Pereskia corrugata, or Pereskia Rose Cactus, is a deciduous, leaved cactus that is native from Mexico to Panama. Although the plants resemble wild roses, they are actually primitive cacti with leaves. The stems are not succulent, and have prominent spines. The vegetative plant hardly resembles the typical desert cacti, nor is it as drought resistant. Pereskia corrugata can reach up to 12 feet (3 m) in height and a width of about half its height. The dark green leaves can reach 8 inches (20 cm) long by 2.5 inches (6.5 cm) wide. They are easy cacti to grow and should be in every cactus collection.
Blooming Time: In spring to early summer, the orangish-red, 2 inch (5 cm) blossoms open late in the afternoon and last only one day. They are very showy. If fertilized, they create a waxy hemispherical fruit that is quite conspicuous.
Culture: Pereskia corrugata needs full sun to partial shade, with a rich, well-drained soil. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mixture consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts sand or perlite. During the spring and summer, the plants are kept moist and fertilized on a weekly basis. Since the plants are fast growers, you may have to keep them pruned to keep a desired form. In the greenhouse, they will grow up to 2 feet a year. In the winter months, the plant should be watered only enough to keep the stems from shriveling.
Propagation: Pereskia corrugata is easily propagated from cuttings or seed in spring. Unlike other cacti, cuttings of Pereskias should not be allowed to dry before planting. Cuttings should be immediately put in moist sand and kept moist. Seed sown in spring usually germinate within 21-30 day after planting.
Pereskia corrugata was featured as Plant of the Week June 27-July 3, 2003.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.