How to propagate, grow Mono’s Cola cactus and its care

The monkey-tail cactus (Cleistocactus colademononis), is native to Bolivia and belongs to the Cactaceae family. It is a cactus with white spines, elongated and cascading. Blooms with bright red flowers in spring and early summer and is excellent for indoor and outdoor gardens. Let’s see how to propagate, grow Monkey Tail Cactus and its care.

grow a monkey tail cactus


How to Propagate a Cola Cactus from Mono

The propagation process can be done by seed or stem cuttings.

Propagation by cuttings

propagate a monkey tail cactus

Choose a healthy stem about 10 cm long. The base should be about 2cm wide to ensure good rooting, but the larger the better.

Fill a small pot with cactus soil. Make sure the pot has good drainage to prevent root rot.

Remove the thorns from the bottom half of the cutting and gently push it into the soil so that only the tip sticks out.

Moisten the soil, but do not saturate it, and place it out of direct sunlight (no more than four hours a day) until the cutting has developed a root system.

Once the cactus begins to develop new growth, you can transplant it into a larger pot of regular cactus or succulent soil. See: succulent soil

seed multiplication

propagate monkey tail cactus

Collect fresh, ripe seeds from a healthy plant. Wear gloves to prevent the prickly cactus hairs from sticking to your skin.

Place the collected seeds in a glass dish and leave them outside overnight until the outer skin has dried.

Once you’re ready to remove the outer skin, do so by hand or with a wire mesh strainer.

Fill small pots with cactus soil and sow the seeds thinly over the surface, cover and place in indirect sunlight.

Keep them moist but not wet and let them germinate (this may take several months depending on how fresh the seeds are).

Once your cacti are large enough to transplant, remove them from their original pots and plant them in a new one with a regular cactus mix.

Cultivation of monkey-tail cactus and its care

grow a monkey tail cactus

Growing Cola de Mono Cactus is easy, like other succulents, this cactus requires minimal care to thrive.

Sun and light exposure

The monkey-tail cactus thrives in full sun to partial shade. It can even thrive in partial shade, but this plant should receive a maximum of 5 hours of direct sunlight per day.

If there is too much shade, it will weaken and become thin over time. Bright, indirect light is the best type of light for this plant.

It needs very intense, but not direct, sunlight to thrive. Too much direct sunlight can burn the plant, but too much shade will weaken it.

In winter, the cactus should be placed in front of a window so that it receives as much sunlight as possible.


The monkey tail cactus does not need a lot of water, over watering is the most common mistake new cactus owners make and one of the easiest to correct.

Water your plant about once every one to two weeks, just enough to thoroughly soak the soil. Be sure to remove any excess water left in the pot after an hour or two.

As with all cacti, it is best to let the soil dry out between waterings and never let the plant sit in water.

It will need to be watered less frequently during the winter months, perhaps once every two to three weeks.

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It needs a light, well-drained and porous soil. It does not like to grow in heavy clay soils or with little water uptake.

One way to deal with this type of soil is to use cactus/succulent potting soil which can be purchased at any garden center.

If you prefer to use homemade potting soil, I suggest using a mix of equal parts perlite, coarse sand, and potting soil. This mixture offers a good balance between water retention and drainage.

temperature and humidity

Monkey tail cacti need a temperature between 15°C and 30°C. Therefore, if you live in a climate where the temperature often drops below 10°C during the winter, you will need to take extra steps to protect your plant from frost damage.

It is a succulent native to Central America, where it is found in the canopy of humid forests.

However, it does not need to live in humid conditions to grow well. It will survive happily indoors in low humidity conditions.


Mono’s Cola cactus does not need to be fertilized, but it is advisable to feed it monthly during the growing season (spring and summer).

It’s a great way to prevent nutrient deficiencies and promote flowering. During this time, you can use a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half.

Be careful not to give too much fertilizer, it can damage the cactus. Don’t fertilize it in the winter because it will go into a lethargic state and any nutrients you apply to it could damage it.

dream pot

grow a monkey tail cactus

It must be placed in a pot of the right size and with the optimal potting soil.

The monkey tail cactus is often grown in hanging baskets due to its ability to take on a variety of shapes.

A pot at least 25cm wide is required, but placing this cactus in a hanging basket will give you room to grow much larger.

It is important to use a pot with drainage holes in the bottom as this will help prevent root rot.


The monkey tail cactus does not require any severe pruning or trimming. When it has become too big, you can repot it in a larger pot to prolong its life.

If your cacti are bunching up and you need to separate them, simply cut the stems with a sharp knife until they come apart.

By separating the stems, you can cut off dead or dying stems for a prettier appearance.

Just be sure to remove dead parts as close to the base as possible, as the rot can spread if left attached to the rest of the plant.

Plagues and diseases

It is generally resistant to pests and diseases. However, it can be affected by certain pests such as spider mites and scale insects.

Bacterial and fungal diseases can also affect some cactus species. The most common is powdery mildew. To look at: How to Fight and Prevent Powdery Mildew Naturally

spider mites

Mites are one of the most common pests that affect cacti. They are sap-sucking creatures that live under leaves and can very easily spread to healthy parts of your plant.

You can identify them on your plant because they gradually cause damage by yellowing the leaves and forming cobwebs in some species.

You can rid your plant of mites by washing it thoroughly with a soapy water solution.


Mealybugs are small, white insects that suck plant juices and cause damage to the plant’s stem, leaves, and flowers.

You can identify scale insects on your plant by their white cottony mass on your cactus leaves.

It may also be interesting to read: 4 methods to propagate sansevieria (Saint George’s sword)

You can get rid of scale insects on your cactus by dabbing with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol or washing the plant with soap and water. To look at: Homemade methods to control plant mealybug

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