San Pedro cactus, also known as Trichocereus pachanoi, is a fast-growing columnar cactus that is native to the Andes mountains of Peru.
It can grow up to 10-20 feet in height and features white flowers in summer. While San Pedro is a fast-growing cactus that grows around a foot tall within six months and continues growing by a foot per year, it requires very little maintenance to grow.
When properly taken care of, they can grow up to a foot tall within six months and continue growing by a foot per year.
Trichocereus species are a group of cacti from South America. There are many hybrids of this cactus. Some of the most popular hybrids include Bridgesii, Peruvianus, and Pasacane . They can be recognized by their segmented fleshy stems and spines that grow along its length.
Commonly known as Echinopsis species, they are native to South America, but have been cultivated around the world due to their popularity as ornamental plants. They are usually grown outdoors in well-drained soil, in full sunlight during summer and part-shade during winter. They need very little water, although they do need to be watered regularly during their blooming season (summer).
These plants are known for their hardiness and resistance to rot or pests. Although they don’t require much maintenance, Trichocereus species must be repotted every two years for optimum growth.
“In its area of origin, it is mainly used for its psychotropic principles rather than its purely decorative aspect.”
- Type: Cactus San Pedro ( Trichocereus pachanoi ; syn. Echinopsis pachanoi )
- Vegetation: Columnar arborescent non-hairy cactus, waxy green in color. Height: 6 m in its area of origin. The San Pedro cactus grows in USDA hardiness zones 8b to 10.
- Flowering: Nocturnal flowers, white and yellow.
- Qualities: Quite widespread in indoor cultivation. Fragrant flowers, easy to grow, and many hybrids with bright and varied colors. The San Pedro cactus is very easy to grow in most areas and grows best in a temperate climate.
- Type: Peruvian Torch ( Trichocereus peruvianus )
- Vegetation: Non hairy arborescent columnar cactus, green to blue-green in color. Thorny. Trichocereus peruvianus or Echinopsis peruviana is a columnar cactus that can get up to 4 meters long and reaches 20 centimeters in diameter.
- Flowering: Strongly scented white nocturnal flowers. The flowers are white although there are close relatives that sport distinct colors for their flowers (Trichocereus Tulhuayacensis). It typically grows upright however, it can also grow prostrate and hang off cliffs and rocks.
- Qualities: Less common than the pachanoi species, less hybridized too. Very large fragrant white flowers.
- Type : Cuzco (Trichocereus cuzcoensis).
- Vegetation: Non-hairy blue-green cactus with very ribbed columns. Height in cultivation: 1.80 m. Thorns few, but 3 to 4 cm long. Trichocereus Cuzcoensis has been raised just like the other Trichocereus species. It’s a tough and frost-resistant species that can withstand temperatures of 9deg Celsius/15.8deg Fahrenheit for brief periods of duration. The minimum normal temperature is 10deg celsius/50deg Fahrenheit. This can also be the temperature needed to remain healthy throughout the winter months.
- Flowering: Large nocturnal, fragrant white flowers.
- Qualities: Its name comes from the city of Cuzco in Peru, where it was discovered. Rapid growth. It is the most resistant of its kind to excess water.
- Type: Sacred cactus ( Trichocereus bridgesii )
- Vegetation: Green-blue non-hairy cactus with ribbed columns. Little prickly. It is a fast-growing columnar cactus , branching at the base that can grow 2–5 (-6) m tall, with stems of up to 15–20 cm in diameter.
- Flowering: Like all Trichocereus, the flowers open at night. Very large, night blooming, fragrant, white up to 20 cm in diameter. Flowers tube and fruit covered with scales and black curled hairs.
- Qualities: Rapid growth, magnificent flowering, fragrant. Used during religious customs, hence its nickname: sacred cactus.
- Type: Pasacane ( Trichocereus pasacana )
- Vegetation: Strongly hairy columnar stem 0.30 m in diameter and 10 m high in nature. Many spines from 8 to 14 cm.
- Flowering: Flowers, nocturnal, with long white tubes of 12 cm furnished with black hairs.
- Qualities: Mainly cultivated for its fruits. Few in France. Original hairiness.
- Type : Trichocereus macrogonus. Trichocereus macrogonus, also known as Echinopsis macrogona, is a columnar cactus.
- Vegetation: Cactus with a dominant bluish color, rapid growth, height: 2 m maximum in cultivation. Thorns are few, but quite long. It has 6-9 radial thorns and 1-3 middle thorns that are up to 10 centimeters long.
- Flowering: Creamy white flowers with yellowish-green stamens and pistils. Mild sweet fragrance, flowering mainly at night. White, near the top and up to 18 centimeters long.
- Qualities: Bluish color and erect shape different from the others. One of the fastest-growing.
Growing Tips for San Pedro Cactus
- San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi) is an extremely vigorous and rapid-growing cactus that can reach 20 feet tall. It also has a spread of six feet.
- San Pedro cactus is a low-maintenance plant that needs very little care once established.
- San Pedro cactus is native to the Andes Mountains of Peru, where it grows at elevations of between 5,000 and 9000 feet. The cactus can also be natural in other parts of South America, growing in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, and Ecuador.
- San Pedro cacti’s tolerance of high altitudes makes it able to flourish in colder climates than other varieties of cacti.
- San Pedro is suitable for USDA zones 8b to 10.
- The plants can thrive in full sun to partially shade.
- Similar to other cacti San Pedro cactus requires a well-drained planter mix.
- The plant won’t do well in potting soil or garden soil. Choose a commercial cactus pot soil or mix two parts of garden soil using the coarsest sand and another piece of fine gravel.
- If you are planting in a container the container with an opening in the bottom to allow adequate drainage.
San Pedro cactus is quite drought-tolerant once it has been established and needs only minimal watering. When watering, ensure that you water thoroughly. The soil should be almost dry, yet not too dry between the waterings.
Reduce the amount of watering during winter, allowing the cactus to rest. Fertilize each year in the spring by using a water-soluble fertilizer to enhance flowering capabilities and promote healthy growth.
San Pedro cactus can be propagated by seed or cuttings anytime in spring or summer with the exception of times when the plant is in active growth, which is when it’s producing flowers.
Seeds should be germinated in well-drained cactus potting soil with a light layer of sand over the top. Place seeds in a sunny location with access to water and keep moist by misting lightly with water. Seeds will germinate and grow roughly one month before becoming established, but will eventually grow into a robust plant capable of taking on hellacious conditions.
Cuttings should be taken in spring or summer, cutting off a stem from the parent plant, leaving two nodes and some leaves on the stem. The cut end of the stem should be dipped in rooting powder and placed in slightly moist potting soil either in a container or out in the garden, depending on preference. Place the newly rooted cutting in full sun after planting it.
Regarding the transplant, if it is in a pot, it will be done once every two years, in the spring. This way you can continue to grow and develop properly.
The steps are as follows:
- When you want to transplant a plant, it is best not to disturb the roots. The first thing to do is to choose a pot with holes about 5 to 6 centimeters larger than the one you have. The material with which it is made is indifferent, but know that if it is made of clay the plant will take root better because its roots will have a place to hold. For better results, fill your new pot with soil larger than the one you are removing from the old pot.
- Then, it is filled to about half by light substrates that will drain the water fast. For instance, peat and perlite are a good choice in equal amounts as well as pumice stones (for purchase on this site! ) with 30 percent peat.
- The cactus is then removed from the “old” pot. If necessary, a few blows will be given to the sides of the pot so that the plant stands out better.
- The planting of a new pot begins by digging the hole that will contain it. If the hole is too large, its inhabitants will suffer; if, on the contrary, it is too small, its occupants will be suffocated.
“The best pots are cylindrical, and they should be very stable. They can be glazed or unglazed (clay, plastic or terracotta).”
- Finally, the pot is filled with substrate and the cactus is placed in a lighted area.
After a week, it will be time to start watering again. It is advisable not to do this immediately after transplanting to give the roots time to recover.