Shark Tooth Cactus

A Beginner's Guide to Shark Tooth Cactus Plant Care | All you Need to Grow

Family: Crassulaceae  
Common Name: Shark Tooth Cactus
Botanical Name: Selenicereus chrysocardium (Shark Tooth Cactus)

For someone who is just starting to care for houseplants, the Selenicereus chrysocardium (also known as the Shark Tooth Cactus), is the perfect plant for you! The succulent leaves hold moisture minimizing the need for frequent watering. The thin wavy leaves will cascade over the sides of the container, creating undulating waves of green ribbons. Provide the Shark Tooth Cactus with over 6 hours of bright indirect sunlight and temperatures over 65°F to encourage it to grow. 

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Shark Tooth Cactus needs lots of bright indirect light, at least 6 hours per day. In nature, this plant thrives in desert environments where there is an abundance of light, so providing similar amounts of light is a must for this plant. Established, mature plants of this kind can often handle direct light, but younger plants may become scorched if exposed to direct light. It's often best to err on the side of caution and avoid direct light.


For your Shark Tooth Cactus, allow the soil completely to dry out before watering it. This easy-care houseplant prefers more arid conditions, making them a good fit for forgetful plant owners. When it is time to water, saturate the soil until water drains all the way through the soil. Make sure to empty the cache pot and tray, so the plant is not sitting in standing water.


A Shark Tooth Cactus plants potting soil should contain more drainage materials (compared to soils for most indoor plants), such as wood chips, perlite, coarse sand, or pumice, to allow the water to drain quickly. Most bagged soil-less potting soil made for indoor plants will work fine but remember that you must let the soil dry out completely before watering it again. You can add cactus potting soil mix to your potting soil to help the water drain if you feel the roots are staying wet for too long! A great time to do this is when you need to re-pot them into a larger pot.


Shark Tooth Cactus prefers warm temperatures ranging of 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C). Although this plant is able to tolerate slightly temperatures that are a bit colder during the winter, it’s better to not expose it to the colder conditions! You should also avoid your Shark Tooth Cactus from being in the extreme heat. This is especially crucial during the hot, summer months. Remember to give your plant partial shade or filtered sunlight! 


Your Shark Tooth Cactus plant does best when in humidity levels that are low to moderate. Don’t allow your plant in too high of humidity. This can lead to increasing the risk of fungal diseases or rot for your plant. Your plant will appreciate a humidity level range of around 50% to 80%.


You should fertilize your Shark Tooth Cactus once a month during the active growing season. In the fall and winter months, you should not fertilize your plant as it will require fewer nutrients during this time. We recommend that you fertilize your plant using a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with equal Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium ratio, or slightly higher in phosphorus. This ratio would look like 10-10-10 or 5-10-5. Both are suitable.

Growth Rate

Shark Tooth Cactus is known to grow at a slower rate compared to other plants. Please note that it could take several years for this plant to reach its mature size of around 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm). It will stay a relatively small cactus, which makes it great for growing in small spaces!

Pet Friend or Foe

Shark Tooth Cactus is generally non-toxic! Friend!

Pro Tips

  1. Avoid overwatering your Shark Tooth Cactus! Always be cautious when watering this plant and make sure that the pot has drainage holes that let extra water to easily flow out.
  2. This plant has sharp spines, so be sure to be careful when handling it to avoid injury. We recommend using gloves or wrapping the cactus in newspaper when it’s time to repot your plant!
  3. To minimize the risk of your plant encountering fungal issues, make sure that there is adequate air circulation around the plant!
  4. Always pay attention to your Shark Tooth Cactus plants individual needs as each cactus is unique!

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