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Disocactus nelsonii


Scientific Name

Disocactus nelsonii (Britton & Rose) Linding.


Disocactus nelsonii var. nelsonii, Chiapasia nelsonii, Epiphyllum nelsonii, Phyllocactus chiapensis, Phyllocactus nelsonii

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Hylocereeae
Genus: Disocactus


Disocactus nelsonii is an epiphytic cactus with green or reddish stems, much-branched and erect at first, then later hanging. The primary stems are up to 5 feet (1.5 m) long. The secondary stems are flat to triangular, acute with coarsely scalloped margins, toothed, and up to 6 inches (15 cm) long. The flowers are funnel-shaped, purplish-pink, or red and up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) long.

Disocactus nelsonii

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USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Many of the cultivated plants known as Epiphyllum hybrids are derived from crosses between species of Disocactus (rather than Epiphyllum) and other genera in the Hylocereeae.

Disocactus should be grown in a rich but still well-draining soil. They should be watered regularly and fertilized as well. This is essential for good growth and flowering. During the growing period, the plants need frequent watering. The waterings should be rather abundant so that the soil becomes completely soaked, but let dry between watering. Keep relatively dry in winter or when night temperatures remain below 50 °F (10 °C).

These cacti dislike extreme heat and cold, so they are best green-housed during the depth of winter and heat of summer in hot, dry climates. They also prefer shade to sun and like a little extra humidity in the air.

Disocactus can be reproduced both by seeds and cuttings.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Disocactus.


Disocactus nelsonii is native to Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras.


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