Brain Surgery – Brain Cactus Transplant

brain cactus adorablestIn one of my earlier posts, I introduced you to my weird plant find, a Brain Cactus (Mammillaria elongata Cistata) in a Skull Planter.

Here it is when I purchased it (below)…

brain cactus skull planter

This is what is looks like now (about 15 months growth) …

brain cactus adorablest

brain cactus adorablestIt became apparent that it needed to be replanted, because the brain was getting too big!

cactus replant terracotta pot scissorsI purchased a 21cm Terracotta Florentine Bowl, about $5. The drainage hole was quite large and as I’d be using quite a sandy mix, I covered it with a small piece of flyscreen, so to allow the water to drain freely without all the potting soil with it.

brain cactus adorablestFor the soil mix, I used –

  • 50% Cacti & Succulent Bag Mix
  • 40% Course Grit
  • 5% Washed Sand
  • 5% Expanded Clay Balls (crushed smaller with a hammer)

I was trying to replicate what it had been growing so well in, in the skull planter – but only time will tell.

brain cactus adorablestAlthough not the spiniest of cacti, I used some thicker rubber gloves while holding upside down trying to dislodge the cactus from the skull. I also haven’t shown where I was poking around with a skewer trying to loosen the roots of the BRAIN …

brain cactus adorablestSo, here it is replanted. It doesn’t look quite so spooky now, but at least it will have room to expand.

brain cactus adorablestI was speaking to someone who is quite the cacti expert (I am by no means NOT) and they said that these are usually very hard to keep because they rot. All the advice I can give is that I remember to water it lightly now and again (not to set schedule and only on the soil) and it lives in full sun, but out of the rain (positioned on a table under a patio where the sun for the most part of the day shines in). I hope it continues to thrive, but after the re-potting, it could be under a little stress.

Anyone else keep a brain cactus and how is it going?

Claire

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