Ming Thing Cactus Care Infographic

The Ming thing cactus is the weirdest plant you will come across. Its twisted stump-like growth looks like an alien plant from a movie.

There are not many people who know how to take care care of it the right way. Please go through our guide to learn how to grow and get a good Ming thing cactus bloom during the flowering season.

What Is Ming Thing Cactus?

Ming thing cactus is also known as the Cereus forbesii monstrose cactus. It is a slow-growing plant that eventually reaches up to one foot in height. It grows several grey-green stumps and occasionally produces white-colored flowers.

Ming Thing Cactus Care

The Cereus cactus care guide suggests you give this plant at least a few hours of direct sunlight each day. Even though it is drought-resistant, you still need to water it whenever its soil dries halfway through.

– Water Requirements

The Forbesii monstrose ming thing cactus likes the soak and dry method of watering. This means you need to allow at least 50 percent of its soil to dry from the top. It would be best to ensure this by inserting a stick or a moisture meter into it.

Once your soil is dry enough, it is time to soak it thoroughly. Water the succulent slowly onto the soil for as long as it starts to drain out of the holes at the bottom of the pot.

dry method of watering

Give the plant some time for the water to collect in a saucer placed underneath, and then drain this water promptly.

You should water it only once every two to four weeks during summertime. In the wintertime, this cactus will need even less frequent watering.

– Light Requirements

Ming thing cactus light needs are variable as this plant can live in very low light conditions. However, the more sun it gets, the more it grows naturally. Dappled sunlight is the most suitable form of light for this cactus. Putting it under the leaf canopy of a larger plant produces a good dappled light effect.

Inside the house, aim for at least two to three hours of direct sunlight and then indirect light for the remaining part of the day. An east-facing window is the perfect window for such light requirements. 

– Soil Requirements

This cactus likes a loose, chunky, well-draining potting mix to grow and establish its roots. An easy approach is to purchase a cactus or succulent potting mix from your local nursery. These are prepared proportionally to give good cactus drainage and adequate nutrients.

It would be even better if you want to make your potting mix yourself. Mix 50 percent peat moss with 10 percent sand and 40 percent perlite or vermiculite. You can add three to four medium-sized chunks of bark to this mixture.

The pH of the soil needs to be slightly acidic to the neutral side. Just increase the quantity of your organic matter if you feel like your mix is a bit alkaline.

– Temperature Requirements

Cereus forbesii monstrose grows only when the temperature stays hot all year round. The ideal temperature range is between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but it might tolerate temperatures if it drops as low as 50 degrees.

close view of ming thing cactus

You need to ensure the temperature stays within the range specified above. If you grow this plant outdoors, it must be moved to any indoor living space during wintertime. You cannot even water it with cold water because this causes scarring.

Inside the house, you need to protect this succulent plant from cold air from the air conditioner. Your kitchen might be the most suitable room in the house for keeping it.

– Humidity Requirements

Your Ming thing cactus is not too fond of very high humidity conditions. It likes to grow under properly hot and dry conditions. 

Your average home humidity levels of around 35 to 40 percent are tolerable. See that the air circulation is not compromised, or the twisted stems might succumb to fungal diseases. It should not be placed somewhere cramped. You need to prune it if its growth becomes too compact and bushy.

If you reside in a humid place with more than 50 percent, you will need to use a dehumidifier to make the air more breathable for this plant.

 

– Fertilizing Requirements

Fertilizing is not a necessity, but it will help the Ming thing cactus growth rate to improve. Only fertilize at the start of the month from spring till summer time and stop altogether during winter.

One option is to go for a store-bought cactus live fertilizer and use it after having diluted it. This usually contains all the important nutrients that the plant needs.

The second option is to go for a good old homemade compost from grass clippings and food scraps. It is best to mix these in with the soil at the time of potting the cactus.

– Pruning

Pruning is not a necessity when keeping a Ming thing cactus. If you feel like this plant is getting too crowded and the light supply to the inner leaves is compromised, then you can prune some of the leaves off.

Carry out your pruning operation anytime from early to late spring. This way, the cut parts will grow back quickly and in better shape.

Because it has thick, sturdy leaves and stems, you will need reasonably-sized pruners to cut them. Wear thick rubber gloves to protect your hands from getting damaged while cutting back the plant.

Propagation

Ming thing cactus propagation is best carried out from early spring till mid-summer. We recommend that you take stem cuttings to propagate a new cactus.

  1. First, get your pruning shears ready, cleaned, and sharpened. Use bleach or 70 percent isopropyl alcohol to disinfect the cutting edge of the instrument.
  2. Cut off four to five inches of a healthy stem as close to the base of the plant as possible.
  3. Wrap this cutting up in a piece of paper napkin to form calluses at its cut end. Ming thing cactus propagation
  4. Dab some rooting hormone to the cut end after it has dried. Rooting hormone protects your cactus cutting from infections and promotes further growth of new roots.
  5. Prepare a well-draining potting mix that is ideal for a cactus plant. Place half of your cut and dried cutting right in the center of this mixture.
  6. Place the pot in a bright, well-lit, and warm place, as these are the ideal growing conditions for a cactus. Within a few weeks, you will see new growth emerging from the potted cutting. This is when you can be sure that the cutting has finally taken root.

Problems

LIke most cacti succulents, the MIng thing cactus occasionally suffers from pest attacks and overwatering.

– Pests

Pests like this plant because of its bushy growth habit, as they can easily hide under its leaves. The most common pests feed on the plant’s sap, such as aphids, scales, mealybugs, and spider mites. They eat up all of the plant’s food reserves and cause it to become weak and yellow.

The growth and flowering of the plant are negatively affected as well. You must first remove as many pests as you can physically. Use tweezers or a piece of cotton dipped in neem oil. Another option is to wash the cactus using a strong pesticide soap.

There are multiple natural remedies you can try to help kill these bugs. One is mixing household vinegar with water in a ratio of 20 to 80. The other is mixing neem oil with clean water. These mixtures can then be used to spray the cactus infested with pests.

– Overwatering

If your live plant suddenly turns yellow or brown, this is a sign of overwatering. Dip a finger into the potting mix to make sure. You will notice that the soil seems runny with water and the pot very heavy.

In most cases, all you will need to do is to stop watering the cactus further. Place it under bright light and high temperatures to help dry the soil.

sign of overwatering

In severe cases, the soil will not dry, and you might have to resort to repotting your ming thing cactus rare plant into the new soil.

We urge you to avoid overwatering at all costs. Not only does it make the plant weaker, but it also predisposes it to fungal and bacterial rot infections. Once a cactus gets infected with rot, it is nearly impossible to bring it back. The drainage of your pot and the soil plays a huge role in preventing overwatering.

Conclusion

That is all the information you need to grow a Cereus forbesii successfully by yourself.

Just keep in mind the following important points.

  • Give this cactus three to four hours of direct light at least. It will survive on indirect light for the rest of the day.
  • Water sparingly only if half the cactus potting mix becomes dry.
  • Keep the humidity around your ming thing cactus below 40 percent.
  • The ideal temperature range is between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, but it might tolerate temperatures if it drops as low as 50 degrees.

Don’t miss your chance to grow and propagate this fascinating plant at home the next time you see a ming thing cactus for sale anywhere.

5/5 - (17 votes)
Evergreen Seeds