Mammillaria Pilcayensis Cristata Care & Buying Guide

Mammillaria Pilcayensis Cristata


Light requirements High
Water requirements Low
Ease of care Easy
Size Medium
Toxicity Non-toxic
Zone 9a to 10b
Temperature resistance Mildly frost-hardy
Growth speed Slow
Indoor growing Suitable


Taking Care Of Mammillaria Pilcayensis Cristata

Ideal conditions

Mammillaria Pilcayensis Cristata is a great outdoor cactus thanks to its cold-resistance. Not that you should keep this cactus outdoors in winter, but it can survive temperatures down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.6 degrees C) if kept dry.

Indoor keeping is also possible with this cactus, but due to its high light needs, outdoors is ideal for it.


Water your Mammillaria Pilcayensis Cristata cactus only when its soil is dry to the touch – this will allow you to keep this cactus hydrated and at the same time prevent waterlogging and root rot. This cactus is drought-resistant and is very sensitive to overwatering, so be very careful with how much water you provide to it.

In winter, suspend watering or lightly water the cactus only once or twice per month. If intending to keep the cactus outdoors in winter, then don’t water the cactus at all since it will be less likely to get damaged from frost if kept dry.

Where to plant

Plant your Mammillaria Pilcayensis Cristata cactus in porous, fast-draining soil to ensure that no water stays sitting near the cactus’ roots. For added drainage, you may add perlite or coarse sand in a 1:1 ratio to the potting mix.

Furthermore, make sure that your Mammillaria Pilcayensis Cristata is planted in a pot with drainage holes at the bottom.

As mentioned above, Mammillaria Pilcayensis Cristata prefers partial to full sunlight and thus should ideally be planted outdoors. You may keep it either in the ground or in a pot, but ground planting is reasonable only if winters are warm in your area. If winters are cold, then a pot would be a better choice since it would allow you to easily move the cactus indoors to protect it from frost.

If keeping the cactus indoors, place it on a sunny window sill and ensure direct sunlight.

On very hot days, temporarily move the cactus to a shaded location to protect it from excessive heat. This applies to both outdoor and indoor Mammillaria Pilcayensis Cristata.

General care information

Aside from the above, you’ll also need to occasionally fertilize and repot your Mammillaria Pilcayensis Cristata cactus.

Fertilization should be done throughout spring and summer once every 4-8 weeks, depending on your fertilizer. Generally, Mammillaria Pilcayensis Cristata cacti are given a cactus fertilizer diluted to half strength.

Since Mammillaria Pilcayensis Cristata grows slowly, you won’t have to repot your cactus often. Once every 2-3 years should be good enough. But do strongly consider annual repotting since it would allow you to inspect the roots and remove and treat any damaged parts. Besides, fresh soil full of nutrients can be beneficial for the growth of the cactus.

Repot your cactus in spring or summer. Before repotting, allow its soil to dry for easy removal, and after repotting, keep the cactus dry for about a week.


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