Browningia candelaris: Care and Propagation Guide

Browningia candelaris is better known as candleholder cactus and is originally from Chile or Peru. This plant grows up to 6 m in height and 20 inches in diameter once it is mature. The Browningia candelaris has white flowers.

Now, let’s talk about how to take care of Browningia candelaris.

browningia candelaris

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How to Care for Browningia candelaris

The Browningia candelaris or candleholder cactus is a succulent plant that, as mentioned earlier, has a large stem upon which several others grow. This is often used to identify it in the wild. If you want to get one of these, you should know that this is a unique plant and it will produce those pretty white flowers in the spring.

If you have other plants, this is a great addition to the flora and fauna. And what makes it better is that you can experiment with pots that look interesting for Browningia candelaris.

Now, let’s look at the details that will help you take good care of a candleholder cactus.


Browningia candelaris loves a lot of sunlight. Of course, you should protect it from the harsh afternoon sun, but otherwise, full sun is where the candleholder cactus thrives. A little shade in the afternoon and you will be good to go.

This plant is also defined by its beautiful and strong spines that will tell you about the health of the plant.


These are pretty-looking plants when you give them good care. And for that, you need to know how much water to give Browningia candelaris. It is a cactus and just like the others of its kind, it doesn’t need a lot of water.

You must give it water when the top inch of the soil is completely dry. If you can’t tell just by looking at it, you should stick your finger into the soil. Water the plant only if it is dry.

You know that your plant is getting enough water when it is looking healthy. If you give it too much water, the plant will sit in it and the roots will get soggy. Eventually, you will see it on the spines.

The soak-and-dry method is what you should follow with the candleholder cactus since it is a succulent. Beware of overwatering, since it can kill the plant.


This little cactus grows well in soil that is very coarse and has minerals. So, you should make sure that you get a regular potting mix that is meant for cacti. If you give Browningia candelaris compost that is too rich, you will see the plant get elongated.

That means it is time to fix the problem.


These plants don’t really need fertilizer, but if you want to, you should feed them some fertilizer that is high in potassium content. And you should do this in their growing months, which is in the summer.

browningia candelaris


Browningia candelaris is a cactus that likes warm summers. Since it’s a cactus plant, that should not be surprising. That’s also why it grows well in the USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b, which makes the ideal temperature for the candleholder cactus about 30 degrees F.

These plants don’t do very well in the colder months. So, if you experience a sharp drop where you live, you should grow these plants indoors or at least bring them in when the weather gets cold. It just needs to have good sunlight to grow well.

These plants can handle light frost, but they still need to be kept dry under those circumstances. Make sure they are not exposed to temperatures under 28 degrees F for a long period of time.

Pests and Diseases

Not much is known about what kind of pests can infect these plants. So, you just want to keep an eye out for the usual suspects that are known to attack cacti. Of course, you should remember not to overwater the plant because root rot is a real problem.


Browningia candelaris plants are not invasive and don’t have any special pruning needs.

Potting and Repotting

Browningia candelaris plants need to have a pot that has holes for drainage. When the roots fill the first pot, you should get the next size and plant the tree in it. Make sure you get fresh soil as well and do this in the spring. Luckily, repotting isn’t something you need to do often with this cactus.

Propagating Browningia candelaris

browningia candelaris

These plants can be propagated using seeds or cuttings. If you’re going to try seeds, you should remember that this cactus grows slowly. So, this method doesn’t come highly recommended.

But if you do opt for it, you should sow the seeds in a well-draining soil mix and grow them outdoors unless it is generally cold outdoors.

If you want to try cuttings, you should cut them with a clean knife and wait till the callouses heal and the base is dry before you replant them.