Lemaireocereus chende or Polaskia chende, is a rare cactus plant that is native to central and southwest Mexico. It belongs to the Cactaceae family and grows no more than 20 meters tall.
It’s a thick columnar plant with ribs that have sharp, long and white spines on the areoles.
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How to Care for Lemaireocereus chende
This particular cactus plant blossoms in the summer with small, white flowers at the top and small and red-purple fruits. This happens in mid or late spring and early in the summer.
Now, if you were looking for a plant care guide for this rare cactus, here’s everything you need to know.
Lemaireocereus chende grows slowly but it’s quite easy to grow. You need to find a place where it will get full sun exposure. But when it is really hot, like in the afternoon, you don’t want to leave it there.
It would be best if you can find a place where it gets partial shade, especially in the afternoon.
You need to water this cactus every day during its vegetative period in the summer and spring. Make sure that the soil is totally dry before you water the plant. This is applicable in the summer.
When you’re entering winter, the plant’s natural cycle is to go dormant. You should facilitate that by not watering it at all. This cactus is generally pretty tolerant of drought and it comes with the risk of overwatering.
So, if you don’t follow a proper schedule based on the weather, you might inadvertently cause rotting in its roots.
This cactus grows properly when it is planted in well-draining soil. This will also help prevent root rot. And to make sure that the soil drains well, you should mix it with loam, clay and pumice.
The pH level of the soil should range from 6.1 to 6.5, which makes it mildly acidic. It can also be neutral (6.6 to 7.5) or mildly alkaline (7.6 to 7.8).
Fertilizing Lemaireocereus chende is a very good idea considering it grows slowly. For starters, fertilizer will not just speed up the growth but also make the plant lush.
You can do this once a month when it is in its growth stage, which is in the summer months. You need to get fertilizers that are specific to cactus plants and that will do the trick.
Do not do this during the winter months because that’s when the plant is naturally dormant.
This cactus does not do very well in cold temperatures. So, if it is less than 42 degrees Fahrenheit outside, you should bring it indoors.
Now, if you make sure the Lemaireocereus chende is getting enough sun and water, it will grow well. There’s also the addition of fertilizer in the summer. But if you overdo the watering, you might get into a little trouble.
Lemaireocereus chende plants are targets for red spiders. So, you should watch out for those. Mealybugs also like to prey on this cactus.
Lemaireocereus chende plants can grow up to 3.6 to 4.7 meters in height. So, if you are growing them indoors, you might want to do a little pruning for the sake of landscaping. But if you’re looking at it purely from the point of view of growth, you don’t need to trim them.
You need to use perforated ports for these cacti to make sure that excess water gets drained out easily. This will help you avoid the rotting of its tissues and roots.
When the plant gets too big for its small pot which you used for the initial planting, you can repot it. Make sure the new pot is at least 0.7 inches wider than the original pot.
The best time to do this is in the growing season, which is the summer. Make sure you also get fresh potting soil when you repot.
Propagating Lemaireocereus chende
And finally, there’s the issue of propagating Lemaireocereus chende. You can do it using seeds or by cutting the stems. If you are using seeds, you should use unblemished and ripe fruit’s seeds. It is essential to make sure that the fruit itself is considerably overripe before you collect the seed for harvesting.
You should also make sure they are clean, dry and stored properly before you plant them.
If you’re going to use stem cuttings, you can use softwood cuttings or woody parts of the stem. You should keep them aside till the calluses develop before you plant them. This should be done in the spring. Let the stem dry up and form calluses.
Once the calluses are formed, you should mix pumice, soil and sand and plant them in this potting mix. You should use at least two cuttings and plant them simultaneously if you want to improve the chances of success. They must be planted at 68 degrees Fahrenheit temperature for good growth. And the humidity should be high.