Habitat: Mountainous areas in Argentina, Chile, Perù, Bolivia.
Cultivation: Trichocereus are tough cacti. that’s why they are often used as . Nevertheless, it’s hard to make them bloom. It’s important to put them in a bright spot, under direct sunlight, and to pay attention to low temperatures.
Curiosity: The name “Trichocereus” comes from the Greek words “Trichos”, which means “hair”, and “cereus”, which means “candle”. Its columnar shape reminds in fact to a candle and its numerous thorns look like hairs.
– KEY FEATURES
These plants have a globose shape when young. Lately, they take their tipical columnar shape, developing numerous branches and many offsets at their base. Due to their attitude to produce offsets, in their natural environment they often end to form groups of plants all coming from a mother plant.
Their green trunk is divided into vertical, more or less numerous and pronounced ribs, depending on the species. The entire plant can reach 7 meters in height!
Flowers are generally white or pink and funnel-shaped, and open at night. They develop at the top of the plant and can become to 12 centimeters long.
VARIETY AND TYPES
Nowadays, Trichocereus are included into a more vast genus: Echinopsis, so that there’s a bit of confusion about their actual classification: depending on the one used, different species can be included in the genus or not.
Here below are some species of Trichocereus:
- T. bridgesii
- T. bridgesii forma mostruosa
- T. candicans
- T. chiloensis
- T. chiloensis var. borealis
- T. chiloensis var. eburneus
- T. grandiflorus
- T. hybrids
- T. pachanoi
- T. pachanoi forma cristata
- T. santiaguensis
- T. santiaguensisi forma mostruosa
- T. spachianus
- T. spachianus forma cristata
TIPS FOR GROWING
Trichocereus are tough cacti. that’s why they are often used as . Nevertheless, it’s hard to make them bloom. It’s important to put them in a bright spot, under direct sunlight, and to pay attention to low temperatures.
- Choose a bright spot, fully exposed to sunlight;
- The temperature should never fall below 6ºC. The ideal for this species is to be able to spend the winter outdoors, but this is often not possible due to the cold. Anyway, if you place it indoors, remember to choose a spot with a good air circulation.
- Water every 3-4 days in spring and summer. In Autumn, decrease gradually the frequency of irrigation and stop completely in Winter. Make sure the soil is properly dry before proceeding to the every watering.
- Use a ready-made compost for cacti or, alternatively, a very porous and draining soil.
- Fertilize once a month during the spring and summer months.
- Choose large pots and repot at least once every three years.
Propagation is carried out by seeding or cuttings. As cuttings you can use suckers since these cacti produce them very often.