Pachycereus militaris: Care and Propagation Guide
Pachycereus militaris is a cactus native to Mexico. It also grows in Arizona in the United States. It is a tall cactus that grows 16-20 feet tall. It has a thick green stem covered with spines.
There are a lot of upright branches towards the top. It has cephaliums at the top of its branches, which are made of wool and bristle and often grow on top of the cacti. The cephalium is black or light brown and some of them grow flowers during the blooming season.
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How to Grow and Care for Pachycereus militaris
The Pachycereus militaris is not only a visual delight but also provides a home to several birds. The best part about having this at home is that you don’t have to invest a lot of time and resources in its growth.
If you have taken fancy to the mighty Pachycereus militaris, there are certain things you must be aware of to make sure the plant is well cared for when you bring it home.
These plants thrive in moderate to bright light. They need a lot of light but not necessarily harsh sun rays. If you live in particularly colder parts of the world where there is a dearth of light, don’t forget to place them near the windows so they can get whatever little sunshine they can.
They will do well in cool rooms during winters. Just make sure you show them the sun during summers.
Stagnant water is something Pachycereus militaris hate and will never adapt to. The same goes for infrequent and erratic watering. Though a lot of succulents and cacti take well to less and infrequent watering, this is not one of those.
The watering should also vary depending on the season. Summers and hot climates will need more water. The frequency and the amount of watering can be lessened during winters.
The thing that you need to remember is that you should not let the water stand. In addition, use a spray bottle to sprinkle water all over the plant.
Pachycereus militaris loves rocks and can easily grow around them. The bacteria present in the rocks are also favorable for the growth of the Pachycereus militaris. But if you want to grow this at your home, a regular cacti pot mix should work just fine.
You need a potting mix that has good drainage because at no point in time should you plant these in soil that collects puddles of water on and around it. Such soil will lead to rot in the Pachycereus militaris.
Though cacti are known to thrive sans a lot of fertilization, you can always add some amount in moderation to aid growth. They aren’t going to do any harm to the cacti. Tomato fertilizer or any good liquid fertilizer should be fine for them.
The growing season is the time when you should dilute the fertilizer with water while spraying on the Pachycereus militaris for the best results.
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Pachycereus militaris can thrive at room temperature as long as the atmosphere is dry enough. People who live in humid, moist climates need to install a dehumidifier to ensure that their plant thrives.
Moisture and humidity are the two things that these cacti would never adapt well to. So, you need to be cautious on that front.
Pests and Diseases
Without well-draining soil, your Pachycereus militaris may develop fungal diseases such as botrytis. You may also find mealybugs and small mites on the cacti sometimes. Regular pruning and repotting once every year is advised.
The moment you see the first signs of rot or bugs, spray a good pesticide or wash the plant with soapy water.
How to Propagate Pachycereus militaris
The growing season is the ideal time to propagate Pachycereus militaris. It is easy and all you need to do is to cut a stem from the plant and use it for further steps. Make sure that you cut the part where the Pachycereus militaris is connected to the main plant.
Place the stem in a dry spot, preferably near some rocks, and let it be for a couple of weeks. The idea is to dry it completely before potting it elsewhere.
Though people plant this stem in full sun view, it is recommended that you begin by potting it in shade just to avoid any problems with the germination.
Alternately, you can also propagate Pachycereus militaris by seeds. You need to add the seeds to a good potting mix, a few drops of fertilizer and water, and let it germinate. If your watering, soil and fertilizer are optimum, there should be no issues and you should see positive results soon.