How to care for a peyote cactus

peyote cactus

The peyote cactus is easily recognized because it has an odd shape, like a button. That is, it is not very tall (up to 13 cm) and it is round. This plant from Mexico is known for its medicinal purposes and spiritual effects, although it is also used for decoration because of its striking shape and its flowers, except that it is very suitable for gardens and other plants. Its cultivation is not difficult, although it really is convenient to know a series of specific cares so that it develops perfectly, since it is a plant that has many doubts due to its slow growth rate. There are some guidelines to keep in mind to learn how to care for a peyote cactus.

Therefore, we are going to dedicate this article to tell you how to take care of a peyote cactus, what are its characteristics and curiosities.

key features

cactus with potted flower

It is also known by the common names of Peyote, Flor de Mezcal, and Button de Mezcal. They are small cacti with flat globules, usually no more than 5 cm tall, but they can form colonies. They are blue-green or red-green (if they get a lot of sunlight) and have wide, flat ribs and areoles without spines but with trichomes. The flowers appear in the tops of plants and can be white, pink, or light yellow. They bloom in spring and summer, but can take several years.

They grow very slowly and are easy to grow, they are usually grown in deep pots because their roots are shaped like a turnip (radish shaped). If time permits, they are also suitable for rockeries. Due to their mescaline content (psychedelic alkaloids), they are used in indigenous religious ceremonies.

It can reach about 5 cm in height and 12 cm in diameter. Its shape is almost spherical, but it becomes a bit columnar with age. The body is divided into 5-13 button-shaped ribs, greenish-gray to blue-green in color. The areola has no spines unless it is young and covered with white hair. The flowers that bloom in spring are pink. The root is thick and conical.

How to care for a peyote cactus

how to care for a peyote cactus

Peyote cacti are one of the most heat-resistant cacti, but that doesn't mean you don't have to be careful when temperatures get extreme. In fact, the ideal temperature for this cactus is 23 degrees centigrade, which means that it can be kept at home and outside. However, it can also live well at slightly lower and slightly higher temperatures. In this way, it is no problem to place pots or plant them in areas where the temperature fluctuates between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius in the garden.

When talking about how to care for a cactus, one of the main questions is whether it should be better in the sun or in the shade. The fact is that it depends on the size of the plant:

  • If the seeds are planted to allow the cactus to grow from scratch, it is important not to place the pot in a location exposed to direct sunlight, as this the seeds will dry up and the cactus will not grow. However, this does not mean that it should be placed in a shady area. The important thing is that at this stage you have to give it light.
  • When the cactus has been born or you have bought it in a florist or store, it is best to gradually start exposing it to direct sunlight to adapt to it. This way, you can leave the pot for about an hour a day.
  • When the cactus grows, the potted plant can be placed in direct sunlight without any problem, or it can be planted in the garden. In any case, it should not be forgotten that the cactus should not be transplanted before its first year of life because it is not strong enough.

Watering the peyote cactus

how to care for a peyote cactus easy

If lighting is important to cactus growth, so is irrigation. In addition, the amount and frequency of water is another question that is often raised when talking about how to care for the cactus, and it also varies according to the growth stage.

Thus, as a general guideline, if you sow cactus seeds, the key is to water it frequently to keep the soil moist, Well, at this stage of growth the humidity level must be high, so you should know that the soil is always moist. Later, as much control is no longer needed, because the cactus will get used to living in drier lands and environments when it matures.

However, it is important that this change from high humidity to low humidity is done gradually and lasts for several months so that the cactus is not affected. For example, you can reduce the amount and frequency of watering, or dig more holes in the pots, so that there is more drainage each time you water. With these tips for the care of cacti the plant will grow without problems, but remember, you have to wait patiently because it grows slowly.

Compost, pests and diseases

It reproduces through seeds in spring. It must be reproduced as follows:

  • The first thing you should do is fill a tray with holes or a pot with a diameter of about 10,5 cm with a universal culture medium mixed with 50% perlite.
  • Once we have drained the entire tray, we water very carefully, controlling the amount of water at all times.
  • We put seeds per slot, although we can also place between 5-6 seeds in the pot.
  • Then cover them with a thin layer of river sand that has been previously washed.
  • Finally, place the seedbed outside in a semi-shaded place. The most normal thing is that the first germinates in about two weeks.

The peyote cactus is one of the most resistant to diseases and insect pests. You just have to protect it from mollusks (snails and slugs), because these animals have weaknesses compared to soft plants without spines.

I hope that with this information you can learn more about how to care for a peyote cactus and what its main characteristics are.

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