Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii “Moon Cactus”

Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii “Moon Cactus”

This adorable Gymnocalycium mihanovichii cactus combines two cactus plants, Gymnocalycium and Hylocereus; this cactus generally grafted onto Hylocereus cactus; this is why the combination of these two of them, also known as “Moon Cactus.”

These cacti often show orange, red, and yellowish coloring on the plant’s top, and this mutant cacti plant completely lacks chlorophyll. These cacti know by various names such as Hibotan cacti, Red Hibotan, Ruby Ball, or Red Cap due to their worldwide popularity and attractive look.

Quick Look:

  • Partial sun to light shade
  • Modest need of water for this Cactus
  • This Plant surmount up to 12″ (30.5 cm) tall
  • Zone 10a Temperature(Minimum 30° F | -1.1° C)
  • Not tolerate too cold (Generally not cold hardy)
  • Propagation through offsets and grafting
  • Generally Non-poisonous to humans and pets
  • Readily grows in the warmth environment

Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii Care and Propagation Information

Growing Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii “Moon Cactus”

Moon cactus “Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii” is similar to other succulent plant families; when we talking about its caring and growing characteristics. if you are already aware of how to grow most of the other succulents and cacti plants, then you easily grow moon cactus without any stress. This cacti plant will not live for years, even if you give them proper care, but still, they deserve all the efforts you do for them.

Lighting and Temperature needs for Moon Cactus

As we know these cacti plants are a combination of two different species of cactus and the lighting preference of both of them also differs. However, both grow mutually; we can say that the bond of both of them is parasitic. In terms of keeping them good-looking shape, their need must be also meet each other. While the bottom part Hylocereus cactus loves lots of sunshine, where the top color part Gymnocalycium cannot bear direct sunshine for a long period.

Remember that when growing these cacti plants; place them in an area where lots of partial and filtered sunlight came. Too much direct sunlight causes the color to fade on the top of the plant over time.

Similar to other cacti plants, Moon cactus “Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii” can handle a long period of drought, due to they thrive well in desert similar conditions.

These plants grow well in indoor alike temperatures, but you need to keep them safe during the winter seasons. moon cactus cannot tolerant the temperature drop below 40 °F (4 °C); Protect them in cold temperature, a blanket may a good option, otherwise, they will probably not survive in a too-cold environment.

Soil and feeding for Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii “Moon Cactus”

When you start planting the “Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii” moon cactus, you first need to choose a good cactus potting mix with proper nutrition and good drainage. The chosen cacti potting mix should have a low Ph level.

Although they don’t need any fertilizer, you still need to fertilize them during their growing months, April to September. Fertilize them after every two months; also ensuring to stopping fertilizes the cacti in the winter months.

Water needs for moon cactus

Generally, the moon cactus plant doesn’t need regular watering. Although the watering needs for Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii are minimal, almost nominal. If you give them less watering and even protect your cacti plant from excess rainfall, these plants do their best in every possible way.

However, if you are in a region where rainfall regularly and you also want to put your plant outside, it would be best to place your cacti plant in any covered space.

It shall be best if you themselves check if your moon cactus plant needs water or not. If you feel the soil is dry, then perhaps giving them mild watering would benefit your cactus plant’s overall growth.

We advised you to avoid overwatering your plant. If your plant 1-year older or maybe more then, it would be best to stop watering thoroughly in the winter seasons. On the other hand, for younger moon cactus plants, only give water if you feel the soil is dry and the plant truly needs watering; then a small amount of watering would need.

Concerning water, keep in mind moon cactus prefer unglazed Pot with proper water drainage. To increase the water drainage efficiency, you can also add a gravel layer in the bottom of your container or Pot before using the Pot to plant moon cactus.

When and how to Repot moon cactus?

Repotting a “moon cactus” Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii is also an exciting part. Repot the plant in their growing season would be the best and ideal way to do it. Ensure that soil must be dry; when you start to remove the cacti plant from the pot. When you take out the plant, ensure that to remove the excess soil from the pot’s sides and the plants. If the plant has any rotten or dead roots, remove them gently or trim them.

If the previous Pot seems small in the perspective of the moon cactus plant, it is good to find a new pot with a drainage hole; and fill it with a fresh cactus potting soil mix and plant your cacti plants in. wait a week, after that water your cacti plants, avoid immediate watering which causes root rot most of the time. Provide them enough sunshine, so they do their best.

Also Read: Which time is best for Repotting succulents plant?

The Way You Can Propagate Grafted Moon Cactus

  1. Gently cut off the extra shoots from the plant’s sides.
  2. Use grown offsets or cut shoots from the plant’s sides for propagation. 
  3. Use an ideal host which offers a perfect base for side shoots; most probably, Hylocereus undatus would be best ideally perfect for them.
  4. Pick the host plant that is having the same diameter and thickness.
  5. Ready the host plant until collecting the side shoots.
  6. Gently cut off the top of Hylocereus undatus, cut at a slant.
  7. After that, cut the side shoots carefully of the parent plant.
  8. Join the two cut portion together, but place the side shoots on the host plant’s top and press it. Press sturdily but not soo tightly.
  9. Keep moist both parts until the grafting process would be complete.
  10. To keep both parts together until they properly joined, use a rubber band and tie both of them softly.

A few weeks later, the sides shoot begin growing from the top of the host plant. When you observing its new growth on the top of the Hylocereus undatus plant, eject the rubber band and freely follow the care and growing tips of the “moon cactus” Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii plant.

Propagate moon cactus through Offsets

Some moon cactus also produces small’s offsets on the plant’s top and sides; through them, we can also propagate Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii. Initially, to begin propagation:

  1. You have to remove the offsets from the mother cactus plant and keep it clean.
  2. Ensure that they’re dry; if not, keep them for few weeks until they are dry and ready to propagate.
  3. Use a well-draining cactus potting mix for your newly cactus plant, and water them when the soil dries out.

A common problem with “Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii” Moon Cactus

Root rot is a common concern when grows moon cactus; this problem occurs due to the extensive giving amount of water to the cacti plants. To minimize this problem, you need to ensure not overwater the cacti plant; instead, you also enjoy its growth.

As we know, Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii doesn’t need too much water. It’s a low caring cactus plant that regularly grows when you don’t overwater them.

Moon cactus is a pleasant, bright, colorful smaller cacti plant, which might be undoubtedly worthy of your plant collection. Especially for beginners, this cacti plant is a good choice in their planting pathway.

Frequently asked questions regarding moon cactus

Question: Is pest is a big problem in Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii?

Answer: The pests are not a big concern in “moon cactus” Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii, but still, whenever you see any spider mites or mealybugs, eliminate them soon as possible. You can also use rubbing alcohol dipped in any cotton and gently scrub the cacti plant.

Question: Where to plant Moon cactus “Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii”?

Answer: However, it’s a personal choice of any plant lover, either you place them indoor or any outdoor area. This small cactus plant looks beautiful on window sills. If you want to put them in the garden, ensure that you cover them, especially in the winter season, to protect them from the cold.

Question: Why does the Moon cactus not survive for long?

Answer:  The Gymnocalycium cactus plant is usually a parasite on the Hylocereus cactus because Gymnocalycium grafts on the Hylocereus cactus plant. The bottom rootstock cacti are incapable of producing enough food for both of them indefinitely. That’s the reason moon cacti do not survive for a long time.

Due to lack of nourishment overtime, rootstock cacti weaken. Whenever that situation arises, the bottom cacti try to support both of them and start to die, finally reaching the point where both cacti are leading to death.

Question: How long will these moon cactus live?

Answer:  It isn’t straightforward to tell how long they will live because I buy them and do not know how long they lived before purchasing them. We researched this topic and found that the ‘moon cactus” usually live 1.5 to 3 years before declining health and, eventually, death. Due to lack of sunlight and too much overwatering, it usually causes faster death than this.

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