Mammillaria rhodantha: How to Grow and Care for Rainbow Pincushion

Mammillaria rhodantha Rainbow Pincushion

Scientific name: Mammillaria rhodantha

Common name: Rainbow Pincushion

This short, clumping cacti has beautiful flowers that bloom longer than almost any other cacti. It does well indoors, but should be kept out of the way of pets or children, as its spines are sharp.

Quick Look at Mammillaria rhodantha

  • Partial sun to partial shade
  • Typical water needs for a succulent. See additional information below.
  • Plant grows up to 12″ (30.5 cm) tall
  • Zone 7a (Minimum 0° F | -17° C)
  • Not cold hardy
  • Propagation by offsets and seeds (difficult)
  • Generally non-toxic to humans and animals. Beware of spines
  • Winter Dormant

General Care for Mammillaria rhodantha “Rainbow Pincushion”

Mammillaria rhodantha “Rainbow Pincushion” adds interest to indoor and outdoor cacti gardens. The crown of blooms of “Rainbow Pincushion” lasts longer than most cacti, beginning in Spring and ending in the late Fall.

The entire body of “Rainbow Pincushion” is covered with spikes that change to a white or gray color. The plant’s top can be covered with a white wool-like substance.


The Rainbow Pincushion needs a bit less water than other Succulents. The “soak and dry” method will allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Don’t water during the winter months.

Where to Plant

Mammillaria rhodantha 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 partial shade.

There is an area of your garden that gets morning and afternoon sun. 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 rhodantha “Rainbow Pincushion”

Mammillaria rhodantha “Rainbow Pincushion” can grow and clump quickly if given enough room. It flowers for long periods of time, giving mature species time to grow fruit from which seeds can be Harvested.


There will be offsets around the base of the plant. Care should be used when removing offsets. Follow the directions in the post to learn how to handle a cactus.

To remove a clump, you will need nitrile dipped gloves, silicone tongs, and a sharp knife.

Pull one of the cylindrical stems away from the main cluster using the tongs. If you can’t break it off without pulling up the rest of the plant, use the knife to cut through the stem.

Allow the end of the stem to be calloused for a few days before placing it in well-draining soil.


It can be difficult to harvest Mammillaria rhodantha seeds. Cut the fruit open and take the seeds. Let the seeds dry and rinse any fruit that may remain.

You can place your seeds in a well-draining soil. If you live above 9a you can grow Mammillaria seeds outdoors. If you live in a cooler area, you can sow indoors under a grow light or on a seed mat.


  1. Mammillaria rhodantha (Rainbow Pincushion) – Wikipedia

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