Welcome to our blog, where we’ll be delving into the captivating world of cacti and exploring the unique characteristics of each species. Today, we have an intriguing cactus to discuss: the Helianthocereus poco. This extraordinary plant starts its journey as a solitary growth, eventually transforming into a bushy shrub with minimal side branches that can reach impressive heights of up to 5 meters. Its robust, cylindrical shoots command attention with their dark green coloring and can attain a diameter of 35 centimeters, boasting 15 to 21 ribs adorned with striking gray felt-covered areoles. These areoles give birth to light brown to whitish, asymmetric thorns, creating an eye-catching display.
But what truly sets the Helianthocereus poco apart are its magnificent funnel-shaped flowers. These blooms, ranging in hues of red, pink, and creamy white, adorn the upper portion of the shoots, drawing the gaze of curious onlookers. With lengths of up to 12 centimeters and a diameter of 9 centimeters, these flowers make a bold statement. And let’s not forget about the green, egg-shaped fruits that follow. Measuring 3.5 to 5 centimeters in length and 2 to 3 centimeters in diameter, they add a touch of whimsy to an already captivating plant.
With its natural habitat spanning the southwest and south of Bolivia, as well as the Argentine province of Jujuy in the Andes, the Helianthocereus poco thrives at altitudes ranging from 3000 to 4500 meters. Now, you might be wondering how to care for and propagate this remarkable cactus. Fret not! In the rest of this blog post, we’ll be unveiling the secrets to successfully nurturing and multiplying the Helianthocereus poco, allowing you to bring its beauty into your own space. So keep reading to uncover the knowledge you seek and embark on a wonderful journey of cactus care!
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How To Care For Helianthocereus poco
Helianthocereus poco plants come in all shapes and sizes. They can also have flowers of many different colors in the same plant due to hybridization.
Most cacti only flower once a year, but Helianthocereus poco plants can bloom all year round if the temperature stays at a minimum of 21 degrees Celsius. That is, provided they are cared for properly. Here’s how to take care of your Helianthocereus poco plant:
Sunlight is great for all plants, especially plants like Helianthocereus poco which thrive during the summers.
However, too much sunlight can end up burning your plants. Watch out for discoloration on the edges of the plant. Reduce the exposure to sunlight and let the plant sit in shady areas if you see any signs of sunburn.
Watering depends largely on the season. The plants will be blooming in the summer and will require more water. They start becoming dormant once the temperature starts falling, so water them conservatively during the winter and fall.
How often you water your Helianthocereus poco also depends on the soil, pot design and size. Pro tip—stick a pencil in the pot to check water saturation in the soil. If the pencil comes out dry or with very little water, it is time to water the plant.
Whenever you water the plant, make sure to fill the pot completely so that the soil is saturated with water.
Fast-draining soil is ideal for Helianthocereus poco plants. Water retention can be harmful to the roots of the plants. It can end up damaging or killing the plant.
Add pebbles to the soil to help drainage and use sand to make a fast-draining top layer for the plant. The Helianthocereus poco cacti have shallow roots, so the size of the pot doesn’t matter.
If you’re thinking of growing your Helianthocereus poco plant in the ground instead of a pot, you need to be extra careful with the watering. While it isn’t harmful to the plant, planting it in your garden or backyard does have some disadvantages.
For example, if temperatures drop very low in your area, the water in the cactus will freeze up. If the cactus is in a pot, you can move the pot indoors to prevent this. If your cactus is planted in the ground, there is no way to avoid it.
You can use a fertilizer two to three times during the growing season of the Helianthocereus poco plant. Liquid fertilizer with a balance of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium is ideal for cacti.
Avoid fertilizers during the dormant period.
Pests and Diseases
Thankfully, the Helianthocereus poco cacti are not prone to many pests or diseases. The main enemy of an Helianthocereus poco plant is root or stem rot.
This is caused by high water retention. Make sure that the drainage of the pot is up to scratch and that you don’t overwater the plant.
How to Propagate Helianthocereus poco
Propagating Helianthocereus poco plants can be easy or hard depending on the exact species. However, if you take care of a few tips and make sure to propagate during the growing season, you are guaranteed to have a decent yield.
There will be offsets clustered at the base of your Helianthocereus poco plant. Let them grow to an inch or more in length before cutting them. Always cut at the narrowest part of the offset.
Let the offsets dry out on a paper towel till the wounds dry out or form callouses. Next, place them in a soil mix identical to that of the mother plant (preferably a fast-draining soil).
The plant should take root in a few weeks. Once this happens, repot the plant. There you have it! A new Helianthocereus poco sapling propagated from your plant.