Cereus peruvianus monstrose
Cereus peruvianus monstrose is a tree-like cactus which grows in a multi-branched candelabra shape. Individual stems are gray-blue to gray-green and deeply ribbed. The ‘Monstrose’ form has a twisting undulating pattern to the stem ribs which gives it a unique presence. It is very sought after by collectors. It is slower growing and somewhat more compact than the standard cactus.
It blooms mainly in summer with large (6-7 inches in diameter), exotic, white to pinkish white flowers that open in the evening and remain open into the next day. They are pollinated by hummingbirds, bats or insects. The fruit which follows is delicious, similar to dragon fruit in structure and flavor and contains small edible seeds called pitaya. Fruits mature on the plant for a long time and are red to pinkish red when ripe. Fruit must be eaten quickly after harvesting or it will begin to ferment.
The growing tips of the branches are vunerable to frost and on smaller plants. They are easily protected with a Styrofoam cup. Slower growing cacti are sometimes grafted on to the species’ rootstock which speeds their growth. The species is also grown as a living fence by taking stem cuttings and planting them in a row.
This is a beautiful specimen cactus for a large cactus or succulent garden. It can make an interesting plant for a large container and is a nice centerpiece for a warm, sunny courtyard. The plant does have a few spines therefore care should be taken in its location.
Names and Synonyms: Cereus hildmannianus, Cereus uruguayanus, Piptanthocereus peruvianus, Cereus repandus, Stenocereus peruvianus
Common Names: Monstrose Apple Cactus, Andes Organ Pipe, Hedge Cactus, Queen of the Night, Hildmann’s Cereus
Origin: This plant is native to the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil where it grows in southern humid to subhumid forests on rocky outcroppings in mata de planalto, cerrado and pampas.
Cold Tolerance: 20 to 25°F, -6.7 to -3.9°C
Heat Tolerance: Very high heat tolerance.
Light Requirement: Full sun to part day sun. Plants started in lower light levels should be allowed to acclimate to full sun to avoid sunburn.
Water needs: Very drought tolerant. Best with deep irrigation every two weeks but it can take more frequent watering in quick draining soils in warm weather. It may require more frequent watering in a container.
Maintenance: Harvest fruit if desired. Application of a diluted fertilizer is beneficial in spring.
Uses: This is a beautiful specimen cactus for a large cactus or succulent garden. It can make an interesting plant for a large container and is a nice centerpiece for a warm, sunny courtyard. The plant does have a few spines so care should be taken in its location.
Propagation: This cactus is easily grown from seed or stem cuttings. Allow stem cuttings to callus over before planting in well-draining soil. Provide protection from frost for the first few years until the plant is well established.
Problems: Root and stem rot can becomes problems in poor draining soils in wet cool weather. C. peruvianus ‘Monstrose’ has occasional problems with scale and mealybugs which can be easily controlled with a water spray or with horticultural oils.
There is a minimum purchase of any 4 plants for online orders. All plants shipped bare root. Other sizes may be available for pick up from our growing grounds in Fallbrook, CA. For more information, give us a call at 760-990-4762.
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