Monkey Tail Cactus

Monkey Tail Cactus

Dare to be different.

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These fast growing cactus are highly sought after for their ornamental qualities and easy care.

The ribbed, fleshy, mid green stems have a dense covering of gold to silver spikes. This makes them look soft, and hairy like a monkey’s tail, but don’t be fooled!

The stems will grow upright at first, then, as they mature they will become pendent. Eventually, and with the right care the stems will extend and cross over and form a most wonderful cacophony of branching. Some up, some down, some over, some under etc. Each stem is around 2.5cm across at maturity. Wonderful in pots or hanging baskets.
The flowers are a bright, salmon red and can grow up to 5cm across. They open along the stems in the warmer months of spring and sum. Each blooms lasts for three or more days. You tend to get the best flowers when they have had a bit of cool winter weather.

The Monkey Tail Plant has had a few botanical name changes over the years. It is now known as Cleistocactus winteri . Previously it was Hilderwintera colademononis, Winteria aureispinar and Winterocereus aueispinus.

SIZE (HxW): 20-150cm x 5-20cm. The clump will grow the size of the pot.

I SEE THE LIGHT: Choose a brightly lit position out of the hot afternoon sun (which may burn the leaves or damage the roots in the pot).

I NEED A DRINK: Low water needs, water lightly then allow the soil to dry out before watering again. You are more likely to kill it with kindness than neglect. They are winter dormant so need very little water at this time and winter soil dries more slowly.

I WILL SURVIVE: In pots or hanging baskets use a well drained potting mix specially formulated for succulents and cactus. Ensure the container has drainage holes, if the plants sit in water it tends to rot. If there are no drainage holes you need to be very restrained with your watering. Repot with fresh mix every second year to encourage vigorous growth. Outdoors, in areas that are frost free it can be grown as a ground cover in a full sun to semi shade position in sharply drained soil. They are from alpine mountain regions so are hardy to -2C but with the addition of winter rains this leaves them open to rot.

You don’t need to fertilise them very often or much, a diluted liquid feed in spring is all they need and they will of course forgive if you forget.

Supplied as: Pots
Size: 7.5 cm



Botantical name

Cleistocactus winteri






Spring to Summer


Cool to Tropical


Australia wide

Frost hardiness

Frost Tender


Filtered Light

Supplied as



7.5 cm

Water needs