Learn all three different methods of propagation of a Moon cactus plant and find out the disadvantages of each method that is available for you to use. Find out what is the best method you can use if you want to try growing a new moon cactus or if you are trying to multiply the current one that you have.
About Moon Cactus
The Moon Cactus has the scientific name Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii. Ruby Ball, Red Cap, Red Hibotan, or Hibotan cacti are the most common names of these mutated plants. They lack the ability to produce chlorophyll, which means that the cacti must be grafted onto a rootstock to be successfully propagated. They ought to be grafted onto a species that produces a mass amount of chlorophyll so that the moon cactus will be able to sustain itself for many years.
Moon cacti are native to desert regions, and are primarily found in various parts of South America. In a few countries alone like Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, and Bolivia to name a few, there are over 80 species of moon cacti discovered. These succulent plants come in vibrant colors of pink, orange, and even yellow.
Most cultivators grow these plants as they are very well-fitted to be a gift for someone because of their size and their beautiful appearance. They would make a fine window box or table plant. However, both Vastu and Feng Shui practitioners believe that moon cactus plants can transmit bad energy if planted in your own home and this plant brings misfortune to the cultivator’s home because it is within the family of plants with sharp thorns.
Different ways to propagate Moon Cactus
There are three different ways that you can propagate a Moon Cactus. And each one of these methods has its own advantages and disadvantages. Learn all of these three methods and choose what is the easiest method for you to use in trying to grow your own moon cactus plant.
The most common way to grow a moon cactus plant is by grafting. Although you can grow them from a seed, it will take a full year for you to be able to recognize them as a moon cactus plant as their growth speed is rather slow. Another method that you could try is division. You can remove the offsets that grow from the parent plant and place it in dry soil and wait for a week or two to grow their roots. With proper care, your moon cactus plant can bloom vibrant flowers in late spring or the early part of summer.
Propagation through grafting
This is the most common method that moon cacti cultivators use. It is also considered to be the best method that you can use to propagate moon cacti. To use this method, you will have to carefully remove the top of your moon cactus using a sterilized knife.
Prepare a rootstock, and bind the moon and the rootstock together. You can do this by placing the moon cactus on top of the rootstock and securing it with a rubber band. Wait for a few weeks until the moon cactus and its rootstock are bonded successfully before removing the rubber bands.
Propagation through division
This method is easier and less complicated than grafting. However, the chances of successful propagation of a Moon cactus plant aren’t nearly as high if you compare it to the grafting method.
Removing the offsets, or the tiny moon cacti that are growing from the base of the rootstock of a parent moon cactus plant makes it simple to propagate moon cactus. These offsets can be dug up and planted right away in cactus potting soil. You can dig up these offsets and immediately plant them in cactus potting soil.
The chances of your new moon cacti plants thriving depends on how you took care of them after transplanting. But some cacti that aren’t dark in color will have a hard time surviving on their own if it is not grafted into a host or a rootstock
Propagation through its seeds
Because they lack chlorophyll, most of the moon cacti can’t produce a seed of their own. However, some of them do produce seeds, and you can try propagating them with them.
Although it is very hard and it will take a lot of time until it reaches a certain stage where it can be recognized as a moon cactus plant. You can propagate a moon cactus plant through seeds by sowing them over a dry, succulent mixture.
Moisten the flat and transfer them to a location with warm temperatures for its germination process. You will notice your seeds sprouting after a few months of sowing them.
Is it hard to grow a moon cactus?
The difficulty of a moon cactus propagation depends on the method you use and how well you know the steps in each method. However, maintaining or caring for one is really quite simple, as they are low-maintenance plants. This plant is a great choice for those who are new to horticulture as it can add color and life to your table, porch area, or window seal.
What happens if you cut the top off a moon cactus?
Because moon cacti lack chlorophyll and therefore can not produce their own food, the upper part of the cacti would not be able to survive on their own if cut. These succulent plants use the food-making ability of their lower half to be able to produce the food that these plants need in order to thrive and survive.
There are many ways to grow a moon cactus plant. However, there is only one method that cultivators normally use. Most experienced cacti cultivators only use grafting if they want to grow a new cactus or multiply the one that they already have. This is due to the fact that grafting is much simpler than the previously described two techniques. And grafting also has the best chance that your young moon cactus can actually thrive and become a healthy, mature moon cactus plant.
Meet Tomas Clayton, a seasoned plant gardener who has been passionate about horticulture since he was a child. Tomas John developed a love for the natural world and a strong appreciation for the beauty of plants while growing up on a farm.