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Ruby Ball, Moon Cactus
Gymnocalycium mihanovichii 'Hibotan'

Family: Cactaceae (kak-TAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Gymnocalycium (jim-no-kal-LISS-ee-um) (Info)
Species: mihanovichii (me-han-oh-VIK-ee-eye) (Info)
Cultivar: Hibotan
Synonym:Gymnocalycium mihanovichii var. friedrichii
Synonym:Gymnocalycium mihanovichii var. hibotan


Cactus and Succulents


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

6-9 in. (15-22 cm)


USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:

Light Shade


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer





Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

By grafting

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Gilbert, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Fullerton, California

Oak View, California

Roseville, California

Kenner, Louisiana

Alden, New York

Spring, Texas

Quilcene, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 21, 2012, avaperry from Fort Collins, CO wrote:

My flower fell off about a year ago,but the plant it is still growing strong, it now has long looking arms with brown stems. What do I do, will it grow a flower ever again, can I grow more from the attachments, if so how can I do this.
Thank You,


On Mar 10, 2012, n0greenthumb from Pomona, CA wrote:

just got this cute plant, I got one hot pink, one pink, one yellow, 3 reds and 3 sort of maroon color-very other-worldly looking. Will be closely monitoring them. And for Ronster 1266-the plant staff assisted me but the description/care guide did mention adult size, water/sun requirements, etc. I find these guides really helpful. Failing that, or if given a plant as a gift, will look it up online. They are easily found even when using description only. As for the person asking why the little guys aren't getting bigger-they never will. A small plant and-best of all-they really like indoor living! dogsRbetter


On Dec 15, 2008, ronster1266 from Montrose, MI wrote:

I got this plant about three years ago from kmart. it was in a verry tiney pot and i transplanted it but it has not gotten any bigger, does anyone know why?


On May 11, 2008, sylvainyang from Edmond, OK wrote:

This cactus has a very eye catching, exotic look. reasonable price, easy care, easy too find as well. You could find them from most of the Lowe's Home Depot. A spoon siz tall Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii is only $5 at Lowes. Water it only the soil is compleatly dry or it will kill the plant. I personlly like to pick up the small suckers, that will make the main glob grow faster.


On Oct 30, 2005, cactus_lover from FSD
Pakistan (Zone 10b) wrote:

A novelty cactus that always be grown on graft,as it contains no food-making chlorophyll.Never let it become too cold.


On Mar 22, 2003, Chamma from Tennille, GA (Zone 8b) wrote:

unusual cactus. The top of this cactus is not a fruit or flower but rather the gymnocalcymium. It does not contain chlorophyll and survives only by being grafted to a robust stock plact such as hylocereus.