The Kooky Spiral Cactus

The strange Spiral Cactus begins as a straight cactus, but after reaching a height of around 10 cm, the ridges begin to spiral. In nature, it frequently grows as a shrub with many columns organized in a candelabra-like configuration. Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ is a trunkless cactus with numerous tall, columnar, blue-green spiral stems that branch at the base in a candelabra-like arrangement. Stems are 4-5 inches in diameter, 6-13 feet tall, and covered in a waxy bloom. The stems include five to nine widely spaced ribs. Cereus in spiral is a prolific bloomer. Bloom pollination leads to the simple production of huge purple fruits.It is not poisonous. Because the plant’s spines are sharp, it should be handled with caution.
Cereus peruvianus forma spirale, Twisted Cereus, and Contorted Cereus are all names for the Peruvian tortoise Cereus peruvianus forma spirale.

The wealthy, who became botanists’ patrons in exchange for new species to add to their gardens, controlled the bulk of gardens and substantial collections of cacti and succulents until the turn of the century.

When it is young, it is best under a light shade. When completely developed, full sun is recommended. It need bright light all year.
This plant thrives in rich, organic, well-drained soil.
Water should be used sparingly throughout the plant’s dormant seasons of fall and winter, but liberally during the growing season. Allow the soil’s surface to dry out before rewatering. The plant is suitable for xeriscaping.
Prefers average room temperatures ranging from 60°F to 75°F (16°C to 24°C). Temperatures below 50° (10°C) should be avoided.
Use a good cactus fertilizer or use a complete fertilizer twice a month.

Repotting should be done every other year or when the plant has outgrown the pot. Check that the soil is dry before removing the plant from the pot. Get rid of any rotting or dead roots, as well as any old dirt. Change to a new container with fresh soil.

Cuttings taken in the spring may be easily replicated, and seeds can be sown to grow Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis.’ Remove a branch and replant it in moist, well-drained soil. Allow the cut end to harden and dry before transplanting to allow for easier root growth.

Pests and diseases
Scale and mealybugs are attracted to spiraling Cereus. If an infestation is discovered, use an insecticidal soap as directed on the package to treat the plant.
Cereus, like the rest of cacti, are extremely hardy and require minimal care. Fertilize them and make sure they get adequate water during the summer to prevent being inundated for best results. If the roots get black or mushy, the cactus may suffer root rot. Remove the damaged sections and replace them. Most cactus gardeners should have little problem cultivating this variety.

You may need to repot your Cereus if it outgrows its pot. If this is the case, make sure the soil is dry before removing the container. Remove rotted or dead roots and old soil. Replant in a fresh container after replenishing the soil. Keep in mind that overwatering might cause root rot.

Cactus cuttings may be easily replicated. Simply cut a branch and replant it in moist, well-drained soil. The branch must dry out for about a week before planting. It simply requires a small amount of water after planting.

The plant’s natural habitat
A few highly valuable branches from the original plant were transported into Europe about 1980. Today, practically all of these plants are hybrids resulting from cross-pollination, most likely with Cereus peruvianus or Cereus stenogonus. The original clone was marked by robust gray stems that were densely coated with pruina and had small spines (the “short-spined clone”). They frequently have longer spines and a darker blue-green hue.


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