Tips for Care - Moon Cactus (ruby ball cactus)
They are good ornamental plants that can be used on the tabletop as well. They are available in various shades, e.g., orange, red, and pink, etc. These are natives of South America, with over 80 species found in Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. Hibotan cactus cannot synthesize its food and needs a root at the bottom to survive. Moon cactus is a mix of hibotan cactus at the top and rootstock cactus at the bottom.
Potting – Well-drained soil is beneficial. A mix with two parts coco fiber, two parts bark, 1 part gravel, 0.5 part sand, two parts compost or perlite is best. The pots should have multiple drainage holes.
Watering Requirement – Give water once, and then dry out the entire pot before giving the next water round. Maybe once every week during summers and once every 15 days to a month during winters.
Light Requirement – Bright indirect sunlight. In real life, they usually grow in the shade of larger trees. So even while indoors, shield the moon cactus from bright direct sunlight at any point. Place them slightly away from the window.
Propagation – Moon cactus is hibotan cactus grafted onto rootstock cactus; the two ends, once grafted, heal together and form the moon cactus. To extend the life of the hibotan cactus, one can re-graft it into a fresh rootstock at a later date. Use seeds, which can be put in the moistened mix and left to germinate. Once germinated, replant them. The best way to propagate is by using moon cactus offsets which are smaller versions of the main plant which grow at the base of rootstock. They can be cut and repotted in a new mix.
Fertilization – Fertilize cactus only in the spring and early summer. One should use a highly diluted fertilizer lower in nitrogen and higher in phosphorus and potassium. Overfeeding will not make the cactus bloom.
General Tips - Keep away from direct sun, don’t overwater, don’t disturb the plant or repot it again and again, and the plant is good to go.
Maximum Reachable height: 8 inch
Common name(s): Hibotan cactus, Gymnocalycium mihanovichii, Ruby Ball, Red Cap, Red Hibotan
Bloom time: During late spring or early summer