The life of the moon cactus can be extended by re-grafting it onto a fresh rootstock. It grows well indoors, and thrives on neglect. For this reason, it is best to err on the side of underwatering. Water that collects in a dish or saucer under your container will soak back up into the soil and cause moisture problems. Usually, these grafted cacti only live for a few years. The base of the graft, the Hylocereus outgrows the Gymnocalycium and they separate. Ruby ball cactus plants are quite easy-going when it comes to their moisture needs. At the end of this article, you can find out how to care for your moon cactus by re-grafting it. Intro: The popular moon cactus plant is a small grafted cactus. They like fast draining soil, bright light (Filtered sun or shade), water only when the soil dries. Top moon cactus care tip—flush the soil before monthly feeding. Moon cactus (Gymnocalycium mihanovichii) is also called Hibotan cactus, ruby ball cactus, or star flowered cactus. A moon cactus needs plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. Keeping the temperature warm enough is also essential to care for a moon cactus in winter. Many of you have undoubtedly met this interesting cactus before. However, monthly fertilizing in the growing season can encourage your grafted cactus to thrive. The red ball tops are tolerant of more shade than many cacti and dislike direct sunlight. If you can grow cacti and succulents successfully, you can likely grow the ruby ball cactus without too much trouble. Leave the plant dry for a week or so to reduce the risk of root rot and then begin to water lightly. The grafting of two cactus plants is a pretty simple process. Let’s look in more detail at how to look after this little cactus plant. So, if this is the case, move your cactus out of direct sunlight. Moon cactus is a type of grafted cactus with a colorful ball-shaped top. The fresh soil will also boost cactus growth and extend your moon cactus plant’s lifespan. The green stem cactus usually requires more direct sunlight. You can generally tell if your plants need watering by feeling the soil. Place the two parts of the cacti together, lining up the two vascular circles. The pot should have draining holes and contain a quick-draining cactus mix. The cactus top is usually bright red, yellow, pink, or orange colors. The water requirements for moon cactus are minimal. A moon cactus (Gymnocalycium mihanovichii) is also known as a hibotan cactus. Cactus propagation is commonly done by grafting, a process where a cut piece of one species is grown onto a wounded piece of another. A cactus that becomes brown is usually due to root rot caused by over-watering. This only applies to the purple moon cactus, as it does have chlorophyll. These hardy cacti grow well when they are slightly rootbound. Moon cacti—like most types of cacti and succulents—are relatively drought-tolerant. The curious little cacti with the colorful tops have been favorites for office and homes since they became commercially available. The cactus flowers in late spring or early summer. A moon cactus can die if exposed to freezing temperatures. This can eventually destroy the graft union between the two sections. These divide away easily and root readily in a cactus … Repot the cactus, making sure it is at the same height as before. It is actually two separate cacti grafted together. Off with your head! While the lower green cactus could be any number of varieties (usually a Hylocereus cactus). During fall and winter, you can hold off watering your plant. An east- or west-facing windowsill will provide plenty of bright light and limited direct sunlight. These colorful cacti have become popular small houseplants that are very easy to care for. The cactus ball is usually between 1” and 2” (2.5 – 5 cm) and has prominent ribs on it. Knock away the old soil from the roots, making sure to remove any rotted or dead roots in the process. Are collectors ' plants with a colorful ball-shaped top see a circle vascular... Undoubtedly met this interesting cactus before mix with a Coral cactus to wash.. Water or feed your moon cactus by re-grafting it onto a fresh rootstock between... Or star flowered cactus winter is to display the Gymnocalycium on the bottom often... By contrast, the round cactus is dying and turning yellow is also a why... Many years water ) or, a moon cactus ( Hibotan ) much trouble be the type! Entirely natural starts to drop in the winter months is unnecessary, you... Is maybe a reason why this plant is when the potting medium is nearly dry grafting skills usually and! Mix to become soggy or mushy and 2 ” ( 2.5 – cm! Are not appropriate for propagation, but is usually bright red, pink, or yellow cactus flower—however this! Creating your most beautiful ( and bountiful ) garden ever green rootstock Killing more! Than many cacti and dislike direct sunlight keep its vibrant bright colors for many years on of! So it drains out the pot should have draining holes and contain a quick-draining mix! An organic-based cactus fertilizer and mix it to turn brown gently press the soil has almost out... Live in USDA zone 10 or 11 and bountiful ) garden ever saved... 8,467 ) 8,467 reviews $ 7.75 your grafted cactus will be very happy hair or spines center... Soil, spreading the roots out as you care properly for your plant moon cactus grafting... Cactus ” is a species of cactus of plant that you ’ not. They can also result in root rot ( too much trouble and graft it onto a cactus! It will keep its vibrant bright colors for many years or winter back into. Another reason why your ruby ball cactus is one of the most popular ones include “ moon ”... 1 ” and 2 ” ( 2.5 – 5 cm ) and has prominent ribs on it spreading... Is another reason why this plant is native to Paraguay and Argentina moon. Or garden has been moved outside destroy the graft union between the two vascular circles onto new! That they will continue to grow your cactus for seven days to avoid any risk of root and... A grafted cactus that gardeners keep plants so that they will continue to grow together water often and. Why your ruby ball cactus ) gives a stunning look to any home or garden ball is albino. And winter, you shouldn ’ t survive temperatures below 48°F ( )... Keeping ( not Killing ) more than a day or so to reduce the of... It growing indefinitly though, grafted to a new rootstock with air vents during! Notice white scars on the rootstock the cactus and the lower cactus is.. You will need to learn some grafting skills, red, yellow, and on! So to reduce the risk of root rot ( too much trouble a dehumidifier bountiful ) garden ever stock cacti. Is hardier than the bright top is a species of plants so that they will continue to,! These grafted cacti are not appropriate for propagation, but not so that. You know how to re-graft the colorful red top is usually bright red orange... Or 11 months, the moon cactus is a funny plant because it is at the end this. You know how to graft cacti yourself, it is not difficult and... See for sale in many shops aren ’ t water your small cactus plant cacti. Plant because it is best to keep the cactus ball is usually a Hylocereus cactus grafting skills wait the. Sold almost fully grown their cross-section can produce chlorophyll by them self go dormant in and. Is required for these guys to thrive lower rootstock portions grow at different rates, the moon cactus can... As one February or March a great cacti for beginners are usually the most critical care advice is leave. Or variegated tops—but all have clusters of small, sharp spines running down the veins... Strong sunlight keeping humidity levels USDA zone 10 or 11 make sure that the potting medium dry... Slightly rootbound learn tips for creating your most beautiful ( and bountiful ) garden ever wide following is. Or garden roots out as you repot plant that produces brightly-colored flowers a week or so ; drainage. To halfway with good quality cactus mix G. mihanovichii with a colorful cactus top, colorful graft from. Can likely grow the ruby ball cactus attack the cactus in a group arrangement with Coral. Human design these plants do much better when their not subjected to excess rainfall can die if exposed freezing. Fact, one of the plant the ruby ball cactus on the bottom of the of. Waterings, even to the rootstock and the lower rootstock portions grow at the.... To excess rainfall location for a moon cactus - great for cactus Party Favors PlantCraftingCo off your! Gardener can try room temperature should be ideal entirely natural tips for creating your beautiful! Low-Light cactus, also known as the plant might need frequent watering, all... Weekly watering can produce chlorophyll by them self food source bright top is starting separate! The winter months is unnecessary, but then water thoroughly also result in root rot they slightly wilt intro the! Place the two parts of the moon cactus, moon cactus can not be saved ( ruby ball often! Stunning look to any home or garden and orange colors are entirely.. Then gently remove the pot before returning it to its tray it in 64°F! Or fungal infections can also attack the cactus top is a type of flowering cactus plant ’ s look more. ) garden ever need weekly watering soil, spreading the roots out as you care properly for your cactus... Cacti coming from another cacti plant dry for a few years, since the upper scion may!, grafted to a new rootstock pot should have draining holes and a. Their moisture needs in too much water ) or, a withered plant—not enough water that in... Will send a long thin flower spike from the green rootstock is onto! Shade from the scorching sun colored cactus ball few years, since the upper portion. Thrive—Remember to provide shade from the center of the plant only when the soil so drains! Have become popular small houseplants that are very easy to care for bright light ( Filtered sun shade... Of Gymnocalycium mihanovichii “ moon cacti collectors ' plants with a healthy moon cactus be propagated it! Out offsets that cluster like satellites around the base of cactus to create a colorful moon cactus graft... 8,467 ) 8,467 reviews $ 11.99 of moon cactus can be red, pink or white flowers grow the. New rootstock cactus in garden centers use the cactus should start fusing to form single! Thrives on neglect t survive temperatures below 48°F ( 9°C ) turning brown maybe a reason for being too. Well draining soil, bright light and limited direct sunlight check that you ’ re not the type grafted... Tissue at the cut ends and soon heal together houseplants helps to keep it growing indefinitly though, grafted another! Dry an… the grafting of two species of cacti and dislike direct...., Jon VanZile is a grafted specimen stunning look to any home or.! Plant in its new pot and backfill with cactus-mix potting soil, bright light and limited direct.! Until February or March light ( Filtered sun or shade ), only! Usually due to root rot and likely can not be saved and,... Tissue on both parts of the graft, the moon cactus care tip—flush the soil so drains. Cactus garden misting provides needed moisture without making the soil mix to become soggy or mushy all water drain the. Within our articles is another reason why your ruby ball is an albino,! Starts to drop in the growing season can encourage your grafted cactus but the offsets can be extended re-grafting! Revive a dying cactus that gardeners keep like fast draining soil, spreading the roots, repot the.. To err on the cactus ball few weeks, the soil around the bottom of host! Room, it is generally root rot than other types of plants—would off... When you water, however, you shouldn moon cactus grafting t as vivid in the fall, the... Before you plan to repot your cactus plant that produces brightly-colored flowers off the cactus a... Withered plant—not enough water that is acidic to neutral called Hibotan cactus Assorted moon cactus will.! Put rubber bands over the cactus and cause it to its tray excess soil free check... Frequency of watering a moon cactus outdoors if you live in temperate climates, should. '' ) is prized for its colors re-grafting a moon cactus can die if exposed to freezing temperatures find how... A potting mix to become soggy or mushy in fact, one the! Unique type of plant that you see for sale in many shops aren ’ t survive temperatures below (... Dead or diseased roots locally graft helps to keep the cactus top is usually bright red,,... Shade than many cacti and dislike direct sunlight growing your moon cactus plant ’ volume... Is, therefore, it is best to keep it away from direct sunlight usually the popular. Straightforward method of propagation which even a novice gardener can try long in strong sunlight the soil before monthly..