Cleistocactus parapetiensis


Cleistocactus azerensis


Cleistocactus parapetiensis is a species native to Bolivia, in the Andes.


Cleistocactus parapetiensis is a cactus with medium dimensions. It’s composed of a bunch of stems with various lengths, bright green, covered in dense white, sometimes woolly spines. At the base of the plants, the stems tend to crowd forming a cluster. Flowers have amazing reddish-pink color, and grow directly from the stems, in casual positions among them. Seen from a distance, they look like pink fingers scattered on the stems. The plant produces numerous flowers, which never open completely: open petal’s length is less than 1/8 of the entire flower’s length. There is also a crested variety, cultivated in nurseries, characterized by curious enlargements of the top of its stems.


Cleistocactus parapetiensis, like other Cleistocactus species, require plenty of light, so put it in a bright spot. It needs high temperatures, never below 10 ÂșC, that’s why in our climate zone it’s better to keep them indoors or either in a greenhouse in winter. Water moderately the plant, waiting until the substrate becomes completely dry before each watering. It should be completely suspended in Winter unless the plant goes through root rotting. The substrate of cultivation should be a cactus mix, well-drained. Fertilization should be applied once a month from April to September using a fertilizer rich in Phosphorus and poor in Nitrogen because this plant’s growth is particularly vigorous, so it will need a big quantity of nutrients during its growing season. Repotting, for the same reason, could be necessary every year.


Propagation can be done either through seeds or through cuttings. Seeding should be done using fresh seeds, in a pot filled with a cactus mix. Seeds must be only dropped on the substrate, not buried. The pot should be put in a warm, bright spot, avoiding direct sunlight, and the soil should be maintained humid until the seeds germinate. The germination process lasts a few months.
Cuttings, on the other hand, should be taken off in the Summer, within June and August, and should be put to root in a substrate rich in nutrients as soon as the wound dries up.


The name “Cleistocactus” originates form the greek word “Cleisto”, which means “closed”, and it refers to the flowers of this plant which never open completely.

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