Generally, people want plants that are easy to grow. They do not have enough time for their plants. This is the reason cactus and succulent plants are popular these days. Monkey tail cactus is one of the cacti plants that is popular over the globe.
The flowers it produces are very attractive and unique. None of the other cactus produce similar types of flowers.
The stems of this plant look like a monkey tail which is the reason we called it monkey-tail cactus plant.
For further growing and caring techniques read the below guide.
About the monkey tail cactus
It is native to South America; which means you can grow it without facing environmental issues. The mature monkey cactus has long 6 to 8 feet stems with 2 to 3 inches in diameter. If you want this big size plant, use big size pots.
To keep it short and sweet use a medium-sized pot and trim the overly-grown stems.
Every stem of the plant is covered with hairy spikes like monkey tails. If we compare it with other tail cactus plants then it is a faster grower.
But still, it needs almost 5 years to get fully matured. Monkey tail is suitable for floor containers and for hanging baskets.
Monkey Tail Cactus is a plant that loves sunshine. The direct sun rays put new life in its stems. The shining hairy stems are only possible. When you expose your plant to direct light for at least 14 hours per day.
Growing it outdoors is not a problem because you do not need to arrange shade for it. Just hang the basket anywhere you like.
To grow it indoors you need a south-facing window. So that direct sunrays can fall on the plant. In low light conditions, it will not produce beautiful flowers. You will also see the short stems and less hairy spikes.
Do not try to use grow lights to grow it. They will not work on the monkey cactus tail plants.
I as mentioned in my previous posts for cactus plants always use cacti or succulent soil. Because these plants do not need much water. They need lightweight soil that gives enough room for their roots to grow.
5.5 to 6.5 pH is the ideal soil pH level. Cactus plants like to grow in a little bit of acidic soil. So, try to keep the soil pH close to 5.5.
There are many brands that sell cactus potting soil at affordable prices. You can choose any brand, and all of them have the same quality. Fast-draining and lightweight are the two qualities that you need to look for in potting soil.
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Monkey Tail Cactus does not need much water to grow. It does not store water in its stems. You will be surprised to know that this plant needs less water even in the summer season. The hairs that grow on its stems protect the moisture of the stem tissue from harsh sunlight and hot winds.
Its hairs keep the stem temperature low than the surroundings.
There is only one best method to water succulents. In spring and summer let the soil dry completely and then water deeply. For that, you can put the pot under the tap or pour water directly to the base.
This method reduces the chances the overwatering.
No fertilizers are required to grow Monkey Tail Cactus plants. But if you want your plant to become the healthiest plant. Then you definitely need to give a nutritional boost to your plants.
For this purpose, use liquid organic nutrients. Use it just before the spring season and then do not fertilize it again in the same year.
The second dosage will be in the next year’s springtime.
Temperature & Humidity
To grow it outdoors you need to have your garden in USDA zone 9. No need to bring it inside even in the winter season. Because the temperature and other weather conditions in this zone are comfortable for this plant.
Outside this zone, you can place your plant outside unless the temperature drops below 20 degrees F.
Monkey tail plants do not care about air moisture. So, the general humidity is good for it. In fact, you do not need to think about the air moisture when growing it indoors.
You need to repot your monkey cactus once every year for 5 years. Within 5 years it will get mature and then you should repot it once in 3 years.
In the first 5 repottings, change the soil only 2 times. Let the plant live in the soil for 2 years after that you can think about changing it.
Do not use plastic pots they are not good for growing plants that need good fresh air. Therefore, the only option that is perfect for monkey cactus is terracotta plants. They have tiny pores that increase the air circulation to plant roots.
There are many fancy stylish pots available you can choose according to your style.
You have two options to propagate the monkey tail cactus. One is from seeds and the second is from cutting. No doubt seed propagation is hard and seeds take time to grow.
To propagate it from cuttings just twist off the end of a tail. Then leave it as it is for 3 days to callus. Then plant it 1 cm deep in the new pot and fresh soil.
Regularly mist the soil to keep it moist and this will increase the humidity level for the plant.
The cutting will take 25 to 30 days to develop new roots. Now you can place it in direct light it will thrive like its mother plant.
Hildewintera Colademononis is a different cactus plant and it produces beautiful flowers. To grow it outdoors, even in winter, USDA zone 9 is perfect.
It needs plenty of sunlight per day to stay healthy. In a low-light environment, it will not develop long stems.
I believe that hanging baskets are good for growing monkey cactus plants.