El Pilosocereus azureus It is a cactus with columnar and spiny stems of great ornamental value. Although it grows at a speed that we could call slow, it is far from being as slow as others, such as the Ferocactus or not to mention the The huge carnage (saguaro).
In fact, it is an interesting species for cultivation in gardens, because it can be expected that in a few years you will get a specimen of good size.
Origin and characteristics of Pilosocereus azureus
Image – Wikimedia / Facheiro
El Pilosocereus azureus It is a cactus endemic to Brazil, although its beauty has led it to gardens in all warm regions of the world. It reaches a height of 2 and 10 meters in height, and over time it becomes a very branched plant with branches that sprout a short distance from the ground.
The stems have a bluish color, with a diameter between 5 and 11 centimeters. They have between 5 and 19 ribs, from whose areoles emerge between 1 to 12 central spines up to 30 millimeters long, as well as radial ones from 5 to 15 millimeters long.
It flowers as soon as it reaches adulthood and produces flowers between 2 and 5 centimeters in diameter. The fruit is spherical and has a magenta flesh, in which we will see numerous dark colored seeds.
Its currently accepted scientific name is Pillocereus Pachycladus, but it is even better known under its synonym P. azureus. It is also called blue cactus.
Care for Pilosocereus azureus
To know how to take care of this cactus, it is important to take into account how it lives in its natural habitat, ie in its origin, because in this way we can get an idea of how to have it. Well, so it must be said It is a cactus typical of the bushes, where it coexists with other plants, most of them small.
It is located between 50 and 1550 meters above sea level, which is very interesting, since it is Plant that can live both in tropical climates with a pronounced dry season, as in the temperate-warm, where -very- soft and punctual frosts are registered.
The typical soil in which it develops is usually sandy or stonyTherefore, when it rains, the water is absorbed quickly and prevents the roots from staying wet for a long time. Therefore, we should not plant it in heavy or compact soils, otherwise we risk losing it.
Based on this let’s see how to watch:
In principle it is best to put it outside, in a bright area. It is a cactus that grows in full sun, as it must be exposed to it to have a normal development.
But things will change if our plant is not acclimatized or if there is intense frost in our area. In the first case we must put it in partial shade and in the last we must protect it either at home or in a greenhouse.
If you choose to have it at home, we put it in a room with plenty of light and put it away from drafts.
Soil or subsoil
- Flower pot: in the pot you need light substrates, such as pumice, the small volcanic clay of 1-3 mm or substrate for cacti (on sale) here).
- Garden: If the garden soil is heavy and compact, we make a hole of 1 x 1 meters and fill it with the above substrate.
Generally scarce. The soil must dry between irrigations so that the roots do not rot. Also, it is important that the cactus does not get wet, that is, it does not water from above, and less if it is directly lit at that time (actually, it is always better to water at dusk, when the sun is low, as it not only prevents the plants from burning, but also ensures that they have more time to absorb it).
Another important topic of conversation is the plate under the pot. It is not good that it has it, because the water that is not absorbed by the substrate ends up there and would rot the cactus. You should have it only if we always remember to drain it after each watering.
If you want to grow something faster and healthier, It is very interesting to pay it in spring, summer and even in autumn when the weather is warm.. For this we use special fertilizers for cacti and choose liquid fertilizers (as z is) if it is in a pot, so that the drainage remains optimal.
El Pachycereus azureus. multiplies in the spring with seeds and cuttings; but in any case it is important to use light and porous substrates, such as z. B. Vermiculite (for sale here) which is ideal for seedbeds, or the above mentioned pumice (for sale here) so that the cuttings will root better.
They are placed in a bright place and watered.
Pests and diseases of the blue cactus
It is a cactus that is very resistant to pests and diseases. In fact, I have one and what he was sometimes Mealybugs, but nothing else. These are removed with diatomaceous earth (for sale No products found ), as it dehydrates them.
We must also be careful with slugs and caracolesda they tend to devour cacti.
From experience, I can say that it resists up to -1.5 or -2ºC but when it comes to specific frosts and of very short duration. According to some sources consulted, it should keep up to -3 ° C.