Mammillaria plumosa: How to Grow and Care for Feather Cactus

Mammillaria plumosa Feather Cactus

Scientific name: Mammillaria plumosa

Common name: Feather Cactus

The white feathers on Mammillaria plumosa look soft and fluffy, but they hide the sharp spines that cover the cacti. Thefeathers add interest to the cactus, but they also shade the plant from heat and sun.

Quick Look at Mammillaria plumosa

  • Full sun to partial shade
  • Typical water needs for a succulent
  • Plant grows up to 3″ (8 cm) tall
    Plant grows up to 16″ (40.6 cm) wide
  • Zone 9a (Minimum 20° F | -6.7° C)
  • Not cold hardy
  • Propagation by cuttings, offsets, and seeds
  • Generally non-toxic to humans and animals
  • Winter Dormant

General Care for Mammillaria plumosa “Feather Cactus”

The feather cactus does well in container gardens. Its flowers range from white to yellow to pink, and in some areas they can bloom throughout the year.

It is considered to be a Near Threatened species.


Mammillaria plumosa “Feather Cactus” has typical watering needs for a plant. The “soak and dry” method will allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings.

Where to Plant

Mammillaria plumosa “Feather Cactus” is not a cold hardy plant, so 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 plumosa “Feather Cactus”

Mammillaria plumosa is able to be spread in many ways. It is possible to harvest seeds from its fruit, however it is the easiest way to grow it.


The Mammillaria plumosa can be grown with a sterile, sharp knife or pair of scissors. Allow the main plant’s stem to callous for several days before placing it on well-draining soil. Water whenever the soil has dried out.


Mammillaria plumosa will grow around the base of the plant. Simply cut these from the stem and allow the offsets to dry for a couple of days before replanting.


The seeds from Mammillaria plumosa can be obtained with some effort. Remove the seeds after the fruit has been over-ripen. Before planting, clean the seeds and let them dry.


  1. Mammillaria plumosa (Feather Cactus) – Wikipedia

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