Marginatocereus marginatus f. crestata
M. marginatus is native to Mexico. The crested form has nursery origin.
M. marginatus is a rare cactus belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The stem is columnar, erect and branches at the base. The stem is arranged in 5-7 ribs and it is dark green in color and with a rough texture. Areoles are white and draw as a continuous line of seam. Spines are short in mature plant and long in young plants. Flowers are from pink to green and are 2 for each areola. The crested form usually grows in the shape of a fan and can branches at the base.
This is a slow growing cactus, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a full light sun exposure but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 5°C so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly in Spring and Summer: during the vegetative period you can water the plant (every 7 days), checking that the soil is completely dry before watering again; in winter you should stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. If you want a faster and lush growth you can fertilize the plant once a month during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for cacti; stop fertilizing throughout the winter. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.
The easiest and fastest method of propagation is by cuttings but is also possible to propagate the plant by seed. By cutting you can make the cut during the spring and then let the cutting dry; after a few days the cut surface will dry and a callus will form, then place the cutting in a mixture of sand, soil and pumice. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C. By seed it is very simple to propagate the plant, it is enough to sow the seed in a sandy loam soil and keep it with a high level of humidity and at temperature of 14 C°.
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. The forma mostruosa is a natural mutation that occurred in the T. Bridgesii population and that was selected and propagated vegetatively.
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