10 Easy Ways to Grow and Care Dog Tail Cactus: A Step-by-Step Guide

The Dog Tail Cactus is also known as Strophocactus testudo, Selenicereus testudo, or Deamia testudo. It is a unique type of Cactus plant from the Cactaceae family.

Dog Tail Cactus are some of the most popular trendy beautifying Cactus Plants as they are capable of making the surrounding environment very attractive and calm to live in.

The young cacti plant is known as, Puppy Dog Tail Cactus.

These are Flowering Cactus Plants that grow native in Tropical South America. They natively grow in the jungle habitat and possess the ability to grow very large and are often found winding around trees.

Physical Structure of Dog Tail Cactus

Dog cacti Plant

These plants grow as creeping plants and grow out in long dog tail-like arms. A mature Dog Tail Cactus grows up to 7 meters in length.

Growth Characteristics Of Dog Tail Cactus

Dog T.C

This rare species of cactus plant naturally grow with thorns and these Dog Tail Cactus Are Soft to the touch.

Once the Dog Tail Cactus is mature, its stems broaden (grow wide) and change its shape making it look considerably different from the younger plants.

These cacti are also epiphytic (a plant type that takes its moisture and nutrients from the air and rain and capable to grow usually on another plant). They have the ability to grow on the ground or on top of other plants.

Dog Tail Cactus Aerial Roots

Aerial roots are roots above the ground.
and Dog Tail Cactus Aerial Roots grow on the stem of the cacti plant rather than in the soil are usually pink or white in color, this is common to other succulent plants too.

Why your Dog Tail Cactus Form Aerial Roots?

When your Dog Tail Cactus does not get enough water or not getting enough Sunlight for their process of heat energy.

How Do You Take Care Of Dog Tail Cactus?

Types of Dog Tail Cactus

Dog Tail Cactus Indoor Care is very important when you grow your cacti plant as houseplants. Proper care is needed for this cacti plant if you want your cacti plant to survive long and healthy too.

The basic requirements you need to take care of are;

1. Sunlight Exposure

Your Dog Tail Cactus are sun-loving cacti plants and they mostly prefer full sun if you are growing as indoor plants or these Cacti species need partial sunlight outside.

These cacti Plants like heat, as its sunlight gives the cacti plant the energy to survive.

Benefits Of Gaining Proper Amount Of Sunlight

  • Good sunlight encourages health,
  •  Makes the cacti plant have short and sharp spines.
  • Also, keep the Dog Tail Cactus Soft, the hair-like ones.

What Happens To Your Dog Tail Cactus When They Did Not Receive Enough Sunlight?

If these types of cacti plants are grown in poor sunlight conditions then,

  • The stems usually become etiolated –  which means the stem turns pale and weak.
  • The cacti plant’s stems will become too thin.
  • The cacti plant color changes.
  • The health of the Cacti Plant will get weak.
  • They are overgrown.
When you grow this cacti plant indoors or outdoor as home plants then, for hanging baskets or containers, it’s best to select a fast-draining and drying cactus soil mix.
This will ensure your Dog Tail Cactus will not have problems related to excessive moisture.

How To Make Your Own Soil Mix For Dog Tail Cactus?

If you are making your own soil mix, you can use two parts of mineral such as;

  • Sand either Perlite – [ a raw material it contains water, trapped by the rapid cooling of lava ] This soil mix moisture vaporizes explosively when heat is applied.
  • Fine gravel alongside one part of organic matter could work well.

What Happens To The Cactus, When Soil Is Over Wet?

If your cactus plant has to grow in overly wet soil then, it will begin to rot (spoil).

3. Water Requirement

The most important part of caring for your Dog Tail Cactus is getting the correct balance when it comes to watering. These Cacti Plants like more water than other cactus species.

How Often Should You Water Your Dog Tail Cactus?

These Cacti Plants will need more regular watering during the summer months. And you should Make sure that the soil or cactus mix dries out completely in between watering.

What Happen To The Dog Tail Cactus, When It Is Watered Excessively? [ Aerial Root Problem ]

However, excessive watering of this unique species of cacti plant will result in the rotting of roots. If your cactus plant does not receive enough water, it can start to produce a disproportionate amount of less healthy aerial roots.

3. Temperature

The Dog Tail Cactus is one of the hardiest cacti species, which is capable to bear/tolerate temperatures from around 40°c  up to 90°c Fahrenheit.

But, this cacti species cannot tolerate frost. So, you could use grow lights or frost tolerant cloth to soothe your plant.

4. Humidity

This is also a species of Cacti  Plant that likes more humidity – ( Moisture ) rather than the dry heat that many cacti thrive in. These types of plants are very suitable to grow in cooler regions as indoor Plants.

5. Fertilizer

Once your Dog Tail Cactus becomes root-bound and well grown, the cacti plant will get more energy and disease-resistant benefits from regular feeding of diluted fertilizer during growth periods.

There are special cactus fertilizers specifically designed for cactus plants, those Fertilizers can be used for Dog Tail Cactus too.

Dog Tail Cactus Blooming

Dog Tail Cactus Bloom

As, this type of Cacti Plant is a unique species and as it is from a flowering cacti plant family, this Dog Tail Cactus Flower is also very special and popular.

This Cactus Plant produces the Blooming Cactus named, “The Blooming Cereus Cactus” which is well known as the “Queen Of The Night Blooming Cactus“.

If you want to encourage this cacti plant to flower, you should try to provide enough amount of sunlight, Also, by using a Bloom Booster Fertilizer in the spring and summer period of time.

You can find the  Best Blooming Fertilizer can be found with this link Best Long Lasting Cactus Fertilizers.

The Dog Tail  Cactus Bloom usually anytime from March to July months. Also, It is thought that these Cacti Plants bloom if they have a few weeks of cooler nights as they are Night Blooming Cactus Plants.

Dog Tail Cactus are flowering species of Cactus that are capable to produce large-sized, good fragrant white beautiful flowers. They are nocturnal bloomers that means ( plants that are active at night) and these blooming cacti plants only appearing during the night.

Do Dog Tail Cactus Bloom?

The hard part when you grow these cacti plants at home is that, only when you provide the perfect care for your cacti plant, your Dog Tail Cactus Bloom its magnificent Blooming Cactus.

Which is commonly known as, “Queen Of The Night” which also blooms rarely when grown under home environment Conditions. 

This rarely Blooming Cereus Flowers of the Dog Tail Cactus, disappoints many gardeners as they are very tricky to grow overnight that too rarely.

Dog Tail Cactus Propagation

Dog Tail Cactus Propagation

Propagation is the method of how a plant can be cultivated or grown so, For any plant, there are some techniques in which those plants can be propagated.

In the case of Dog Tail Cactus, it can be propagated through all 3 propagational methods such as ;

  • Seedling Propagational Method.
  • Cutting Propagational Method.
  • Growing Through New Plant Specimens or Part.

1. Seedling Propagational Method

Although Dog Tail Cactus can be grown from seeds, it can be a challenge as these cacti plant seedlings are usually very fragile.

2. Cutting Propagational Method

When your cacti plant is healthy and well-grown then, they are considered as prolific plants which means- (when the cacti plant comes to the stage, when they are able to produce their young plants, plenty of flowers or many years of well-grown survival )

Which have many stems then, you can easily and grow these Cacti Plants from cutting or broken off pieces. Spring propagation is recommended.

Easy Steps You Can Follow When Cutting are following

  • Once you have selected the stem and cut it at the joint,
  • Then, it is best to give the cut section of the Cactus stem a chance to fully dry out before replanting,
  •  Next, this can take up to a week to fully dry out.
  • When you do pot it, make sure the soil mix is fast draining and light and that it is not overwatered.
  • Also, The soil should never be more than just a little damp at first to allow the roots to form.
  • Then, Once the roots are established strong, afterward you can water the  Cacti plant normally as usual.

3. Offspring Plantation Propagational Method

When your Cati Plant is manured and can reproduce then it is recommended to grow new specimens through their baby plants.

The Easy Steps To Plant Offspring are

  • Remove a nearby growing baby Plant of the Dog Tail Cactus,
  • Make sure not to damage the roots of the baby plant, when you remove it from the soil,
  • Then, plant the baby plant in another pot separately.

Potting And Repotting Process Of Dog Tail Cactus

If you are growing these unique types of cactus plants at home then, you need to provide your plants with enough spaced pot as these Dog Tail Cactus spread when their stems Grow long.

However, you can start planting in a smaller pot as the roots are allowed to grow and establish and fill the pot.

Repotting Of Dog Tail Cactus

Repotting is not needed with these epiphytic cacti – ( plants that can grow upon other host plants and get their nutrients from the environment) as they are relatively slow-growing plants.

And if you repot the cacti plant into a larger container or pot then, it will allow the plant to grow healthier, harder, and with larger spines, as it matures.

Disadvantage Of Growing The Plant Without Repotting

Further, If you keep the cacti plant survive in a smaller pot then, more aerial roots will form instead, and it will not necessarily be as healthy.

What To Take Care of When Repotting?

These are the main steps to follow to gain a successful Repotting;

  • First and Formost, when you do repot, make sure that the soil or cactus soil mix is completely dry before removing the cacti plant.
  • Then, carefully remove the Cactus plant from the soil.
  • As you repot it, take care to spread out the roots.
  • Afterward, make sure you leave the plant dry for at least a week before initial light waterings.
  • This will reduce the risk of any root rot occurring – (spoiling of the roots).

Most Important Factor To Follow

Don’t go overboard with the amount of cactus mix or fast-draining medium for the potting purposes that you use. As these types of epiphytic plants thrive in just a little soil.

Similar Cacti Plants In Comparison To Dog Tail Cactus

As there are many varieties of cactus plants and as there are many similar species in each genus, Dog Tail Cactus too has similar, very similar cacti plant species to it.

Most of you may get confused between these types of Cactus Plants with Dog Tail Cactus they are;

1. Dog Tail Cactus VS Rat Tail Cactus

Dog Tail vs Rat Tail

Mostly, The Dog Tail Cactus is scientifically known as, Strophocactus testudo, Selenicereus testudo, or Deamia testudo is sometimes confused with the Rat Tail Cactus.

Both of these hanging cacti plants have some similarities which make many gardeners and viewers and there are differences in both of these Cacti Plants too which make them different species.

Similarities Between These Cacti Plants

  • Both have long hanging Structure.
  • Skinny as they are not that fatty in width.
  • Both have Tail like Stems.
  • The Flowering process of both these cacti plants is rare.

Differences Between These Cacti Plants

  • Scientifically Dog Tail Cactus is known as “Strophocactus testudo” – and  The “Rat Tail Cactus” plant is scientifically known as “Disocactus flagelliformis (L.) Barthlott” or Aporocactus Flagelliformis.
  • While in the genus of Dog Tail Cactus belongs to the ‘genus of  Selenicereus’ – and “Rat Tail Cactus” belongs to the ‘genus of Disocactus’ of the Cactaceae family.
  • In Physical Structure of Dog Tail Cactus possess stary shaped stems – and “Rat Tail Cactus” long, tube-shaped stems.
  • Flower Structure of Dog Tail Cactus Possess large white sweet-smelling Flowers – “Rat Tail Cactus” grow glorious bright pink to red color Flowers.
  • Flowers of Dog Tail Cactus bloom at night – while the  “Rat Tail Cactus” blooms in the Day time.

2. Dog Tail Cactus Vs Dragon Fruit Cactus

Dog Tail Vs Dragon

Another confusing cacti plant type is the Dog Tail Cactus and Dragon Fruit Cactus.

Here, too there are similarities that make both plants look alike and also, differences that make both of these cacti plants different species.

Similarities Between These Cacti Plants

  • The physical appearance of both of these plants composed of a dark green, starry structure.
  • These cacti plants have a tail-like stem.
  • Both species of Cacti Plants are Flowering Plants of the Cactaceae family.
  • While in the genus Dog Tail Cactus and the ” Dragon  Fruit Cactus belongs to the ‘genus of Selenicereus’.

Differences Between These Cacti Plants

  • Dog Tail Cactus are hanging grassy Cacti Plants – while the ” Dragon Fruit Cactus” is tree-type Cacti Plants.
  • While, Dog Tail Cactus are Flowering types of Cactus Plants – and ” Dragon Fruit Cactus are fruit-bearing cacti Plants.

Problems In Dog Tail Cactus

There are treats and other problems in this species of Cacti Plant too. Some of the main problems detected in these types of plants are;

1. Common Fungal Diseases

One of the main agents that causes diseases to the plants and the cacti plants especially is the fungus.

Dog Tail Cactus Turning Yellow

Dog Tail turning yellow

Why Your Dog Tail Cactus Turn Yellow?
When your Cacti Plant lack in its health then, the first symptom for you to identify is the color-changing into yellow.

REASONS: (common To Cacti Plants)

(i) Lack Of Water –  Mostly when your cacti plants lack water, especially on hot summer days. The cacti plant can turn yellow being too dry.

Usually, this cacti plant will also appear shriveled or wrinkled, this happens to your cactus plant when it is not regularly watered.

SOLUTION:

  • Check the moisture or the wetness of the soil and when you see too dried soil that is cracked then water it.
  • Water the Cacti Plants regularly because they are not grown in their native inhabitants to get enough nutrients naturally.

(ii) Overwatering – When there is yellowing from the bottom and the cacti plant feels soft and mushy then, the damage to the cacti plant is more severe.

This means the cacti plant is rotting from the roots. The most common cause for this is overwatering. or extreme heat, or all of the above.

Steps to save the overwatered Dog Tail Cactus

  • Remove the cacti plant from the wet soil and then clean the roots.
  • Make sure to let the cactus plant dry out completely at least 3 days a week.
  • Place the cacti plant in a place where the plant could get bright and dry Sunlight but keep away from direct sunlight to avoid burning to the cactus plant and drying out the roots completely.
  • Once you identify the Dog Tail Cactus is dried enough then, replant in a suitable well-draining potting mix and do not water immediately.
  • Wait about 2-3 days to water thoroughly and make sure not to water again until the soil is dry and refrain from overwatering again.

(iii) Extreme Cold – Even though these Dog Tail Cactus are plants that can survive in cold areas when you grow these cacti plants as home plants.

But, when you expose these cacti plants to extreme cold, these plants lose the energy gain through Sunlight and initially begin to turn yellow.

SOLUTION: Make sure to place your cacti plant in a place where it can gain Sunlight to regain its chlorophyll ability to turn the cacti plant stems green.

Dog Tail Cactus Turning Brown

Dog Tail brown

The Dog Tail Cactus can also turn brown this is also a fungal disease.

REASON: 

The most common reason for the Dog Tail Cactus turning brown is when the cactus plant reaches the age of corking that happens naturally when a cactus matures.

This change occurs from the bottom of the plant where it touches the soil then moves upward slowly or can stay in one spot.

Corking turns this cacti plant brown. Otherwise,  the plant is healthy and firm to touch.

SOLUTION: 
  • If you stop the plant from turning yellow then the cactus plant will not turn brown.
  • Make sure to care about the requirements of Sunlight, water, moisture, and temperature to save the plant as turning brown is the stage where the Dog Tail Cactus would die.

Of course, the Dog Tail Cactus is not toxic to humans that’s what these cacti plants are grown as houseplants and are also highly demanding to buy them online or at any plant store.

These Cactus plants are 100% safe for children.

Where To Buy These Dog Tail Cactus?

As Dog Tail Cactus are highly demanding and many wish to grow them as home plants, these cacti plants can be bought online through the most popular online shopping site, Amazon.

Because of their long, trailing stems, cultivated in the Dog Tail Cactus, these plants are very popular as the hanging baskets and container plants.

This species of cacti plants can be grown both indoors and outdoors. but you need to provide the right amounts of Sunlight, heat, and humidity to survive healthily.

For Example; Florida is a state that these Dog Tail  Cactus often do well outdoors.

You can buy these Cacti Plants through the below link through Amazon-online.

Puppy Dog Tail Cactus are too available online for you to grow them as houseplants.

Sewing Up

The best friendly cactus home plant type is the Dog Tail Cactus.

The little care you provide your cactus plant is more than enough.

Make your home environment most pleasant and attractive by growing these cute cactus plants.