Cleistocactus winteri subsp. colademono D.R. Hunt
Monkey's Tail, Rat Tail
Borzicactus colademononis, Cleistocactus colademononis, Cleistocactus winteri subsp. colademononis, Hildewintera colademononis, Hildewintera polonica, Winterocereus colademononis
Cleistocactus winteri subsp. colademono, also known as Cleistocactus colademononis, is an attractive cactus with light green cylindrical stems densely covered with white hair-like spines. It is an epilithic cactus that grows on rocks in its natural habitat, branching at the base. The common name Monkey's Tail refers to the appearance of the stems. The stems are up to 8.2 feet (2.5 m) long, up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) in diameter, upright at first, becoming pendent with age.
Flowers are bright red and up to 3.2 inches (8 cm) long, up to 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter, and appear from late spring to early fall. Fruits are reddish, more or less spherical, up to 0.5 inches (1.2 cm) in diameter, and contain black seeds.
Cleistocactus winteri subsp. colademono is endemic to Bolivia. It occurs in Florida province in the Santa Cruz Department, about 30 kilometers east of Samaipata, a small town in the eastern foothills of the Bolivian Andes.
USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Choose a location that gets full sun and has well-draining soil. During the spring and summer, water Cleistocactus when the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil dries. During the fall, reduce watering to every five weeks if the ground dries out. In winter, keep your cactus dry, or the moist ground combined with the cool temperatures and dormancy may cause the roots to rot. Fertilize with a low-nitrogen fertilizer during the active growth period. A slow-release fertilizer applied in the spring will be sufficient for the whole year.
It is possible to propagate by cutting a small branch from a Cleistocactus and rooting it, but this inevitably leaves a disfiguring scar near the main stem's base. If an offset is removed to be used in propagation, remember to let it dry for a week or so, allowing the wound to heal. Rooting usually occurs within 3 to 8 weeks. Therefore, it is best to raise Cleistocactus from seed. Be sure to get the seeds from a reputable source.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Cleistocactus.
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