Cereus forbesii cv. Spiralis
Cereus Peruvianus spiralis
Cereus Peruvianus tortulosus
C. forbesii is native to Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Bolivia and Paraguay. C. Forbesii “Spiralis” is a cultivar imported in Europe in 1980.
C. forbesii “Spiralis” is a stunning cactus belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The stem is the most attractive part of this cactus, it is columnar, dark green and is spiral-growing. The plant forms many stems that can reach up to 5 m in height and 13 cm in diameter. On the edge of the ribs there are short reddish spines up to 1 cm long. Blooming occurs during the summer and the plant bears many white flowers. The fruits are red and ornamental, but other species produce edible fruit.
This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a full light sun exposure but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 10°C so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly in Spring and Summer: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. If you want a faster and lush growth you can fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for cacti; stop fertilizing throughout the winter. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil.
Propagation can be done by cutting or by seed. By cutting you can make the cut during the spring and then let the cutting dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C. By seed it is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam soil and keep it with a high level of humidity and at temperature of 14 C°.
The name “Cereus” derives from Latin and literally means “candle” in reference to its stem, which in nature tends to grow in height, with the typical columnar and erect posture that characterizes the entire genus.
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