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Care of the plant Pachycereus schottii or Senita cactus.

Care of the cactus Pachycereus schottii or Senita cactus

The genus Pachycereus, family Cactaceae, includes 10 species of cacti native to Mexico and the southwestern United States. Some species are: Pachycereus schottii, Pachycereus pringlei, Pachycereus marginatus, Pachycereus weberi, Pachycereus pecten-aboriginum.

Common names: Senita cactus, Old man cactus, Totem Pole cactus, Whisker Cactus. Scientific synonym: Lophocereus schottii. This species is native to Baja California and Sonora, Mexico.

They are large, slow-growing cacti that branch from the base and reach 7 meters (23 feet) in height. They have 5-9 ribs with white and woolly areoles that have 5 radial spines 1 cm (0.39") long and a single central spine; there are monstrous varieties that do not have thorns. The flowers measure 4 cm (1.57") in diameter and can be pink or whitish. They bloom in summer and the flowers open at night.

They are used in rockeries, on dry and sunny slopes, as isolated specimens and in pots when they are young. They are ideal for frost-free Mediterranean coastal gardens.

Pachycereus schottii needs full sun exposure and a hot, dry climate. They do not resist temperatures below 6 ºC (42.8 ºF).

The soil must be very well drained, for which you can use a commercial substrate for cacti or a mixture of leaf mulch and coarse siliceous sand in equal parts.

They are very drought-resistant cacti that need occasional watering in spring and summer; in autumn water little and do not water in winter.

They do not need fertilizer or pruning.

They are plants resistant to the usual pests and diseases; they fear excess moisture at the roots and intense cold.

They are propagated by stem cuttings that are allowed to dry for a few days before planting.

Images of the cactus Pachycereus schottii or Senita cactus

Pachycereus schottii f. monstrosus
Pachycereus schottii f. monstrosus
Pachycereus schottii f. monstrosus