Discocactus horstii: The Funky Cactus That’s Taking Over Instagram

Cacti lovers, brace yourselves – there’s a new kid on the Instagram block, and it’s taking the cactus world by storm! Discocactus horstii, with its distinctive disc shape and radiant blooms, is quickly becoming a social media sensation. This quirky Brazilian native is capturing the hearts (and feeds) of plant enthusiasts everywhere. So what makes this funky cactus so irresistible? Keep reading to find out!

discocactus horstii

About Discocactus horstii

Before we dive into the care tips, let’s get to know this Instagram star a little better. Discocactus horstii is a small yet mighty cactus native to Brazil, where it thrives in rocky, coarse areas. Its solitary stem features between 12 and 22 ribs adorned with numerous radial spines, boasting a dark green hue that transitions to a rich brown as it matures.

But the real showstopper? The large, white flowers that bloom at night during the summer months, emerging from a separate stalk. It’s no wonder this captivating cactus is causing such a stir on social media!

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How to Care For Discocactus horstii

Now that you’re smitten with this funky cactus, it’s time to learn how to keep it happy and healthy. Follow these care tips, and you’ll have an Instagram-worthy specimen in no time!


Discocactus horstii loves basking in the sun’s rays, so make sure to provide ample bright, direct light. If growing indoors, place it near a sunny window or invest in a quality grow light. Outdoor plants should receive direct sunlight, but be careful to avoid harsh, scorching rays that can scorch the cactus.


This drought-tolerant cactus doesn’t need frequent watering. Only give it a drink when the soil is completely dry, taking care to ensure no water accumulates around the pot (that can lead to dreaded root rot). When watering, avoid getting droplets on the cactus body, especially in direct sunlight, to prevent sunburn or fungal issues.

discocactus horstii


Regular potting mix is a no-go for Discocactus horstii. Instead, opt for a well-draining cactus soil mix, potentially amended with perlite for added drainage. This cactus hates soggy soil, so proper drainage is a must.


During the growing season, feed your funky friend with a weak, cactus-specific liquid fertilizer every four weeks. A high-potassium formula is ideal. No need to fertilize during the cactus’s dormant period.

Temperature and Humidity

Discocactus horstii thrives in warm, dry conditions reminiscent of its native Brazilian habitat. Aim to keep temperatures between 65-85°F (18-29°C) during the day, with a 10-15°F (6-8°C) drop at night.

This cactus cannot tolerate humidity and will quickly rot in moist environments. Keep humidity levels below 40% if growing indoors. Excellent air circulation is a must to prevent fungal issues. Outdoors, make sure it receives ample airflow and protection from rain or excessive moisture.

Pests and Problems

While generally hardy, Discocactus horstii can occasionally attract mealybugs or spider mites. Keep an eye out and treat any infestations promptly with an insecticidal soap or pesticide.

Potting and Repotting

When it’s time to repot (generally every 2-3 years in spring), choose a well-draining container slightly larger than the previous one. Terracotta and ceramic pots are great options. Ensure the soil is completely dry before repotting, and hold off on watering for about a week after transplanting to avoid rot.

Discocactus horstii Propagation Methods

discocactus horstii

This Instagram star can be easily propagated from seeds or through grafting onto a hardy rootstock.


  1. Sow fresh seeds in a well-draining cactus/succulent mix
  2. Cover seeds lightly with soil mix
  3. Keep soil moistened but not soggy
  4. Provide very bright light once seedlings emerge (grow lights may be needed indoors)
  5. Be patient as seeds can take 4-8 weeks to germinate
  6. Pot up seedlings once they have a few sets of spines


  1. Choose a vigorous, disease-free scion (upper portion) and rootstock cactus
  2. Allow the scion’s cut end to dry and callus over for several days
  3. Make a clean cut about 1 inch deep into the rootstock
  4. Insert the calloused scion end into the cut, securing it with a rubber band if needed
  5. Place in bright, indirect light and keep soil barely moist
  6. Once the graft union is established, slowly acclimate to full sun
  7. Grafting can promote faster growth and showier flowers

Whether starting from seeds or grafting, provide warmth, excellent drainage, and steady bright light. With a little patience, you’ll soon have plenty of funky Discocactus horstii to share!