Mammillaria gracilis fragilis: How to Grow and Care for Thimble Cactus

Mammillaria gracilis fragilis Thimble Cactus

Scientific name: Mammillaria gracilis fragilis

Common name: Thimble Cactus

The small cactus has a cylindrical green body covered in white spines. The thimble cactus grows in clusters and is very easy to grow. You can see small flowers in cooler months.

Quick Look at Mammillaria gracilis fragilis

  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Typical water needs for a succulent
  • Plant grows up to 4″ (10 cm) tall
    Heads grow up to 2″ (5 cm) wide each
  • Zone 10a (Minimum 30° F | -1.1° C)
  • Not cold hardy
  • Propagation by offsets
  • Generally non-toxic to humans and animals
  • Winter Dormant

General Care for Mammillaria gracilis fragilis “Thimble Cactus”

It’s perfect for beginners because it grows well indoors.


Mammillarria gracilis fragilis has watering needs. The “soak and dry” method will allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings.

Where to Plant

If you live in a zone that gets colder than 30 F, it’s best to plant it in a container that can be brought indoors. It does well in both full and partial sun.

You can plant in an area of your garden that gets 6 hours of sunlight a day. If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, place a room that gets a lot of sunlight near a southern-facing window.

How to Propagate Mammillaria gracilis fragilis “Thimble Cactus”

Thimble Cactus is perfect for ground cover.


Small offsets can be produced by clumps around the main tubercles. You can remove the offsets with a pair of tongs and a knife. Allow the offset to dry before replanting.

Flowering Information

The flowers are in the early spring to winter. You can see off-white to yellow flowers.


  1. Mammillaria gracilis fragilis (Thimble Cactus) – Wikipedia

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