Monstrose Cactus belongs to the Cactaceae family. They are also called Cereus peruvianus monstrose, commonly known as monstrose apple cactus or curiosity plant. These plants are large and tall, with sharp edges that make them one of the most eye-catching cactuses in the market today.
It is widely known for its irregular shape that attracts every plant lover with its beautiful color and pattern. These plants have candle-shaped limbs, which further intensify the overall beauty of the plant.
We recommend you keep this plant at your home if you are looking for something that completes your plant collections with its uniqueness.
Characteristics of Monstrose cactus
These plants are different from other cactuses you will come across these days. Their growing habit and beautiful color set them apart from all the other regular plants of the same genus. We have listed down some of this plant’s key characteristics, which makes it extremely heartwarming and mesmerizing.
Shape and color
These plants have dark green color that sometimes gives you a grey-blue shade. They have an upright growth habit with a twisted growth pattern on the stem. Place this plant where it can grow without any hurdle in the way to have an ideal shape when they reach maturity.
They are native to South America, Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, and the Caribbean. These plants require an atmosphere similar to their native lands, so provide them with environments as identical as possible.
Height and spread
These plants can grow up to 15 to 20 feet high with a 10 to 15 feet spread. They are the largest of their kind due to their columnar growth. Every appendage of the columnar has a diameter of about 6 inches, so place them at a distance from other plants in the garden to grow freely.
They have large white flowers that bloom at night and close at sunrise. These plants have an unusual circadian flowering system, which blooms most under a full moon.
The size of the flower is about 6 to 10 inches long, with its tubes around 8 to 10 inches in size. It usually attracts bats and other insects at night, with hummingbirds flying around them as soon as the sun rises in the morning.
These plants do not bloom at an immature age, so wait until it fully establishes to enjoy the beautiful scenes that this plant provides.
These plants are not toxic at all. Instead, they produce fruits that can be consumed to enjoy their delicious flavor. We recommend you place your plant at a distance from children because of their sharp edges that might hurt the sensitive skin of your baby.
They require very low maintenance compared to other cacti but make sure that you repot the plant every two years into a larger pot to provide them an ideal room to grow mature.
Caring tips for Monstrose Cactus
These plants prefer acidic soil with a pH below 6. We recommend you to use sandy, gravelly, and well-drained potting mix with a little bit of loam soil and other organic matter.
Make sure that you prepare a pot with a good drainage system, as standing water in the soil can cause the plant’s roots to get damaged and leave it susceptible to many diseases.
We advise you to water this plant only twice a month if you are using fast-draining soil. Otherwise, deep monthly irrigation would fulfill its water requirements. Overwatering the plant can cause root rot, so make sure that the soil is dry when you start watering your plant again.
Feeding the plant with fertilizers is unnecessary, but if you want to boost your plant’s growth in the spring season when it’s actively growing, use diluted, balanced fertilizer.
We recommend a 20-20-20 ratio fertilizer used once in the whole spring season to encourage growth without any chemical burns.
These plants grow in hardiness zones 9-11, but they can be quite adaptable to different climate zones. Your Monstrose cactus can do quite well in temperatures below 20 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit.
They can also survive under desert temperatures above hundred degrees Fahrenheit without any serious growth issues.
We recommend you place your plant in the full sun during the daytime. Eight-hour direct sunlight would complete all the lighting requirements of your plant.
Please make sure that you do not put your plant under peak afternoon sunlight because it can cause sunburn, so take them inside for a while to protect them from any unnecessary harm.
Other caring tips
Protect the plant from frost during the freezing winters with the help of Styrofoam cups, especially when they are in the growth stage. Moreover, ensure that you harvest the fruit when it’s ripe to get the full benefits of this absolute gem of a plant.
Propagating Monstrose Cactus
These plants can be easily propagated with the help of the stem cutting method. We have listed down a few tips to ensure the proper propagation of your cacti.
- Use a sharp blade and choose a strong segment of a stem or branch for cuttings.
- Make a clean-cut, ensuring that you haven’t damaged any other part of the plant.
- Place the cutting in the shaded area to allow the wounds to cure naturally.
- Prepare a well-drained cactus mix and place the cuttings inside.
- Water the plant to keep it hydrated.
Please keep in mind that these plants are drought tolerant and do not require regular watering, so water them only when required. Cuttings should be handled with care during the healing stage to maximize the chance of success of your new healthy plant.
Monstrose Cactus is one of the most highly recommended cacti by experts. They are easy to care for and provide many benefits to the user, such as fruits and flowerings.
These plants are quite durable and adaptable, but they still require a little bit of attention from the caretaker to thrive. We have provided you with a complete guide on how you can make your plant flourish and thrive ideally.