in number, white to golden yellow or brown, more or less recurved, and up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long. The flowers are whitish, pale yellow or pinkish, sometimes flushed pink or with pink mid stripes. They are up to 0.4 inches (1 cm) in diameter and appear in spring.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
To encourage better flowering, allow the plants to enjoy a cooling period in the winter and suspend watering. Unlike many other cacti, which use their ribs as storage devices, Mammillaria feature raised tubercles, from which spines emerge. When you water, the tubercles will expand to allow for increased water storage. The flowers emerge from the axils of these tubercles on the previous year's growth, which accounts for their interesting halo effect. It's imperative that the cactus is not exposed to prolonged dampness and sitting water. Never let your cactus sit in a dish of water. Lastly, make sure to fertilize during the growing season for the best results.
Repot as needed, preferably during the warm season. To repot Mammillaria, make sure the soil is dry before repotting, then gently remove the pot. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. Treat any cuts with a fungicide. Place the plant in its new pot and backfill with potting soil, spreading the roots out as you repot. Leave the plant dry for a week or so, then begin to water lightly to reduce the risk of root rot. See more at: How to Grow and Care for Mammillaria.
Mammillaria elongata is native to central Mexico.
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