Aporophyllum hybrids or ‘Rat Tail Cactus’ (aporocactus flagelliformis) prefer a warm climate and grow well in hanging baskets.

Aporocactus (Aporophyllum hybrids) and Disocactus species have a trailing habit with long ‘rat tail’ like stems and large flowers on the stems and at the end. The trailing stems of Aporocactus can reach 5 – 6 ft in ideal conditions.

It is most common to grow rat’s tail cactus as houseplants where they are protected from frosts and can be sheltered from the hot sun of afternoon. The long hanging tails are a real feature and the wonderful pink flowers make a great display.

These are a very different plant to the Monkey tail cactus

Aporophyllum Care

Aporophyllum hybrids or ‘Rat Tail Cactus’ prefer a well drained potting mix, water well and then leave until barely moist. Bright filtered light to part sun in a warm indoors postion is best in all but the warmer climates.

Drainage is they key to success when growing these plants, so add some perlite to the growing mix to ensure that drainage is perfect.

  • Temperature
    Aporophyllum cactus like a moderate temperature range, not to hot , not too cold, so aim for does not enjoy extreme heat and cold. So aim for 15C and 26C degrees and avoid cold winter temperatures, bring them indoors, or a greenhouse.
    Try to avoid temperatures below 12C.
    In tropical to sub tropical climates they can grow outdoors year round.
  • Humidity
    Generally humidity is not required except in very dry climates. If you need to increase humidity make sure air flow is good otherwise you risk fungal problems.
  • Watering
    It is sometimes thought that cactus and succulents need little water, however during the active growth season, they do require water.
    The best way to water is to give them a deep watering, and then allow the soil to dry before watering again.
    Do not allow the plant to stand in a dish or saucer of water at any time.
    When winter comes around, water just enough to stop the soil from drying out completely, no deep water during winter.
  • Fertilising Aporophyllum Cactus
    Regular fertilising with a liquid fertiliser (every 3 -4 weeks) works well. Do not fertilise during winter.
  • Repotting
    You only need to repot every 3 – 4 years as the potting mix breaks down or when the plant fills the pot.
    After repotting keep the plant in a shaded position for 7 – 10 days, and slowly bring it back into more light.

Where to grow

As most varieties have a pendulous growth habit, Aporophyllums lend themselves to growing in hanging baskets where they can happily hang down and show off the flowers.


Propagation is similar to Epiphyllum


A number of named cultivars are very popular including:

  • Aporophyllum ‘Moonlight’ with its glowing pale pink to peach colored flowers. Multiple rows of overlapping petals and a vigorous cultivar.
  • Aporophyllum ‘Cascade’, attractive pale red to pink flowers.
  1. What Are Aporophyllum?

    Originally they were hybrids between Aporocacti and Epicacti. However now it seems to include hybrids between Aporocacti and a number of species including : Disocactus, Epiphyllum, Heliocereus, Nopalxochia, Selenicereus and Weberocereus.

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You can find Aporophyllum for sale at the following nurseries

32005 Avenida Evita San Juan Capistrano, Ca., U.S.A. 92675
Mail order worldwide nursery offering 1000s of Epiphyllum, Dragon fruit, Echinopsis, Schlumbergera, Cacti Epiphytes and various cacti of all kinds. Supplies, Botanical books, how to videos and the home of Epi-Cacti Forums.