Plant Care Moon Cactus

Moon Cactus

4.6 out of 5 (252 experiences)

Moon Cactus has a Survivor plant personality Survivor
Moon Cactus has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower

Also known as

Chin Cactus, Plaid Cactus, Rose Plaid Cactus and Britton & Rose Cactus

Taxonomy

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii
Gymnocalycium
Cactaceae
Caryophyllales

How to care for Moon Cactus

💦 Water

How often to water your Moon Cactus

Water needs for Moon Cactus
0.5 cups
every 12

Moon Cactus needs 0.5 cups of water every 12 when it doesn’t get direct sunlight and is potted in a 5" pot.

Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Calculate water needs of Moon Cactus

Water 0.5 cups every
12

Does your plant get direct sunlight?

Select the pot size

5"
☀️ Light

Finding light for Moon Cactus in your home

Light needs and placement for plant Moon Cactus: 1ft from a window
1ft or less from
a window

Moon Cactus love being close to bright, sunny windows 😎.

Place it less than 1ft from a south-facing window to maximize the potential for growth.

Moon Cactus does not tolerate low-light 🚫.

Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement of Moon Cactus in your home 🏡.

🪴 Nutrients

How to fertilize Moon Cactus

Nutrient, fertilizer, and repotting needs for Moon Cactus: repot after 2X growth

Most potting soils come with ample nutrients which plants use to produce new growth.

By the time your plant has depleted the nutrients in its soil it’s likely grown enough to need a larger pot anyway.

To replenish this plant's nutrients, repot your Moon Cactus after it doubles in size or once a year—whichever comes first.

Browse #MoonCactus
💡 FAQs
⭐ Difficulty Level

Moon Cactus is generally easy to care for, though some plant parents report facing challenges with growing it. Check out the reviews down below to read more about their experiences!

Benefits of Growing Moon Cactus →

Common Moon Cactus Problems →


💦 Water Needs

Moon Cactus thrives in dry soil and should be watered sparingly. Use our water calculator to personalize watering recommendations to your environment or download Greg for more advanced recommendations for all of your plants.

Moon Cactus Water Frequency →


☀️ Sunlight Needs

Moon Cactus requires abundant, bright and direct light. Place it less than one foot from a window to ensure it receives enough light to survive 💪. Select your region to see how the current weather in your area affects the placement in your home 🏡.

Moon Cactus Light Requirements →

Moon Cactus Direct Sunlight Needs & Tolerance →


🐶 🐈 👶 Toxicity

Moon Cactus is not known to cause harm to humans or pets. Regardless, if you, a family member, a cat, or dog has ingested any plant material, please consult a doctor or a veterinarian.

Moon Cactus Toxicity to Dogs →

Moon Cactus Toxicity to Humans →


💨 Humidity

Moon Cactus prefers dry environments. Providing extra humidity or misting your plant allows water to linger on leaves, which can create the perfect environment for harmful types of fungi.

Moon Cactus Humidity Needs →


🪴 Soil

Moon Cactus is very sensitive to wet soil, so choose a potting soil that drains very well and doesn’t retain too much moisture. A good soil will have lots of perlite or vermiculite for drainage and some organic matter for nutrition. A few handfuls of perlite added to regular store-bought cactus soil will do the trick!

When and How to Successfully Repot Moon Cactus →


💩 Fertilizer

Moon Cactus grows very slowly and doesn’t require added fertilizer. Replacing your plant’s potting soil once a year should provide them with more than enough nutrition. Remember, plants get their energy from sunlight, not fertilizer!

How Much and When to Fertilize Moon Cactus →


🌎 Native Region

Moon Cactus is native to South America.


🌸 Flowers

Moon Cactus produces flowers in the wild, but does not flower when kept as houseplants.

Moon Cactus Flowers →


⬆️ ⬇️ Growth Pattern

Moon Cactus grows vertically and new growth will emerge from the top of the plant.

How and When to Prune Moon Cactus →


🌦️ Growing Outdoors

USDA Hardiness Zone
Moon Cactus can be grown outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10-12b. Find your local hardiness zone here.

Moon Cactus Temperature Tolerance →


🌱 Propagation

Moon Cactus can be propagated by division into new individual plants.

  • Check to see if there is more than one plant. In some cases they may still be beneath the soil surface. If you feel confident, you may remove the soil to check for baby plantlets below!
  • If there are multiple plants growing, unpot the plant and gently tug the plants apart, being careful not to disturb too many of the roots. They may be connected by large root segments which you may need to break to free the plantlet.
  • Pot up the new plant in well-draining soil
  • Repot the parent plant back into its original pot

🧐 Troubleshooting

When troubleshooting a sad-looking houseplant, start by checking for signs of distress in its leaves, such as yellowing, browning, or drooping, which can indicate overwatering or nutrient deficiencies.

Inspect the soil moisture; too dry or too wet soil can cause problems.

Ensure the plant is getting the right amount of light, as too much or too little can stress it.

Finally, consider environmental factors like temperature and humidity, and adjust care routines accordingly to revive your plant.


😖 Common Issues

Overwatering is a likely cause of issues with Moon Cactus. These plants are very sensitive to wet soil so if you notice your plant becoming squishy or translucent, overwatering is the likely culprit.

Cut your plant just past where the rot ends and allow it to callus over for a few days before replanting it in fresh, dry soil. Download Greg to make sure your plant never gets overwatered again!


Care Summary for Moon Cactus

Moon Cactus

Moon Cactus


Greg recommends:

Water

0.5 cups every 12 days

Placement

< 1ft from a window

Nutrients

Repot after 2x growth

Based on the 4” pot your plant is in, and that it doesn’t get direct sunlight.

What other plant parents say

Moon Cactus has a Survivor plant personality Survivor 187
Moon Cactus has a Fast grower plant personality Fast grower 35
Moon Cactus has a Blooms easily plant personality Blooms easily 30
Moon Cactus has a Easy to propagate plant personality Easy to propagate 26
Moon Cactus has a Browns easily plant personality Browns easily 9
Moon Cactus has a Large, lush leaves plant personality Large, lush leaves 6
Moon Cactus has a Pest magnet plant personality Pest magnet 3
@MagicalClover avatar
@@MagicalClover
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 613 XP
globe Boston, MA
04/06/2022

Don't buy this parasitic couple if you're using an indoor grow light...if it's too late then they need direct light on its base and not the colorful top so get your Lego sets out and start building a small house to both hide and help your moon cactus stay happy under direct light ...i used a tall plastic water bottle for a bit because the cap was blocking enough light...sure it's pretty but at what cost...they don't even like each other

Browns easily Browns easily
@Blairlegere avatar
@@Blairlegere
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 132 XP
globe Summerside, Prince Edward Island
03/30/2022

Water very little, ever two weeks

Survivor Survivor
@1bukikinnie avatar
@@1bukikinnie
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 296 XP
02/03/2022

my baby. has stuck with me for ages i love her

Survivor Survivor
@BJoyce avatar
@@BJoyce
leaf-1 57 Plants
xp 10,343 XP
globe Orlando, FL
01/11/2022

It’s a cactus! Super easy to care for. I’ve moved it to a pot with another cactus and succulent and it seems to be doing well. I just let them hang out on my windowsill and do their thing. Nice, easy plant to have around.

@zigzag avatar
@@zigzag
leaf-1 3 Plants
xp 62 XP
globe Portland, OR
01/10/2022

spikes don’t actually hurt so you can touch the cactus

Blooms easily Blooms easily
Survivor Survivor
Wei ling avatar
@Wei ling
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 100 XP
globe Bukit Batok, Singapore
01/03/2022

If you like to procrastinate, this is 4 u.😄

Survivor Survivor
@elizapearl avatar
@@elizapearl
leaf-1 4 Plants
xp 460 XP
01/01/2022

love my moon cactus, they look so cool and THEY’RE RED!! I love red. super easy to take care of because it’s a cactus so it doesn’t need a ton of attention and only needs to be watered occasionally but they do tend to die kind of quickly. with my first one, the cactus drank up all the water wayyy too quickly and the red bulb at the top filled with water and it ended up dying after about 7 months. my new one has survived a good six months so far but the bottom that is partially in the soil is starting to wilt. it’s limp and brown but i’m hoping some good old tlc will revive it.

@Stacie avatar
@@Stacie
leaf-1 0 Plants
xp 133 XP
globe Johnstown, PA
01/01/2022

Easy to care for requires very little watering

Survivor Survivor
@kenadie.mathes avatar
@@kenadie.mathes
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 218 XP
globe Lenexa, KS
12/23/2021

Super low-maintenance

Easy to take care of

Hard to kill

Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
@Stacie avatar
@@Stacie
leaf-1 0 Plants
xp 133 XP
globe Johnstown, PA
12/21/2021

Easy to care … requires little care or watering

Survivor Survivor
@Stacie avatar
@@Stacie
leaf-1 0 Plants
xp 133 XP
globe Johnstown, PA
12/20/2021

It’s easy to care for…requires very little care and watering

Survivor Survivor
@voidbugz avatar
@@voidbugz
leaf-1 40 Plants
xp 6,776 XP
globe Minneapolis, MN
11/20/2021

The colorful part and the green part are actually two separate cacti! The colorful one can’t produce chlorophyll, so it’s grafted to the bottom one! It’s actually parasitic, but if the bottom cactus begins to show signs of dying, the top can be removed and re-grafted to a different host to save both cacti!

Survivor Survivor
@KikiGoldblatt avatar
@@KikiGoldblatt
leaf-1 14 Plants
xp 124,312 XP
globe Oliver Springs, TN
11/06/2021

This moon cactus is fairly new to me, so far she is a survivor. I have always wanted one so I ended up getting her for hardly anything. I think I paid $1.75 since Krogers had their plants on sale for 50% off.

Survivor Survivor
@its_em_03 avatar
@@its_em_03
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 143 XP
10/15/2021

these plants are kind of doomed to live a short life just because of the nature of the plant(s)
pretty to look at but would definitely not recommend for beginners

Browns easily Browns easily
@Bigman avatar
@@Bigman
leaf-1 0 Plants
xp 102 XP
10/05/2021

Easy to care for, only needs water when soil is thoroughly dry. A very special boi

Survivor Survivor
@heylen avatar
@@heylen
leaf-1 13 Plants
xp 204 XP
globe Miami, FL
09/23/2021

She’s been nothing but great to me. Right when i bought her i repotted her and she’s just grown twice the size since, she looks amazing and healthy and it’s been over 10 months.

Fast grower Fast grower
Blooms easily Blooms easily
Survivor Survivor
Jeff avatar
@Jeff
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 102 XP
09/22/2021

Gf VM GD g

Survivor Survivor
@Liiiyahtexaco avatar
@@Liiiyahtexaco
leaf-1 5 Plants
xp 78 XP
globe Salisbury, NC
09/17/2021

You rarely have to water it but I water mines daily in case the soil dries out also if you talk to them they grow !!!

Fast grower Fast grower
Blooms easily Blooms easily
Easy to propagate Easy to propagate
Survivor Survivor
@Popsicle49 avatar
@@Popsicle49
leaf-1 12 Plants
xp 4,712 XP
globe St. Pete Beach, FL
09/14/2021

Adds color to any small garden. A fun cactus.

Survivor Survivor

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