How to Graft a Moon Cactus (Easy Tutorial)

How to Graft a Moon Cactus

The moon cactus grows in the dessert and is a succulent that needs to be grafted onto another type of cactus or succulent. It has a bright colorful ball-shaped top.

The colors are red, yellow, pink and green. This succulent lacks chlorophyll needed to feed itself. It cannot convert sunlight to energy and will die if not grafted onto a type of cactus that can feed itself.

This cactus will only live a few weeks on its own. When a moon cactus is grafted onto a green cactus with chlorophyll it can live many years. It is easy to care for and maintain.

What You Will Need For Moon Cactus Grafting

The spring or summer season has been described as the best season to graft the moon cactus.

This is the growing season and you can use any established green cactus.

The best type of cactus to graft the moon cactus on are the Peruvian apple cactus, the golden torch cactus, or dragon fruit.

Be sure your cacti are similar in size when you graft them.

  • A flat work area to put supplies and graft your succulents. A flat table covered with newspaper or work bench is ideal.
  • Healthy moon cactus plant or plants growing in a pot
  • Healthy root stock or green cactus plants similar in size
  • A sharp thin knife to make a clean cut or other cutting tool with a thin blade
  • Peroxide or alcohol to clean and disinfect the knife or cutting tool
  • Paper towels to clean the cutting tool
  • Gloves to protect your hands
  • Sulfur powder
  • Elastic bands or tape

Assemble your cactus and plants and tools  in your work area. Clean off your table with disinfectant and your ready to begin.


Cut off Top of Root Stock and Bottom of The Moon Cactus

Start by cleaning your cutting tool and cutting the top off of the root stock. It is suggested watering your root stock before cutting. You are cutting the top of a cactus already growing.

Make a clean flat horizontal cut on the top of the cactus.

This cut should be flat and very precise.

You should cut off the edges or corners on the sides of the cactus next. Only remove thin strips.

This prevents any new growth on the rootstock that may affect the graft. You should leave at least 5- 10 inches of the root stock after cutting.

When you cut the top you will notice rings or circles of growth tissue.

Cut another thin straight piece off the top. Now you will be cutting the bottom of your moon cactus plant to graft onto the root stock.

Sterilize your knife again before cutting your moon cactus.

Cut a flat piece off the bottom of the moon cactus that is straight.

You can repeat the cut a second time but make it very thin and straight. You will notice rings and circles on the moon cactus or tissue.

Mount The Moon Cactus and Fasten The Graft

Mount the Moon Cactus on top of the cut rootstock before they dry out. Try to make the circles or tissues overlap or match up.

moon cactus grafting process

Put some pressure on the moon cactus to remove air bubbles. They can hinder graft from taking.

Before fastening the graft, sprinkle some sulfur powder on the side cuts and top of the plant. This prevents bacteria and microbes from getting into the plant tissue.

Fasten the graft using string, tape, twist twines or rubber bands. You should make sure it is secure so the graft will take.

Some gardeners twist the tape to make it similar to twine, attach the moon cactus securely to the top and attach the tap to the bottom of the pot.

tape moon cactus graft

Move The Plant To Shade Area Indoor or Outdoor

It takes about two weeks for the moon cactus graft to take. Do not water because your graft might rot. You can use para film to graft a small moon cactus on top of root stock.

This material helps reduce moisture loss of the graft.

Flat grafting is the most popular method and easiest to use. Signs your graft did not take are no growth, dried moon cactus or one that is browning and watery, or no growth at all.

Grafting a Moon Cactus Summary

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to graft a Moon Cactus!

The moon cactus grafting process is really a fun and a straightforward process. You can create some beautiful moon cactus plants using this method!

If you would like to read more on Growing Moon Cactus make sure you read our Moon Cactus growing guide here!

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