Disocactus speciosus – Cactus Plant

Disocactus speciosus - Cactus Plants

Disocactus speciosus (Sun Cactus) is a unique flowering cactus that grows strongly branching with upright, leaning or hanging shoots. The specific epithet speciosus means ‘magnificent, handsome’ and refers to the flowers of the species. The three to five ribbed shoots have a reddish tinge. The ribs are strongly toothed. The areoles are present in the notch of the ribs. The thorns are pointed and protruding and have a yellowish to brownish color. The broad, funnel-shaped flowers appear laterally. The flowers are scarlet with a bluish or white sheen, or completely white, and grow to be 11 to 17 inches long and 8 to 13 inches in diameter. The fruits are egg-shaped and 4 to 5 inches long.

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Genus: Disocactus
Species: D. speciosus
Scientific Name: Disocactus speciosus
Common Names: Mexican Jungle Cactus, Sun Cactus, Sun Cereus.

Disocactus speciosus

How to care and grow Disocactus speciosus?


Disocactus speciosus 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 speciosus 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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