The Ming Thing Cactus is not something that you see in gardens every day. This peculiar succulent plant looks deformed, which should come as a nice find for plant parents who are into something out of the ordinary.
We don’t know where Ming Thing got its name from. However, it seems like a fitting name since it’s as strange as the monster in an old Kurt Russell movie, the Swamp Thing in DC comics, and the Man-Thing in Marvel comics. Its Latin name ‘Cereus Forbesii Monstrose’ further emphasizes its bizarre nature too. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, ‘monstrose’ in botany points to a plant that has abnormal, distorted, and disfigured growth.
The Ming Thing can grow up to 12 inches tall with proper care. It has bulbous stems clumped together, which forms its irregular shape.
Don’t let its appearance intimidate you though. Despite its exotic look, the Ming Thing is actually easy to maintain as long as you follow these simple but important tips:
Like all other cacti, the Ming Thing loves the sun. Make sure that it gets at least two to six hours of direct sunlight during the day. However, if you spend most of your day outside of your home and you don’t have time to check it every now and then, just place it in a partially shaded area that has the most exposure to the sun during the daytime.
This succulent is cold-hardy because it can survive low temperatures around 25 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Just to be safe though, place it under a grow light when temperatures during the cold season are already close to zero to supplement the lack of sunlight.
As a cactus, the Ming Thing does not require much watering to survive. Just sprinkle some water on it using a mist spray bottle to maintain its moisture during warm weather at least once a day. If the plant starts looking too dry with light patches and cracks on its skin, shorten its watering intervals slightly or add more water into it if needed.
As much as possible, avoid watering it during the cold weather. Too much water can damage its roots and may cause them to rot. Signs of overwatering include soggy leaves and having a lot of dark patches on their surface.
You can use clay, plastic, or ceramic pots for growing the Ming Thing. See to it that the container has holes at the bottom that serve as drainage for excess water to avoid soaking the roots for long periods. As mentioned earlier, the stagnation of water at the roots can lead to rot and decay if left unchecked.
A potting mix consisting of loam and sand is the ideal combination for the Ming Thing. This mixture ensures better airflow and water circulation especially in the roots of the plant.
Ming Thing Cactus Flowers
After all these have been said and done, owners of the Ming Thing can bear witness to its flowering. Depending on its variant, the cactus may produce funnel-shaped flowers with white petals and purple or lavender hues. The beautiful flowers provide a contrasting appeal to the alien-like form of the plant.