How to Grow Discocactus — Melon Cactus


Discocactus is a barrel-shaped cactus that grows no taller than 6 inches high. It has a wide and round body with many ribs and thick spines. Discocactus bears large whitish, funnel-shaped flowers that open at night.

Discocactus are demanding and difficult to grow. They want an airy and warm bright location. The soil must be porous and mineral-rich. They can not get cold in winter; they want temperatures between 5and 59℉ (12-15℃). A well-lighted greenhouse is one of the best places to grow Discocactus.

Discocactus flowers from a cephalium at the crown. The flowering head is composed of cottony fibers and a few bristles. Flower buds emerge in the late afternoon, open in the evening, and fade the following morning.

Discocactus is native to Brazil, Paraguay, and Bolivia.

Get to Know Discocactus

  • Plant type: Cactrus, melon cactus
  • Hardiness temperature: 50℉ (10℃)
  • Shape and size: Grow to 6 inches tall; wide and round bodies
  • Flowers: Large, whitish, funnel-shaped flowers; flowers appear from cephalium; blossoms open at night
  • Bloom time: Summer
  • Common name: Discocatus, melon cactus
  • Genus name: Discocactus
  • Family name: Cactaceae
  • Origin: South America

Planting Discocactus

  • Grow Discocactus in an airy, warm location.
  • Grow Discocactus in porous soil that is mineral rich.
  • Grow Discocactus in a sunny spot.

How to Water and Feed Discocactus

  • Water Discocactus only with calcium-free, slightly acidic soil. Wet soil will kill Discocactus.
  • Feed Discocactus with a cactus fertilizer during the growing season.

Discocactus Care

  • Discocactus need a warm, well-lighted location with rich, fast-draining soil.

Discocactus Species to Grow

  • Discocactus alteolens. Grows to 4 inches tall, including cephalium; large; woolly mass is dark gray, almost black but turns lighter with age; fragrant white flowers appear at dusk and are gone by morning are gone.
  • D. placentiformis. Grows to 5 inches tall has flattened, curved spines and slender and tubular pink flowers.

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