How to Plant Moon Cactus Babies?

How to Plant Moon Cactus Babies?

What Are Moon Cactus Babies?

The name refers to “babies”, a child, or pup of mother moon cacti. The babies bulge out between the two edges of the moonflower and stem( rootstock).

How To Separate Moon Cactus Babies

Moon cacti are a bizarre plant due to their vibrant shades, however, they’re similar to other cacti. They have pups or offsets.

To dissociate from the moon-cactus puppy and its parent, it’s necessary to 1) check the condition that the plant is in, then 2) rotate and twist the pup so as to split it.

  • It is essential to examine your cactus and select the most healthy, well-sized offset.
  • Healthy puppies are those that have vibrant hues, are free of insects and fungus, are not infected, and are plump (not dried out).
  • An offset that is too small or unhealthy is at a low possibility of survival since it can dry out quickly. But a healthy, adequate-sized puppy will probably be successful after being grafted.
  • Moon cactus pup comes from the mother plant with just turning and twisting.
  • As you hold the moon’s crown cactus, turn the offset gently with your fingers. Turn it a little until it snaps off.
  • If you’re unable to stand their sharp spines, make use of the gloves and tweezers.
  • However, be cautious while using the tweezers. You could cause damage to your cactus or leave the cactus wounded. Be careful not to pull off the pup since it may harm the tissue of the mother plant or even the offset.

Two Parts of Moon Cactus

Moon cactus consists of two parts. The upper part is called scion or moonflower, and the lower part is called host, stem, or rootstock. After the graft has grown together with the rootstock, the plant is considered as a single organism, which is called the dominant grafted part of the plant.

 Here is a little more discussion on the two parts. 


Hylocereus Cactus Cereus peruvianus, T. pachanoi, Myrtillocactus geometrizans, Or Trichocereus spachianus are most commonly used as a rootstock.

T. pachanoi has a longer life in my experience than the other types of Cacti. It is advantageous to have different varieties of rootstocks available to ensure that scions of different sizes can be matched to rootstocks with similar dimensions. 

All functions are carried out in the roots of the stock. As time passes the scion gains the capacity to produce photosynthesis. The rootstock now only provides irrigation water from the soil enriched with nutrients.

Scion (Babies)

Lobivia, rebutia, and hymnocalycium are frequently chosen as scions. And I believe that it is the plant tissue that is young, that is growing together, and that has a healthy metabolism. Larger and older succulents should not be suitable for scions. Don’t also plant during their “hibernation” stage.

Grafting Technique: How to Plant Moon Cactus Babies

UA Campus Repository described  Grafting allows us to vegetatively propagate rare or difficult plants much faster than would ordinarily be possible. Grafted plants with many offsets are often quite floriferous.

The basic principles for grafting cacti are much the same as for grafting fruit trees. As in any plant grafting, a receiving plant, the rootstock, has its vascular tissue matched to another plant, the scion, placed above it. The two plants are held firmly together by various means until the vascular tissues grow together and join the two plants. 

Many cacti grow slowly, and grafting can be used to encourage growth. Following that, the growth rate is increased by 5 to 6 times.

You can graft any cacti if you follow the basic rules.

  • The rootstock should be healthy and has a robust root system.
  • Scion and rootstock ought to be similar in dimensions.
  • Most often, the scion grows faster than the rootstock. This is why it is essential to determine the approximate dimensions to ensure that the scion will not become a burden of the rootstock.
  • The choice of stock must be made to be matched with the characteristics that the scion has. For instance, a scion will require greater lime content however a rootstock is not. If you provide enough lime content for one may cause harm to the other.
  • During the process, it is essential to observe sterility. In order to successfully transplant cacti, it is necessary to join tissues that are conductive, apply pressure for the graft on the rootstock and allow the rootstock to grow rapidly. The joint must remain clean and sterilized until the cut is made tighter.
  • After testing the compatibility of the cacti carefully cut off the top of the stock using the sharpest knife.
  • Then, the connection is then made in a way that the points of the beams are in alignment.
  • Cotton wool is positioned over the scion and then connected to the rootstock by the entire pot.
  • The pot is placed in a cap of plastic or glass which is essential for the creation of the microclimate you want.
  • Be sure to keep the plant air frequently.
  • Be careful not to harm the Cactus.
  • In two weeks the fixation bandage is taken off.

Propagation of Moon Cactus

  1. Moon cactus reproduction is made through the removal of offsets which are smaller forms of the parent plant that grow from the rootstock.
  2. The lifespan of the moon cactus babies may be extended by grafting it onto a new rootstock. It is also possible to grow it from seeds, however, it will take at least a year for an identifiable specimen.
  3. The care of moon cactus is the same as any Cactus or succulent species. Hibotan plants like temperatures that are on the warmer side however, they require a minimum temperature of 48 ° F. (9 C.) to thrive.
  1. Use shallow pots that are not glazed and have many drainage holes to avoid stagnant water from the base of your plant.
  1. Allow the soil to dry all the way to the bottom of the pot before reapplying the water.
  2. Avoid watering during the cold months, and then repot it in spring to bring back fertile soil.
  1. Moon cactus prefers to have an old space. This means that you could plant it in the same pot for a number of years. In some rare instances and when care for moon cactus is in good shape and you are able to reap the benefits with tiny pink to red flowers from late spring until the beginning of summer.

Characteristics of Moon cacti

  • Hibotan Cacti are native to desert habitats across different regions of South America.
  • There are more than 80 species that are found within Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, and Bolivia.
  • Moon cactus plants are available in bright, vibrant colors like bright orange, hot pink, and even neon yellow.
  • The most common method for propagating is through grafting, joining two plants to create an entirely new plant.
  • Moon offset removal for cactus is simple.
  • In contrast to most cacti, Moon spines on cacti aren’t robust, which means you’re not at risk of injuring your fingers.
  • They live a shorter duration because they depend on other cactus species to remain alive.
  • They can’t be planted directly in the soil because there is no chlorophyll in their bodies.
  • The specific rootstocks that work with Gymnocalycium include Hylocereus, Cereus peruvianus, Stenocereus, and Myrtillocactus.
  • Moon cactus pups which are pure red, yellow, pink, orange, and red can only be grown when they are grafted.
  • Moon offsets on the cactus (the pup) begin as a tiny bump, resembling the look of their mother plant.
Botanical nameGymnocalycium mihanovichii
Common nameRuby Ball, Red Cap, Red Hibotan, star flowered cactus or Hibotan cacti.
Plant typeSucculents plants
Maturity sizeHeights-4 inches (10 cm);  The diameter of the Moon cactus is between 1.1 and 1.9 inches (3-5 cm).
Sun exposureBright indirect sunlight
Soil typeSandy, well-drained soil
Soil pHAcidic to neutral (5.5–7.0)
Flowering timeLate spring or early summer
Flower colorRed, orange, purplish, yellow, or even white
Native areaDesert habitats in various parts of South America

Common Cactus Pests and Diseases in the Moon Cactus?

Cacti are generally completely free of common pests, however, indoor plants are susceptible to being impacted by mealybugs, spiders, or scales. The pest can be controlled using Neem oil  ( buy from as well as a pesticide chemical specifically designed specifically for houseplants.

  1. Mealybugs: This is one of the toughest pests to manage because the body is covered in white waxy excrescences. Chemical treatments do not work.

To ensure its control, it’s easy to spot this ailment early in its development since they don’t have an armor it is more able to defeat.
If the problem is serious mineral oil spraying using insecticides that are compatible with the auxiliary fauna ( group of animals that help fight pests ) must be conducted.

2. Nematodes: To stop them you can use garlic cloves to be repellent. They are also treated using solarization and steam sterilization.

3. Spiders are the most effective pest control method. is with insecticides.

4. Cactus Scales: They can often be found on abandoned or old Cacti. They appear as small brown discs that are found on the stems and beneath the leaves. At the beginning of the season, they can be removed using an aqueous swab of cotton.

Related questions

Where do we plant the moon cactus? 

They thrive best in light but indirect sun. Indefinite periods of direct sun can be detrimental for the plants. Therefore, a porch that is shaded or an area in which most of the light is blocked from entering is the ideal spot for moon Cactus.

How do we prepare moon cactus land?

Equal amounts of peat-based soil potting mixed with coarse sand make an excellent, well-draining, and attractive medium. I add fine gravel to the inside of containers in order to increase drainage. The container should be filled to the halfway mark with your moon cactus pot mixture, and then lightly moisten the container.

How often should we water the moon cactus?

Moon cactuses aren’t among the most thirsty of plants and do not require a lot of water. It is recommended to water approximately every two weeks and allow for the soil to dry in between irrigations.

How can we detect the lack of irrigation in the moon cactus?

  1. The Cactus typically puckers or shrinks when it draws down the reserves of water in it.
  2. The Cactus will begin to fade in color.
  3. The Cactus begins to turn dry or calloused when it loses moisture.

How do you know if your moon cactus has been overwatered?

  1. The rootstock in your garden is becoming brown or the texture of mush.
  2. The soil is damp and spongy, but you didn’t just water your cactus in the last 24 hours.
  3. It is important to examine the roots of the cactus and you will see they are brown, black, and mushy.
  4. The cactus doesn’t have soil that is well-drained.

What is the best way to water the moon cactus?

After you water, soak thoroughly in the soil and then let it dry completely. Don’t give the plant another watering until the soil has been dry for about a week. Moon cactus is best to be watered during the growing season and not during those winter days.

How do we detect excess water in the moon cactus?

You can purchase a water gauge that helps you gauge the amount of moisture. You can also use a stick and place it in the soil in the event that it is dry, this means the plant requires water. Look out for signs of the presence of cactus that is overwatered or underwater.

Key Takeaways

Moon cactus babies are produced from the joint between scion and rootstock.

Rotate and twist them to pull out from the mother cacti, then regraft onto a new rootstock.

Be cautious about the same dimensions of scions and rootstock; make sure both have got an alignment on vascular tissues.

Then, finally, wrap them tightly so that don’t lose from each other; let them embrace for two weeks.

Anwar Hossain

My name is Anwar Hossain. I am a cactus lover, researcher, and cactus blogger.

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