Matucana haynei (Otto ex Salm-Dyck) Britton & Rose
Matucana cereoides, Matucana elongata, Matucana herzogiana, Matucana supertexta, Matucana variabilis
Matucana haynei is a cactus with green, usually solitary, globose stems, up to 12 inches (30 cm) in diameter, with tuberculate ribs and densely covered with numerous spines. It has 1 to 20 central spines up to 2.8 inches (7 cm) long and 14 to 45 radial spines up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long. They are variable in color, ranging from white, pale brown to grey. Tubular flowers are scarlet red, up to 3.6 inches (9 cm) long, up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter, and appear in spring.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
All species are sensitive to moisture. Watering should, therefore, be limited to the growing season and should be made only when the substrate is completely dry. It must be suspended during the winter. Since they tend to lose their roots in cold and wet, these plants must be kept warm even in winter. A temperature not under 50 °F (10 °C) is suitable. Some species, for natural adaptation, can resist temperatures below 32°F (0°C).
If the plants are in the vegetative stage and optimal environmental conditions (a low moisture content with substantial temperature swing between day and night is appreciated), the growth is quite fast. You can get blooms already after 2 to 3 years after birth.
Matucana must be grown in very porous and draining soil. It can be composed largely by sand, lapilli, and gravel. To encourage the development of a dense network of the spine, the quality of the nutrients in the substrate is very important. The soil must be rich in potassium, poor in nitrogen. Since the roots are very delicate and subject to rot, the soil should be kept as dry as possible. Do not forget that in their natural environment, these plants grow in steep and inaccessible places.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Matucana.
Matucana haynei is native to Peru.
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