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The Cleistocactus, in the German Silver Torch Cactus, is a desert cactus from South America, which occurs in a variety of species as a standing, hanging or creeping cereus cactus. The columns of the Cleistocactus can grow up to 1.3 m. They have elongated, narrow, red flowers that do not fully open.
- Cleistocactus strausii:
- Cleistocactus winteri
- Cleistocactus baumanii
Care of the silver torch cactus
The Cleistocactus is either planted in special cactus soil or mixed with soil and sand in a ratio of 2: 1. Young plants grow even faster. Therefore, they should be repotted every year. For older plants, it is enough to repot every two to three years.
As a desert cactus, the Cleistocactus needs a bright, sunny spot. To make sure it grows evenly, turn the pot of Cleistocactus from time to time, but only if it does not have any buds or flowers. In summer it can also be put on the balcony or terrace. Even in winter he needs a bright place, but then should be cooler. The temperature of the winter quarters should be between 10° C and 13° C...
From February to October, the Cleistocactus is regularly but moderately cast. The earth is allowed to dry slightly between casting operations. Waterlogging should be avoided. In winter, it is only poured so much that the earth does not dry out completely.
From spring to autumn, the Cleistocactus should be fertilized once a week with special cactus fertilizer. In winter it is not fertilized.
During the growing season, the Cleistocactus should be sprayed regularly with water.
Normally you do not have to cut the Cleistocactus. Unless you want to win cuttings for propagation. Then you cut, preferably in the spring, side shoots directly on the ground. The cuttings thus obtained must first be allowed to dry. This requires a bit of tact: On the one hand, the cut surface should dry, on the other hand, the cutting should not dry. Then put it in cactus soil, moisten it and put a plastic bag over it. In a humid and warm climate, the cuttings root faster and better. The Cleistocactus can also be grown from seeds. The seeds are only slightly covered with soil and germinate at temperatures around 20° C within 14 - 28 days.
Diseases and pestsThe Cleistocactus is not very susceptible to disease or pests when properly cared for.
Diseases are mostly consequences of care mistakes.
- too much water, waterlogging: Brown or black discolored, rotting areas appear on the cactus columns. Remedy: pour less, avoid waterlogging. If the spots are small enough, you can cut them out with a sharp knife.
- Wrong location with too little sun: Due to too little sun, the plant fades. Remedy by a bright, sunny location.
- Wollläuse: Wollläuse can be recognized by the fine white webs that produce the insects. Keep the plant isolated until all pests are safely removed. Otherwise there is a risk of spreading to other plants. To combat the wool lice with tweezers from the plant pluck. Then, several times, spread over several weeks, check for still existing pest, since you usually never caught all right away.
- Height about 100cm
- Width up to 30cm
- Temperature 16-24 degrees Celsius
- Direct sun
The trunks are about 100cm high, but only 7.5cm thick. Mostly they form a horst up to 30cm wide. Its light green surface is densely covered with bristly white spines, giving the cactus a silvery appearance. In the summer, red tubular flowers appear.
Care: The silver torch cactus thrives best at 16- 24 degrees Celsius in full sun.Turn the terracotta pots regularly, otherwise the plants will lean towards the light. Pour sparingly and fertilize every day during growth. For wintering, place the plants in a room that is only 10 degrees Celsius and pour only enough that the substrate does not dry out completely.