Cereus tetragonus cv. ‘Fairy Castle’ f. variegated


No synonyms are recorded for this cultivar name.


Cereus tetragonus cv. ‘Fairy Castle’ f. variegated, a cultivar of Cereus peruvianus, is a nursery variety and does not occur in the wild. Cereus peruvianus, the parent species, is native to South America.


The Cereus tetragonus cv. ‘Fairy Castle’ f. variegated is a succulent plant that is often marketed under the names “Fairytale castle,” “Fairy castle,” or “Green finger” cactus. This charming plant has numerous vertical stems of different heights that resemble spires and turrets, giving it the appearance of a castle. It is a miniature columnar cactus species that branches profusely and slowly forms a crowded pyramidal mass of green stems that can grow up to one meter in height. The main stem is five-sided and has short spines along the ribs. It offsets profusely to form smaller upright branches which, in turn, offset profusely with smaller finger-like offsets. The plant is often classified as a monstrous form of Acanthocereus tetragonus or even a dwarf form of Cereus hildmannianus subs. uruguayanus, but its true self is controversial. Despite this debate, it remains a very popular plant found in many succulent sections of retail stores. The variegated forms is so-called because of the color of some of its stem, bright yellow instead of green. This is due to a genetic mutation that cause a localized lack of chlorophyll, replaced by other pygments. The areoles of this plant are conspicuous, white, and woolly, while the few spines it has are bristle-like, short, and creamy-white. The plant rarely blooms, but this does not detract from its charm.


Cereus tetragonus cv. ‘Fairy Castle’ f. variegated is a fascinating cultivar that is highly sought after by succulent enthusiasts. It is a miniature columnar cactus species that branches prolifically to form a pyramidal mass of green stems resembling a fairy tale castle, with hundreds of branches and branchlets. This particular cultivar is variegated, which means it has a striking pattern of cream or yellow stripes on the green stems.

If you are interested in growing this beautiful cactus, you will be pleased to know that it is relatively easy to cultivate and propagate. Cereus tetragonus ‘Fairy Castle’ f. variegated grows well on its own roots and can form large clumps of several hundred offsets if given time and grown properly. This makes it an excellent choice for a beginning gardener project, particularly if you have limited space.

For pot culture, this cactus requires standard cactus soil, and outdoors it needs well-drained spots with deep soil, although it can thrive in less-than-ideal conditions. The species may be sensitive to salinity, so it is best to avoid using heavily salted water. When repotting, ensure that there is plenty of space for the roots, and use a pot with good drainage. Repotting should be done every other year, or when the plant has outgrown its pot.

Cereus tetragonus cv. ‘Fairy Castle’ f. variegated needs bright light and some direct sun, but you should avoid exposing it to direct afternoon sun during the summer. A bright, warm window seat in summer is ideal, and it can be moved outdoors, but it should be slowly acclimatized to the sun. Place the cactus in a bright, sunny location that is away from drafts or air conditioning.

This cultivar is semi-hardy, so make sure that your plant is not exposed to temperatures below 0°C or it may die. Nevertheless, it is a good idea never to let the nighttime temperatures fall below 10°C. It prefers warmer winter temperatures, and you should protect it from frosts and freezes.

When it comes to watering, Cereus tetragonus cv. ‘Fairy Castle’ f. variegated needs to be watered thoroughly during the growing season when the soil is dry to the touch. It requires a well-drained soil mix with small gravel added to ensure drainage. During the cold winter months, it needs less or no water to prevent root loss.

Newly potted plants should not be fertilized for a year, but established plants should be fertilized once each spring when growth resumes with a good cactus fertilizer. Suspend the feeding in winter. Fairy Castle Cactus is susceptible to a disease that often causes its tops to rot, which can then spread to the rest of the plant. Keep it well-ventilated, as it is also prone to root rot. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your Cereus tetragonus ‘Fairy Castle’ f. variegated will thrive and bring joy to your home.


 Propagation of the Cereus tetragonus cv. ‘Fairy Castle’ f. variegated is typically done through cuttings, and spring is the ideal time to propagate this plant. Cuttings should be allowed to heal before planting them in slightly damp, fresh cactus soil. The soil should be kept moist until the cutting takes root, which usually occurs within 1-2 months. Alternatively, the plant can be propagated through grafting.


The ‘Fairy Castle’ cactus gets its name from its unique shape, which resembles a fairytale castle with its turrets and spires.

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