Spiral cactus care guide: Learn how to care for your exotic spiral cactus at home!
The spiral cactus is an exotic plant native to South America. It grows and develops very quickly, and also delights with its beautiful flowers. The spiral cactus, or Cereus forbesii as it is scientifically known, was for a long time a plant that could only be found in the homes of wealthy people. Nowadays, however, this unique species of cactus is becoming more common and increasingly popular among exotic plant lovers. Today’s article will be in the form of a spiral cactus care guide, so you can make sure that you’re giving your beautiful cactus everything it needs and that it will delight you with its beautiful flowers for as long as possible!
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Spiral cactus care guide: How to care for your exotic plant?
Many people think that cacti need a long time to grow. This may be true, but it’s definitely not the case when talking about spiral cactus. With the right spiral cactus care, it will grow exceptionally fast, and its height can basically reach 6–13 feet. Of course, it is more likely to happen in its natural environment, though. Now we suggest that you take a closer look at how to care for this exotic and extremely beautiful plant, if you’ve already got one!
Location and climate
As an exotic plant, the spiral cactus likes warm environments and has difficulty tolerating cold. In very harsh conditions, it will die. Especially if it is a young plant, temperatures as low as 28ºF (-2ºC) are enough to kill it. That’s why you should bring it indoors until winter ends. The place where you put it should be bright enough. Direct sunlight should be avoided with young plants. This does not apply to mature plants, but if you do notice pale spots appearing on the cactus, move it to a shaded area.
If you live in a place with favorable conditions, where there’s mild and warm climate, you can safely plant the cactus in your garden. For example, it is a great idea to create a beautiful decorative rock-garden and also include various types of succulents. Make sure the garden soil has good drainage. Otherwise, you will need to dig a larger hole before planting the cactus and fill it with a substrate such as pumice, for example. As for the cactus grown in a pot or other container, then it is important that the substrate is also suitable – peat and perlite in equal parts will do the job.
You know that cacti do not require excessive watering. The same is true in this case as well. You should let the soil dry out completely between one watering and the next. Otherwise, the roots may rot fast, and the plant will eventually die. Also, when watering, do not wet the plant as it can rot as well. Water the cactus more frequently in spring and summer than in autumn and winter. This is because the cactus grows more slowly at lower temperatures, so it doesn’t need as much water. Remove the tray under the pot so that the excess water drains off well. If you don’t, the water that is not absorbed by the soil will end up staying in the tray, stagnating and creating conditions for the plant to rot, not to mention the fungal diseases that can also attack it. In general, if you notice water collecting in the tray, you should remove it.
The spiral cactus propagates in two ways. The first is by seed, which is important to be done in spring and summer. The seeds are planted in beds of cactus soil and kept in semi-shade. The other way is by stem cuttings. This propagation is again best done when the weather is warm. To do this, cut a stem about 8 inches (20 cm) long and leave it in a cool, shaded place for about a week. Then, plant it in a pot with holes that is filled with pumice and a little volcanic clay. Bury the plant very little at about 1 inch (3 cm) and water it. Finally, place in the half shade.
Like any plant, the spiral cactus can be attacked by various pests. These are mainly mealybugs, snails and certain types of pathogenic fungi, which we have already mentioned are likely to occur with overwatering. The mealybugs are difficult to spot before it is too late, and the plant is completely infested. The most effective solution to control these pests is to use insecticidal soap. As for snails, you can use home remedies, such as filling the container with beer. Incredible as it may seem, it is a fact – these animals are irresistibly attracted to this alcohol! If pathogenic fungi appear, you should stop watering and treat with a fungicide.