How To Repot Moon Cactus

The ideal time to repot cactus is spring, as was previously stated. This is due to the fact that they are actively starting to grow and root growth is resuming, which makes a transplant successful. It’s time to focus on the new soil after you have your container for repotting moon cacti.

While a standard cactus mix is adequate, many growers find that their own moon cactus potting mix yields greater results. An good and well-draining medium is created by mixing coarse sand and potting soil with a peat base in equal parts. To improve drainage, many gardeners sometimes put some fine gravel to the bottom of the pot. Your moon cactus potting mixture should be filled halfway into the container. Lightly wet it.

Water your cactus well a few days before repotting it to keep the roots moist. If the tiny plant’s spines worry you, put on gloves and carefully take it from the pot. A little more of the medium should be gently packed around the roots before placing the plant at the same level where it was growing.

So that water doesn’t pour over the top of the container, leave space there. The top of the container should be mulched with a thin layer of gravel or sand. Before watering the newly planted cactus, wait a week.

Throughout the growing season, water the cactus when the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil is dry, but just once every two to three weeks during the winter. When the plant is not actively growing in the winter, stop fertilizing and start applying fertilizer in the spring, such as a 5-10-10 every two to three months.

Do moon cacti require repotting?

In recent years, the moon cactus has gained a lot of popularity as a houseplant. They form a beautiful indoor plant and are comparatively simple to care for and maintain because to their vibrant buds and charming curves.

Like any plant, your moon cactus will ultimately require repotting. Even though repotting a moon cactus is not a difficult task, there are a few important considerations that any moon cactus owner should have in mind.

When Should I Repot a Moon Cactus? The best time to replant your moon cactus is typically in the spring, according to the majority of plant experts and gardeners. The cactus will be most amenable to being moved at this time of year, and is most likely to thrive if transplanted around this time.

When Should I Repot a Moon Cactus? Usually, moon cacti love to have congested roots and only need to be repotted once every three to four years. Moon cacti are accustomed to a slightly constrained root system since they usually grow in unfavorable conditions in the wild, such as rocky settings or poor soil.

How to Decide Whether to Repo It could be time to repot your moon cactus if the roots are reaching the pot’s edges. However, the most telling sign is when the cactus’ roots start to emerge through the pot’s drainage holes. The cactus is unquestionably prepared to be repotted at this time.

Selection of a New Pot As previously noted, moon cactus don’t mind a little bit of a squeeze, so you don’t need to choose a big pot. When repotting your moon cactus, the most important thing to remember is to choose a pot that allows extra water to drain and evaporate off. Your cactus could suffer serious damage if water collects within the pot and rots it.

What kind of soil is necessary for a moon cactus?

These succulents will develop colorful flowers in late spring or early summer with adequate care.

  • 1. Offer the right amount of shade and light. Sunlight must reach the rootstock cactus in sufficient amounts for photosynthesis. Place your moon cactus close to a window, but make sure it only receives filtered light since direct sunlight might be harmful. If you choose to put your cactus on a windowsill, make sure curtains are covering it to prevent it from getting too much direct sunlight.
  • 2. Sow your moon cactus in soil that drains properly. Root rot or mealybugs might result from overwatering a moon cactus. For moon cacti, potting soil mixture is suitable; alternatively, you can amend the soil with perlite or coarse sand to increase drainage. To aid in the drainage of extra water, choose a porous clay pot with drainage holes.
  • 3. Don’t overwater your moon cactus. The moon cactus doesn’t need a lot of water, like many other cactus species. After giving the soil a good soak with water, let it air dry entirely. Wait about a week before watering the plant again after the soil has dried out. Only during the growing season, and not throughout the winter, should the moon cactus be watered.
  • 4. Position your moon cactus in a warm area. A area where the temperature does not fall below 60 degrees Fahrenheit is the best option. A moon cactus can be kept outside throughout the summer, but you must bring it inside during the winter because frost will kill it.

How long do moon cactus live?

Moon cactus are short-lived because they are grafted. Your moon cactus should survive for a few years, possibly longer. However, eventually the two grafted plants will start to separate or split, and at that time the moon cactus will perish unless it is grafted onto a new foundation.

How often do you water a moon cactus?

Since moon cacti are indigenous to dry desert areas, they don’t require a lot of watering. It is preferable to fully water them, let them dry completely, and then wait a little while before watering them once more. This mimics the rare downpours that occur in their natural habitat. They usually only require watering once or twice a month as houseplants, and even less in the winter. The most frequent cause of death for moon cactus houseplants is overwatering.

What do I do with moon cactus pups?

Your moon cactus may start to develop tiny bumps or colored balls on the side that resemble miniature replicas of the plant. These are puppies or babies, not blossoms.

The moon cactus puppies can be propagated, but keep in mind that they won’t be able to survive without being grafted to a host cactus until they have some green or a darker spot on them. If you prefer the way your Moon cactus looks without them, you can either leave them in place or remove them.

Hylocerus undatus or Myrtillocactus geometrizans are typical stock cacti if you wish to try grafting them. In essence, you simply slice a little portion off the bottom of the Moon cactus baby and a slice from the top of the stock cactus, set them together with the sliced regions touching, then tie them together with twine for about a week or two until they bond.

Your moon cactus pup could be able to survive on its own without a graft host if it is a dark-colored type (occasionally dark purple, burgundy, or almost brown looking), or if it has any green on it. To determine if the pup will develop roots, you can pluck it off and place it on top of cactus soil.

Why is my moon cactus growing arms?

The bottom stock cactus will occasionally branch, sending up side shoots that resemble arms. There is no reason not to leave them if you like them, even if you might notice that they begin to grow more quicker than the rest of the plant and may eventually dominate it.

Using a pair of tidy, razor-sharp pruning shears or scissors, you may also clip the side growth. The cut will heal without any issues, and if you’d like, you may plant the cutting in a different container where it will establish roots and grow into a brand-new plant (without the moon cactus on top, of course).

How do you keep a moon cactus alive?

A moon cactus requires little maintenance to be healthy. Overwatering or when they split from their root stock kill the majority of moon cacti. Simply give your cactus some strong indirect light and water it every few weeks once the soil has dried up fully to keep it alive.

Why is my moon cactus dying?

Usually, grafted moon cacti only live for one or two years. This is due to the fact that the moon cactus depends on the graft with its host cactus (the green “stem”), and it will perish if that begins to split or separate.

Overwatering is another common cause of moon cacti death, and you can see it if the green base starts to become brown or mushy.

Why is the moon cactus top turning brown?

When a cactus turns brown, it usually means that it has been overwatered (especially if the brown areas feel mushy or squishy to the touch). However, if the plant has gone for several months without water, it may also mean that it has been underwatered.

It may have been scorched by too much direct sunlight or a grow lamp that was too close if the top of your moon cactus is becoming brown. Moon cactus only require indirect light; direct sunlight can cause them to burn or fade. Simply relocate your plant to a location with less sunlight if this is the case. The brown top won’t go away, but perhaps the healthy tissue that is still there will live and develop.

How frequently do moon cacti need to be watered?

Moon cacti aren’t the thirstiest of plants and don’t require a lot of watering, like the majority of cacti and succulents. According to Baldwin, you should only water them every two weeks or so, letting the soil dry out in between.

Your moon cactus may require even less watering over the winter, especially if it is older than a year. You can detect when your young one is thirsty if you follow the instructions in our scrumptious watering guide.

Your moon cactus should be in a pot with drainage holes, as with all plants, to avoid moisture buildup and root rot.


Moon cacti only require watering every two weeks (maybe even less in the winter), and the soil should totally dry out in between applications.

We have no control over the accessibility features of the third-party content used to display this advertisement.

How long are moon cacti alive for?

A Moon Cactus can live for one to three years on average. There are a few anecdotes, though, of succulent keepers who have preserved specimens for considerably longer than five years. However, it is not uncommon for a Moon Cactus to only last a few months, particularly if you are unfamiliar with taking care of one.

Where should moon cacti be planted?

The moon cactus requires the kind of temperature and amount of sunlight you might anticipate for a desert-type plant. They thrive in direct yet bright sunshine. Direct sunlight for extended periods of time can be damaging to plants. So the best place for a moon cactus is on a covered porch with some shade or somewhere where most of the direct sunlight is blocked. Although certain cacti species can withstand a winter freeze, it is best to move your moon cactus indoors or into the garage when the temperature dips below 40 degrees. If you are unable to protect them from the chilly weather, then cover them with a sheet or thin blanket. Keep in mind when the seasons change that cactus will freeze if left outside during a harsh winter.

Common Problems

Overwatering causes root rot, which is the biggest issue with moon cacti. The finest thing you can do is to take pleasure in your moon cactus’ steady growth and keep in mind not to overwater it. As long as you do not overwater them, they are often a beautiful, colorful, low-maintenance plant that is simple to manage.

Due to their very minimal maintenance needs, moon cacti are a great choice for newcomers in the plant world and a fun, easy, and colorful addition to your collection.

My moon cactus is dying, why?

The stem is frequently rotting if it begins to turn brown. A strong, green stem is a sign of health. The most frequent reason for a cactus plant’s brown, rotting stem is root rot, which is nearly always caused by either overwatering, inadequate drainage, or both. Sadly, this can spell doom for your moon cactus. The plant won’t be able to recover if the roots are killed, however you can simply check this. Examine the roots by gently removing the plant from the pot or digging it out. The plant is likely dead if they are slimy and brown. If they are white and firm, consider replanting the cactus in a fresh pot or garden spot with new, sterile soil.

Can the top of my moon cactus be chopped off?

Hibotan cactus is another name for the moon cactus (Gymnocalycium mihanovichii). It is actually a cactus that has been grafted from two separate species.

Grafting is the process of fusing the tissues of two different plant species so that they can develop together.

Because it lacks chlorophyll, the top portion of the moon cactus (the vibrantly colored ball) is unable to make its own food.

The top part is unable to create enough food on its own to support itself. It survives and thrives by using the lower cactus’ capacity for food production.

What is the top cactus (scion)?

Gymnocalycium mihanovicii friedrichii, sometimes known as a chin cactus, is the cactus on top.

The ball cactus on top is referred to as the scion when people or businesses are making these cacti.

What is the bottom cactus (rootstock)?

The cactus at the bottom is a Hylocereus undatus, sometimes known as a pitahaya or dragon fruit.

The bottom cactus is referred to as the rootstock supporting the scion while moon cacti are being created.

Why is this cactus not destined to survive long?

Because the scion acts as a parasite on the rootstock, the moon cactus cannot endure for very long.

The rootstock is unable to continuously support the scion and itself through food production.

When a result, as the rootstock tries to maintain both of them over time, it gradually becomes weaker from lack of nutrition and eventually dies, which results in the death of both cacti.

How long will moon cactus live?

Because we don’t know how long they were alive before we bought them, it’s difficult to provide an answer. Before a person’s health begins to deteriorate and eventually leads to death, it seems typical for them to have moon cactus for anywhere between 1.5 and 3 years.

Deaths from overwatering and/or lack of light typically occur more quickly than this, which may help you figure out what is ailing your cactus.