Helichrysum peru (SER-ee-us per-u-vee-AN-us MAHN-strose) is a member of the cactus family. It is a large, tall, thorny perennial succulent, identified by its towering columnar or candle-like branches.
Cereus peruvianus monstrose, along with its relatives Helichrysum peru, Native to:
- South America
- Rio de Janeiro
It thrives in semi-humid or humid forests and rocky outcrops.
You may hear this plant called:
- Cactus apple cactus
- Peruvian Apple Cactus
- Queen of the Night
- Hildeman’s Waxy
- Andean Organ Pipe
- Giant club cactus
- Hedge cactus
Cereus Peru Monstrose Care
Scale and growth
The apple cactus can reach a height of 15 feet-20 feet, and the extension range is 10 feet-15 feet.
There are several varieties of Cereus, but the largest is the monstrose type. It shows columnar growth, with each appendage approximately 6 inches in diameter.
Ribbed limbs have wavy edges. The side branches are sparse, small and quite twisted.
The Peruvian apple cactus has a wide root system and a very deep tap root. Its root system can spread to several feet around the plant.
The thick, hovering spines of this cactus are gray-blue or gray-green. The pillars may be twisted and the rib edges are uneven.
The flowers of apple cactus have an unusual circadian rhythm. The large white flowers bloom almost only at night, open at sunset and close at sunrise.
They follow a 24-hour rhythm for 3 to 4 days during the lunar cycle. Usually, they bloom most during the full moon.
The flowers are about 6 inches to 10 inches wide and have a loose funnel shape. The flowers are usually white or rose-colored, with a white center.
The flower tube is light green, about 8 inches to 10 inches long. The stamens and anthers are cream colored.
Immature plants will not bloom. It takes several years for the plant to mature before it starts to bloom.
At night, flowers are very attractive to night-flying insects and bats. Early in the morning, the hummingbirds are enjoying the flowers.
The flowers gradually turn into small green fruits, gradually turn violet, and then turn red. The ripe fruit resembles an apple. Its flesh is very delicious and juicy, and is generally considered to be as sweet as sugar cane, but the texture is very crunchy.
Many people say that the fruit of this cactus is a bit like dragon fruit in flavor and structure. The pulp of the fruit is very juicy, filled with many small, crunchy, edible black seeds.
It takes a long time for the fruit to mature on the plant, but once it is picked, it must be eaten immediately, otherwise it will ferment.
Light and temperature
Cereus peruvianus monstrose is very tolerant of warmth and cold. It can withstand temperatures as low as 20°-25° Fahrenheit and desert-like temperatures of hundreds of degrees. It thrives in the cold hardiness zone 9 to 11 of the USDA.
This cactus performs well in full sun, but must be adapted properly to prevent sunburn. It can also perform well in partial shadows.
Watering and fertilizing
This very drought-tolerant cactus works well with deep irrigation once a month. It’s best twice a month, especially if your soil drains very quickly.
If you put the plant in a container, it may need to be refilled more frequently. In any case, be sure to water deeply, and then wait until the soil is relatively dry before watering. Too much water can cause root rot.
This member of the cactus family does not really need fertilizer. But a single feed of diluted, balanced fertilizer (20-20-20) can promote spring growth.
Soil and transplant
Like most cacti, this plant grows well in gravel, sandy, well-drained potting media, and contains a lot of loam and other organic matter. Slightly acidic soils with a pH below 6 are best.
notes: Any quality Cactus pot mix Suitable for cactus cactus plants.
Be sure to protect the recently transplanted cactus from the scorching sun and other extreme factors.
Beauty and maintenance
The fruits are harvested when they are ripe. In cold weather, cover the branches of the plants with a Styrofoam cup to protect them from frost. This is especially important for small seedlings.
How to breed Cereus Pervianus Monstrose
It is easy to grow this cactus from stem cuttings or seed propagation. Like most cacti, let them grow callus before planting them in fast-draining soil.
Protect the cuttings from frost and other severe weather conditions during the first few years.
Cereus Peruvianus Monstrose pest or disease
Like most cacti, poorly drained soil and cool, humid weather can cause roots and stems to rot. Cacti with too much water, too little light, or improper preservation are susceptible to mealybugs and scale. Seedlings placed in full sun are prone to sunburn.
Are Monstrose plants toxic to people or pets?
Cereus peruvianus monstrose is non-toxic, edible, and delicious.
Is the Peruvian monitor lizard considered invasive?
This large, slow-growing, rather special cactus is not invasive.
Suggested use of Cereus Peruvianus Monstrose
This charming and unusual tree-like cactus makes beautiful container specimens. Keep in mind that it can become very large, so you need to make sure there is enough space for it to grow.
When continuously planted and used as a living fence, this magnificent cactus naturally grows in certain areas.
In Israel, Cereus peruvianus is grown commercially for its delicious fruit.
These cacti help serve as hosts for the slow-growing cacti. Cuttings of other types of cacti are usually grafted onto the rootstock of Cereus peruviana to promote faster growth.