10 Secrets to Care for Brain Cactus(Mammillaria Elongata) in 2024

Brain Cactus is an amazing species of cactus in the family of Cactaceae. Specially called “Halloween Plant” These plants possess the physical appearance of a human brain. There are many numerous types of these cacti from different genus and species.

But, the most common and famous cacti species of Brain Cactus is, Mammillaria Elongata Cristata.  These plants fall in the genus of Mammillaria Elongata. Which is a genus of the Cactaceae family composed of many astonishing cacti plants.

These Cristata Brain Cactus naturally inhabit Central Mexico. Usually, the different categories of these plants contain different colors of Light Green, Dark Green, and Orange.

Habitat And Breeding Conditions Of Brain Cactus

Special Growth Pattern Of Brain Cactus

All succulents, including cacti plants, have a growth center. This growth centre is called the “Apical Meristem”.  Suppose, If the Apical Meristem gets chew by any insect or damage knowing or unknowingly.

How Cactus Plants possess a special growth pattern? It is due to mutation during cultivation. But, Mutations happen very rarely, or due to the damage made by animals in the wild, these plants grow in curvy shape in one big round clump.

Then, the cactus species would start to grow in a wormlike crested shape it can be predicted too. This growth style is pretty to observe or just look at.

That’s not the only way that crested cacti can form, though. Sometimes a mutation happens in the cells of a cactus and causes it to become crested. Mutations happen much more rarely.

How To Care For Brain Cactus

When the Cacti Plant is grown indoors then, proper care should be taken and certain requirements are needed for the plant health and growth. Such as,

1. Humidity

While these plants are most sensitive to moisture which means wetness. These plants need to be kept in dry places with little humidity. If the plant is provided with excess humidity, then it can do as much damage to the cacti plant because, of too much water.

2. Watering Amount

The Plant needs to be dry most of the year and then the plant requires a short wet through the rainy season.

The plants then grow and flowering happens after the rain followed by a fair slow growth rate, and almost in hibernation which means passing the winter in a resting state that’s until the next rainy season.

3. Exposure To Sunlight

Like many types of cacti plants, this Cristata Brain Cactus too prefers bright, direct sunlight. The plant should not be left in the hot summer blazing sunshine for more than four hours. If the cacti plant is kept in the hot sun for four hours then the cactus could get sun burn.

But, in the instance when the Cacti plant is grown indoors, then it should be kept near the brightest window in the home to ensure that the plant gets enough sunlight. Like, Having some sort of window sill planter that will also make the environment look pretty too!

4. Temperature

Unfortunately, this cactus cannot bear too much cold. So, the plant needs to bring it inside the house, if the plant is kept outside the dwelling for the winter.

The Cacti Plant cannot handle even a light frost/ cold so it must be brought indoors at the initial stage of snowfall or cold.

5. Fertilizer

Yes, of course, the plant should be fertilized the cacti plant at least, about once a month during the Cacti Plant’s growing season that’s in the spring and summer period.

6. Repotting

The Cacti Plant should be repotted once every two to four years in the springtime period. If the plant roots are peaking out of the drainage hole in the pot.

Then, that’s the sign which indicates that the cactus plant is growing and the pot needs to be changed with a wider area.

The Propagational Method of Cristata Brain Cactus is much different from propagating other cacti plants and cacti succulents. But, because of its peak, the plant needs to have a little creative with the propagating techniques to preserve its unique shape and structure.

This Cacti Plant can be Propagated by 2 methods;

1. Root Offset Propagation Method

2. Grafting And Cutting Propagational Method

1. Propagation Of Plant Offset

This cacti plant produces offsets that can be separated and replanted, but it is very well known that these offsets usually have a normal growth pattern that’s more like the Mammillaria Elongata Species of plants.

In addition, these normal-looking offsets can become crested when they begin to grow. So, the baby plant offset should not be plucked off or just thrown out. But, Trying the Offset Propogational Technique can be successful by replanting them and see if these plants can grow to reach the top as they mature.

2. Propagational Method Of Cutting and Grafting

These plants can also be propagated from cuttings. But, those cuttings should be grafted which means inserted into another cactus plant for best results.

Grafting is like producing another new cactus plant. The plant needs to be cut off from the head of one cactus then, take the cutting of another cactus plant and connect both the plants together to create one new brand of these particular Cactus types.

This method would sound weird, but it works and amazing. If a cutting of the cacti plant is placed on top. The new cactus will also have the same characteristics and crested shape as the mother plant.

The grafting Technique works best when the two plants are closely matched genetically.

For Example: If one cactus type is Cristata Brain Cactus then, the other part of the cacti plant that should be grafted too, should be the same type. But, If the same genus of the plant cannot be found then, another cacti plant from slightly different species like the Brain Cactus can be grafted.

Different Types Of Brain Cactus

There are many Brain Cactus plant Varieties, these types of Cacti Plants are not from the same species but these different types of plants physically look alike the Cristata Brain Cactus which is considered the main type.

1. Cristata Brain Cactus

Cristata brain cactus

It is an attractive houseplant. These cacti plants are the main species of these Cacti Plants. This type of cacti plant is generally a small plant.

Physical structure And Characteristics Of Cristata Brain Cactus

The Cacti Plant grows only for about 6 inches and 15 cm in height. They are bumpy and cute little guys with waistband widths of 12 inches (30 cm.).

In the wild, they look like rocky outcroppings and between cracks. Over time, these plants develop into a columnar structure of stems and small offsets of baby plants.

The spines are closely gathered around the areoles –  (dark color bumps on the surface of the cacti plants in which group of clusters grows).

Also, these  Cactus plants consist of several sizes, with the finest spines slightly looks like hair. The Cacti Plants are green in color but the plants with hair spines give these plants a greyish color outer overall.

Toxicity Of Cristata Brain Cactus

while most of the Cacti Plants are not poisonous to Pets or Humans, The liquid chemical composition contains in the cacti plant can cause gastrointestinal ailments to the little pet friends.

Moreover, these plants consist of sharp thorny spines which should be used with extreme care when handling.

2. Medusa Brain Cactus

This is another type of Brain Cactus which is from a different genus. The name of the plant as, “Medusa” itself brings out the physical appearance of this particular Brain. This is also considered as a special type of these Cacti Plants.

The  Medusa Brain Cactus falls in the genus of Euphorbia which gives rise to a number of fascinating and beautiful attractive cacti plants.

The scientific name of this cacti plant is,  Euphorbia Flanagan.  And this Cactus Plant is well known as Medusa’s Head Euphorbia is one of the most unique species of such Cactus Plants.

These cacti plants also bear flowers. The Brain Cactus Flowers are very attached and pretty looking.

Physical Structure And Characteristics Of Medusa Brain Cactus

Actually to this plant’s physical appearance, This plant is also known as the Cactus that looks like Broccoli.

Medusa’s Head plants, natively grow in South Africa and these cacti species grow numerous as groups in greyish-green and look like snake-like branches extending from a central point that keeps the curve like a brain and the leafless branches supplies the plant with moisture and nutrients.

In perfect conditions, the cacti plants can measure as much as 3 feet which means 9 m. And yellowish-green blooms appear around the central point of the Cactus in the spring and summertime periods.

Although Medusa’s Head Brain Cactus is a drought bearable Cactus, the plant is benefitted from regular moisture during summertime and will not bear long periods of drought.

The most important precaution to protect this Cacti plant is that it should not be watered during the winter months, Even though, the plant can be watered.

Toxicity Of Medusa Brain Cactus

When handling with Medusa Brain Cactus, Everyone needs to be careful, the plant contains some kind of juicy substance that can irritate eyes and skin.

3. Coral Brain Cactus

Coral Brain Cactus

Lobophyllia Hemprichii, is the scientific name that is commonly used for Coral Brain Cactus. This also a type of Brain but totally different in species and inhabitants. This Cacti Plant is known by many of its names like; “Lobed Brain Coral”, “Lobed Cactus Coral”, or “Largebrain Root Coral”.

The Coral Brain  Cactus is a species of large polyp Stony Coral in the  Cactaceae family of, Lobophylliidae. And this type of Brain Cactus plant is found in the Indo Pacific Ocean.

Specialty Of Coral Brain Cactus

A  special name given to Coral Brain Cactus is, Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg which was honored by his late partner the Prussian naturalist Wilhelm Hemprich. They were first among 7 to study the marine life of the Red Sea.

Physical structure And Characteristics Of Coral Brain Cactus

The Coral Brain Cactus is a colonial species of coral that may grow up to 5 m (16 ft) in diameter. These sea plants grow as a number of adjacent colonies as groups and sometimes in different colors.

Such as Orange, Pink, Blue, and many other colors.  These species of Cactus are very special and attractive in the marine world and they exactly look like a “Brain”.

Where To Buy Brain Cactus Plants?

In today’s world, buying alive natural plants have turned into a trend that is followed worldwide by many people. So, when considering selling Cactus Plants, this opens a larger area as it’s much popular.

Brain Cactus Bunning

One of the most important sectors to be discussed, regarding buying these Cactus Plants is its Bunning.

It is the leading retailing store that sells living products in Australia and New Zealand at the beginning.  These services provide Cactus Plants for household purposes in the widest range at the lowest prices.

The policy that is supported throughout the store network of Brain Cactus Bunning is over 270 stores and Trade Centres all over the world states and territories. This Plant Bunning service is not only for Brain Cactuses but all other plants too.

Brain Cactus Skull

The most appreciated and interesting fact regarding these cactus species is that these Cactus plants look the same as a human brain. So, these plants are sold in online shopping applications like Amazon in a mesmerizing manner.

These cactus plants are sold by placing them over a statue of a human skull. This technique of selling is very popular and in high demand.  These cacti plants are placed on Skull Pots. This habit of Online Selling is called simply, “Skull Planter With Brain Cactus” or “The Brain Cactus Skull”.

These Brain Cactus Skulls are available on Amazon;

Brain Cactus In Skull Pots

Skull Brain Cactus

Brain Cactus Dying

If the Cacti Plant is noticed as discolored, dry, or leaves are fallen off or the parts are losing strength then, it the symptoms of showing that the Cactus Plant is dying.

When the above-stated symptoms are seen then, the cacti plant needs to be given proper immediate care. Certain steps need to be taken on a  regular basis and that care is needed to be provided for long-term survival by providing it the appropriate Soil, Environmental Conditions, and Light.

Easy and Quick Techniques To Save A Dying Brain Cactus

1. Provide More Water To The Wrinkling Of The Brain Cactus

If parts of the Brain Cactus turn wrinkled, or the parts of the plant appear to be weakened. Then, The plant needs more water. If the soil is completely dried, immediately water the plant thoroughly. Finally, allow excess water to drain out from the bottom of the pot.

2. Cut Off The Rotting Parts Of The Brain Cactus 

Any brown or black part seen in the Cactus Plants should be cut away. Rotting of the plant can cause a fungal infection that appears after overwatering. If the soil is soaked in water throughout. then, remove the affected part of the plant and repot in another pot.

3. Keep The Brain Cactus In Place Where Sunlight Can Be Gained

Insufficient sunlight is the main cause of Brain Cactus Dying. So, finding a place in the house or outdoors where an appropriate amount of sunlight is gained for a longer period should be provided to the cacti plant.

4. Protect The Plant From Insects

The main cause for Cactus Plants from dying is pests damaging the cacti plant from Mealybugs and Spider Mites. Mealybugs attack affects the plant with tiny, powdery white substances in clusters.

While Spider mites are red and small pest attackers. Both of these pests need to be removed by applying or rubbing alcohol directly on the infested areas of the Brain Cactuses with a cotton ball. Or else, A Miticide Chemical too can be used for Red Spider Mites.

Hope this Halloween amazing Cactus plant is loved and wanted to be bought by many now.

Plant one Brain Cactus and see how beautiful the environment looks!