How do i take good care of this?

Asked December 31, 2015, 1:45 PM EST

What type of plant is this exactly? How do i take good care of it?
How should i water it?
-it has 4 colums/sides
-spines both in the green area and in the flower
-has a flower on top with pinkish/ orange color.
I'm from Mexico and my aunt bought it for me where i live.

Outside United States

3 Responses

I'm an amateur but since your question has languished I'll provide a little help. You have a healthy cactus, and should be able to keep it healthy by watering lightly, and even less in winter. Find more details online, particularly at sites ending with ".edu"
Good luck from a gardener in Maryland

It looks like what you have is a grafted cactus, and it’s sometimes called ruby ball cactus or moon cactus. The pure red cactus is a Gymnocalycium species, which cannot produce chlorophyll on its own. It is grafted onto rootstock, the green cactus (possibly Cereus peruvianus—I’m not a cactus expert). The vascular systems of the two cacti merge, and the green cactus feeds the red cactus the sugar molecules it makes from photosynthesis.

Grafted cacti are fairly delicate and should be protected from full sun. Ideally, it should be placed where most of the light it gets is directed onto the green rootstock cactus, since it’s the one that’s creating chlorophyll. You can fertilize it spring and summer. Water thoroughly once a week, and let it dry out between waterings. Normal room temperature (60-75 degrees F) is ideal—don’t let it get too cold.

It won’t grow much and these grafted cacti usually only live 3 or 4 years.

To keep it looking nice, cut off any green branches that may try to sprout from the rootstock. You want all the nutrients going to keep the red cactus happy.

Thank you so so much. I was really worried that i wouldn't be able to take care of it correctly. Thank you again and happy new year!
-Regina xx