Habitat: Central and Central-South America.
Cultivation: Choose a sunny, well-ventilated location. Keep the temperature above 10°C (50°F) and water regularly, making sure the soil dries out well before each watering, to avoid the risk of rot.
Curiosity: It is named after Charles Lemaire, a French botanist specialised in cacti who lived from 1801 to 1871.
The genus Lemaireocereus includes only a few species of cacti, mostly columnar, very diverse from each other, so much so that various classifications place them in different genera, all of which, however, can be traced back to the “Cereus” group.
These cacti are native to Central and South America, in particular to Mexico. Their habitat usually consists in the sunniest parts of rocky cliffs, in arid lands, when they form populations of more or less branched individuals. Some species, instead, tend to be more solitary.
They are columnar or creeping cacti, not so branched, with a stem divided into a few very pronounced ribs (usually just four, or five). The stem can be blue-green or bright green, sometimes with red tinges, while the spines are usually short and sharp.
A beautiful attribute of this genus is also the arrangement of the thorns on the stem. Usually, there are 4-5 spines in each areole, arranged in a star-shaped group. Areoles are neatly lined on the surface of the ribs and are marked, small, white buttons, while thorns are usually white, occasionally tinged in orange, black or red. The size can be very different depending on the species.
Flowers are another reason why this genus is so sought after among cacti lovers: they appear along the sides of the stem in the upper part of the plant. They are bell-shaped, large, with rather short petals, and open during the day.
VARIETY AND TYPES
- L. chende
- L. chichipe
- L. dumortieri
- L. hollianos
- L. marginatus
- L. pruinosus
- L. stellatus
TIPS FOR GROWING
Here are our cultivation tips:
- The required exposure is very bright, possibly with direct sunlight. Good ventilation is also important.
- These cacti are suitable for very hot climates. The temperature, even in winter, should be above 10-12°C.
- Water every 3-4 days from March to September, then stop watering completely during the vegetative rest. Do not water again if the soil has not dried out completely since the previous watering.
- Use a standard compost for cacti and a neutral, light and very draining soil. A standard compost for cacti will do.
- Fertilize about once a month during spring and summer with a specific product for cacti.
- These cacti grow quite fast and you will tend to repot them every 1-2 years. Choose tall pots which can easily contain the roots.
They reproduce by seed or, more rarely, by cutting: suckers (when present) can be used as cuttings. The ramifications are usually scarce and therefore the branch cutting is not recommended.