How To Take Care Of Grafted Cactus

Cacti grafting is an excellent technique to add color to your indoor plants or backyard garden. Although cacti require little care, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your plant is healthy:

  • 1. Offer some sunlight. Indirect light is the best for most grafted cacti. If you want to give your plants just enough sun without overheating them, try placing them on an east or west-facing windowsill.
  • 2. Refrain from overwetting. Desert plants like cacti don’t need as much water as other plants do. Once the earth is dry, you should only water your grafted cactus. To keep the scions of your grafted cactus vibrant, you can also spray the tops from time to time. Remember that different seasons may necessitate varying amounts of water—more in the summer, less in the winter.
  • 3. Calculate the soil’s pH. The ideal soil pH for your plant can be determined based on your rootstock. Numerous cacti favor well aerated, acidic to neutral soil.
  • 4. Give cactus fertilizer a try. Your grafted plant might grow healthily if you use the proper cactus fertilizer during the growing season.

How often should a grafted cactus 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 old are grafted cacti?

A grafted cactus with a brightly colored ball-shaped top is called a moon cactus. These vibrant cacti have gained popularity as compact, low-maintenance houseplants. Typically, the cactus top is an intense shade of red, yellow, pink, or orange. This patterned top has the look of a vibrant cactus blossom. Some of these vibrant cactus plants have tops that are multicolored or variegated, but every one of them has a cluster of tiny, prickly spines that runs along the curved veins.

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii, also known as the moon cactus, goes by the names Hibotan cactus, ruby ball cactus, and star flowered cactus. A grafted combination of two cacti is known as a moon cactus. The green lower cactus might be any type of cactus, while the bright Gymnocalycium mihanovichii cactus at the top is a common cactus. The cactus ball typically ranges in size from 1 to 2 (2.55 cm) and has noticeable ribs on it.

Put the moon cactus in a warm, sunny location to take care of it. The pot needs to have drainage holes and a quick-draining cactus mixture within. Only water the plant thoroughly when the potting soil is completely dry. To cultivate a robust, eye-catching cactus, fertilize regularly in the spring and summer.

Aerated, sandy soil with good water drainage is the best soil for moon cactus plants. A potting mixture can also be transformed into suitable cactus soil by adding pebbles or tiny stones. Like the majority of succulent species, cacti demand an acidic to neutral potting soil.

The ruby ball cactus and other cacti grow slowly, at a rate of between 0.4 to 1.1 (13 cm) each year. Moon cactus plants are typically supplied almost completely developed.

Ten to 200 years are the lifespan of cactus plants. Outside-growing cacti often live longer than interior-growing cacti, but with the right care, your indoor moon cactus plant can flourish for many years.

The moon cactus has a shorter lifespan than the majority of cacti. These grafted cactus often only survive for a few years. Because the rootstock has outgrown the top of the plant, they live shorter lives. You must re-graft the vibrant ball cactus onto the rootstock to increase their lives. You can learn how to take care of your moon cactus by re-grafting it towards the end of this post.

How much sunlight is required for grafted cacti?

The optimal conditions for these cacti are areas with brilliant indirect light and only a few hours of morning sunlight. The colors will fade if there is too much direct sunlight.

How should grafted moon cacti be cared for?

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.

What is killing my grafted cactus?

Yes! If both cacti are still healthy, you may be able to save one of them. Not mushy, still firm, not excessively dark or stained are considered signs of good health.

We will first determine whether your cactus has been overwatered before discussing what may be done to salvage each individual portion of your cactus.

By selecting one of the following, you can move on to the next stage with confidence that you haven’t overwatered your cactus: Rootstock preservation (the green stalk supporting the colorful cactus on top) protecting the Scion (the colorful, spiny top cactus) A Different Way to Save the Scion

Remember that your moon cactus isn’t intended to live for very long, so it’s highly likely that it’s dying (especially if you’ve had it for a while). It might not be related to your care. Perhaps you provided it with the ideal environment!

Has your moon cactus been overwatered?

Your cactus may have been overwatered if more than one of these is accurate:

  • Your rootstock is mushy or becoming brown.
  • Even though the ground is wet and squishy, you haven’t watered your cactus in the past 24 hours.
  • The cactus’s roots are mushy and brown or black when you check them.
  • The cactus’ soil does not drain well.
  • Prior to letting the earth totally dry up, you have been watering.

If you don’t already, it would be a good idea to check the roots for indications of root rot if you have any of these symptoms (brown or black, mushy roots).

If the rootstock of a cactus with root rot is mushy, there is little that can be done to salvage it. You could move on to the part that describes how to graft the scion onto a new rootstock if the scion is sound and firm.

You do have a choice if the rootstock is not mushy but the roots are rotten. You’ll need to: 1. Remove all brown or black, mushy roots; only the white, healthy roots should be retained. 2. After that, replant in loose soil and stop watering your plant for at least a few weeks. 3. After you water, wait until the soil is completely dry before you water again.

Your cactus will be content if you plant it in well-draining soil and make sure to wait until the earth is totally dry before watering it once more. This assumes that the roots are still white and healthy.

Important Information: If your moon cactus isn’t getting enough light to utilize the water you’re giving it, you should offer it more light. Light is very important to cacti.

They will flourish in windows that face either the west or the east. They will also be content close to a south-facing window. They won’t get enough light if they’re put more than about a foot from a window, and watering them during periods of low light will be problematic.

To make sure it gets adequate light, I keep mine right on the sill of a west-facing window.

To photosynthesize or produce food, the plant utilizes water and light. The water remains there unused since the plant cannot photosynthesize without enough light. When its roots are left in the stagnant water, they develop root rot, which damages the plant.

Saving the Rootstock

Because it is using all of its efforts to nourish the scion, the rootstock is simply unable to sustain itself. The rootstock will callus over and start to support itself if the scion or ball cactus on top is removed.

Here is how to develop your own cactus from the rootstock alone:

  • Obtain a good, clean knife.
  • Make a clean incision through the Hylocereus undatus cactus below the scion with the knife. You want to get rid of the entire scion. It is acceptable to take some of the rootstock or Hylocereus undatus out as well.
  • Place your happy Hylocereus undatus back in a sunny window after the scion has been removed so that it has time to callous over.
  • Give it some time and just water it when the soil is dry.

How do I determine the health of my cactus?

Cacti enthusiasts are already aware that these desert plants can withstand the most extreme weather conditions. This does not imply that they are safe from illness, pest, or animal attacks. Cactus may tolerate some neglect, but it requires adequate care to be strong and flourish. A healthy cactus indicates strong chances and promise for future reproduction.

So how do I determine the health of my cactus? The physical characteristics of a cactus will show whether it is healthy. A healthy cactus has a robust, succulent stem, upright leaves, an equally green appearance, and strong roots, to name a few. A healthy cactus will be able to store a sizable amount of water without showing any indications of deterioration and will consistently produce brightly colored flowers during each flowering season.

The traits that distinguish a healthy cactus will be examined in this article. It will go over how to maintain the plant’s health and how to recognize any symptoms of ill health.

What height may grafted cactus reach?

Grafted Color Top Cactus generally grows to a height and width of 2-3 inches. It is a little, intriguing plant with a strange arrangement on a green stem and an unexpected hue. Although this shrub benefits from afternoon shade, it should be grown in strong light. Although it does need some moisture, cacti can endure being dry. Standing water will not be tolerated by it. As long as the soil drains completely, it is not picky about the soil’s pH or kind. This particular species is a variation that is not native to North America. Windowsills and combined container plantings benefit greatly from the addition of color and intrigue provided by Grafted Color Top Cactus.

Can a grafted cactus be propagated?

Leave your head alone! Grafting, a technique where a cut piece of one species is grown onto a damaged piece of another, is frequently used to propagate cacti. Cactus plant grafting is an easy method of propagation that even a beginner gardener can undertake. A quick cactus grafting tutorial with simple directions on how to graft a cactus is provided after. Different species perform better with different techniques.

Cacti are among my favorite plants because of their odd traits and distinctive forms. Grafting, stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, seed, or offsets are all methods of propagation. Cactus germination and growth can be unpredictable, so growing them from seed might take a long time. In general, grafting can be used to propagate cacti that don’t produce offsets as long as the rootstock is compatible. The rootstock is the base or rooted portion, and the grafted portion is known as a scion.

Natural grafted cacti exist?

Undoubtedly, many of you have already encountered this fascinating cactus. I’m sure some of you have one. These cacti, often known as “Hibotan” or “moon cacti,” are actually two separate cacti that have been grafted together rather than being a single species.

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii is the scientific name for the bright top portion. Both Paraguay and a few areas of Argentina are home to it. It is not nearly as colorful in the wild. The examples that are offered for sale in garden supply stores throughout the world are actually mutant species that lack chlorophyll, exposing other colours that are typically covered by green. These mutants can have a variety of colors, including deep purple, deep red, and yellow. These mutants would ordinarily perish as seedlings without chlorophyll.

Someone eventually had the brightly colored mutants grafted onto several species of cacti, with the hope that they may survive. Exactly this is what has happened. The bottom host cactus is interestingly not even in the same genus as the moon cactus. Most frequently, a species of Hylocereus is used for grafting (the same genus responsible for dragon fruit). I have no idea how or why this host was selected. Regardless, I hope that after reading this you have a newfound respect for these incredibly indestructible house plants.

Where in my house should I keep my cactus?

Cacti and succulents are now a very common houseplant and care for your cacti and succulents is vital. They occur in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, ranging from the small to the enormous. Because they share traits that enable them to endure in arid conditions, cacti and succulents belong to the same category.

The majority of succulents and cacti are endemic to desert environments. They will therefore thrive in conditions with lots of light, good drainage, hot temperatures, and little wetness. However, some cacti and succulents, like Schlumbergera, enjoy semi-shady and wet environments because that is their natural habitat.

The easiest way to take care of cacti and succulents is to try to mimic their natural environment. The essential factors you should take into account when taking care of your succulents and cacti are listed below.

Light, temperature and ventilation

It is advisable to arrange cacti and succulents in a bright area because they do best with good light sources. A place that faces south will get plenty of light. But be careful not to place them in direct sunlight since the strong light may cause the plants to turn yellow. The best kind of light for growing cacti and succulents depends on the species that you are using. For instance, forest-dwelling epiphytes like Rhipsalis require some shade, whereas an Echeveria requires strong light.

It is ideal to keep the plants cool at night, between 8 and 10 degrees Celsius, during the fall and winter. The plants will survive in high temperatures, but they require sufficient ventilation in the spring and summer.


Since Westland cacti and succulent potting mix has included girt and sand for the best drainage, it is a good compost to use. Additionally, it has the ideal quantity of nutrients for your succulents and cacti.

Watering and feeding

It’s a popular misperception that succulents and cacti just need a tiny bit of water. Although their leaves and stems can store water, allowing them to survive in dry environments, they will not grow in environments with little water. Your cactus or succulents’ ability to develop successfully depends on regular watering. Underwatering results in shriveling while overwatering stunts growth.

Instead of using tap water to water plants, use lukewarm rainfall. This is because the minerals in tap water can settle on the leaves and accumulate in the soil. Additionally, minerals obstruct the plant’s access to vital nutrients.

Spring and summer

The plants need to be watered at least once a week during the growing season. Give the soil a good soak when watering, letting any extra water run away. Every time you water the compost, give it a little time to dry out.

Utilize Westland Cacti and Succulent Feed, a recommended recipe to use, to feed your plants once a month. They create more robust growth that is more resistant to disease and has superior flowering thanks to it. Simply take a 5ml quantity of the feed from the dosing chamber and mix it into 1 liter of water.

Autumn and winter

The plants enter a period of rest at this time. Reduce watering so that the potting mix dries out in between applications. The type of succulent and the environment it is in will determine how frequently it has to be watered. Winter-flowering cactus should be kept warm and watered frequently now, whereas desert-dwelling cacti don’t need to be watered. Cacti and succulents don’t need to be fed during this time.


The optimal time to repot cactus or succulents that are pot-bound is in the spring. To replant:

  • Before carefully taking the plant from the pot, water it and let it drain. Use folded paper to shield your hands from the spikes.
  • To avoid damaging the roots, remove the old soil from around them with a thin stick, like a chopstick.
  • The new container, which has a slightly larger diameter, should be filled with potting soil before placing the plant inside of it.
  • The remaining potting mix should be added to the pot and compacted.
  • To stop the rotting of injured roots, stop watering for a few days.

The finest care for your succulents or cacti comes from maintaining these conditions. The most crucial thing to keep in mind when taking care of your plant is that you are trying to mimic its natural environment!