Disocactus martianus – Cactus Plant

Disocactus martianus (Red Rat’s Tail) is unique ornamental plant that grows creeping, occasionally forming lithophytic with aerial roots. It is a species of fleshy, cylindrical suspended or creeping cactus with stems up to 1.5 m long and up to 2.5 cm thick, sometimes with aerial roots, with 8 to 10 slightly wart-shaped ribs; three or four central pale brown spines up to 12 mm long and six to twenty radial spines are light yellowish and only 5 to 7 mm long. In summer. it produces bright red flowers are diurnal. The flowers stay open for a couple of days. They are followed by globose fruits of green color and 2 cm in diameter. It looks great in a hanging basket.

Scientific classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Genus: Disocactus
Species: D. martianus
Scientific Name: Disocactus martianus
Synonyms: Aporocactus conzattii, Aporocactus martianus var. conzattii, Cereus conzattii, Cereus martianus, Cereus martini, Aporocactus martianus, Eriocereus martianus.
Common Name: Red Rat’s Tail

Disocactus martianus - Cactus Plants

How to care and grow for Disocactus martianus?


Disocactus martianus thrives best in bright filtered light or partial shade. They do not like the direct full sun, but morning and late afternoon sun are okay.


It will grow in soil with a pH of 5.0 to 9, however, they prefer soils with a higher-alkaline pH of 6.2 to 7.0. Adding organic fertilizer can add nutrients to the soil, and can likewise help balance pH levels, as most organic fertilizers have a pH of around 7.0.


Normal room temperatures 60-75°F/16-24°C. To set blossom buds, the plant needs 8-10 weeks of cool 60-65°F/16-18°C days and 45-55°F/7-13°C evenings in winter.


Keep the soil wet spring through fall, while the plant is growing. In winter, water sparingly until the point that new growth starts in spring. Never enable it to dry out. Shriveled, limp stems are a sign the soil is too dry. After blossoming, rest one month before fertilizing. Don’t over-fertilize.


Apply a diluted NPK 10-10-10 fertilizer once a month during the growth period and cactus fertilizer (NPK 0-10-10) to promote flowering.


Disocactus martianus can be easily propagated from the seed in spring or late-spring. Also, propagate from stem cuttings in early summer. When propagating the plant from cuttings, cut a leaf from the mother plant carefully with a clean knife or scissors. Before replanting, wait for a few days to allow it to callous. Use well-draining soil for your new succulent plant. Don’t forget to water when the soil dries out.

Pest and Diseases:

It has no serious pest or disease problems. Watch for mealybugs and scale insects. Also prone to fungal leaf spots and stem spots.

Last updated on July 23rd, 2021

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