It’s easy to forget about your cactus when you’re not around, but this little plant has a lot going on inside. Cacti are actually quite a bit like people: they have the capacity to grow and develop, change and even experience emotions. If you leave your cactus in its pot for too long, it will get crowded and could become unhappy.
Trichocereus will happily sit in small pots for years, but grow best when they put down large root systems. A good practice is to re-pot every couple of years.
If you’ve had your cactus for a while and it’s starting to get a little crowded in its pot, it’s time to re-plant it. Here’s how:
- First, remove the cactus from its old pot.
- Then, use a sharp knife or scissors to cut away any dead or rotting tissue from the cactus. The key here is to cut as close to the base of the plant as possible—the more you cut away, the fewer problems you’ll have later on.
- Next,re-pot the cactus in a pot that’s one size larger.
- It’s important to use a pot that has drainage holes so the cactus can drain properly.
- Finally, water the cactus well and place it in a sunny location.
“Trichocereus pachanoi is an agave-like cactus that grows in the Andes Mountains. They are relatively easy to grow, but they should be re-potted infrequently, as the frequent disturbance of the roots can cause them to rot. Trichocereus pachanoi likes plenty of sun and good drainage, so make sure to keep that in mind when re-potting.”
Main Characteristics of the San Pedro Cactus
The San Pedro cactus ( Trichocereus pachanoi ) is a powerful medicinal plant that has been used for centuries by the native peoples of the Andes in Peru. Its use as a healing tool and treatment for various diseases has made it one of the most important plants in traditional medicine. That is why it is known as “the sacred cactus” or “the divine cactus”.
But because this plant is highly valued by some people, there are times when it is confused with another species such as the Echinopsis peruviana, with which it has several differences. Among the main characteristics of the San Pedro cactus, are:
- San Pedro Cactus is an arboreal cactus with a columnar shape and that can be very branched from the base, which sometimes means that its trunk cannot be distinguished. It has many branches, with straight angles and spine-like leaves.
- Its height is usually between three and seven meters.
- The stems are always cylindrical and their thickness is between eight and 15 centimeters.
- The San Pedro cactus contains the alkaloid mescaline and other derivates of phenethylamine with hallucinogenic properties.
- The longer a cactus has been stored, the stronger and the higher its content in mescaline-derived alkaloids will be.
- The spines are brownish, having a length between 0.5 centimeters and two centimeters.
- The San Pedro cactus is closely related to the Peruvian Torch (Trichocereus peruvianus) and both species are known for their psychoactive properties. Many shamans still use this plant for healing rituals and ceremonies. It’s also used by many people who wish to connect with their spirituality or have psychedelic experiences.
- The flowers are white and are always born in the upper part of the stem. In addition, they usually open at night and give off a strong aroma.
How to Choose the Location to Plant the San Pedro Cactus
One of the first decisions you have to make when you already have it is where to place the San Pedro cactus. In general, it is a plant that does not have any problems and that adapts well to any habitat, but you should know that:
- It will always be inside the exact same container since its roots are small. They don’t develop very in spite of the height of their stems. Additionally, the trunk isn’t as thick. It is usually not more than 30 centimeters thick.
- The soil, if you intend for direct planting into the garden, must be fertile and more importantly, be able to drain well.
- The most important thing about the San Pedro cactus is that we should keep it warm but not too warm. It shouldn’t get frozen, or it will die.
- The location in which is where the San Pedro cactus is placed should be in a semi-shade as the direct sunlight, especially during the summer months could cause burns.
How to fertilize the San Pedro cactus
It is important to fertilize the San Pedro cactus , because it does not have a very developed root system. That being said, the fertilizer must be organic and rich in potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. The latter, also known as nitrogen, is what gives the plant its green color.
If you have time, patience, and care, the trichocereus can be a rewarding plant to look after. Just make sure you are aware of their unique needs as a species.
The ancient tradition of using the San Pedro cactus for healing and hallucinogenic purposes has remained part of the culture in Andean shamanism up to the present day.