How Long Does Peyote Take to Grow Before It Can Be Consumed?

How Long Does Peyote Take to Grow Before It Can Be Consumed?

The plant reaches an adult state on average in 10 years. Mescaline accumulates exclusively in nature under the condition of 12 hours of sunlight. Collected in the fall, then the maximum substance is contained. Approximately a dozen copies are required for admission.

As you know, cacti like Lophophora williamsii (aka Peyote, aka Mescaline cactus) grow for quite a long time, and to grow a sufficient amount at home on the windowsill, at least one trip will require more than one hour (the desert is another matter – there is at least a pond of those cacti).

Peyote (Lophophora williamsii)

Peyote ( Lophophora williamsii ), also called Mescal, is a small cactus that does not exceed 5cm in height but whose parts under the surface of the soil develop vigorously in the form of thick tuberous roots. Native to the semi-desert regions of southern Texas and Mexico, this cactus needs at least 10°C.

Spineless, like a globe carved into a nipple divided into narrow furrows, bearing woolly white areoles, peyote can emit a solitary flower with pink petals, diurnal, which lasts only up to 3 days, followed by a red fruit containing tiny black seeds which can remain in place for several months.

The peyote can grow on its own, but as it develops suckers which clump together around the mother plant, the whole ends up forming a group of peyotes tight against each other.

The “mescal buds” of this cactus contain isoquinoline alkaloids and derivatives of phenyl-ethylamine, in particular the powerful psychotropic mescaline, which makes the plant hallucinogenic. 

Native Americans, for millennia, practice an ancestral rite from this cactus, which causes a real waking dream, with colored visions accompanied by auditory hallucinations, which would make it possible to come into contact with the beyond and to predict the future. 

The Huichols, an indigenous people of Mexico, still perpetuate the peyote rite today, always in groups, which tends to make it rarer when an entire community picks it from the wild when its growth is slow. However, it is protected by CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).

How Long Does a Peyote Cactus Take to Grow?

As mentioned earlier, peyote is one of the slowest growing cactus species and it takes about 10 years from germination to being big enough for consumption. However, to accelerate this growth rate, you can graft it onto another cactus.

What Soil for Peyote?

Pumice gravel or special soil for cacti is suitable. Make sure the pot is deep enough as Lophophora williamsii develops a long taproot. Carefully plant the peyote. After repotting, the peyote cactus is not fertilized for several months.


Planting and cultivating
Resistance to cold: 4° C minimum
Exposure: bright, no direct sunlight
Soil type: very mineral soil, draining and deep
Soil acidity: neutral to basic, not afraid
of limestone Soil humidity: dry, watering in depending on the cycle of the plant
Use: indoor plant, conservatory
Planting, repotting: in deep pots, from April to July
Method of propagation: sowing

Is San Pedro legal?

San Pedro cacti can be legally purchased and grown. However, the active ingredient mescaline falls under the Narcotics Act, ie processing and passing on the cacti for intoxicating use can be punished.

How long does San Pedro grow?

 San Pedro is one of those cacti that show rapid growth (20 to 30 cm per year) and whose care is relatively uncomplicated.

Ideal Soil and Exposure for Peyote

 Ideally, you should have a greenhouse or some other protected area to grow peyote so you can protect it from the cold because this cactus needs heat and does not survive below 10°C. It is grown in full sun in a special cactus substrate reinforced with a little limestone. Outdoors, the soil should be sandy, alkaline, not very fertile, and well drained.

Date of Sowing and Planting Peyote

It is in the spring that you will sow the peyote in a sandy mixture, between 19 and 24°C.

The cactus is not an easy plant to grow, particularly because it requires hot dry conditions similar to its natural habitat. If you live in a region with a cool or humid climate, you should grow your peyote indoors where you can control its environment and provide the specific conditions it needs to thrive.

Peyote has shallow roots that spread out from their base, so they do best in sandy soil that drains well. The plant also needs good air circulation around its roots and full sun to stay healthy. A sandy mixture with some compost mixed in makes a good growing medium for the seeds of this delicate plant.

Board of Maintenance and Culture of Peyote

Water at least once a week from April to September then keep dry the rest of the year.

Diseases, Pests, and Parasites of Peyote

Peyote is not susceptible to disease.

Location and Favorable Association of Peyote

Peyote (Lophophora williamsii) is a cactus that has been used for ritualistic purposes by the indigenous people of Mexico, as well as in some parts of Texas and the Southwest United States.

It is generally illegal to harvest Peyote from the wild, but it can be raised as a houseplant in many latitudes. The cactus is most active in the summer when light levels are at their highest.

Recommended Varieties of Lophophora as a Houseplant

There are only 2 species of the Lophophora genus : Peyote ( Lophophora williamsii ), and Lophophora diffusa which contains pellotine, an alkaloid different from mescaline, but also psychoactive.

How to Grow Lophophora Williamsii?

This cactus must benefit from the most draining mixture possible in a deep pot, for its enormous root which does not tolerate humidity well. 

We, therefore, recommend a mineral mixture: half clay, half coarse sand, and limestone being appreciated. Direct light is not essential.

From April through September, the land is watered heavily before being allowed to totally dry out. Watering is completely halted starting in September to allow the cactus to rest over the winter.

In the winter, the plant needs to be kept in a dry, cool location between 4 and 12 °C. Inducing flowering in the summer during this dormant phase is necessary in order to prevent rotting, which is more common in the winter. If the water conditions and dormancy are respected, cultivation is rather simple.


When choosing a location for your peyote, remember that it needs to be in an area that has plenty of sunlight. If the sun isn’t strong enough where you live, consider getting a grow light. You can also supplement with a fluorescent light on overcast days.

If you have a big enough pot, your peyote can live outside during the summer. However, since it is native to the deserts of Mexico, it prefers dry soil. Be sure to water your peyote at least once every three days during this time. And remember that there’s no such thing as too much sun!


  • Pot: it is recommended to mix universal substrate or black peat with perlite in equal parts. Other options are just planting it in pomx, or mixed with river sand.
  • garden: grows in sandy soils with very good drainage. If the soil you have does not meet these requirements, dig a hole about 40cm x 40cm, cover the edges and base with shade, then fill it with the substrate mentioned above.


View of a year old peyote

It’s resistant to drought and can go for a long time without water. However, even though this is a plant that resists drought well, it still needs a good amount of water. This is why it’s important to have excellent drainage in the soil or potting mix.

The best way to check how much water it needs is by touching the soil with your finger or using a digital moisture meter. If the soil is dry, add more water.

If you don’t have a lot of plant care experience yet, I advise you to check the humidity before watering your cactus at least initially until you get the hang of it. For this, you can use a digital moisture meter or a thin wooden stick (this is what I did).

If you have it in a pot, weigh it after you water it and again after a few days, then you will notice that the wet soil weighs more than the dry, and therefore you can be guided by this weight difference.


From the beginning of spring to the end of summer It must be paid with special fertilizers for cacti.


It is propagated by seeds in the spring. The step-by-step that follows is as follows:

  1. The first thing you need to do is fill a tray with holes or a container about 10.5 cm in diameter with a general growing medium mixed with 50% perlite.
  2. Then water consciously.
  3. Then place a maximum of two seeds in each slot or 5-6 in the pot.
  4. Then cover them with a thin layer of washed river sand.
  5. Finally, place the nursery outside in a semi-shade.

So the first ones will germinate in about 2 weeks.

Wounds and diseases

 You just need to protect it from molluscs (snails and slugs).

Botrytis. One of them is the Botrytis fungus caused by excessive humidity. If the air is very cold and damp, it will affect all parts of this plant (leaves, stems, and crown) causing spots on the upper part of the stem like mold.

In severe cases, small holes appear. If they are not treated immediately with fungicides or organic acids, they can cause dehydration of the tissue and die.

If you live in a region with high humidity (with rain almost always) or you water your plant every time you notice any dryness, you may experience this problem.

How to Multiply Lophophora?

The only option is to sow. The seeds are pressed onto the substrate in a clay and sand combination, but are not covered.

The pot is filled to the brim with water, wrapped in plastic, and heated to between 25 and 35°C.

The plastic is removed and the substrate is allowed to dry until the majority of the seeds have germinated, which usually takes 7 to 15 days.

The huge seedlings will grow swiftly as they alternate between 3 days of moist land and 4 days of dry ground.

They can develop to be 1 cm in diameter in a single year, after which the plant’s growth becomes incredibly slow. The first year’s wintering is delicate but crucial.


How do you speed up peyote growth?

Keeping the soil warm for the first two years will hasten the growth of the new peyotes. They quickly change from newborn green to their distinct color and flatten into the recognizable peyote shape. Young plants shouldn’t be watered frequently; they naturally go long periods without it.

How long does it take for peyote plants to regrow?

The minimum time needed for plants to regrow after harvest is probably eight years.

How big can peyote get?

Peyote (Lophophora williamsii), also called Mescal, is a small cactus that does not exceed 5cm in height but whose parts below the surface of the soil develop vigorously in the form of thick tuberous roots. It can take the plant 10 to 30 years to develop and flower because of its extremely slow growth.

The stems are green in color with shades of blue, yellow and red appearing occasionally. They are shaped like a flattened sphere with a shallow depression at the top. Peyote reaches 2 to 7 cm in height and 4 to 12 cm in diameter. The stems have vertical grooves that reach from the top of the plant to the ground as well as smooth spherical bumps.

What nutrients does peyote need?

Make sure your soil drains well before planting peyote. In order to prevent root rot, peyote cannot grow in wet soil. Your peyote should thrive happily with a few handfuls of perlite or vermiculite added to your ordinary potting soil.

Peyote can tolerate moderate shade but thrives in extremely strong light. You can let it grow to a large size if you wish because it develops extremely slowly. Peyote doesn’t require a lot of water or fertilizer; after watering, simply let it sit for a few days before adding more only when the soil feels dry.

Anwar Hossain

My name is Anwar Hossain. I am a cactus lover, researcher, and cactus blogger.

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