Myrtillocactus is a genus of cacti found from Mexico to Guatemala. The best-known species is Myrtillocactus geometrizans. The largest plants in this genus can grow up to 16.5 feet (5 m) tall. These cacti tend to flower in the summer. They produce blueberries after the greenish-white flowers, hence the nickname Blueberry Cactus, eaten as a snack in Mexico.
Growing Conditions and General Care
In summer, place your Myrtillocactus in bright sunlight (indoors or outdoors). In winter, find a cooler, light spot; that will allow it to go into next spring well-rested, which will make it more likely to flower.
These easy-care plants do not want a lot of water. Allow the soil to dry out before you give them another drink. Keep the soil completely dry in winter. Myrtillocactus need a well-drained soil mix with small gravel added to ensure drainage.
These cacti are semi-hardy, so make sure that your Myrtillocactus plants are not exposed to temperatures below 25 °F (-4 °C), or they may die. Nevertheless, it is good advice never to let the nighttime temperatures fall below 50 °F (10 °C).
Treat Myrtillocactus with special cactus food once a month in the spring and summer.
Since Myrtillocactus are big-sized plants that need plenty of space for their roots, repotting should be done every other year or when the plant has outgrown its pot. If the plant needs repotting, use a fairly impoverished soil specially designed for cacti.
These cacti are propagated by seed or cutting. Allow the cut surface to dry out for 2 to 3 weeks before placing it in an open rooting media. The cuttings, which will grow quickly, from Myrtillocactus must be taken when the temperature is high enough, or the cuttings will not root.
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