Cereus hankeanus F.A.C.Weber ex K.Schum.
Cereus labouretianus, Piptanthocereus comarapanus, Piptanthocereus hankeanus, Piptanthocereus labouretianus
This species is native to Bolivia.
Cereus hankeanus is a rare tree-like cactus with segmented branches that arise from the main stem. It grows up to 12 feet (3.7 m) tall. Branches are blue-green, up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) in diameter, and have 4 or 5 ribs. Spines are up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) long. Each areole bears one central and four radial spines. Flowers are pinkish-white with brownish-pink sepals, up to 4.8 inches (12 cm) long, and appear in mid-summer.
The specific epithet "hankeanus (han-kee-AY-nus)" is of unclear origin and meaning.
How to Grow and Care for Cereus hankeanus
Light: This cactus likes full sun. It can handle partial shade but thrives in direct sunlight during the summer. A sunny window is a good spot to grow C. hankeanus indoors. Rotate the pot a quarter turn every week or two to encourage balanced growth. If possible, get your cactus outdoors from spring to fall.
Soil: C. hankeanus does not like to have "wet feet" and needs to be grown in well-draining soil. Use commercial soil mixes for cacti or make your own mix.
Hardiness: During the active growth period, this cactus likes warm temperatures, while in winter, it likes cooler temperatures. C. hankeanus can withstand temperatures as low as 30 to 50 °F (-1.1 to 10 °C), USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b.
Watering: From spring to fall, water thoroughly, but allow the soil to dry out before watering again. With the arrival of fall, gradually reduce the watering frequency. During the winter, when C. hankeanus is dormant, give it just enough water to prevent shrinking.
Fertilizing: During its growing season, this cactus likes regular fertilizing. A balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, diluted to 1/4 strength, can be added to the water for each watering. A 10-10-10 fertilizer is ideal. Instead of making a solution of water and fertilizer, there are also dry fertilizers. Do not fertilize during the winter.
Repotting: While C. hankeanus is young, it is recommended to repot each year in early spring. Once it matures, repot when your cactus is outgrowing its pot.
Propagation: Using stem cuttings is the easiest method to propagate C. hankeanus because seed propagation is a slow process. Planting of the cuttings is best done when the cactus is actively growing. Spring and summer is the best time to sow the seeds.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Cereus.
Toxicity of Cereus hankeanus
C. hankeanus is non-toxic to humans or animals.
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