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Mammillaria elongata 'Cristata', also known as Crested Mammillaria elongata, is a cultivar of the species Mammillaria elongata. Here's a care sheet based on factual information for Mammillaria elongata 'Cristata':

Light:

  • Light Requirements: Mammillaria elongata 'Cristata' thrives in bright, indirect light to partial sunlight. It can tolerate some direct morning sun but should be protected from intense afternoon sun, especially in hotter climates. Insufficient light may cause the crested form to revert to its normal growth pattern.

Watering:

  • Watering Needs: Water Mammillaria elongata 'Cristata' sparingly but deeply. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings to prevent root rot. During the active growing season (spring and summer), water thoroughly when the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil feels dry. Reduce watering in fall and winter when growth slows down, watering only when the soil is mostly dry.

Soil:

  • Soil Type: Plant Mammillaria elongata 'Cristata' in a well-draining cactus mix. A sandy or gritty soil with good drainage is essential to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot. Ensure the pot has drainage holes.

Temperature:

  • Temperature Range: Mammillaria elongata 'Cristata' prefers moderate temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C) during the active growing season. It can tolerate higher temperatures but protect it from extreme heat and frost, as it is not frost-tolerant.

Humidity:

  • Humidity Preference: Average indoor humidity is generally suitable for Mammillaria elongata 'Cristata'. It does not require high humidity levels and can tolerate dry air typical of indoor environments.

Fertilizing:

  • Fertilization: Feed Mammillaria elongata 'Cristata' sparingly with a balanced, diluted fertilizer formulated for cacti once a month during the growing season (spring and summer). Refrain from fertilizing during fall and winter when the plant's growth slows down.

Propagation:

  • Propagation Methods: Mammillaria elongata 'Cristata' can be propagated from offsets (pups) that develop around the base of the crested form. Carefully remove offsets and allow them to dry and callus for a few days before planting them in well-draining soil.

Pruning:

  • Pruning Requirements: Minimal pruning is typically needed. Remove any dead, damaged, or diseased parts of the crested form with clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to maintain its shape and health.

Pests and Problems:

  • Pest Control: Monitor for common cactus pests such as mealybugs or spider mites. Treat infestations promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil. Ensure good air circulation around the plant to prevent fungal issues.

Potting and Repotting:

  • Repotting Needs: Repot Mammillaria elongata 'Cristata' every 2-3 years or when it outgrows its current container. Choose a slightly larger pot with drainage holes to accommodate the plant's root system.

Special Care Notes:

  • Mammillaria elongata 'Cristata' is relatively low-maintenance but benefits from regular monitoring of watering and light conditions.
  • Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to rotting of the roots. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, especially during the dormant winter period.
  • Provide bright light and occasional direct sun exposure to promote healthy growth and maintain the crested form.

By following these care guidelines, you can help your Mammillaria elongata 'Cristata' thrive and showcase its unique cresting growth pattern in your indoor or outdoor cactus collection.

Mammillaria elongata 'Cristata'

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