How to Fertilize Peyote Cactus? (Liquid fertilizer is the Best)

How to Fertilize Peyote Cactus?

From April to late August, give the peyote cactus some liquid fertilizer at monthly intervals. Special cactus fertilizers are ideal. But you can also give fertilizer for green plants.

 The requirements for the types of fertilizers used are not high, and general organic liquid fertilizers are sufficient, or you can prepare them yourself. After the liquid fertilizer is diluted, it can be poured onto the surface of the soil; the frequency of fertilization should not be too high, generally once every two weeks in spring and autumn, and once every 10 days in summer.

 Be careful not to choose a fertilizer that contains too much salt; it is not suitable for fertilizing in winter.

The Right Fertilizer for Lophophora

a) NPK fertilizer for Lophophora (it is for sale here)

For Lophophora williamsii, potash, phosphate, and nitrogen make the ideal cactus fertilizer. The cactus also requires a few other elements in modest amounts in order to maintain its health, including magnesium, sulfur, iron, and zinc.

 In principle, the same substances are also present in commercially available flower fertilizers.

When compared to the nutrients potash and phosphorus, a cactus fertilizer that is suited for Lophophora must have a low nitrogen level.
Peyote develops slowly and stockily by nature; in the world of plants, nitrogen is more likely to lead to increasing in height and length.
Therefore, it should be obvious that Lophophora should not get excessive nitrogen doses.

When used in large quantities, it makes the peyote cactus appear abnormally massive. In extreme circumstances, this may result in tissue bursting and the creation of large gaps. Additionally, a lack of light combined with too much nitrogen results in fragile plant tissue that is very susceptible to rot (e.g. at winter locations).

Rule of thumb for the composition of cactus fertilizer for Lophophora williamsii:

You can hardly go wrong with purchased cactus fertilizer if you make sure that the nitrogen content (N) is not more than half of the phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) added together.

• Tip 1: It is preferable to fertilize considerably more sparingly than recommended if the fertilizer composition is not quite ideal (N more than half of P+K). Otherwise, the Lophophora can decay, explode, or become inedible!
Less is more when it comes to fertilizers with high nitrogen content.
• Tip 2: The substrate should only get a minimal addition (less than 1/4) of compost, vermicompost, humus, or peat.
Firstly, the nutrient ratios can hardly be estimated, and secondly, peyote and large amounts of humus soil simply do not go together – peyote = desert dwellers!

This Lophophora williamsii grew much too quickly and burst open in several places due to commercial flower fertilizer with too high a nitrogen content.

b) Valerian extract to promote flowering and fruiting (it sale here) addition to the cool winter location 

there is another method to actively support your Lophophora in fruit and flower formation: 

Extract from valerian. Since many years ago, fruit, horticulture, and decorative plant cultivation have employed valerian extract successfully as a “flower and fruit booster.” It is a herbal extract that is categorized as a plant additive and soil additive. The soil life is reported to benefit from valerian extract when it is poured, and it is even applied as a seed dressing to prevent damp-off illnesses (fungal diseases of the seed).

How to Grow Peyote

Peyote is simple to grow and produces lots of flowers. On the other hand, growing a plant from peyote seeds requires a lot of patience because it can take up to five years to create a plant that is 15 millimeters in diameter.

Fast-growing root branches can be grafted onto peyote at any stage, however, this will usually treble or double the plant’s pace of growth. For instance, by grafting robust, strong roots to the seedling, Japanese botanists are able to grow a flowering cactus in just 12 to 18 months.

It is advised to cross different varieties of peyote cactus by transferring pollen-containing stamens from one plant’s flower to another’s flower stigma using tweezers in order to ensure that the resulting seeds would be fertile.

By removing the little side branches, this cactus can be propagated. The cut top should be planted in wet sand or a sand and vermiculite mixture after floating on water for a week or two.

The ideal time to root is in the late spring or early summer. A new root system will eventually start to form from the top. A number of new heads will sprout in clusters from the old root system.

A limestone-based soil with a slightly alkaline pH is suitable, sufficient calcium should be provided, making sure the soil is slightly alkaline.

Additionally, the peyote cactus needs proper drainage. Peyote requires frequent watering (every four to seven days) in the summer but little to no watering in the winter.

Fertilizers should be added along with watering during the growing season, especially from May to July.

Growing peyote from seeds is a rewarding experience, but one that requires a lot of patience. Seeds should be sown in fine-washed sand, then covered with a layer (one to two millimeters) of very fine sand.

Properly Caring For Peyote Cactus: Care Tips

The peyote cactus is a species of the Lophophora type, or “Peyote.” It is native to the United States, specifically Texas and Oklahoma. The peyote cactus is not prohibited to keep as a pet, only consumption is not allowed.

This plant is also known as “mescal button,” which comes from the Nahuatl word “mescal,” meaning “intoxicant.” This name evolved to refer to any number of psychoactive cacti.

 How to care for the peyote cactus.

How to take care of Peyote

Peyote is used by a number of different indigenous people in central and southern Mexico. The major psychoactive ingredient in peyote is mescaline, which is found at the top of the cactus. Over the millennia, indigenous people have discovered that not all parts of the cactus are psychoactive and so they harvest only those that are.

The harvesting process is time-consuming and so it was reserved for special occasions. In order to have enough for an entire ceremony, a large amount of peyote must be harvested from the desert floor over an extended period of time.

 Peyote is a cactus-shaped button that normally grows to 10-13 cm. in diameter. Peyote is one of the slowest growing cacti but if well cultivated it can grow much faster in a home than in the wild.

Peyote Care Instructions:

  • For the correct cultivation of Peyote, make sure that it meets the following needs:
    -Container with lid
    -Pots (50%)
    -Coarse sand (20%)
    -Gravel (20%)
    -Perlite (10%)
    -Peyote seeds (Lophophora williamsii )

Making tiny drainage holes in the bottom of the container where you wish to plant the cactus is the first step in producing your own Peyote. This is essential to prevent your cactus’ roots from rotting due to overwatering.

The dirt is then blended with gravel, sand, and perlite.

First, split the pebbles in half, placing one half in the container’s base.


The Peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii), also known as the sacred cactus or mescal button, is best grown from seeds. Only a few of the Peyote seeds will germinate and even less will survive to maturity since the plants are very sensitive to temperature, humidity, light and nutrition. To improve your chances of growing a healthy Peyote seedling, it’s important to pay close attention to it.

In order to germinate your Peyote seeds, you will need to place them inside a box filled with at least two centimeters of soil so your seeds do not dry out. The soil should be light and well-drained because Peyote is a desert plant. The best temperature for Peyote seed germination is between 20 and 30°C, ideally around 23°C. To acquire such a temperature you could place it next to a stove or use a blanket. Some people use heating elements like an aquarium or terrarium to get the perfect temperature. 


The Peyote cacti are very sensitive in their first year of life. To have successful results, it is important to have the ideal conditions for them. A grow box is a good way to control the environment. The box should be filled with about 2 inches (5 cm) of soil and the lid has to be closed at all times. When the seeds have germinated, keep the lid on for about a month. This will ensure that you have high humidity levels in the grow box.

In this period the soil must be kept moist. After a while, the cacti are mature enough for it to get used to a very dry environment. To let the young cacti adapt from a humid to dry environment, start drilling holes in the lid of
the container to slowly lower the humidity in the grow box. After a few weeks remove the lid completely, but still, keep the soil moist for another couple of months.


Though it’s crucial to avoid placing the container in direct sunlight for Peyote seed germination. Use the 16–18 hours of fluorescent tube lighting per day. Cacti progressively acclimate to indirect sunlight over the course of two to three months when they are a little more robust. When they are around a year old, you can put them in the sun. After that, we can start treating the cactus as adult species and reducing their watering. To mimic arid growing conditions, let the soil entirely dry out before watering the cactus once more.

When the cactus is a year old (or has a diameter of 1 cm), you should start considering repotting. Never forget that bigger pots aren’t always better. Get a container that is roughly 3–4 times the cactus’ diameter and 4-5 times its height. You will have the opportunity to offer the cactus more nutrients in the new soil by switching out the pots.


Every year, young plants require a transplant. If the root system demands a larger flowerpot, an adult plant can be moved as needed. It is advisable to remove 14 of the root mass before transplantation. Root segments are given a unique anti-rotting treatment, let to dry, and then planted in a brand-new pot. When selecting a flowerpot, remember that the plant’s underground portion is significantly greater than its surface portion. There is a drainage layer at the bottom of the tank. Small stones or gravel are scattered on top of the soil mixture to cover the peyote root’s neck.


How Is a Peyote Cactus Properly Watered?

Despite being a water-loving plant, the peyote requires careful watering to avoid rotting and to maintain its delicate appearance. The peyote should be watered in April, late May, early June, mid-August, and September. During the rest of the year it should not be watered. Watering is done once every two weeks. Use only soft water and never let the cactus stand in a water bowl longer than half an hour. After watering, the excess water must be emptied immediately from the coaster on which the plant sits.

How Is the Cactus Fertilized?

The fertilization of a peyote cactus is essential from April to the end of August. It is the only time throughout the year when it needs to be fed, and doing so will multiply its growth. During this period, give it liquid fertilizer at monthly intervals. Special fertilizers for cacti are ideal. But you can also give fertilizer for green plants. However, you must reduce the dose.

The light soil in which these cacti are planted does not allow them to develop their roots deep enough to absorb all that they need from the soil alone. That’s why it is important to feed them regularly with fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium at a dose adapted to the plant’s size and age.

When Is Transplant Indicated?

If the old pot has outgrown it, remove the peyote from the pot and shake out the old soil. Fill a slightly larger pot with nutrient-poor soil. 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 transplanting, the peyote cactus is not fertilized for several months.

Can a Peyote Cactus Be Pruned?

Peyote is not cut. Only if you want to grow new cuttings, cut the outer shoots just above the root.

What Diseases and Pests Can Occur?

  • rotten root
  • mealybugs
  • Woodlouse
  • root lice

If peyote is kept too wet or too cold, especially in winter, there is a risk of root rot.

What Is the Care of Peyote in Winter?

Fall and winter are a great time to focus on Lophophora williamsii, more commonly known as the peyote cactus. Since the plant grows naturally in desert environments, it needs a cold winter break to flower well. During this time, you can keep your cactus plant cool by placing it in a cooler location.

The goal is to keep your peyote’s temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have a basement, that might be where you store it throughout the winter while the outside temperatures dip into freezing point.

If your basement is too warm or doesn’t have enough light to support growth, you might need an alternative storage area. If that’s the case, find an unheated room in your home where temperatures don’t rise above 65 degrees Fahrenheit for most of the year, or place your plant in a container with drainage holes and bury it in soil outdoors. The key is to keep your cactus as cool as possible—10 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal—for as long as possible over the winter months.

When you return to watering after the winter break, do so slowly: Water once every two weeks until you resume normal watering schedules.

The cooler it is in the location, the less you can water the peyote cactus.

Can You Prune a Peyote Cactus?

Peyote is not cut. Only if you want to grow new cuttings , cut off the outer shoots just above the root.

What Diseases and Pests Can Occur?

  • root rot
  • scale insects
  • Mealybug
  • root lice

If the peyote cactus is kept too moist or too cool, especially in winter, there is a risk of root rot.

Anwar Hossain

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

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