Eulychnia is a genus of candelabra or tree-like cacti. It has 6 to 9 species depending on the authority. These relatively large plants reach up to 23 feet (7 m) high and can survive under very hot conditions, up to 122 °F (50 °C). Furthermore, these cacti can also survive in some of the world's driest places, such as the Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world.
The stems are covered with long spines arranged in clusters on tuberculate ribs. The floral tubes are round in shape, covered in spines, wool, scales, or all three, and when the flower opens, it resembles a ball popped open on one side.
Eulychnias are not common in cultivation, and only collectors with a specific interest in the genus seem to grow them.
Light: Eulychnias require full sun or light shade for compact growth and strong colored spines. They tend to bronze in intense sunlight, encouraging flowering and heavy spine production. Light shade can be helpful on the hottest summer days.
Water: It requires light but regular watering in summer. Let the soil dry between waterings. Keep the soil dry in winter.
Temperature: Eulychnias need to be kept in a cool place during the winter rest. They are resistant to light frost if kept on the dry side during cold weather. Eulychnias are hardy down to 28 °F (-2 °C) in short periods.
Soil: These cacti need a well-draining cactus soil mix. They can become too elongated if the soil mix is too rich.
Fertilizer: Feed with a high potassium fertilizer in summer.
Eulychnias can be propagated from seeds or cuttings.
Pests and Diseases
Eulychnias may be attractive to various pests. Still, plants in good condition should be nearly pest-free.
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