Disocactus flagelliformis “Rat-Tail Cactus”

The genus Disocactus flagelliformis, which now includes the genera Aporocactus and Nopalxochia (among others) is composed of epiphytic cacti originating in Mexico, Central America and some areas of South America. 

Some species are: Disocactus alatus, Disocactus flagelliformis, Disocactus martianus, Disocactus phyllanthoides, Disocactus ramulosus.

It is known by the vulgar names of Cactus junco, Junquillo, Nopalillo, whip flower or Floricuerno.

The Disocactus Flagelliformis commonly known as rat tail cactus, is a cactus with thick stems, each with 8 to 13 ribs up to 3 feet long and up to 1.9 cm in diameter. 

The groups of spines are tiny, almost looking blurred and have 15 to 20 fine spines, reddish yellow each. The flowers are beautiful, magenta, curved, up to 7.5 cm long and up to 3.8 cm in diameter.

The rat tail cactus plant is epiphytic in nature it grows on trees. It adapts perfectly to hanging baskets.

It is the most cultivated species in the genus and the most famous hanging cactus. 

Due to its ease of cultivation and attractive floral displays, the rat tail cactus is often grown as an ornamental pot plant.

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Tips to take care of the Disocactus flagelliformis “Rat-Tail Cactus”


It requires being in full sunlight. 

Hang the pot or basket in the sunniest window available. If possible, hang up the outdoor plant in summer to give fresh air and extra light.

It is recommended to use a good mixture of draining soil that is sandy, sold and used for cacti and succulents.


During the period of active growth, normal room temperatures are adequate. In winter, these plants they should rest at a temperature of 7 to 10 ° C (45 to 50 ° F) if possible, but tolerate temperatures up to

15 to 16 ° C (59 to 61 ° F).


During the period of active water growth, abundantly keeping the potting mixture completely moist, but don’t let the plants stand in a lot of water. 

During the winter rest period, prevent the mixture from drying out.


use a medium concentration liquid fertilizer sprayed on the plant stems once every 2 weeks only during the period of active growth. During winter rest, do not apply fertilizer.


To spread, use a 15 cm (6 inch) tip or a 15 cm segment of any part of the stem.

Allow each cut or segment to dry for three days. Then, insert it at a depth of approximately 2 cm (0.8 inches) in a small saucepan or pot of the recommended mixture for mature plants.

Make sure any segment of the stem is planted with the bottom end facing down.

If this superficially inserted cut tends to fall, it can be supported by gently tying it to a small wooden stick.

The cultivation needs of the cuttings are the same as those of mature rat tail cacti and rooting It will occur in a few weeks.

It can also be grown from seeds.

Plagues and diseases

It is subject to attack by parasites such as the red spider and scale insects. But this cactus is usually disease-free.

General care

The rat tail cactus is easy to grow and relatively fast-growing cactus. 

Its hanging stems make these cactus plants ideal for a hanging basket.

Cover the basket with sphagnum moss before filling it with the potting mix and make sure it is hung in a place where spiny stems do not pose a prickly surprise for the unsuspecting.

If the rat tail cactus is grown in a pot, hang the pot or place it on a high shelf. If you leave free, you will soon It can exceed with the stems that lengthen.