Habitat: Central Mexico
Cultivation: Choose a position in full sun and always keep your Marginatocereus at a fairly high temperature, at least above 6-7°C. For propagation use the side branches when present.
Curiosity: The botanic classification of Marginatocereus is not unique. In some classification systems it is actually a synonym of Pachycereus, while in others it’s a genus on its own. However, plants labelled as Marginatocereus are often found on the market.
Marginatocereus are big columnar cacti. In their natural environment they become over 1,5 meter tall.
Their stem is columnar, deep green in colour, with five or seven very pronounced vertical ribs.
These cacti don’t produce many branches but, in its habitat, this cactus usually grows in groups, giving the impression of a series of organ pipes growing side by side or of a tall spiny barrier.
The spines grow on the numerous, crowded areoles, which are located along the ribs of the plant.
The flowers, which have long scaly calyxes, also sprout out of the ribs. They can be of various shades of colour from white-green to light pink. They only bloom at night and only when the plant has already reached a few years of life.
The fruits are deep red in colour. They are edible and were used for food purposes by Native Americans.
VARIETY AND TYPES
The genus Marginatocereus includes a single species, Marginatocereus Marginatus, which, according to some classifications, is also called Pachycereus Marginatus.
The crested variant of this plant is also much sought after.
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TIPS FOR GROWING
Here are our cultivation tips:
- Choose a position in full sun or very bright.
- As well as the Pachycereus, also the Marginatocereus can’t stand low temperatures: it is advisable to leave them always above 7°C.
- Water regularly every 3-4 days in Spring and Summer and suspend completely in winter.
- Use a standard soil for cacti or a mix of peat and sand. The important thing, as always, is that the soil used allows optimal drainage to avoid water stagnation.
- Use a specific product for cacti. It is sufficient to fertilise once a month during the vegetative period. If you want to taste the fruit, make sure it is a fertiliser suitable for food plants.
- Choose rather wide and deep pots to enclose the roots and repot about every two years.
- Propagation is usually carried out using cuttings. As cuttings you can use the branches when present, or the single “crests” in the crested forms (the most commonly grown). Reproduction by seed, instead, is not very easy because seeds have a very slow germination.
The Agave Multiplication is usually by suckers, or shoots. The suckers born near the base of the mother plant can be allowed to grow until they reach a size of about 10 cm. At that point they can be cut; it is important to dry the wound for a few days and then you repot in a soil which has to be the same of the one used for the adult plant.