Myrtillocactus geometrizans f. cristatus
Myrtillocactus geometrizans var. grandiareolatus
Myrtillocactus geometrizans f. hintonii
Myrtillocactus geometrizans var. pugionifera
M. geometrizans is native to Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southwest where the plant grows in tropical and deciduous forests and can spread up to 2000 m of altitude.
M. geometrizans is a widespread cactus belonging to the Cactaceae botanical family. The plant has a tree-like habit and is heavy branched; it can reach up to 4.5 m in height and 5 m in diameter. The stem is erect, columnar, thick, from blue-green to bluish in color. The stem is arranged in 5-8 ribs that are divided by narrow and deep furrows and covered with areoles. The areoles are very close and are white, hairy, and bearing long, sharp, black spines. Blooming occurs from February to April. The flowers are small, greenish to white and produce edible frutis. The fruits are sweet, dark red and oblong.
This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a light shadow in the young and a full light sun exposure later but is recommended to avoid direct sunlight in the hottest periods. The plant does not like temperatures below 10°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. About repotting, if the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. You should repot early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil.
Propagation can be done by seed, cutting or grafting. 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 a temperature of 14 C°. 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, and 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.
Myrtillocactus means “blueberry cactus”, its name is due to the fruit of this cactus that is a tiny sweet edible fruit which looks like blueberries.
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