Family: Cactaceae
Habitat: Central and Southern Mexico
Cultivation: As per Cereus, cultivation requires little cares and the plant tends to have a rapid growth. It is important to pay attention to watering, which must be extremely parsimonious.
Curiosity: The name could be translated as “cereus that grows isolated”: unlike classic cereus, which grow in groups, Isolatocereus grows in individual plants that are distributed in the environment.


All the genus Isolatocereus is, in fact, formed by a single species: Isolatocereus Dumortieri, also called “Candlelight Cactus” in English. It is a columnar cactus, branched just like the Cereus, which can reach the remarkable height of 15 meters and a stem diameter up to 30 cm. The color of the stem is an intense greenish-blueish; it is run by deep vertical or slightly spiral ribs (usually from 5 to 8), crossed by areolas from which white or light yellow thorns come out. Plugs can be 1 to 5 cm in size.

The flowers are white or white-green; flowering is strictly nocturnal, but the flowers remain open during the next day, then wither or fall. Fruits are edible. Even though the plant is very beautiful from an aesthetic point of view, the size, that is impressive, makes it  a not very common succulent in commerce. As long as the plant is small or medium in size, in fact, it does not produce flowers.


As already mentioned, the only existing species is I. Dumortieri. In the past, Stenocereus was also included, but DNA research in the 1990s confirmed that this was an incorrect attribution.


Here are our cultivation tips for the Isolatocereus:

  • The ideal exposure is in the full sun, with the only care of protecting young plants from direct rays.
  • The recommended temperature for the Isolatocereus genus is 7 ° C. In addition, a special care must be taken to keep the plants safe from the strong air currents.
  • Water every 5-6 days in spring and summer, taking care to let the soil dry completely between the watering. Decrease the irrigation until suspending it completely in winter.
  • A specific soil for cactaceae is also suitable for the cultivation of Isolatocereus.
  • Fertilize 2-3 times in spring and summer with a specific product for cactaceae.
  • Repot every 2-3 years according to the need of the plant, taking care to protect your hands.
  • Plant reproduction is usually done by seed.

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