Echinocereus pentalophus subsp. procumbens (Engelm.) W.Blum & Mich.Lange
Accepted Scientific Name
Echinocereus pentalophus (DC.) Lem.
Alicoche, Devil's Fingers, Dog Tail, Lady Finger Cactus
Cereus procumbens, Echinocereus procumbens
Echinocereus pentalophus subsp. procumbens is a cactus with branched, dark green to reddish-purple stems with 4 to 5 ribs. It grows up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall and spreads up to 3.3 feet wide. Stems are up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) in diameter, have 4 to 8 spines per areole, one of which is a little longer and more central. This subspecies differs from Echinocereus pentalophus subsp. pentalophus mostly by having thinner semi-prostrate stems. Flowers are brilliant pink or magenta, up to 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter, and appear in late spring.
USDA hardiness zones 9a to 11b: from 20 °F (−6.7 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
If you can successfully grow other globular cacti, you can most likely grow Echinocereus well. One of the key factors in success with these is avoiding any hint of wet soil. Because their root systems are weak, they are especially prone to root rot, eventually killing your plant. Otherwise, they thrive on a program of intense bright light, little water, and a steady diet of light fertilizer. These cacti are vulnerable to mealybugs and aphids.
Echinocereus are slow-growing cacti that should only need repotting every other year or so. You can prolong the time to repotting by removing plantlets and potting them up in their own pots. When repotting a cactus, carefully remove it from its pot and knock away any clumped soil. These plants tend to be shallow-rooted with weak root systems, so take care not to damage their roots.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Echinocereus.
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