Peruvian Apple Cactus Info – Learn About Peruvian Cactus Care

By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Growing Peruvian apple cactus (Cereus peruvianus) is a simple way to add beautiful form to the landscape, given the plant has appropriate conditions. It is attractive, adding a hint of color in a monochromatic bed. Dry and sunny conditions are necessary for column cactus to grow happily in USDA zones 9 through 11.

What is a Column Cactus?

This is a long lived, thorny cactus that grows vertically in a single column. The column cactus may reach 30 feet (9 m.) in height. It is among the favorites of both indoor and outdoor growers. Columns are a bluish gray green, growing upright in a single column with three to five blades.

Large flowers produce edible fruit (Note: it is suggested in Peruvian apple cactus info that you consult with your health care provider before ingesting the fruit). The fruit, of course, is called Peruvian apple. It is about the size of a small apple, with similar coloring. It is locally known as “pitaya” when growing in its native areas of South America. Fruit is thornless and sweet when

fully developed. The longer it is left, the sweeter it becomes.

Peruvian Cactus Care

Outdoors, the cactus can be acclimated to medium or even full sunlight, while avoiding the hottest midday and afternoon sun. The large flowers bloom at night or in early morning with each bloom lasting just a few hours.

When growing Peruvian apple cactus, plant them in large groupings when possible to have more flowers providing more fruit. Flowers must be pollinated to produce fruit.

To expand your plantings, you may take cuttings from your tall plant or purchase them at several locations. Peruvian cacti also grow from seeds.

Watering, an important part of Peruvian cactus care, is an exacting monthly task to keep the plant happy. Make sure the water reaches the root zone. Begin with 10 ounces once a month, checking first to make sure stems and blades are spongy, which indicates the need for water. Check the soil as well.

Keep an eye on details to determine how often and how much water is needed for your plant in its location. Poke holes lightly above the root zone to ensure the water is reaching it. Rainwater is appropriate for watering cacti.

Peruvian Apple Cactus Care Indoors

Plants grow well indoors and are often sold in various lengths for replanting. Place the Peruvian apple cactus in bright but indirect light when growing it as a houseplant. Turn the container if you notice the tall cactus leaning into the light.

Water thoroughly during periods of growth and allow soil to dry out before watering again. Grow the cacti in a fast-draining succulent blend with amendments. These plants may flower indoors if happily located.

Also known as Queen of the Night, the column cactus is botanically named Cereus peruvianus. or it was, until several reclassifications renamed it Cereus uruguayanus. This is only necessary information if you want to double check that you’re purchasing the exact plant, as most information is still found under peruvianus.

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Cereus Peruvianus & Monstrose aka Peruvian Apple Ornamental Cactus Potted & Cuttings

Peruvian Apple aka Cereus Peruvianus and cereus monstrose cuttings approx 6" and 12" inches in length. Average weight is approx 1-2lbs each and can vary seasonally.

**Please note there is also variation in spine length, some have little to no spines, others have longer ones, some are dark green, lighter green, some are chalkier and almost have gray coloring, lots of variation. stock varies, please see pictures to see some examples.

Ready to be planted in your yard or decorative pots, basic cactus type soil/soil that drains well is always best! Warmer temps and longer days help w rooting.

Very similar to trichocereus, these cereus will also provide magnificent white giant flowers that your local ecosystem will love once they become established. These cactus also provide awesomely delicious fruits(byproduct of their flowers) for myself and my boys for a few months each year ****(see disclaimer below)****. Similar to Kiwis but no tartness, the thick purple skin splits right open with a beautiful round and solid fruit ready to devour. no spines on these guys, all my boys handle on their own! **Disclaimer: Please consult with your healthcare provider prior to eating any plant or fruit product! Cereus Peruvianus and Opuntia Nopales are the ONLY cactus and succulents that we sell as potential future eating products but only after discussing with your healthcare provider. We are only responsible for selling them as ornamental specimens.

They also grow majestically to great heights and are easy to cut and replant and produce massive flowers.

Description per Wiki:
The Peruvian Apple Cactus, Cereus repandus, is a large, erect, thorny columnar cactus found in South America as well as the nearby ABC Islands of the Dutch Caribbean. It is also known as Giant Club Cactus, Hedge Cactus, cadushi, (in Wayuunaiki[1]) and kayush.

With an often tree-like appearance, the Peruvian Apple Cactus’ cylindrical gray-green to blue stems can reach 10 metres (33 ft) in height and 10-20 cm in diameter. The nocturnal flowers remain open for only one night. The fruits, known locally as “pitaya” or Peruvian Apple, are thornless and vary in skin colour from violet-red to yellow. The edible flesh is white and contains small, edible, crunchy seeds. The flesh sweetens as the fruit opens out fully.

Recommended Temperature Zone: sunset: 16,17,21-24 USDA: 9-11 Frost Tolerance: 20°F (-7°C) Minimum Avg. Temperature: 50°F (10°C) Heat Tolerance: Light shade in Phoenix Sun Exposure: Outside full sun or afternoon shade, inside needs bright light, and some direct sun.. Origin: Bolivia (La Paz) Growth Habits: Watering Needs: Little water, needs good drainage

Handle with CARE and please see our FAQ for basic care info.

**Cactus are not perfect, they may have small flaws, we try and photograph all sides of a cactus including any flaws that catch our attention, but please do not expect every spine to be perfect, these are growing cactus and like people, they have character!

As a Disclaimer, ALL of our CACTUS, whether potted or as cuttings are sold strictly for ornamental pleasure! They look awesome and they’re fun to grow and collect! Please don’t ask us if we sell any cactus that will make you smarter, we don’t. Please don’t ask us if we sell any cactus that will make you more attractive, we don’t. Grow hair? We don’t! Lose weight? We don’t. Grow muscles? We don’t!

Plants→Cereus→Peruvian Apple (Cereus repandus)

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit:Tree
Life cycle:Perennial
Sun Requirements:Full Sun
Minimum cold hardiness:Zone 9a -6.7 °C (20 °F) to -3.9 °C (25 °F)
Plant Height :To 30 feet
Edible to birds
Other: 3-inch red apple-shaped fruit
Flower Color:Mauve
Bloom Size:2"-3"
Flower Time:Summer
Underground structures:Taproot
Suitable Locations:Xeriscapic
Uses:Windbreak or Hedge
Flowering Tree
Will Naturalize
Edible Parts:Fruit
Eating Methods:Raw
Wildlife Attractant:Bees
Resistances:Humidity tolerant
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Other methods:Cuttings: Stem
Containers:Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Miscellaneous:Tolerates poor soil
With thorns/spines/prickles/teeth
Conservation status:Least Concern (LC)

Large, branching cactus tree with upright stems, large white nocturnal flowers, and delicious fruit. Stems are 4-8 inches wide and light green, with several ribs and variable spines. They tend to be segmented. Fruit typically has a thick skin and white pulp, with relatively small, glossy black seeds. It is bright red and supposedly apple-like when ripe and will eventually break open, prompting the visit of birds and other animals for the inviting contents.

This plant is popular and widespread in cultivation, but apparently comes from the western Caribbean and Venezuela, according to Anderson. It is typically grown as an ornamental and/or as a living fence. It can reach imposing proportions (up to about 30 feet, even higher with support). Easy propagated from cuttings and drought tolerant in the landscape (though a faster grower with regular water).

This plant is easily confused with Cereus hildmannianus. C. peruvianus is an ambiguous synonym for C. repandus.

Wonderful plant, Lin. Do you know how fast it grows?

This cactus is a nocturnal bloomer and the flowers only last one night. The plant was here when I bought the house about seven months ago and although I detest thorny plants this one seems to be growing on me.

The large blooms are very pretty and are supposed to be sweetly fragrant although I didn't detect much fragrance (which could be attributed to the fact that it was pouring down rain when I went out to check.) I've read that the fruit has a mild, sweet taste and that the seeds are crunchy and edible as well . I can't wait to try it! I do hope to transplant it to a different location in the landscape at some point because it's currently located right next to a walkway.

What Is A Column Cactus: Growing Peruvian Apple Cactus In The Garden - garden

  • ​​Common Name: Peruvian Apple Cactus. Other common names: Night-Blooming Cereus Cactus, Apple Cactus, Hedge Cactus, Peruvian Tree Cactus.
  • Scientific Name: Cereus repandus
  • Family Name: Cactaceae
  • Origin: South America
  • Height: 15’ - 30’ (growers using plant supports have achieved heights of 110’).
  • Width: 6’ – 8’
  • Growth: Fast growing.
  • Zone: 9A -11
  • Light Needs: Full sun.
  • Salt Tolerance: Resistant to salt spray.
  • Soil/PH/Texture: Tolerates poor soil and sandy soils that are well-drained, mildly acidic – mildly alkaline (pH 6.1 – 7.8).
  • Soil Moisture: Average water needs, water regularly but do not overwater, and let it dry out between waterings.
  • Drought Tolerance: High and humidity tolerant as well.
  • Pests/Diseases: Scale, snails, slugs and mealybugs.
  • Growing Conditions: Easy to grow and low maintenance.
  • Characteristics: This cactus has grayish-green to bluish stems that can reach up to 4”-8” in diameter. It blooms in late spring to early fall, fragrant, 2” – 3” showy flowers, rose/mauve to white, edible and are nocturnal. Don’t miss seeing the flowers, each flower only opens for one night! On the outside, the fruits (Peruvian apples or pitaya), are violet-red – yellow and are thorn less. The edible interior, is white with crunchy seeds and tastes great. Of course, this cactus/succulent has horns/prickles/spines, use extreme caution when handling.
  • Propagation: By seed or softwood or woody stem cuttings (cut surface should be allowed to callous over before planting).
  • Wildlife: Attractive to bees, birds and butterflies. Birds like the fruit.
  • Facts: They’re high in Vitamin C, beta-carotene, fiber, and much more. Since they bloom at night you may need to self-pollinate to produce fruit unless you have a lot of night pollinators like bats and moths.
  • Designer Considerations: Can be used as a flowering tree, hedge, or windbreak and is perfect for xeriscaping. It also works well for a 3 galllon or larger container plant on a patio.

Watch the video: Kiwi Peruvian Apple cactus!. wonder how they got that name.

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