January 08, 2020

Zygocactus, with their pretty, flattened-bell flowers, are delights of the winter garden. They’re often called ‘crab cactus’, because of their crab-like segmented stems, or occasionally ‘Christmas cactus’. The latter name doesn’t make a lot of sense in the southern hemisphere where they flower in the middle of the year. Zygocactus bloom in winter because their flowering is initiated by winter’s longer nights (or shorter days). Their flowering can be severely reduced by exposing the plants to additional light during the night (even household lighting).


How to grow Zygocactus in a Pot.

  1. For a cutting: choose a small pot around 10cm in width for 1-3 cuttings. As these plants enjoy being root bound you can start with a small pot and then upgrade as the plant grows. For a rooted plant: choose a pot or hanging basket at least twice the width and depth of the rootball.
  2. Fill the chosen pot with a fertile, well-draining potting mix. For beginners we recommend using the Bunnings “Cacti and Succulent Mix”. (This mix is an easy starting point). You can adapt your mix as you progress on your journey of keeping these plants to suit your growing conditions.
  3. Zygocactus are highly adaptable and can be grown well throughout Australia. They should receive bright, indirect sunlight. An east or west facing window area is ideal but avoid very hot positions. Outdoors under partially shaded conditions is fine but in the colder states protection from frost is required so a shadehouse or indoor area is more appropriate. 

  4. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
  5. We recommend fertilising your Zygocactus once a fortnight in the warmer months and once a month through winter. We sell Fertiliser on our website and this can be diluted to create 1L of fertiliser.


All our Zygocactus were originally sourced from the Adam's Jungle Cacti collection. Adam's Jungle Cacti was a small private collection of epiphitic plants, most of which originate from Central and South America, with a handful from Madagascar, Africa, Sri-Lanka, India, SE Asia etc.

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