Totem Pole Cactus Spiral Form – Cuttings.
Spineless and quite unique, the technical full name of Totem Pole Cactus Spiral Form is Pachycereus schottii monstrose forma Spiralis (aka Totem Pole Cactus-Spiral Form). just Totem Pole Cactus-Spiral Form for short. Regular Pachycereus schottii is a hard-to-find cactus that is native to the desert regions of mainland Mexico and the Baja California peninsula of Mexico. Small populations of this plant also occur in the most southern part of Arizona. The Totem Pole Cactus-Spiral Form is likely a nursery-produced cultivar.
Forms of Totem Pole Cactus That we Know About
Here are the three forms of the Totem pole Cactus we know about. (There could be others!).
- Skinny Form (Forma Mieckleyanus), skinny and tall.
- Fat Form (Forma Obesa), fat and club shaped.
- Spiral Form (Forma Spiralis), spiral growth.
An undemanding ornamental pole-shaped cactus that resembles a melting candle and has irregularly-shaped green stems with ribs with sparse areoles. Individual stems branch mostly at the base and occasionally branch higher along the stems. Growth is generally the vertical “Pole” shape. Young stems have a waxy bloom on their surface whereas older growth sometimes develops an interesting silvery sheen. Mature stems can reach 6 inches in diameter. Also, this form has thinner stems and is somewhat faster growing than the Obesa form.
Flowers are small and quickly dry and fall off. We have never seen any fruit. It likes rich porous soil and can survive drought once a large colony of stems is established. This form differs from the regular monstrose form by having fewer tubercles and growing into a spiral shape. The Totem take temperatures slightly below freezing, but the growing tips should be protected.
Totem Pole Cactus Spiral Form makes a very interesting specimen cactus which works well in containers or larger planters that accent it.
Take cuttings of healthy shoots of Totem Pole Cactus-Spiral Form in spring and summer. Be extra careful to keep cuttings warm and dry if taken at other times of year. Cut with a clean sharp knife or saw. Leave the totem pole cactus-skinny form cutting in a warm dry place until a callus forms over the wound. Once callused, the cutting should be potted up with cactus potting mix topped with a surface layer of coarse grit in which to place the cut end. This prevents the cutting end from becoming too wet and allows the roots to penetrate the rich compost underneath in about 12 – 18 months.
Names and Synonyms: Pachycereus schottii var. monstrose, Lophocereus schottii var. monstrosus, Cereus schottii var. monstrosus, Pilocereus schottii var. monstrosus, Lophocereus schottii f. monstrose (there are more synonyms)
Common Names: Totem Pole Cactus
Origin: Nursery produced cultivar. Lophocereus schottii native to the desert regions of mainland Mexico and the Baja California peninsula of Mexico with small populations also occurring in the most southern part of Arizona.
Size Label: Unrooted Cuttings
Cold Tolerance: 20 to 25°F, -6.7 to -3.9°C
Heat Tolerance: Extreme heat tolerance
Light Requirement: Full sun
Water needs: Very drought tolerant.
Uses: An interesting specimen cactus which works well in containers or larger planters that accent it. It can also be planted in cactus and rock gardens in warmer areas.
Propagation: Take cuttings of healthy shoots in spring and summer by cutting the stem with a sterile knife just above a bud or shoot. Leave the cutting in a warm dry place until a callus forms over the wound. Once callused, the cutting should be potted up with cactus potting mix topped with a surface layer of coarse grit in which to place the cut end. This prevents the cut end from becoming too wet and allows the roots to penetrate the rich compost underneath in about 2 to 3 weeks.
Problems: Requires excellent drainage to prevent rot.
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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