Brain Cactus Easy Propagation and Maintenance Guide

In our journey to discovering bizarre types of succulent plants, we recently came across the Mammillaria elongata ‘Cristata’ of the Brain Cactus. As its name says, it looks like the gray matter found inside your skull.

The Brain Cactus may not appeal to everyone because of the way it looks, which is somewhere in between creepy and weird levels. However, it makes a nice Halloween succulent plant decor. You can place it on top of a hollowed pumpkin, or a human skull-inspired pot for zombie-themed parties—just because this undead creature simply loves brains. Despite its appearance, growers of this plant are rewarded with little blooms during summers.

What gives the cactus a brain-like arrangement is a mutation in its cell that occurs during the plant’s development. Somewhere along the young stage of the cactus, a sort of damage happens that causes the cells at the injury site to multiply at a faster rate. As a result, the pads end up curling or twisting.


Brain Cactus can be grown in many ways. This can be made through its seeds, stem cuttings, and offsets. All the said methods are easy but propagation from seeds can take a lot of time that’s why we always prefer doing it using the other two alternatives.

We recommend buying a full-grown or near mature version of the Brain Cactus. This will be your source of cuttings or offsets.

For the cuttings, start by identifying the healthiest part of the succulent. It should be free from signs of withering, dryness, or pest infestation.

Next, sterilize a pair of scissors or pruning shears to make sure that they will not introduce foreign elements or harmful organisms into the wound of the plant. Using the tool, cut the stem of the succulent, and let it callus for at least a week.

After that, fill up a succulent plant pot with a horticultural mix. The compound is made of three parts potting soil with the same proportion of coarse sand or gravel, and two parts of perlite or pumice. When the cutting has already healed up, transfer it to the potting mixture.

The same process can be used when propagating using offsets. Just separate the offset from the mother plant by cutting the lateral stem connecting the two, and repeat the mentioned planting methods.


The Brain Cactus is native to the wilds of Central Mexico. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Plant Hardiness Zone Map, the plant can survive along the 10 and 11 regions. That means the succulent can take temperatures as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Like most succulent plants, the Brain Cactus is sensitive to overwatering. Doing so can cause soggy leaves or rot. Therefore, only apply water when its soil starts getting dry to the touch.

The water should also be directed towards the base because the stem of the cactus tends to trap moisture in its folds, which may attract gnats, mold, and mildew that can kill it if left unattended.

Lastly, see to it that the container or pot you are using has holes at the bottom that will serve as drainage for excess water.

4 Common Varieties of Indoor Succulent Plants

Succulent plants are everywhere—from corsages to earrings to wedding bouquets to home decor. They are taking over gardens as more people choose succulents over other types of flowers and plants because the former is easy to maintain and requires little to no attention. Most succulents grew in Africa and Central America where there is little humidity. They thrive in these conditions because their fleshy leaves can store water and as such, they have no need for constant watering, re-plotting, and even sunlight (though they are not adverse to it).

Even though these drought-resistant plans are simple to maintain, they still have a preference when it comes to location. In this article, we’ll talk about indoor succulent plants and the top common varieties that you can choose.

Indoor succulent plants grow best in room temperature where it is dry and there is little humidity. While they also need direct sunlight, the can adapt to lower levels of light provided indoors. They make for an ideal home décor because they come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. They are exciting décor both for the living room and even a child’s bedroom.

1. Burro’s Tail (sedum morganianum)

Known also as the donkey tail plant, this is the easiest plant to propagate and have inside the house. The name comes from the plant’s ability to grow four inches tall with a shape that resembles a tail. This succulent grows well when put in a well-draining container, where its long stems can hang off the edges of the pot.

2. Crown of Thorns (euphorbia milii)

This is a great indoor plant because it adjusts well to the temperature indoors which is mostly dry and has little moisture in the air. To best care for the Crown of Thorns, place it near a window where it can get three to four hours of sunlight every day. Make sure to only water the plant when the soil has completely dried out. In Thailand, there is a legend that the number of flowers that bloom on this plant will predict the future of the plant-keeper.

3. Flaming Katy (kalanchoe blossfeldiana)

This is a common houseplant and is native to Madagascar. It is best suited indoors because it is sensitive to the cold, and likes temperatures ranging between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to take care of the Flaming Katy, make sure to put it in a clay pot with draining holes at the bottom. They will produce more buds and flowers if they can get eight to 10 hours of sun every day. During late autumn and early winter, it can produce petals that are dark red, gold, and white in color.

4. Jade Plant (crassula ovata)

Jade Plant is one of the most popular indoor succulent plants. It is similar to a bonsai plant wherein the trunk grows thick with branches that jut out like a miniature tree. This plant has thick, shiny, dark green leaves that grow into an oval shape. Some varieties of Jade Plant have a red color at the tip of the leaf. Many believe that the Jade Plant brings luck which is why they can be found in most homes.

4 Succulent Plants That Are Great For Indoor Air Purification

Many houseplants are being used for indoor air purification, but succulent plants like CAL Farms Beautiful Assorted Variety Succulents remain to be the favorite among those who like surrounding themselves with greenery when they rest and work. Because indoor air is more stagnant, it is two to fives times more polluted than outdoor air. There are many contributing factors to the low quality of indoor air, including air fresheners, detergents, and chemical-based cleaners.

If you want to boost the health of your indoor air, here are four succulent plants that you can put in your homes and offices.

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera removes benzene and formaldehyde from the air. It is known to be a medicinal plant and has been proven in a 1998 NASA study to be a great air-purifying house plant. The Aloe Vera grow in various shades of green, some have white spots or variegation. They are great indoor plants and they can easily be propagated.

Aloe Vera should use cactus soil by mixing equal parts coarse and sand cactus potting soil. Rotate the pot every few days, so that the plant will receive light on every side. When the soil is completely dried out, you can water it. During winter, you can stop watering.

2. Corn Plant

Corn Plant removes formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene from the air. There are four popular varieties of the Dracaena Fragrans: the Corn Plant, Massangeana, Lindenii, and Victoria. The Massangeana variety is the most popular, but all of the varieties have great air purifying qualities. Indoors, the plant can grow between five and eight feet, and spreads over two to three feet wide.

The Corn Plant needs low and indirect light, making them the perfect houseplant if you don’t even have the time to water or put them under sunlight. It is drought-tolerant, but you cannot ignore it completely. Do not overwater, too. Use distilled water once a week and if the top one inch of the soil is dry, it is time to water again.

3. Janet Craig

The Janet Craig can remove formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene from the air. You can place it in almost any location and it requires very minimal care.

Make sure that the pot you will use for this plant has drainage holes in the bottom. It thrives under low light, though bright light is also acceptable as long as it’s not direct. These plants like to be kept dry, though their leaves may turn brown if it’s too much. Give them a little mist every day and they will be fine.

4. Red-Edged Dracaena

Also called the Dragon Tree, the Red-Edged Dracaena can free the air from formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, benzene, xylene, and toluene. There are dozens of varieties, though the Red-Edged Dracaena is unique with its reddish-purple along the edges of the leaves.

Use well-drained organic fertile soil and put this succulent under moderate light. If there are multiple plants, put them three feet apart. They are drought-tolerant plants, but they do well under moderate watering. Water once or twice a week and keep the soil evenly moist.

5 Tips For Planting Succulents In Small Containers

If you are living in a small place, like in a dormitory or a condominium unit, but you want to have a little bit of nature to surround you, your best bet is to make an indoor succulent garden. Planting succulents like the CAL Farms Beautiful 36 of 2″ Assorted Succulents are not only great because they provide the fresh air that we need indoors, but they are also easy to maintain and such a breeze to look at.

Most people simply put the succulents in mini containers (that they either bought from a hardware or gardening store or a container they have at home). However, transferring the succulents from the pots that they came from and to a container of your own choosing takes a little bit of practice and know-how.

1. Plant Above the Rim of the Container

The succulent needs to be above the rim of the container. If the soil is way below the rim, the chance is that the water will pool and will not flow out from the sides (just in case you put too much). This can cause the succulent to wither and die. The leaves inside the container will rot and that can cause problem to the whole plant in the long run. When putting soil into the container, don’t just put the roots and then the soil into it. Give the roots a shallow base of soil.

2. Pack Them Tight

One of the most usual questions about planting succulents is if they need to be packed tightly when they are planted. You can pack them tight, meaning there is minimal space in between the succulents, but they grow slower this way. On the other hand, they will look better and they will maintain the original form of the arrangement. You can pack them farther apart as well if you want them to grow faster. But in this arrangement, they won’t look as nice as the plants tightly packed together.

3. Let the Succulents Hang Over the Rim

This is not really something you need to do for the health of the succulents. It’s more for aesthetic reasons. To make your arrangement a little more interesting, let the succulents hang over the rim of the container. To achieve the right look, you can use trailing succulents like String of Pearls. They actually hang over the side of the pot, or you can simply let the rosettes cover the edges.

4. Add Some Height

Add tall succulents that will give more dimension to your arrangement. That doesn’t mean you only need to buy succulents that will grow tall though. You need the smaller ones, too, to accentuate the height of the tall succulents. Though succulents of the same height look neat inside a pot, they don’t add any interesting style to the room. When you’ve got dimensions in your succulent container, that could boost the overall look of the garden.

5. Use Top Dressing

Don’t simply plant the succulent in the soil and leave it be. Add some dressing to the soil. You can use stones and pebbles to do this. The plant will look better with the top dressing. You need to make sure the container has proper drainage, too, so that your plant will stay healthy.

Are Succulent Plants Poisonous And Dangerous For Human Health?

The short answer to the question is “No.” In general, succulent plants like CAL Farms 36 of 2″ Beautiful Rosettes Succulents are safe and do not pose danger to humans and even their pets. However, it is a good idea to know that there are actually a few succulent plants that pose a threat to humans and animals.

When people start welcoming the idea of growing succulents at home, they would not even think that some of these may be harmful to them. After all, some succulents are actually edible. We’re talking about the Aloe Vera and the Opuntia ficus-indica (Prickly Pear), both of which could be eaten.

Of course, we all know that the spines on cacti can be quite painful. That is based on personal experience while taking care of the cacti garden. But aside from the thorns of the cacti, not much has been talked about regarding the dangers of succulent plants.

Growing a succulent garden indoors or even outdoors, however, will make you question whether it is safe for you and the rest of the family. This was a conscious topic that has been discussed at home when the children started growing up and they have become quite curious with all the things they see, succulent plants included. Generally, succulents do not pose threat to human health, but there are a few that could potentially cause illness or pain to people who come across them.

If you are not aware of the kind of succulent plants you have at home, you can either do your own research or call poison control if in case your children or your pets ingest any succulent. While it may not cause any serious harm, it’s still better to be on charge of things as it can make them sick.

If you have children and animals roaming around your house, it’s a good idea to check out if your garden contains any succulent plants that are harmful to them. While most animals will not go near plants that could make them sick, not everyone will understand the dangers it could pose.


The most commonly known poisonous succulent is called the Euphorbia family. These contain a white sap in their leaves that can cause irritation on the skin. Not all people will react negatively when they get into contact with a Euphorbia, but it can still cause rashes to people who touch them.

When handling Euphorbia, make sure you use gloves to avoid skin contact with them. You also shouldn’t ingest the sap or a Euphorbia plant in general.


Kalanchoes are not dangerous for humans, but they can cause animals to get sick if they eat the leaves. It is rarely fatal, though, so there is no need to worry. A simple visit to the veterinarian will solve the issue.

Euphorbias and Kalanchoes are the only two succulent plants that are considered poisonous. However, it is important to keep sharp succulents out of reach of children and animals. When you place them indoors, you should place these succulents far away from their reach.

Top 5 Indoor Succulent Plants That You Can Easily Grow

If you are a forgetful gardener, succulent plants are your best bet at having a garden. These plants need almost zero maintenance and yet, they can brighten any room and they are great whatever the season may be. It’s an easy choice to take care of at home, thanks to its juicy leaves, stems, or roots that can retain water for a long period of time.

Succulents like CAL Farms 20 of 2″ Beautiful Rosettes Succulents Weddings or Party Favors or Succulent Gardens are excellent at home, whether you put them in pots or water globes. You can hang them on the foyer or by the window. They look stunning when planted alone or even as companions to other plants. They come in a wide variety of color choices. The possibilities are endless when it comes to the colors of succulent plants. They come in blue-green, chartreuse, pink, red, yellow, white, burgundy, almost black, variegated, and more.

The leaves may also be rounded, berrylike, needlelike, ruffled, or spiky. Even the cacti, which is a succulent, has that “come hither look” that seems to be characteristic of this type of plant.

1. Burro’s Tail

If you have a Burro’s Tail, plant it in a hanging basket. It will show its true beauty and gorgeousness that way. It has overlapping gray-green or gray-blue leaves that can grow as long as three feet. Burro’s Tail is a native of Mexico thus, thriving in medium to high light.

2. Christmas Cactus

To grow a Christmas cactus, you have to allow the top two inches of soil to dry out before watering. During the winter season, let it be drier. It is a bit tricky to grow a Christmas cactus because you have to watch out for the buds, which can fall off when the plant is dehydrated or when there’s too much water. To take care of this cactus, expose it to medium to high light and fertilize three times in the summer using a 10-30-10 fertilizer. This will help improve the blooms.

3. Crown of Thorns

If given enough light, this native of Madagascar can grow all-year round. It has a long, spoon-shaped leaves that appear at the ends of spiky branches and clusters of tiny flowers. Allow the top inch of the soil to dry out between watering when the plant is blooming. When it is not blooming, half of the soil must be dried out. Direct sun produces the best results for Crown of Thorns, though it can also quickly adapt to medium light. Fertilize three times in the summer using a 10-30-10 fertilizer.

4. Jade Plant

Considered as a lucky plant, the Jade Plant is an old-fashioned favorite because it is easy to grow. It is a native of South Africa and has thick stems and thick, glossy leaves with a tinge of red. The soil of the Jade Plant must be dried out before watering it again. You will kill the plant if you put too much water in it. Fertilize three times in the summer using a 10-30-10 fertilizer.

5. Medicine Plant (Aloe Vera)

For centuries, the sap of this healing plant has been used to treat a myriad of problems—from wounds to sunburns. You just have to be careful where you put the Aloe Vera because the sharp “teeth” along the leaf can cut passersby.

How To Properly Grow Indoor Succulent Plants


Indoor succulent plants are a nice choice for home gardeners. If you live in a high-rise apartment or in a condominium, this could be the one décor that you can thrive on. Succulents can survive for long periods in poor conditions, meaning not being able to go out under the sun or not being watered for a long period.

Although they are the most low-maintenance plants you can find, succulents can be the most beautiful plants in the world if given proper care. There are many varieties of succulents, and almost all of them are very low-maintenance, requiring less water, less sun, and less attention than ordinary and regular plants.

Here are ways on how to take care of your indoor succulent plants properly:

1. Putting Them Under the Sunlight

It is very easy to position succulents such as CAL Farms 20 of 2” Beautiful Rosettes Succulents under the sunlight. Although they will remain dormant during shipping and they may appear dull in color, they can immediately gain that color and look you are after once they are put under the sunlight. Most varieties of succulents will need at least half a day of full sunlight. If you are living in an extremely hot area, afternoon shade is recommended instead.

2. Re-planting the Succulents

If you want to transfer the succulents from their original pots to a decorative one, make sure to slowly remove them, so that the soil level will remain the same. You have to use the same level of soil in the new decorative pots, so it’s better to buy that kind of product with the same size as the original pots. Once transferred to the decorative pots, you can put pebbles or pea gravel on the soil surrounding the plant. Aside from being decorative, your succulents will also benefit from the pebbles or pea gravel.

3. Use Soil with Good Drainage

In order to grow succulents successfully, you need good draining soil. If you are going to plant the succulents in the garden, make sure that the soil in the area has good drainage and don’t plant the succulents in a low spot because they will remain wet all throughout the day. If you are going to plant the succulents indoors, buy cactus soil or mix together sand, gravel or volcanic rock. This will help promote the proper circulation of water in the soil. The container must also have a drainage hole or crushed rock on the bottom, so air will come in and the water will not stagnate.

4. Interval Watering

Succulents do not need much water. However, when you do water them, you need to make sure they dry up before watering them again. Succulents hate being watered again and again. But when you do water them, make sure to do it thoroughly.

5. No Need for Fertilizers

Succulents are very hardcore plants. They don’t need much water or fertilizers. If you want to put fertilizers, you can do so once a month. Make sure to use a well-balanced fertilizer.

Once you follow these tips, you can expect your succulents to remain in good health for many years. They can become the centerpiece of your living room too.

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