How to Propagate Monkey Tail Cactus

How to Propagate Monkey Tail Cactus
Gracie Owens
Gracie Owens she/her - Author at YardPrep October 01, 2023

How to Propagate Monkey Tail Cactus

To propagate a monkey tail cactus, start by taking stem cuttings and allowing them to callus for a few days. Then, place the cuttings in well-draining soil and provide indirect sunlight and warmth. Water sparingly to avoid rotting the cuttings. With proper care, the cuttings will develop roots and grow into new monkey tail cactus plants.

Understanding Monkey Tail Cactus Propagation

What is Monkey Tail Cactus?

Monkey Tail Cactus, also known by its scientific name Hildewintera colademononis, is a unique and visually striking cactus native to Bolivia. It gets its name from the long, hanging stems that resemble the tail of a monkey. The stems are covered in soft white spines, giving them a fuzzy appearance. Monkey Tail Cactus is a slow-growing plant that can reach heights of up to 3 feet. It produces beautiful, bright red flowers that bloom in the spring and summer.

Why Propagate Monkey Tail Cactus?

There are several reasons why you might want to propagate Monkey Tail Cactus. Firstly, it allows you to expand your collection of these beautiful and unique plants. By propagating new plants, you can create a stunning display of Monkey Tail Cactus in your home or garden. Additionally, propagating Monkey Tail Cactus is a great way to share this fascinating plant with others. Whether you want to give them as gifts or trade with fellow plant enthusiasts, propagating Monkey Tail Cactus allows you to spread the joy of owning this stunning cactus.

Methods of Propagation

1. Propagation by Stem Cuttings

One of the most common methods of propagating Monkey Tail Cactus is through stem cuttings. To propagate using this method, start by selecting a healthy stem from the parent plant. Use a clean, sharp knife or scissors to make a clean cut just below a joint or node. Allow the cutting to dry and callus for a few days before planting it in well-draining soil. Keep the soil lightly moist and provide bright, indirect light. Over time, the cutting will develop roots and grow into a new plant.

2. Propagation by Division

Another method of propagating Monkey Tail Cactus is through division. This method is best suited for mature plants that have produced offsets or "pups." To propagate through division, carefully remove the parent plant from its pot and gently separate the offsets from the main plant. Ensure that each offset has its own roots and plant them in separate pots with well-draining soil. Water the newly planted offsets sparingly and provide them with bright, indirect light. With proper care, the offsets will establish themselves and grow into new plants.

3. Propagation by Seeds

Propagating Monkey Tail Cactus from seeds is a more time-consuming method but can be rewarding for those who enjoy the process. Start by collecting ripe seeds from a mature Monkey Tail Cactus plant. Remove the seeds from the fruit and allow them to dry for a few days. Sow the seeds in a well-draining soil mixture and lightly cover them with a thin layer of soil. Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged and provide the seedlings with bright, indirect light. With patience and proper care, the seeds will germinate and grow into young Monkey Tail Cactus plants.

Tips for Successful Monkey Tail Cactus Propagation

Successfully propagating Monkey Tail Cactus requires providing optimal growing conditions and proper care. Here are some tips to increase your chances of success:

1. Providing Adequate Light

Monkey Tail Cactus thrives in bright, indirect light. Place your propagating plants near a window where they can receive several hours of sunlight each day. If natural light is limited, you can supplement with artificial grow lights to ensure they receive enough light to grow and thrive.

2. Temperature and Humidity Considerations

Monkey Tail Cactus prefers warm temperatures between 70-80°F (21-27°C) during the day and slightly cooler temperatures at night. It also appreciates moderate humidity levels. To maintain the ideal temperature and humidity, avoid placing your plants near drafts or air conditioning vents and consider using a humidifier or placing a tray of water near the plants.

3. Watering and Drainage

Proper watering is crucial for successful propagation. Water your Monkey Tail Cactus sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other issues. Ensure that the pot has proper drainage to prevent water from sitting in the soil, which can cause root rot. Use a well-draining soil mixture specifically formulated for cacti and succulents.

4. Fertilization and Nutrient Requirements

During the propagation process, Monkey Tail Cactus does not require frequent fertilization. However, you can provide a diluted, balanced fertilizer once every few months to provide essential nutrients. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging and avoid over-fertilizing, as this can harm the plants.

Common Challenges and Troubleshooting

While propagating Monkey Tail Cactus can be a rewarding experience, it is not without its challenges. Here are some common issues that may arise and how to address them:

1. Root Rot and Overwatering

Overwatering is one of the main causes of root rot in Monkey Tail Cactus. To prevent this, ensure that you allow the soil to dry out between waterings and avoid waterlogged conditions. If you notice signs of root rot, such as mushy or discolored roots, remove the affected parts and repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil.

2. Pests and Diseases

Monkey Tail Cactus is generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, they can occasionally be affected by common cactus pests such as mealybugs or scale insects. If you notice any signs of pest infestation, such as white cottony spots or small bumps on the stems, treat the plant with an appropriate insecticide or wipe them off with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.


In conclusion, propagating Monkey Tail Cactus can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Whether you choose to propagate through stem cuttings, division, or seeds, following the proper techniques and providing optimal care will increase your chances of success. By expanding your collection or sharing these unique plants with others, you can spread the joy and beauty of Monkey Tail Cactus.