Acanthocereus tetragonus 'Fairy Castles', or Fairy Castle Cactus, is a small, slow growing cactus native to Brazil. Fairy Castles is not a hybrid cactus; in fact, it is miniature form of Acanthocereus tetragonus. This slow-growing cactus will reach about 6 feet (1.8 m) tall with great age. We grew ours from a cutting and it is now 10 years old and only has attained a height of 18 inches (0.45 m) tall. It is of easy culture and will survive in the landscape in USDA zone 10.
Blooming: Our specimen has never bloomed. If it ever does, I suspect that the blooms will be yellow.
Culture: Acanthocereus tetragonus 'Fairy Castles' need full sun to light shade with a well drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 1 part peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts sand. To this mix, we add small gravel to ensure good drainage. The plants are well watered and allowed to dry thoroughly before watering again. The plant responds well to fertilizers, so we apply a balanced fertilizer at 1/2 the rate recommended on the label once a month during the growing season. This cactus does not like very cool temperatures in the winter months. We do not let the winter temperatures fall below 65°F (18°C). During this period water is restricted to only enough to keep the stems from shriveling.
Propagation: Acanthocereus tetragonus 'Fairy Castles' is propagated from cuttings. Cuttings taken should be allowed to harden off before planting.
Acanthocereus tetragonus 'Fairy Castles' was featured as Plant of the Week July 18-24, 2008.
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Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late 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.