Cereus repandus “Florida”
Cereus repandus is probably native to the western Caribbean and Venezuela, but it spread in gardens of Central America. In some countries it is also cultivated for fruits.
Cereus repandus “Florida” giromagi cactus succulents is a cultivar of the species “Cereus repandus”, the “Peruvian apple cactus”. It is a perennial plant, and it has the aspect of a columnar cactus, with its many erect stems which can reach the height of 10 meters. The stems are gryish, glaucous green, multilobated and segmented, cylindrical. The spines are brownish, grouped in variable numbers in the aureoles. The aureoles are lined along the crest. This plant show nocturnal, creamy-white flowers. The blossoming of one flower lasts one night, and it occurs in summer. Flowers are big and solitary. Fruits are locally known as “Pitaya” or “Peruvian Apple”, they are more or less 4 centimeters long, yellow to reddish outside and whitish inside, full of small, crunchy, edible seeds. Although its fruits are edible, Cereus repandus is cultivated mainly for ornamental purposes, and it has a lot of cultivars.
Cereus repandus is not particularly difficult to grow. Exposure to sunlight should be partial when the plant is young and full when it reach adulthood. It’s better
to cultivate it in pots, so that in winter it can simply be moved indoors to prevent frost damages, even if it actually can resist to moderate frosts. Cereus
repandus has a fast growth rate, so repotting is necessary every year in the beginning of spring. The substrate should be well-drained, a cactus soil is the most recommended. During the summer, water it once every 3-4 days, paying attention to water stagnation. In Autumn, reduce the watering frequency until completely suspending it in winter.
Propagation of Cereus repandus can be done thorugh cuttings or seed. Cuttings can be taken off in spring and put to root after letting them dry a little bit at the end. Seeds have to be sown in a cactus mix substrate which has to be maintained wet.
The name “Cereus” derives from Latin and literally means “candle” in reference to its stem, which in nature tends to grow up to ten meters in height, developing in all its splendor with the typical columnar and erect posture that characterizes the entire genus.