Disocactus nelsonii – Cactus Plant

Disocactus nelsonii (Nelson disocactus) is an evergreen perennial flowering cactus with cylindrical main stems and flattened side shoots. The side shoots appear from the top half of the main shoots. It produces many long, fleshy stems up to 1.5m long and large, scented, funnel-shaped purple-pink flowers up to 10cm wide. The flowers are followed by fleshy white fruits.

Scientific classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Hylocereeae
Genus: Disocactus
Species: D. nelsonii
Scientific Name: Disocactus nelsonii
Synonyms: Chiapasia nelsonii
Common Name: Nelson disocactus

Disocactus nelsonii

How to care and grow for Disocactus nelsonii ?


It 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.


Disocactus nelsonii 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 nelsonii 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.

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