The Soft Monkey Tail Cactus

If you are a sucker for succulent plants or cacti plants in general, then this piece will most definitely tickle your fancy. Succulents are a class of plants characteristically known to have water-filled thick leaves and branches and most famously for their resilience to survive harsh climatic conditions. A majority of people do prefer having such plants as house plants for the fact that they need little care to survive. Especially if you have a busy schedule that has you moving from place to place.

Known by its scientific name Hildewintera Colademononis, the Soft Monkey Tail cactus belongs to the cactus family of plants. Its origin can be traced back to the Bolivian countryside in Santa Cruz. It is of epilithic nature, meaning in its natural habitat it is most commonly found growing on or between steep rocks hanging above a jungle below.

The Soft Monkey Tail Cactus
soft monkey tail garden @_plantsmith_

Characteristics of the Monkey Tail Cactus

This plant probably owes its name to the appearance of its stems, which take up the shape and look of a monkey’s tail. Some might argue that some species of rats do take up a similar appearance, therefore also known as The Rat Tail Cactus. The stems are greenish-yellow and on them are protruding downward-facing hair-like soft white spines that cover the entire stem. To the eye, it may seem like they are safe to touch, but don’t be fooled!

A single plant can have three to five stems, which branch at the bottom. The plant grows upright for a few feet then the stems become pendant and droop. They produce bright, red flowers that are particularly very decorative. They bloom for a few days then turn to fruits with a brief life span. Apart from its natural habitat, the Monkey Tail Cactus does well as a house plant too. Preferably best grown as hanging plants due to its unique drooping stems.

Also, check out “9 Types of Cacti” for a list of buddies for your new Soft Monkey Tail Cactus!

The Soft Monkey Tail Cactus
soft monkey tail cactus @_plantsmith_

Best Growth Conditions for the Monkey Tail Cactus

The Soft Monkey Tail cactus seeds are black and are very easy to germinate if provided with the right conditions. The soil has to be light, well aerated and one that drains quickly, check out this succulent soil and see if it works for you. Meaning sandy and loamy soils are ideal for its growth. The watering of this plant should be done exclusively during the summer and spring seasons and only when the ground feels dry. The warmer the air, the more frequent the watering. Otherwise, over-watering may cause the rotting of the stems and roots. During the cold and winter season, the watering halts as this may result in the frosting of the plant which will kill it.

The Rat’s Tail Cactus is one of the few species of the cactus plant that can survive temperatures lower than the freezing point. This happens to be its dormant stage. It becomes active and grows faster to produce flowers in the spring and summer. It does well in both a shady or a direct sunlight environment.

Be sure to also read about The Burro’s Tail Succulent for an additional cascading succulent that will surely complement your Soft Monkey Tail Cactus.

The Soft Monkey Tail Cactus
soft monkey tail hanging @mcl_cacti_and_succs

Perfect Propagation Techniques for the Monkey Tail Cactus

In the natural habitat, nature has a way of taking care of its own, but if you decide to have this plant as part of your garden, then a few rules need to be followed. Otherwise, the plants won’t do well.

As mentioned above, the seeds of a Soft Monkey Tail Cactus are very easy to germinate, but cuttings can also be used in propagation as well. The cuttings are most productive during the spring and summer seasons where growth is most vigorous. The cuttings must be allowed to grow callouts and left out to dry for a few days before placing them into the soil. Check out these shears for your propagating needs.

During its active and growth periods of summer, you should apply a low-nitrogen fertilizer properly incorporated with the soil around the plant. The best application is by diluting the fertilizer with water and administer it as a liquid. Just one application is enough for a whole year’s supply!

Check out also “How to Propagate Your Succulents Successfully” for more tips on propagating techniques.

The Soft Monkey Tail Cactus
soft monkey tail perfect decoration @cactus.man

How to Control Pests on Your Monkey Tail Cactus

This type of cacti is particularly prone to pest infestation too. Spider mites, scales, and mealybugs are the common culprit pests. Most of these bugs are quite a nuisance but are quite easy to control. In the case of mealybugs, you spray your plant with a pressurized water hose to wash them off. A simple shower is guaranteed to spray the buggers away— check out our article on How to Get Rid of Mealybugs for further advisement. Another simple way to wade the bugs away is to rub alcohol; isopropyl, with a soft cotton swab. And rinsing off the alcohol with water before returning the plant to its spot.

Mites are by far the most annoying pests when it comes to cacti. This is because one is unable to notice their presence until they have damaged the plant to disfigurement. Their control isn’t as easy as the mealybugs and does require a keen eye. So one is inclined to monitor the plant carefully, and if you notice brown patches, then your plant is infected by these buggers. Proper watering and constant fogging by pumping up the humidity will chase these pests away.

Scales, on the other hand, do require hands-on control measures. These pests usually clamp upon the leaves’ surface and hide under an impervious shell. Meaning, spraying them away won’t be as effective as desired. Therefore, one is advised to physically rub alcohol on the affected leaves and remove the scales. One should also pay keen attention to catch the infestation before it is too late. In the case of the Monkey Tail Cacti, the use of a soft toothbrush dipped in alcohol will be of great effect. Because if you use a cotton swab, most of it will remain stuck on the spikes.

Be sure to also read “What is Root Rot & How Do You Fix it?” for tips on how to maintain your succulents out of any rotting.

The Soft Monkey Tail Cactus
soft monkey tail by the window @james_tebbutt

Repotting the Monkey Tail Cactus

Repotting of the Soft Monkey Tail cactus is best done once a year. This is because it grows vigorously and at a speedy rate. The re-potting is ideal after the growing and flowering season is complete. If the plant is fully matured, be sure to use a bigger pot with a new soil mix. The new soil mix must contain fertilizer and should be well aerated as new cuttings need a lot of nutrients to flourish.

The growing and taking care of the Monkey Tail cactus has never been more natural than this. This unique looking plant will most definitely give your front yard a sight to behold.

Enjoyed learning about The Soft Monkey Tail Cactus? If so, you’ll really enjoy our ebook about The Right Way to Propagating Your Succulents Successfully. With this ebook, you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents.

The Soft Monkey Tail Cactus
monkey tail hanging out front @lu.cy8329

After reading about the Soft Monkey Tail Cactus, is it on your wish list? It sure is on ours!

If you think this succulent will make a great addition to your indoor garden check out our articles, How to Successfully Grow indoor Succulents, or How to Care for Succulents in the Winter to make sure you’re fully prepared!

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Happy planting!! 🌵

The Soft Monkey Tail Cactus
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