Growing Moon Cactus: How To Care For Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii is part of the Cactaceae family and is native to South America and originates from Paraguay.

It is also known as chin cactus, red cap cactus, and hobby cactus.

Growing Gymnocalycium MihanovichiiPin

This cactus gets its name from the Greek words “gymno” and “kalyx,” which mean “naked” and “cup,” respectively, referencing the cactus’s lack of spines on its outermost layer. 

This cactus is a popular choice for growing indoors because it is relatively small and does not require a lot of light. 

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii is known for its unique shape and vibrant colors. 

Some of the common household names for the Gymnocalycium mihanovichii include:

  • Moon cactus
  • Red cap cactus
  • Hooded cactus

The botanical name for this plant is Gymnocalycium mihanovichii. 

It’s called the moon cactus because the white flowers on the plant look like they are glowing in the moonlight.

The name red cap cactus originated from the plant’s red flowers that look like they are wearing a red cap.

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii is also called the hooded cactus because the flowers on the plant look like they are wearing a hood.

Quick Facts On Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii 

  • Family: Cactaceae
  • Light: Bright, indirect light
  • Temperature: 65° to 80° degrees Fahrenheit
  • Water: Allow soil to dry out between watering
  • Fertilizer: Balanced cactus fertilizer
  • Propagation: Seeds or offsets
  • Common Problems: Mealybugs, root rot

Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii Care

If you’re interested in adding a gymnocalycium mihanovichii to your collection, read on for everything you need to know about caring for this plant!

What Does The Moon Cactus Look Like, And How Big Does It Grow?

The Gymnocalycium mihanovichii plant is a small cactus that typically only grows to be around 6” inches tall.

The succulent has a globular shape and is covered in spines. The spines on the plant are usually white or yellow.

The body of the plant is round and flat with a protruding center. It has a green body with ribs that are lined with small, white spines. 

When Does The Moon Cactus Flower? Are The Flowers Fragrant?

The Gymnocalycium mihanovichii plant typically blooms in the spring or summer.

The flowers are small and white and often have a pink or purple tint. The flowers are not fragrant.

What Are The Lighting Needs, And Temperature Requirements?

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii are native to Paraguay and Argentina and prefer warm, sunny climates. They can tolerate some shade but do best in bright, direct light. 

The ideal temperature for the moon cactus ranges from 65° to 80° degrees Fahrenheit.

During winter, they will appreciate a temperature drop of 10° to 15° degrees Fahrenheit to help them rest.

How And When To Water And Fertilize Moon Cactus?

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii are drought-tolerant plants and don’t need to be watered very often

 When you water them, give them a good soaking so that the water can reach down to the roots.

Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again.

Fertilize your plant once a month during spring and summer with a cactus fertilizer.

What Is The Best Soil For Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii, And When Should You Transplant?

The Gymnocalycium mihanovichii plant prefers well-draining soil.

A cactus mix or a regular potting mix that has been amended with extra perlite or sand will work well.

Repotting your moon cactus is only necessary every few years or when the plant has outgrown its current pot.

When repotting, make sure to use a pot that is only slightly larger than the one the plant is currently in.

Also, be careful when handling the plant, as the spines can be sharp.

Does Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii Need Special Grooming Or Maintenance?

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii doesn’t require any special grooming or maintenance

 If the plant looks leggy, you can trim it back to encourage new growth.

How To Overwinter Moon Cactus?

If you live in an area that experiences cold winters, you must take precautions to ensure your moon cactus plant doesn’t freeze.

The best way to overwinter your Gymnocalycium mihanovichii is to move it indoors or into a greenhouse.

If you can’t do that, make sure to provide the plant with extra protection from the cold, such as wrapping it in burlap or placing it in a protected area.

How To Propagate The Red Cap Cactus?

It is a relatively simple process if you would like to propagate your own red cap cactus.

The easiest way to propagate this cactus is by seed, which can be sown in spring or early summer.

Another option is to take stem cuttings in late spring or early summer.

To propagate by seed, do the following steps:

  • Start by collecting the seeds from a mature cactus.
  • Once you have your seeds, sow them in a well-draining cactus mix or sandy soil.
  • Keep the soil moist but not wet, and place the pot in a warm, sunny spot.

The seeds will germinate in 2 to 4 weeks.

To propagate by stem cuttings, here’s what you need to do:

  • Start by taking a cutting from a healthy, mature cactus.
  • Allow the cutting to callus for a few days, and then plant it in a well-draining cactus mix or sandy soil.
  • Keep the soil moist but not wet, and place the pot in a warm, sunny spot.

The cutting should root within 4 to 6 weeks.

Once your plant has rooted, be sure to water it deeply but infrequently, only when the soil is completely dry.

You can fertilize your red cap cactus every few months with a cactus fertilizer to encourage growth.

Be sure to protect your cactus from frost in the winter.

Your red cap cactus will thrive and produce beautiful flowers with proper care.

Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii Pests And Diseases

Gymnocalycium mihanovichii plants are generally quite resistant to pests and diseases, but a few problems can occur.

One of the most common problems is root rot, which can be caused by overwatering or poorly draining soil.

If you suspect your plant has root rot, be sure to adjust your watering schedule and check your pot’s drainage.

Another problem that can occur is mealybugs.

Mealybugs are small, white insects that feed on plant sap. They can cause stunted growth and yellowing leaves.

If you notice mealybugs on your plant, remove them by hand or with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

With proper care, your Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii plant will be healthy and happy for many years to come.

Suggested Uses For The Hooded Cactus

The Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii, or hooded cactus, is a small, easy-to-care-for cactus that is perfect for beginners.

This cactus can be used as a houseplant or in succulent gardens. It is also a popular choice for terrariums.

For example, you can try this cactus in a unique and beautiful container garden.

You only need a shallow dish, some well-draining soil, and some small pebbles. Be sure to choose a dish that has good drainage holes.

To plant your garden, start by doing the following:

  • Add a layer of pebbles to the bottom of the dish.
  • Next, add a layer of well-draining soil.
  • Then add your cactus plant and cover the roots with more well-draining soil.
  • Water lightly and place the dish in a sunny spot.

Your container garden will be easy to care for and make a great addition to any room in your home.