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Care of the plant Disocactus martianus or Red Rat's Tail.

Care of the plant Disocactus martianus or Red Rat's Tail

The genus Disocactus, family Cactaceae, includes about 15 species of epiphytic cacti native to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and some regions of South America. Some species are: Disocactus martianus, Disocactus alatus, Disocactus flagelliformis, Disocactus phyllanthoides, Disocactus ramulosus.

Common name: Red Rat's Tail. Scientific synonyms: Cereus martianus, Aporocactus conzattii, Aporocactus martianus. This species is native to Oaxaca, Mexico.

They are hanging or creeping cacti with aerial roots and cylindrical stems that reach 1.5 meters in height. They have 8-10 slightly tuberculated ribs, 6-20 radial spines and 3-4 light brown central spines. The attractive flowers can be pink or red; they bloom in summer. The fruits are 2 cm in diameter and green.

They are used in hanging pots as indoor and greenhouse plants, for terraces and balconies, on rockeries and hanging from low walls.

The Disocactus martianus needs a semi-shade exposure in direct sunlight early or late in the day. They do not resist temperatures below 13 ºC. In winter they need a period of rest at 15ºC.

The soil can be a commercial cactus substrate with 1/3 peat or leaf mulch. The transplant is done just after flowering.

Water regularly in spring, summer and fall so that the substrate does not dry out completely. In winter reduce watering without letting the substrate dry out.

Fertilize during the summer, every 15 days, with a mineral fertilizer for cacti.

Prune withered stems after flowering.

They are quite resistant plants to the usual pests and diseases that can be attacked by mealybugs if ventilation is poor and by fungi if irrigation is excessive.

They are propagated from seed sown in spring and by cuttings from the stem tip in summer. 

 

Images of the plant Disocactus martianus or Red Rat's Tail

Disocactus martianus
Disocactus martianus
Disocactus martianus