The Beautiful Blue Cacti —Pilosocereus

The Beautiful Blue Cacti—Pilosocereus

Did you know that cacti can be bright blue? Yup, that’s right—those photos you’ve seen on Instagram of blue cacti are not fake nor photoshopped! There’s a genus of columnar cacti called Pilosocereus that are so vibrant and blue that you almost won’t believe they’re real. They often have contrasting orange spines too, which makes them look even more beautiful and unreal!

Even though most Pilosocereus cacti have an otherworldly color, they’re not rare or hard to track down. Species like Pilosocereus pachycladus are widely cultivated, so you may even be able to find one at your local garden center!

Like all cacti, Pilosocereus love to soak up the sun and hate the cold. If you want to learn more about where these amazing cacti came from and how to care for them in your own garden, keep reading!

pilosocereus azureus
Pilosocereus azureus @Pinterest

Origins of the Pilosocereus

Pilosocereus is a genus of tall columnar cacti that can be found in warm areas of the world like Mexico, Brazil, and the Caribbean. There are about 50 different species of cacti in this genus, and although not all of them are that vibrant bright blue color we love, many of them are!

Many species of Pilosocereus also have white wool covering them, which is how the whole genus got its name. Pilosocereus roughly translates to “hairy candle” in Latin. It’s probably one of the funniest plant names we’ve ever come across, but it makes sense! These blue cacti have a columnar shape that resembles a candlestick, and they are pretty hairy because of all that white wool! 

Two other things that make these blue cacti unique are their beautifully colored spines and flowers. Many of them have bright orange spines and vibrant blue flowers that match their beautiful blue stems. These are some of the most colorful cacti we’ve ever come across, so they’re a great way to inject a little color into your garden! 

One more thing to note about Pilosocereus is that they can get to be really tall. Some species reach 32 feet before they’re done growing! Because of how tall they get, most succulent gardeners plant them outdoors in the ground instead of keeping them in pots inside. They also tend to do better outdoors because they need so much direct sunlight, so that’s something to keep in mind. 

The Beautiful Blue Cacti—Pilosocereus
Bright orange spines @trexplants

How to Care for Pilosocereus Cacti

By now you’re probably dying to get your hands on one of these bright blue beauties so you can plant the cactus in your garden. But first, you’ll have to learn how to care for it! Keep reading to find out what you need to do to keep the newest addition to your succulent collection happy and healthy.

Water and Soil Requirements  for Pilosocereus Cacti

Pilosocereus seem to be able to handle more water than other succulents and cacti, especially in the summer, but you still have to be careful not to overwater them! If they sit in too much water or soil that doesn’t drain well, their roots will start to rot. That’s why it’s important to use a cactus soil that has lots of gritty ingredients. We like this one because it has perlite, sand, and limestone, which all promote drainage and help the soil dry out faster. 

Pilosocereus are pretty thirsty cacti! Some gardeners report that theirs need water almost daily during the warmer months. We recommend watering your Pilosocereus plant about once a week for most of the year, and then watching it closely in the summer and giving the plant more water as needed.

Before you give your cactus a drink, always remember to test the soil first. This helps prevent overwatering and root rot. Stick your finger or a moisture tester in the soil. Do this about once a week during the colder months and once a day when it’s warm outside. If the soil is dry a few inches down, give your cactus some water. If not, wait to water the cactus and check the soil again later. 

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The Beautiful Blue Cacti—Pilosocereus
Pilosocereus are pretty thirsty cacti! @charleen_aiden

Temperature and light requirements for Pilosocereus Cacti

Pilosocereus are from hot countries like Brazil and Mexico, so they love warm weather and full sun! They grow best in tropical temperatures of 70 degrees or higher and need lots and lots of bright, direct sunlight. Don’t be afraid to put them in full sun, even during the summer months. In Brazil, Pilosocereus grow in full sun in temperatures as high as 125 degrees, so you likely won’t have to worry about sunburn with this cactus like you would with other succulents. 

One thing you do have to worry about when it comes to growing Pilosocereus is frost. In their native environments, they don’t really face temperatures lower than 50 degrees. If there’s a cold snap, your cactus may get damaged. So make sure you take measures to protect your cactus by using a frost cloth when the temperature dips. And of course, don’t try to grow a Pilosocereus if you live somewhere that gets lots of snow and ice! 

The Beautiful Blue Cacti—Pilosocereus
Top view of the Pilosocereus cacti @jacquelinetaylor9611

Fertilizer Requirements for Pilosocereus Cacti

Pilosocereus cacti are already fast growers, but fertilizing them can help them grow even faster! They grow fastest in the summer, so that’s the best time to fertilize them. Use a water-soluble, balanced fertilizer, like this one, up to once a month during the summer. 

Before you apply fertilizer to your growing cactus, make sure you dilute it to half strength so it doesn’t burn your plant. If the package says to use a tablespoon for each gallon of water, use a half tablespoon instead.  

There you have it! Those are our best tips for keeping your Pilosocereus cactus happy and healthy.

Now that you know more about them, are you going to get one of these amazing blue cacti Pilosocereus for your garden? Let us know in the comments section below! Happy planting! 

The Beautiful Blue Cacti—Pilosocereus
Blue cacti Pilosocereus @florariym40

We really believe this cactus will add a gorgeous pop of color to your garden. We wish knew about them years ago!

Are you already growing a Pilosocereus (or 2)? Drop a comment down below on some care tips you’ve experienced with your cactus! And share your photos in our exclusive Facebook group, Succulent City Plant Lounge, today!

Looking to add some additional cacti to your garden? Check these cacti out with our articles in The Soft Monkey Tail Cactus, The Rat Tail Cactus: Everything You Need to Know, Everything You Didn’t Know About the Star Cactus, or 9 Rare Cacti That’s Hard to Find!

Loved learning about this cacti and now inspired to add more to your collection?! (We don’t blame you) Check out Succulent City’s new line of ebooks covering topics from, “All the Types of Succulents for Indoor and Outdoor,” “Different Types of Planters,” and many more helpful in-depth ebooks. Head to this link to view our full line of ebooks and get started with our complimentary guide.

Happy planting! ?

Haworthia Retusa

Haworthia Retusa – Detailed Care Guide

Haworthia retusa is also called Star Cactus. Even though it is called “Star Cactus,” Haworthia retusa is a soft window succulent with translucent leaves and not a cactus plant.

haworthia retusa
Haworthia Retusa @Amazon

Star Cactus is native to Western Cape Province, a small town in South Africa. The natural environment of Haworthia retusa is a low, flat terrain.

Not only has Haworthia retusa won the hearts of millions of succulents growers around the world, but it has also won the Award of Garden Merit put together by the Royal Horticultural Society in the United Kingdom.

This article is all you need if you would like to know how to propagate and care for the Haworthia retusa.

Description of Haworthia Retusa Succulents

Haworthia retusa is a small succulent that does not grow beyond six inches in diameter. The lime green leaves of the succulent form rosettes and have translucent windows on the tips. The leaves measure approximately three inches in length and an inch in width.

The Star Cactus produces flowers with brown or green veins when it blooms in the summer or spring.

Haworthia retusa is not poisonous to pets and humans, so you can grow it indoors.

Caring for Your Haworthia Retusa Succulents

It is not difficult to please the Haworthia retusa succulent. It will survive indoors or outdoors as long as it can get an ample amount of sunlight and water. Here are some factors to consider when growing your Haworthia retusa plant:

Light

For your Haworthia retusa to thrive indoors, it needs to be kept close to bright light. You can place the succulent pot close to an east or west-facing window to get the desired amount of light.

If you don’t have a well-lit home, the Haworthia retusa will stretch in the direction of light and become leggy. To prevent this, you should supplement your indoor lighting with a grow light.

If you are growing your Star Cactus outdoors, it would be best to plant it in a succulent pot rather than in the ground. If the weather becomes inclement, you can easily move the pot inside. Also, you can move the pot to get as much sunlight as possible.

The Star Cactus plant is better off under partial shade. But it can withstand full sun when there is no heatwave. Full sun and high heat levels can lead to sunburn and dehydration. To prevent sunburns, ensure you acclimate your succulents to full sun. About three to four weeks need to pass for the Haworthia retusa to adjust to full sun fully. But then, if your Haworthia retusa is already sunburned, the only thing you can do is to either trim off the damaged parts or allow the damaged parts to be replaced with fresh parts.

Water

Just like most succulents, Star Cactus should not be overwatered or left in standing water to avoid root rot.

To prevent overwatering, ensure you examine the soil before watering. Stick fingers into the soil and feel the moisture content of it. For better testing, use a moisture meter to determine the moisture level of the soil.

If the soil is moist, wait for a couple of days for the soil to dry before watering again. When you allow the soil to dry before resuming watering, the natural environment of the succulent is simulated, allowing the plant to grow healthy.

Note that Haworthia retusa succulents are usually dormant during the summer. In light of this, ensure you water them just enough to prevent the leaves from drying up. During the fall, when the succulent is actively growing, you can continue your regular watering schedule.

Star Cactus can thrive in fairly high humidity. If you live in an environment with a dry climate, you do not have to bother about getting a pebble tray or humidifier to adjust the humidity level.

But then, you need to water these succulents less frequently in high humidity. The rate of evaporation will drop during this period and the soil will remain moist for longer than usual.

Temperature

Haworthia retusa cannot withstand frostbite, so you must protect it from icy temperatures. While this succulent is happy with cooler temperatures in the winter, ensure you do not expose it to freezing temperatures.

Haworthia retusa can thrive in a temperature range of 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is below that range, you risk killing your plant to freezing. On the other hand, if the temperature is above that range, your Haworthia retusa succulents may suffer from sunburn.

You should consider moving your Haworthia retusa succulents indoors during the winter months, where the temperature is warmer and stable.

Soil

Star Cactus cannot survive for long in wet soil. Hence, it would be best to avoid potting mix containing water-retaining ingredients such as peat moss, coconut coir, or clay. If the soil drains quickly, small portions of these ingredients will not be that harmful.

To enhance the drainage of the soil, use large particles of perlite, gravel, and coarse sand. These ingredients permit airflow to the roots of the succulents when the soil dries up.

While succulent pots with drainage holes help the soil to dry out quickly, your succulents can still survive in a pot with no drainage holes. You just have to know how to water the succulents properly and examine the soil’s moisture level.

How to Propagate Haworthia Retusa Succulents

Haworthia retusa is quite easy to propagate. It is best to propagate this succulent when it is actively growing, so the new plants can have enough time to develop before their dormancy period. Here are the ways to propagate Haworthia retusa succulents:

Seeds

Propagating Star Cactus plants from seeds require patience because seeds take time to germinate. But the process of experimenting is quite fun for succulent growers.

Plant the seeds in a damp, warm soil. If these soil conditions are not met, your succulent seeds will not germinate. You can use a seed tray to cover the soil, so the seeds will always be warm.

After about three or four weeks, you will notice that the seeds are germinating. At this stage, you can remove the seed tray.

Ensure that the soil is not overwatered to prevent root rot. You can adopt the “wet and dry” watering technique that involves watering and waiting until the soil is dry before resuming your watering schedule.

Cuttings

If you got no patience to wait for seeds to germinate, you can opt for propagating by stem or leaf cuttings. This is a more effective method of propagating Haworthia retusa.

To propagate from leaf or stem cuttings, cut off a mature stem or leaf with a sterilized knife. Allow the cuttings to dry for a couple of days, so the cuts can heal. This helps to prevent infectious organisms from attacking the cuttings when they are planted.

After sticking the cuttings in the soil, do not water until you notice tiny roots springing up. If you want to speed up the root development process, dip the cuttings in a rooting hormone before sticking them in the soil.

You can water and care for the cuttings the same way you would care for a mature succulent as soon as you notice the tiny roots appear.

Bear in mind that planting a number of cuttings in a single pot will give you a vibrant array of succulents when the cuttings mature, so you should consider taking more than a handful of cuttings for propagation.

Offsets

Propagating Haworthia retusa by offsets is the easiest way to go. If you follow the watering, lighting, and temperature conditions mentioned above, your Haworthia retusa will produce offsets in no time.

You can cut off these offsets with a sterilized blade or pluck them from the plant with your fingers. Ensure you go as close as possible to the parent plant when cutting off the offsets. This will help the offsets in forming roots quickly and increase their chances of survival.

Plant the offsets in a different pot and nurture them the same way you would nurture a mature succulent.

Common Pests and Disease Problems Associated with Haworthia Retusa Succulents

Perhaps, the most difficult aspect of caring for the Star Cactus plant is watering. The chances of survival for the Haworthia retusa succulent are quite slim if it is overwatered. Hence, it is very important to check the moisture level of the soil regularly.

If the roots of this succulent start to rot due to overwatering, it will be pretty difficult to save the plant. If the roots are not yet damaged, but the leaves are becoming mushy or yellow, you can still save the succulent by removing the excess water from the pot.

To remove excess water your succulents are standing on, hold the soil with one hand and flip the container with your other hand. If the water is not that much, you can move the pot to a dry, sunny area so that the excess water will evaporate.

In a bid not to overwater your Haworthia retusa succulents, ensure you do not under-water them. If you notice that the leaves of the Star Cactus have a wrinkly or shriveled appearance, take that as a sign to up your watering game.

When it comes to pest attacks, keep an eye out for fungus gnats, spider mites, and mealybugs. Ensure that there is no decaying material in the soil that will attract these pests. Also, insecticides can help to get rid of these pests, especially at the early stages of infestation.

Cephalocereus Senilis

Cephalocereus senilis is an endangered cactus from Mexico. It is columnar in size that rarely can branch out, with prolonged growth. The cactus grows only about 4 inches per year. It reaches 3 feet in height raised in the home, and up to 40 feet if wild. They have spines in the form of gray hair that serves to protect them from the cold. Because of their curious appearance, they are called “Old Man’s Head.”. They produce large white flowers. These flowers only bloom at night, in mid-spring or early summer when the cactus is about ten years old. To properly develop their spines in the form of hair, the cactus should be exposed to sunlight. When they are young, Cephalocereus senilis does not withstand temperatures below 50ºF. When they are adults, they can stand even 40ºF.

Cephalocereus Senilis-SC
A picture of Cephalocereus Senilis @floratopia

This species of cactus can live for more than a century. Although this cactus presents its characteristic white hair from the first moment, it is still a prickly cactus. Its spines are yellow and are born just before its coat of fur. It is not recommended to touch them without caution.

Irrigation

The cactus can be grown both, indoors and outdoors. However, it is more common to see it out thanks to its need for abundant sunlight to grow and develop its hair optimally. When produced in a pot, it is advisable to fill it with a light substrate with good drainage; the pumice is an ideal option. But if you are one of those who like to prepare your substrate with a little fine gravel and black peat you can make an excellent substrate for your Cephalocereus senilis. If we want to plant it in our garden, the soil must be equally light. It must not accumulate waterlogging since the Old Man’s Head cactus will not be able to withstand a flood. To take the appropriate precautionary measures, you can dig the hole to plant it and fill it with a little substrate to ensure better soil drainage.

Regardless of the type of crop that we want to give our Cephalocereus senilis, we must consider that water drainage is the most crucial factor. No water must remain. We can use some other materials so that our substrate is safe. And it has adequate drainage which is coarse sand or washed river sand. Which are quite mineral and are not compact since they can rot at the root quickly.

Cephalocereus Senilis-Irrigation-SC
Image: IG@liliacacti_hossein_h

Weather Conditions

The solar explosion is essential for the “Old Man’s Head,” so it should ideally be outside. It would be best if you gave it sunlight, preferably direct sunlight, for long periods. If you are not used to directing exposure, it is best to acclimatize it little by little to avoid damage from burns. The importance of this intense and prolonged exposure is its characteristic hair. These hairs protect our cactus against harmful rays. Besides, the direct Sun helps them grow faster and more robust. The cultivation in totally shaded places can result in partial or even total paralysis in the growth of our Cephalocereus senilis.    

Despite being a cactus and needing direct and prolonged sunlight, the ideal temperature of the “Old Man’s Head” is not very high; it is around 59ºF, being able to withstand interior temperatures of up to 68ºF without significant problem. When the cold and winter seasons arrive, it would be convenient to keep it in a fresh and dry part inside the house. There are adult specimens in the wild capable of facing 32ºF during these freezing times, depending on their age and size. The cactus should not be exposed to such low temperatures or frost, during the first years.

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Image: IG@cheyennebotanic

Watering

Cephalocereus senilis is a too delicate specimen when it comes to irrigation. Its base is susceptible and prone to rotting if it is watered directly or remains wet for a long time. It does not withstand even high humidity for long periods. Its waterings must be highly moderate and sporadic. It is vital for our cactus that we hope that the earth is parched before thinking about watering it again. The frequency of irrigation will not be the same during the winter, being that in summer we watered little; in winter, it should receive almost no water. This plant should be moistened when the soil is arid, and even then, it is advisable to allow about two days to pass. The curious thing about these cacti is that they are also somewhat susceptible to drought when they are young. If we have them in a pot, we must be cautious in the summertime. To prevent it from dehydrating we must water the soil as soon as it is scorched.

Cephalocereus Senilis-Watering-SC
IG@grancactus

Fertilizing

The spring and early summer seasons are ideal for fertilizing our Cephalocereus senilis. We should provide him with a mineral fertilizer rich in lime or a standard cactus fertilizer to grow his characteristic “white hairs.” Still, it is essential to be careful not to overdose. Flowering occurs in older cacti with more than 15 years of age and usually occurs only outdoors; it is almost impossible to flow in indoor specimens successfully. Its flowers arise from a very hairy body developed on the stem’s sides; they are tubular flowers with red, white, and pinkish pigmentation. These flowers usually fully bloom at night.

Cephalocereus senilis can be easily propagated from seed. It is preferable to do this during spring or summer. We must place these in trays with a cactus substrate. Keep them in a bright area with enough indirect light and water so that the soil remains moist. If everything goes well, we should have germinated seeds between ten and fifteen days after planting them. The “Old Man’s Head” cactus needs to be transplanted every two to three years. During the spring, into a larger container to provide it with a renewed space to grow.

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Image: IG@martynurquijo

Risks

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Image: Cephalocereus senilis Risk of Rot

The most significant risks of Cephalocereus senilis are excess water, which can rot the plant efficiently and quickly, and pests of both woolly mealybugs or fungi. Some of these pests are often difficult to detect, thanks to the fact that the “white hairs” cover its stem completely, making it almost impossible to see it with the naked eye; even the thorns are difficult to notice. This feature means we must be vigilant, especially in the summer when these pests usually invade our cactus.

Euphorbia Lactea Cristata

The Euphorbia lactea cristata is a cactiform plant, that is, shaped like a cactus. It is a variety of crested succulent. It features fan-shaped or wavy crest branches that are particularly distinctive and attractive. The common names know it of crested plants or crested plants. It is a species native to India and Sri Lanka. Its curious wavy crested stems usually have various colors between green with yellowish spots, pink or purple. The most common crest color that this plant presents is typically dark green. Which is marked with quite striking silver-gray zigzag patterns.

There are also some common species of Euphorbia lactea cristata. These do not have a distinctive crest but rather flattened stems on three sides. With a shape similar to a candelabrum, they can reach a height of up to 16 feet without problems. These species do not have leaves and do not usually present flowering; however, they have black spines on their branches’ undulating parts. These plants are easy to grow but slow to develop; thanks to this, they are often used as indoor plants or balconies. They can be grown in direct soil if the climate is optimal. They make quite an attractive addition to cactus and succulent gardens.

An advantage of Euphorbia lactea cristata is that they are not particularly demanding regarding the substrate or its pH. This substrate can be a cactus one with a neutral or slightly acidic pH. The only thing they do not tolerate is the muddy and damp soil. When planting, it is favorable to add a little organic matter or fertilizer to the hole where it will be buried to keep the plant nourished and thrive.

Euphorbia Lactea Cristata
A picture of euphorbia lactea cristata @shajan_plant_journal

Weather Conditions

It is necessary to grow the crest plant in an environment with a warm temperature; it also needs direct light exposure to the Sun for a few hours a day. The ideal time is the first in the morning. It is not convenient for it to be exposed to sunlight for many hours a day. However, being able to tolerate it during the summer. So at these times, it is recommended to keep it in semi-shade. Euphorbia lactea cristata does not tolerate extreme cold. Thus it should not be exposed to temperatures below 50ºF.

Euphorbia Lactea Cristata-Fertilization-SC
IG@hrickosuave

Fertilization

The regularity of the fertilization of the Euphorbia lactea cristata will depend on the soil’s condition. If we put it in our garden, we can mix humus, fine clay, and coarse-grained sand to use as a home substrate. However, it is vital to mention that we should not use peat in this mixture to cause the pH to be excessively acidic for this plant. If it is in ordinary soil, a monthly fertilizer must be enough for it during spring and summer. And for this task, we can use a mineral fertilizer which is used for any cactus. On the other hand, if you grow them in pots without substrate or in an area with poor soils. We must fertilize them monthly with a medium concentration fertilizer. When it has reached a size too large for its current pot, or, too long has passed since it was last transplanted, we should change it in the springtime to provide fresh soil. However, being a very slow-growing and consuming plant may not be necessary for long periods.

Euphorbia Lactea Cristata-Watering-SC
IG@plant_the_geek

Watering

Unlike most succulents, Euphorbia lactea cristata does not handle long periods of drought well. This species may need weekly watering during the warm summer seasons, but we should only water when the substrate is dry. We must avoid having too wet soil. At the time of irrigation, we can use plenty of water, but we cannot let the ground stay too wet, as this can cause root rot. To avoid this scenario, the soil or pot in which it is located must have good drainage. It is best to reduce watering at the time of the winter seasons if you are outdoors and indoors considerably, water once a month at most to avoid any damage from low temperatures. Maintaining controlled irrigation, in general, is crucial for Euphorbia lactea cristata. Many plants of this type tend to die more from excessive irrigation than from lack of it.

Euphorbia Lactea Cristata-How to Grow them-SC
IG@jos_bloomers

How to Grow Them?

Euphorbia lactea cristata grows from seed. But it cannot be easy to germinate or even find. So one method that is most often used to propagate this plant is by cuttings. Even grafting, in the springtime. These cuttings should be dipped in the hormonal powder. Although it is unnecessary as the key to a successful desensitization process is heat and good air circulation. We must leave them for 3 to 4 weeks until they are insensitive, and then we must plant them. Collecting the cuttings or trying to graft this plant can be a complicated task due to its exudes.

Effects to Human Body

The sap of Euphorbia lactea cristata is toxic and irritating. It can affect a very negative way, inflaming the mucous membranes and skin that comes into contact with it. So it is vital to prevent it from coming into contact with the skin, eyes, nose, or mouth, even capable of causing blindness. The plant secretes this milky and white sap, better known as latex when it suffers some damage to its structure since it serves as protection against predators and is poisonous and irritating to close wounds. If this latex gets to touch our skin, we must wash with water as quickly as possible since it is not soluble in water if it dries it. If it becomes dry before we can clean it, we can use greasy solutions such as milk or skin cream to remove it and calm the burning. In the case of contact with the eyes or mucous membranes, we should consult a doctor immediately.

It is highly recommended to use gloves while handling the plant. Especially through doing processes such as transplanting or cutting. We must ensure adequate ventilation in the work area with the plant to avoid latex vapors as sensitive people can even react to these. Ingestion of latex can cause nausea and vomiting, so Euphorbia must be kept out of children’s reach.

Euphorbia Lactea Cristata-Diseases-SC
IG@succulent.heart

Diseases

The primary disease affecting Euphorbia lactea cristata is root rot due to overwatering or constant flooding of the roots. These excesses of humidity generate fungi in the seeds that can kill the plant quickly. Therefore it is vital to ensure good drainage. Another problem that it can present is pests. If the mealybug infestation’s presence begins to be noticed. We must proceed to wash with a damp cloth. Being quite careful about the plague. If the area is severely affected and washing is not enough. Proceed with a commercial insecticide for this purpose and proceed to treat the plant. It is essential to treat this plague quickly since, in addition to weakening our plant, it attracts fungi that can damage or kill the plant. In cases where this pest is extreme, we can change the pot and the soil, or product, to avoid future spread.

Beautiful Easter Cactus – Hatiora Gaertneri

Beautiful Easter Cactus

Easter cactus which is also known as spring cactus is related to Christmas cactus. It is a species of the epiphytic plant in the Rhipsalidiae tribe, which is within the subfamily, Cactaceae. It is named so since it blossoms during the Easter holidays in the northern hemisphere. The beautiful succulent makes a lovely houseplant. Hatiora Gaertneri grows on trees or rocks only. When growing, it requires a regular amount of water for it to survive.

Beautiful Easter Cactus
Easter Cactus @brcuyanikvolkan

How to grow Hatiora Gaertneri

As a newbie gardener, you may wonder where to start for you to have this wonderful plant in your garden. Below are the guidelines on what to do and the conditions required to grow Hatiora Gaertneri.

Light

Hatiora Gaertneri does well in bright natural light. Don’t expose it to direct sunlight as this will burn the fleshy leaves of a spring cactus. When growing them outdoors, ensure they are under a bright shade. On the contrary, you can opt to grow them indoors and let the light penetrate through the open windows.

Water

Despite being in the cactus family, they differ from the desert cactus. They are epiphytic cacti, growing on other plants and rocks, not in soil. This gives them the need to breathe. Water your plant with plenty of water and let it drain thoroughly out of the pot. Before another watering session, make sure the plant has gone dry to avoid the roots rotting out due to constantly moist. The watering process is exercised until the plant blooms. At this particular period of blooming, water your plant more often since you don’t want it to go completely dry at this time.

To learn more, check out “How Often To Water a Cactus: Essential Guide”.

Soil

Hatiora Gaertneri requires rocky soil to grow well due to its nature of growth being on trees and rocks. You will need a mixture of soil to tree bark, perlite, or pumice in the ratio of 1:1. The use of pumice is the best. This soil should be neutral and well-drained. We highly recommend this soil by Hoffman! Our office plants love it!

Temperature

Hatiora Gaertneri is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures. They do best in warmer temperatures. Ensure that you keep them away from any heaters and any cold drafts. To set the plants blooms, ensure the evening temperature is cool. This could be between 45-55 degrees. If you are in template climates, growing them outdoors is advisable.

Humidity

The Easter cactus requires a humid environment for it to survive. To stimulate the needed moisture, mist the plant daily with a sprayer, even during the resting period. Alternatively, you can place the plant on a saucer filled with pebbles and a little water. The air around the plant will be moistened through evaporation.

Fertilizing

Hatiora Gaertneri requires fertilization, preferably every 14 days. Use a balanced fertilizer and dilute it to half strength. Do not fertilize the plant during the resting period. You can also top-dress the plant with an organic granular fertilizer. They always respond with abundant growth during summertime when fed regularly despite them being moderate feeders. If you want a professional recommendation without the hassle of research, this batch by GrowBetter really does help our babies grow better!

If you want a more in-depth look at succulent fertilizers, check out “5 Safest Fertilizers For Succulents”.

Propagation

Propagate any segment that is at least 3 inches long. This is done in late spring. Allow the cut surface to dry before being placed in slightly moist soil. For More tips and tricks on propagating succulents and cacti check out: “5 Tips for Propagating Succulents”.

Repotting

Once the flowering has finished, you can repot your plants. It is always important to use a well-drained potting mix with good air porosity preferably the ones used for any succulent or cactus.

Beautiful Easter Cactus
Cacti Family @jana_hylocereus

Getting the Hatiora Gaertneri to bloom

Having followed and maintained the points above, you should have a healthy green cactus. For you to accomplish flowers, you will be required to have a special set of conditions. The first thing to do is to stop feeding them. Secondly, move the plant to a place where it will have 12-14 hours of darkness. Ensure the temperatures are 10 degrees Celsius for the best bud set. Thirdly, water the plant sparingly from October to November. By the time it hits December, moves the plant to somewhere warmer with 16-18 degrees Celsius range. The plant will be ready to flower from February to March.

Challenges faced when growing Hatiora Gaertneri

Despite having followed the procedures for its growth, they are met by some challenges, one of being infested by insects.  Scale and mealybugs are the common insects that attack this plant. It usually occurs if the plant is indoors. To curb this, you can wipe the stems down with some alcohol. This will remove the insects and the honeydew they excrete- which can attract fungal spores and the dust that has accumulated. 

If the infestation becomes severe, take your plant outdoor and use insecticide made for succulent plants to treat it. Always follow the directions on the package for application.

Another great problem with this Easter cactus is the root and stem rot caused by a wet, heavy potting mix. To avoid this, you can use the special cactus soil available for use with succulents and cactus. Consider growing your plant in a clay pot which will provide a quicker dry down of the potting mix and better soil aeration. Also, the Easter cactus will fail to flower in the following year, if it is fertilized in the 30 days following blooming.

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Beautiful Easter Cactus
Hatiora Gaertneri @leaf_as_we_know_it

The next time you are interested in adding some springtime color to your home, be guaranteed to witness it by having this plant in your garden or in that corner of your house. It is easy to grow and brings that bliss in your home. Make your next Easter colorful with Hatiora Gaertneri.

Thank you for reading! If you’d like this read you’re going to love our full in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers asking for more, we listened and can’t wait to share it with you here! With our very detailed ebooks, you’ll get more information than these short articles, some ebooks are 30+ pages, perfect for a weekend read.

Happy Planting! ?