- Many of you have undoubtedly met this interesting cactus before.
- Some of you probably own one.
- Commonly referred to as 'Hibotan' or "moon cactus," these are not a single species cactus but rather two different cacti that have been grafted together.
- The colorful top part is known scientifically as Gymnocalycium mihanovichii.
- It is endemic to Paraguay and some provinces of Argentina. In the wild it is not nearly this colorful.
- The specimens sold in garden shops all over the world are actually mutant varieties that do not produce chlorophyll, thus revealing other pigments that are normally masked by green.
- The color of these mutants can range from yellows to reds and even deep purples.
- Without chlorophyll, these mutants would normally die as seedlings.
- A rich, fast-draining cactus mix with a low pH is ideal.
- Make sure the soil meets the needs of the host cactus on the bottom.
- You do not need to regularly fertilize your cactus plant, but you should dose it with a cactus fertilizer every month during its growing season (April to September).
- Suspend feeding during the dormant winter period.
- Place these guys indoors or sheltered under verandas or patios as the rootstock is sensitive to the cold and frost.
- The do need partial sun, so next to a window is the perfecr locarion if they are indoors.
- Very little maintenance is required for these guys to thrive; in fact, one of the main reasons grafted cacti suffer is through overwatering.
- Water them sparingly, only when the soil is dry (this can take anywhere from a week to a month depending on location, time of year, and enviornmental factors).
- The best thing to do is water them thoroughly and then let it drain.
- If you are using saucers, make sure to empthy them after each watering.