Neobuxbaumia polylopha (DC.) Backeb.
Cone Cactus, Wax Cactus, Golden-spined Saguaro, Golden Saguaro
Cereus polylophus, Carnegiea polylopha, Cephalocereus polylophus, Pilocereus polylophus
Neobuxbaumia polylopha is a columnar cactus with a solitary pale green stem with 10 and 30 ribs with 4 to 8 bristle-like spines per areole. It grows up to 50 feet (15 m) tall and up to 14 inches (35 cm) in diameter. The spines are up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long, yellowish, turning grey as they age. Flowers are vivid pink, dark red, or magenta and bloom at night in the summer.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Like most cacti, Cereus are fairly low-maintenance and hardy. Make sure they receive enough water without becoming waterlogged, especially during the summer, and fertilize them for the best results. If the roots have become black or overly soft, the cactus could be experiencing root rot. Cut away the affected parts and replant them. Most gardeners interested in cacti should cultivate these without much problem.
It may become necessary to repot your Cereus if it outgrows its container. If so, make sure the soil is dry and then remove the pot. Knock away old soil, prune away any rotted or dead roots, then replace it in a new pot and backfill it with fresh soil. Ensure not to overwater cacti planted in new pots, as this can lead to root rot. It should be left dry for about a week and then watered lightly.
These cacti propagate quite easily from cuttings. Simply sever a branch and replant in moist, well-drained soil.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Cereus.
This species is found only in Mexico, confined to a small area in Guanajuato.
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