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Care of the plant Espostoa lanata or Peruvian old man cactus.

Care of the cactus Espostoa lanata or Peruvian old man cactus

The genus Espostoa, family Cactaceae, includes 15 species of cactus native to Peru and Ecuador. Some species are: Espostoa lanata, Espostoa ritteri, Espostoa mirabilis, Espostoa sericata, Espostoa procera.

Common names: Peruvian old man cactus, Cotton ball cactus, Snowball cactus, Snowball old man. This species is native to southern Ecuador and northern Peru.

They are columnar cacti with an intense green color that can reach 4 meters (13.12 feet) in height. They have 20-30 rounded ribs covered with dense white or yellowish hairs. The flowers appear on the cephalium, are 5 cm (1.96") long and can be white or reddish; they open at night and die the next day. Only the adult specimens bloom in the second half of summer. The fruits are edible.

They are used in gardens of Mediterranean climates in groups, as isolated specimens and in pots for terraces, patios, greenhouses or as a houseplant.

The Espostoa lanata needs full sun or semi-shade exposure. The temperature should not be lower than 5 ºC (41 ºF) if the climate is dry and not lower than 7 ºC (44.6 ºF) if the climate is humid.

They are not picky about the soil as long as it is very well drained (add coarse sand). They do not usually need transplants since their growth is very slow.

Water moderately in spring and summer, waiting for the substrate to be dry; reduce watering in fall and do not water in winter.

Fertilize once a week with mineral fertilizer for cacti in the flowering season.

They are plants resistant to pests and diseases but sensitive to excess humidity.

They propagate from seeds or by cuttings.

Images of the cactus Espostoa lanata or Peruvian old man cactus

Espostoa lanata
Espostoa lanata
Espostoa lanata