Correcting Mr. Muehlenpfordtii…

Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii (Golden Pincushion).

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. All is well here for the most part. I am sure if I looked hard enough I would find more that needs attention. Christmas came and went like any other day, and I was able to sneak my birthday by without hardly anyone noticing. Soon New Years Day will come and go as well. I stopped making resolutions because they seemed to linger on for the whole year only to have some of them repeated for the next year.

Anyway, this post is about the Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii. His common name is Golden Pincushion, but I have been calling him Mr. Muehlenpfordtii. He is doing great, but he is a bit of a leaner. I think he must have fallen asleep while standing up and he just keeps leaning more. I got tired of looking at him like that and was concerned he might just fall over and roll off of the shelf and onto the floor, so I decided I better straighten him up…

With spines like this, he needs some respect and careful handling.


He is getting a little gray on the bottom, but I guess that is normal. His white radial spines are so closely packed together I can’t tell what color he is down there. Information says Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii has between 24-50 radial spines per areola, not to mention the long central spines…


Mr. Muehlenpfordtii isn’t a guy you just want to grab and hold and a hug is out of the question. I just let him lay comfortably in my hand and pulled the pot off. Besides, he is sleeping and I definitely didn’t want to wake him up… It would be like exciting a Porcupine…


As always, the potting soil the cactus and succulents are in gets very hard this time of the year when it dries up. The peat dries and shrinks and seems to squeeze their roots. So, even though most people probably re-pot in the spring, I like to do it in the fall and winter so their potting soil will be loose and airy. I removed most of the old potting soil without breaking many roots…


I decided I would increase his pot side as well. He was in a 4″ diameter x 3″ tall pot and the new one is 4 1/2″ diameter x 4″ tall. Depending on the cactus, increasing the diameter of the pot by 1/2-1″ is plenty because they grow fairly slowly and don’t usually have a big root system. I started using a 50/50 mix of Miracle Grow Potting Soil and 1/8″ pumice for the cactus and succulents in 2018 and it worked very well. I had been using 2 parts potting soil with 1 part additional pumice and 1 part chicken grit for many years. I liked the pumice pretty well, so when I ran out I ordered 1/4″. There are a lot of pretty elaborate potting soil recipes online but they do just fine with a simple concoction as long as the soil is very well-draining and doesn’t hold water for a long period of time. I always like the water to drain out of the bottom as fast as I pour it in from the top.

Now when Mr. Muehlenpfordtii wakes up he will be in a new pot with fresh dirt. 🙂

Most of the cactus still need re-potted as well as some of the succulents. I continually update the plant pages (to the right) over the winter months and am making a few changes in appearance. It seems I have an idea that changes somewhat from page to page then I have to start over to update the change on the pages I already updated. 🙂

I think I will talk about Aloe next…

OK, that’s enough for now… Until next time, be safe, stay well and positive, and always be thankful. If you can get dirty… GET DIRTY! 🙂

23 comments on “Correcting Mr. Muehlenpfordtii…

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Are they always shaped like that? I mean, do they have a distended top on what seems to be a shriveled base. If I have ever seen one of these get big, I did not recognize it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Tony! Mammillaria muehlenpfordtii only grows to 6″ or so tall and are globular shaped but become more cylindric. This one looks more like a club. 🙂 There are other photos online with them being larger in diameter at the top than the bottom. It had some damage from hot glue when I brought it home but you can still see where it was from the ridge that circles the entire plant. Maybe you can’t notice it unless you know it is there. I forgot to put a link for its page on the post but I will do that now. Mr. Muehlenpfordtii is a very neat cactus and those long central spines, 25-50 radial spines, and the bluish-green color make it fairly easy to identify. If you are looking for a large cactus, then chances are you have missed it. The plants you sent are doing great. 🙂 I hope you are doing well. Take care and thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. pixydeb says:

    Mr. Muehlenpfordtii Looking happy in his new pot !! Really great to get a compost recipe as I have some that I need to repot & they are ‘spawning’ too.
    Before Xmas what looked like a small but fat mother in laws tongue was repotted & became 10 new plants 🪴! One for each of my customers. Bought some attractive little outer pots at my local garden centre (knights – like your wagers a family run place) & hey presto.
    Do you have any orchids – I repotted one I have had for ages last year from ordinary compost to orchid compost. I thought I was doing it a great favour but the change was too much and it slowly wasted away. A sad story!! 😂 weather here is -5 today at lunchtime that is a record breaker for a few years at least. Real chilly. Hope your birthday was suitably ordinary! 🥳Mine was though I did go for a walk – all we can do with Covid Keep safe & well

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Debbie! I think he will appreciate the new pot and fresh dirt. 🙂 A few years ago I found my old recipe on CactiGuide but I just checked and it has changed! LOL! I use the 50/50 potting soil and pumice because it is easy and it works fine. During the summer they the cacti don’t mind a little extra moisture and during the fall and winter you re-pot. Now, if I could find something that works and stays loose without repotting, I would do it. 🙂 🙂 🙂 I have never grown orchids but I have been curious. My brother had several when I lived with him for a year in Minnesota. Nice to hear you made good use of the Draceana (Syn. Sanseveria). I friend gave me several in Mississippi that did great until I re-potted them. They didn’t like it AT ALL and ultimately died a very slow death. You know they like a very crowded situation…

      COVID is a mess! People are really having mixed feelings about over here and our stats have really shot up. It’s insane. I am doing OK and glad to hear you are as well. Take care and thanks for the comment!


  3. Helen says:

    Happy New Year! I hope you will have lots more fun with all your cacti and succulents in 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dayphoto says:

    Happy Birthday, however late I am in wishing you a nice birthday. Let us all hope 2021 is much, much better for all of us.


  5. Happy belated birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. paul gibbens says:

    The cactus you got there is quite big and it has got a lot of spines. Where do you think I can get a good one from?

    Liked by 1 person

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