Cleistocactus smaragdiflorus is an extremely prickly species of cactus. It splits into multiple stems right at the base. The plant can reach a height of up to 6.5 feet. The stems grow vertically and have around 15 ribs on average.
They are completely covered with areoles that grow thorny yellow spines. It grows tubular flowers ranging from pink to red during its blooming period.
55 Types of Cleistocactus With Pictures
How to Care for Cleistocactus smaragdiflorus
There are several things that you must keep in mind when it comes to caring for the Cleistocactus smaragdiflorus. You need to ensure that the conditions that it grows in are suitable for it to reach its full potential as well as to maintain its health.
The following conditions are important for its care:
The Cleistocactus smaragdiflorus must be planted in bright and full sunlight to grow well. If you live in an extremely hot climate, it would be better to provide a bit of shade to this cactus plant in the afternoons. It will work if you provide it full sunlight only in the mornings as long as you make sure that it receives it very early on once the sun rises.
In spring and summer, make sure you water this plant regularly whenever you notice that the top layer of the soil is dry. In the fall, you should reduce the amount of water you give to the plant. Do it only once in five weeks when the soil dries out.
In winter, most cacti require minimal or no water. Keep it dry since the combination of cold weather, dormant period and wet roots could cause it to rot.
This cactus requires soil with excellent drainage. For this, you can use a potting mixture that is sterilized and porous so that the water drains well and allows healthy root growth. You can also use garden soil as long as you sterilize it. Add sand, perlite and a little bit of peat moss to improve air circulation.
When it comes to fertilizing the soil, slowly add fertilizer in the spring. This will be enough to last the Cleistocactus smaragdiflorus cactus for the entire year. You must also make sure that the fertilizer does not contain too much nitrogen as this could be damaging.
How to Propagate Cleistocactus smaragdiflorus
In order to propagate Cleistocactus smaragdiflorus, the best method to do it would be by sowing seeds. Sow these seeds after preparing a potting soil mix using sand, perlite, peat and soil.
Pour this soil into a pot or container and add the seeds to it. Sprinkle some water and place the pot in a spot where there is full sunlight. It usually prefers warmer climates.
Rooting usually takes over three weeks, after which the plant will start to grow. Make sure you water it regularly according to the care instructions mentioned in the previous section. Overwatering your cactus might cause the roots to rot, leading to the death of the plant.
In winter, the cactus plant will lie dormant and will not need water. While it might be able to withstand lower temperatures, make sure you do not keep it in extremely low temperatures either.
Furthermore, add fertilizer to the plant during the spring. This fertilizer should be a slow-release one with a high amount of potassium in it. This will be beneficial for draining as well as to prevent harmful bacterial growth. It will also be enough for the cactus to survive on for the rest of the year.
As the plant keeps growing, flowers may bloom depending on the species of the cactus.
This cactus does not require frequent repotting, but you should do so one or two times.
You can also propagate it in the same way by planting a small branch or offset from the main plant. This might, however, leave a scar on the stem of the main plant.
Can You Trim a Cactus?
This was the ultimate guide to growing and caring for the Cleistocactus smaragdiflorus plant. It is a simple process as long as you maintain favorable conditions for it to grow.
Now that you know what to do, you can get started on the process. Happy growing!