Genus: Cleistocactus winteri subspecies colademononis (2005. Hunt) Common name: Monkey Tail, Rat Tail Origin: South America Soil: Dry Light: Full sun, bright indirect light.
Hildewintera Colademononis AKA the Monkey Tail cactus is an epilithic cactus with a fuzzy, soft character and strikingly beautiful red blooms.
Although Hildewintera is considered its old genus, taxonomists have since combined colademononis (from the Spanish words Cola de Mono, meaning Monkey Tail) into the genus Cleistocactus. It is now properly called Cleistocactus Colademononis. However, it is still common to see this cactus called both Hildewintera and Cleistocactus.
Interestingly, as a bit of history, the genus Hildewintera was named after Hildegarda Winter, the sister of Friedrich Ritter, a renowned German cactus expert, and authority.
The Monkey Tail cactus has become an increasingly popular and in-demand cactus due to its unique features and easy care. You can buy a monkey tail cactus from the shop and are available in a variety of sizes.
The great thing about the Monkey Tail cactus is that it is low maintenance. I will outline below some of the key tips for the successful maintenance and growth of the Monkey Tail cactus.
How To Care For The Monkey Tail Cactus
How you water is especially for a Monkey Tail cactus. If there’s one major takeaway from this article, this is it. The Monkey Tail cactus is particularly rot-prone if overwatered during winter when it’s in dormancy.
To prevent this, it is recommended not to water at all in the winter, and if you do, to do so sparingly. To be on the cautious side, it is better to water from the bottom of the pot to keep the moisture off the stems.
During the Spring and Summer, watering can resume a normal schedule. When the soil becomes dry, simply water the cactus until the soil is moist.
Soil is crucial for a Monkey Tail cactus because if you think about its natural environment, these cacti grow epiphytically between rocks. Therefore, you’re going to want to mimic its natural environment as best as possible.
Thick, dense soil would not be suitable and could pose root rot risk if accidentally watered too much. Most store-bought soils are not well aerated, therefore, if you plan on buying a store-bought bag of generic soil you’re going to want to amend it with plenty of perlite, pumice, lava rock, crushed gravel, sand or bark chips. Or a combination of these to get a gritty consistency.
The Monkey Tail cactus needs plenty of light which can be either direct or indirect. If giving your cactus direct light, do so in a northern or eastern facing window. This will provide very bright morning to early afternoon sun before the sun becomes too harsh. Southern exposures are not recommended because this is when the sun is at its hottest and could potentially burn the Monkey Tail.
Monkey Tail cacti are comfortable in a variety of ranges. However, if you are in an area that has freezing winter temperatures below 40°F then it’s best to move indoors to prevent it from freezing, especially if the plant is damp with moisture.
Like most other cacti, the Monkey Tail cactus enjoys a low nitrogen fertilizer during the active period (Spring and Summer). Your local garden store or Amazon should have a selection of fertilizers specifically formulated for cacti (liquid or slow release) to choose from. Simply follow the instructions provided on the bottle.