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Pachycereus marginatus (Mexican Fence Post Cactus)


Scientific Name

Pachycereus marginatus (DC.) Britton & Rose

Common Names

Mexican Fence Post Cactus, Fence Post Cactus, Central Mexico Pipe Organ, Organ Pipe Cactus, Mexican Organ Pipe Cactus, Organ Pipe, Organo


Cereus marginatus, Cereus gemmatus, Lemaireocereus marginatus, Lophocereus marginatus, Marginatocereus marginatus, Stenocereus marginatus

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Pachycereeae
Genus: Pachycereus


Pachycereus marginatus is a cactus with columnar trunks that slowly grow up to 12 feet (3.7 m) tall. The stems are up to 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter and have 5 to 7 ribs, one central spine, and 5 to 9 radials, all slightly yellowish. Flowers are pink to greenish and up to 1.6 inches (4 cm) long. The spiny fruits are yellowish to reddish, 1.6 inches (4 cm) in diameter, with many black seeds.

Pachycereus marginatus (Mexican Fence Post Cactus)

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USDA hardiness zone 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Like most other plants that can grow to staggering size, Pachycereus cacti grow extraordinarily slowly throughout hundreds of years. They require virtually zero assistance on your end, provided they are raised in a desert environment.

These extraordinarily, low-maintenance plants can grow untouched for decades, so there is not much you need to worry about. They must receive adequate sun and heat and be careful around their spines. If grown in containers, make sure that they are being repotted and that their soil isn't too moist. Other than that, these plants are about as hands-off and straightforward as it gets.

Like most cacti and succulents, these plants propagate by cuttings. Sever a branch and replant in well-drained soil. Make sure to stand the cactus up in an empty container to let its ends heal off before you replant it; this will keep its stems shaped right, and cacti with dried ends form roots more easily after planting. See more at How to Grow and Care for Pachycereus.


Pachycereus marginatus is native to Central Mexico.



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