How to Care for the Monkey Tail Cactus

If you suddenly find yourself caring for a monkey tail cactus — perhaps because someone gifted one to you, or because you saw it in the store and just had to have it — you may be wondering exactly how to care for it. The Monkey Tail Cactus — also known as Hildewintera colademononis and recently reclassified to Cleistocactus winteri subsp. Colademononis — is actually a fairly easy succulent to take care of. If you want to know the best plant care for this houseplant, we've got you covered.

What Is a Monkey Tail Cactus?

Sometimes called the Monkey's Tail Cactus, this sometimes indoor plant has "long white and soft, hairlike spines," according to It is a member of the Cactaceae family hailing from Bolivia, according to Plant Care Today, and is sometimes referred to as the Golden Rat Tail Cactus, simply the Rat Tail Cactus, or the Tarantula Cactus.

Houseplant 411 reports that it can sometimes grow red flowers, but that may depend on how well you care for the cactus plant.

Where Can Monkey Tail's Grow?

These succulent plants can grow in rocky soil or in hanging baskets if you'd like to show it off. In its natural state, it can be found growing between or on steep rocks, Hobby Plants says.

How Do You Care for Them?

Indoors, these plants like bright light, but not direct sun, Plant Care Today says. Outdoors, it can handle full sun. For soil, these plants enjoy a cactus mix, and but they don't need a ton of water, so make sure to avoid overwatering by getting cactus soil that drains well and quickly. Don't water it again until it's totally dried out.

When the plant is growing actively, use a liquid plant food high in potassium for fertilizer. Watch for signs of root rot, spider mites, scale insects, and mealybugs, all of which can afflict the Monkey Tail Cactus.

To propagate it, simply grow a new plant from seed or cut off a small branch and root it in cactus soil. To repot, wait until after the flowering season is over, then get a bigger planter with a new mix of soil and fertilizer.

Enjoy your happy little plant!

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