Fairy castle cactus, formally known as cereus (KER-ee-us) tetragonus (hild-man-ee-AH-nus), is a US native and can be found in the dry landscapes of Texas and southern Florida.
The cactus gets its fun name from its curved branches which look like the turrets of a castle. Fairy castle cactus is easy to care for the plant, requiring minimal water and plenty of sunlight. it can be grown indoors and is a perfect starter plant for beginners.
Although uncommon, the cactus blooms flowers which are either white or yellow in color.
Caring for a fairy cactus castle
Like I said earlier, this plant is famous for being low maintenance and can be grown by pretty much anyone. Having said that, it’s still a plant, which is why its best you read up on it a little before you decide to purchase one for your back yard.
Fairy castle cactus is a plant best suited for hot dry climates-This isn’t surprising given it has the word cactus in its name. to be more specific, these plants can be grown outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b, where temperatures range between 25 F. – 50 F.
Frequent rain and frosty winds aren’t something these plants are fond of, so if you live in a region with cold harsh winters, they might not be for you. if you want to keep one, consider growing it in a container and bringing it inside as temperatures begin to fall.
When grown indoors, keep your Fairly castle cactus out of air-conditioned rooms. The dryer the air the better your cactus.
This specie of cactus thrives in full sun. when grown outdoors choose the sunniest spot in the garden.
If kept indoors, locate the plant to a room that is well naturally lit throughout the day. A spot near a south-facing window would be ideal.
If your home or office space is dimly lit, consider purchasing a grow light to supplement your cactuses needs. There is a wide range of fluorescent grow lights available to purchase online. Choose one that is both bright and energy-efficient.
Fairy castle cactuses have watering requirements identical to most other succulents. When watering these plants just keep one thing in mind. Underwatering is not an issue, overwatering is.
Cactus is designed to withstand hot and dry climate with minimal rainfall. They store water in their fleshy branches which they use to get by through most of the year. Their roots, on the other hand, are not the best at handling excess water and will rot in soil that is moist for too long. Overwatering a fairy castle cactus is the easiest way to kill it.
The best watering technique for drought-resistant succulents such as these is the “soak and dry method”. This involves letting the soil completely dry between watering sessions. This can range anywhere between 2 weeks to a month, depending on the climate you growing them in as well as the time of year. Waterless frequently during the winter especially if you growing the plant outdoors.
The best way to gauge your plant’s water needs is to check the top 2 inches of soil for moisture.
These plants require a well training soil mix specifically formulated for cactuses.
There are loads of different cactus mixes available to purchase online so finding the right kind shouldn’t be difficult. Without a cactus potting mix, excess water will store up near the plant’s roots and result in rot.
If you want, you can make your won cactus mix at home. To do this just mix equal parts houseplant potting soil, sand, and perlite together.
Remember, Using the right kind of soil and watering in moderation go hand in hand when growing a cactus successfully.
When feeding this plant use a liquid fertilizer specifically formulated for cacti. Feed at the start of spring, which is when the plant’s active growth period resumes.
Fairy castle cactus requires a lot of space for their roots. repot the plant every other year or whenever the plant outgrows its container. You can also continue to feed your fairy castle cactus at half strength.
Do not feed during the winter season. It will not benefit the plant and may harm it as it is dormant during this time.
Propagating a fairy castle cactus
Cacti are super easy to propagate. These plants can be grown through either their seeds or stem cutting. Propagation through stem cutting is the simplest method and is what we’ll discuss below.
- Cut off a branch using a sharp sterilized blade. A clean blade reduces the chance of infecting the mother plant and increases the chance of successful propagation.
- Leave the cut branch out for a few days to callous. Like humans’ wounds, plant cuts require time to heal. Skipping this step will result in an unsuccessful propagation.
- Place the stem in a pot of well-draining cactus soil and water using the soak and dry method.
- Wait for new growth. You should progress within a few weeks.
Disease and Pests
Overwatering may result in root rot or other bacterial and fungal infections. As for pests, the one most commonly known to bother these succulents are Mealybugs.
Mealybugs are hard to spot on a succulent because they love hiding in any small crevice they can find. Left untreated they can eat away at your plant and eventually kill it. A sign that your plant is infected can include misshaped new growth and a white cotton substance between the leaves and stem which the bugs are known to produce. Fortunately, you can easily rid your succulent off these pests through some simple organic methods.
The first method involves spraying the plant with 70% isopropyl alcohol. You don’t have to worry about this causing har to your plant. alcohol evaporates fast and isn’t going to stay long enough to burn any leaves.
The second method you can opt for is using diluted neem oil. Neem oil is also known to mess with the bugs’ hormones, preventing it from reproducing and causing further damage to your plant.