Growing a monkey tail: Cleistocactus winteri ‘colademono’

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Cleistocactus winter ‘colodemono’ is a subspecies of the golden rattail cactus. Sometimes labeled as Hildewintera colademononis, Cleistocactus colademononisOr Winterocereus colademononisit has Won the Royal Horticultural Society’s Garden Merit Award. This distinction reflects the excellent performance of the plant following careful tests and observations over a period of time.

Meet the monkey tail

Native to Bolivia, successful cultivation of this cactus requires full light to partial shade. This plant is resistant to drought and is suitable for drought. It is hardy outdoors to 25 degrees but grows easily indoors in a sunny window or one that receives bright filtered light.

Cleistocactus winter It is relatively easy to grow as long as you don’t overwater it and is a good plant for novice gardeners. It needs a loose, quick-draining, slightly acidic cactus soil mix and does very well in hanging baskets and pots.

Here’s a mix of cacti and succulents that even comes with a free pair of garden gloves.

A big monkey's tail in a pot

Since the monkey tail is fast growing, it needs a lot of space for its roots. Repotting with fresh potting mix should be done every other year or when the plant has outgrown its pot. However, this does not necessarily mean that the plant needs a bigger pot. Make sure the roots have filled out the current one before moving it to a larger container.

enlarge it

This plant has a shallow root system that spreads between rocks and rock crevices and survives with the humidity of the environment in its native environment. These types of cacti are classified as lithophytes. While they need bright light, part sun or light shade, a location that receives full sun can lead to sunburn.

Water moderately throughout the growing season. This can be done weekly or more frequently in the summer when the weather is sunny. Allow the soil to dry completely before watering again. This is especially important if you are growing the plant outdoors where it may rain.

Keep it relatively dry as soon as the temperature starts to drop in October, and completely dry during the winter. This plant survives outdoors in zone 9b without winter protection, but is susceptible to root rot. Feed occasionally with a high-potassium liquid fertilizer during the period of active growth.

Organic fertilizer with high potassium will keep your cacti healthy.

A golden rat's tail growing on a log

As long as the temperature is above zero and the plant receives a lot of light, winter will not cause any problems for the plant. However, it is only hardy to 28°F for short periods and must be kept very dry. This plant needs a cool rest period in winter so that it can bloom abundantly. Under ideal growing conditions, it also flowers freely indoors.

Pests and diseases

Like all rattail cacti, Cleistocatus Wintry ‘colodemono’ is sensitive to scale insects and spider mites. Check the plant frequently for infestation of stem and root mealybugs. Damage from an infestation can cause a fungal attack.


The formation of flower buds on the tail of the monkey

(golden mouse tail cactus)

It is relatively easy to propagate this plant from both cuttings and seeds. Take the cuttings in spring or summer and let them dry until the ends are well covered with calluses. Then plant the cactus in fresh and slightly moist soil. Keep the soil barely moist until the cuttings are rooted. This is perhaps the most complicated part of the process. I lost one of the two cuttings because the soil was a little wet.

Propagation of the monkey tail

(The growth of the second year of my cutting)

If grown from seed, surface planting is better. Germination time is usually 14-28 days at room temperature of 68°F. Remember that seedlings hate strong light and cannot tolerate soil that is completely dry.

Maturity and blossoming

As this succulent matures, it can eventually grow to just over 8 feet tall with stems approximately 3 inches in diameter. The stems grow slowly and have a fluffy appearance. When it blooms, it produces red flowers. Other types of mouse tail cacti have orange flowers. Flowering occurs in late spring to early fall depending on your location.

Red monkey tail blooms

(Dornenwolf from Deutschland, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
Coral cacti are blooming
(Olaf Lillinger, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons)

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