Disocactus ackermannii: Care and Propagation Guide
Disocactus ackermannii is a cactus that tends to grow on other plants, making it epiphytic in nature. It mainly grows in tropical regions such as forests in several parts of Mexico.
Disocactus ackermannii has a small and circular base on the stem that then grows into long leaves with curved borders. It tends to bloom flowers that are mainly red in color. These flowers then give way to fruits after fertilization.
16 Types of Disocactus With Pictures
How to Care for Disocactus ackermannii
Disocactus ackermannii have prickly stems and can grow beautiful flowers. They bloom in spring or summer.
It is not too difficult to take care of Disocactus ackermannii. They are low maintenance and can bloom twice a year in the right weather conditions. Let’s dig deeper into the specifics of caring for Disocactus ackermannii.
Disocactus ackermannii love sunlight. Make sure to give them a lot of exposure to sunlight, especially during the summer. Ideally, leave them outdoors in the mornings and evenings. Move them to shady areas around noon.
They do not do well in extreme temperatures, so if the weather gets extremely hot or extremely cold, it would be better to move the plant indoors.
If you live in a tropical region, it is possible to grow Disocactus ackermannii outdoors. However, a potted plant is always more convenient to care for.
Water abundantly during the growing period. Always flood the pot completely and make sure the soil is completely soaked. However, let the soil dry before watering again.
Like most cacti, the soak and dry method works best for Disocactus ackermannii. Overwatering can seriously harm the plant, so make sure that the plant is not sitting on an excess of water.
Do not water the plant much during the dormant period. You need to encourage the plant to stay dormant during the colder months until the growing period begins.
If the temperatures are falling below 10 degrees Celsius, Disocactus ackermannii can stay dry for longer periods of time.
Drainage is very important for Disocactus ackermannii. Pebbly or sandy soil provides great drainage and aeration for plants. Disocactus ackermannii can be damaged by water retention, so porous soil provides ideal growing conditions by facilitating quick drainage.
Soil mixes with about 40%-50% organic matter are best suited for Disocactus ackermannii. The type of pot used is also important.
Unglazed ceramic pots are permeable to water and air. This lets them aid drainage and they help in aeration too. Disocactus ackermannii thrive in unglazed ceramic pots.
Disocactus ackermannii plants grow slowly. Their shallow roots absorb nutrients along with water. Thus, liquid fertilizers work best for Disocactus ackermannii.
Use a nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium fertilizer once a month during the growing season. You can also use regular cactus fertilizer to aid flowering.
Do not use fertilizer during the dormant season. August or September is usually the last month for fertilizing. Once the dormant seasons ends and spring begins, you can start adding fertilizer to the soil again.
Pests and Diseases
Disocactus ackermannii is not susceptible to any serious pests or diseases. Mealybugs might appear on your Disocactus ackermannii once in a while, but can be gotten rid of easily with an insecticide.
Make sure to isolate the plant as soon as you see signs of mealybugs like white fluff on the branches, discoloration or fallen needles. Always clear fallen flowers or other organic matter, as they attract a lot of pests while decomposing.
It is rare, but your Disocactus ackermannii may become with spider mites if left moist, especially during the summer. Insecticides are effective on spider mites too.
Like most cacti, Disocactus ackermannii is vulnerable to root rot. The key to preventing root or stem rot is to make sure the drainage is fast and the soil does not retain water.
How to Propagate Disocactus ackermannii
You can use both seeds and cuttings to propagate Disocactus ackermannii. If you are planting seeds, make sure to plant them in a good soil mix and place the pot in a partly shaded area.
If you are using cutting to propagate your Disocactus ackermannii, cut offshoots or stems with a pair of clean pruning shears or scissors. The cuttings must be at least an inch long.
Let the cuttings dry for a couple of weeks. The stem should have formed calluses at the site of cutting.
Plant the cuttings in the soil. Start watering them after a couple of weeks. They should start taking root soon. Transfer the propagated saplings to a suitable pot once they’re ready.
The temperature should be at a minimum of 22 degrees Celsius. From the time of cutting, your propagated Disocactus ackermannii will be ready for repotting in 6 to 12 weeks.