Cacti are very popular houseplants mostly because they have quite a unique appearance and are very easy to take care of. If you are looking for a different type of cacti, then you might want to know more about the Boobie cactus. Just look at the name; it’s so weird!
It might surprise you to see how cacti have variations amongst them as well, and today we will be taking a close look specifically at the Boobie cactus so you can determine if you like it. We will also be giving you a brief guide on how to grow and care for this plant and some insight into how suitable it is as a houseplant.
What is Boobie Cactus?
From its name, you can already tell that this plant is a cactus and will have some general characteristics of cacti. This cactus has quite a few exclusive traits, which will surprise you.
‘Boobie cactus’ is the informal name of this plant; its proper name is Myrtillocactus geometrizans ‘Fukurokuryuzinboku’. Since the scientific name is so difficult, we will just stick to Boobie cactus. Because this cactus has a girthy green stem with some blue-grey tint, it is also known as blue candle cactus.
The ribs of this cactus are very oddly shaped. Therefore, it has been given the name ‘Boobie cactus’. This species of cacti originate from Myrtillocactus geometrizans which is found in Guatemala and Mexico. However, this specific cultivar originates from Japanese nurseries.
Is it Rare?
This succulent is quite a rare one, and you probably will not find it in your local plant nursery. Due to its unique appearance, the demand for the Boobie cactus has been driven up, which makes it even harder to find. This plant does not grow naturally and is far rarer than regular Myrtillocactus geometrizans.
The Boobie cactus is a very valuable addition to all plant collectors’ collections. However, they are not grown as much as many other species of cacti, making them rare. If you wish to have a Boobie cactus, then buying one would be a much better option than getting seeds, germinating them, and growing the plant.
Unfortunately, when you try to grow the plant from its seeds, there is a high probability you will just grow a regular Myrtillocactus geometrizans cactus without oddly shaped ribs.
Scientific Name: Myrtillocactus geometrizans
Species: M. geometrizans
Boobie Cactus Care Process
We’ve already mentioned that the Boobie cactus requires quite simple care, so you won’t have to put too much time and effort into keeping it alive. During the growing season, which is during summer and spring, you will have to keep the plant in a spot with plenty of sunlight. Furthermore, you will need to water the plant regularly during the growing season so it stays healthy.
The Boobie cactus, just like all other cacti, becomes dormant in the winter. So that the plant can turn dormant, you will have to carry out a few changes in its care process. When winter begins, water the plant much more sparingly, so the soil is dry, but the cactus isn’t wilted. You will also have to place the plant in a less bright spot with indirect sunlight.
Don’t forget to add fertilizer to the plant’s potting mixture about every three weeks during the growing season. Use a special cactus fertilizer with more phosphorus content than nitrogen content for best results.
Can You Grow it at Home?
As we’ve mentioned previously, buying a baby Boobie cactus from a nursery and then growing it is a much wiser decision than trying to grow it by germinating seeds. You will most likely get a regular Myrtillocactus geometrizans cactus from the seeds.
However, it is still possible to grow this succulent at home. Instead of germinating seeds, you will have to take cuttings from another Boobie cactus so you can grow it.
How to Propagate It
While it can seem a bit troublesome to grow this genus of Myrtillocactus geometrizans at home, you can still do it. Firstly, you will have to take a cutting from a mature Boobie cactus during summer or spring. If the temperature when the cutting is taken is below 65 Fahrenheit, then roots will not grow from the cutting.
After the cutting is taken, wait for about 2 weeks so a callus is formed over the cuttingxs; once the callus has formed, add some pebbles or even gravel at the bottom of the pot before you add the soil. This will improve the drainage of the soil.
Next, cover the cutting with the rest of the soil, put the pot in a brightly lit spot, and water regularly (about every 12 days) so the soil stays moist.
What are Other Plants it Goes Well with?
Cacti grow well when kept close to each other. It’s best if you keep the Boobie cactus with other succulents and species of cacti. Since a lot of cacti require similar growing conditions, they can be kept together. Keeping them together also makes for a stunning display.
Although the Boobie cactus looks amazing with other species of cacti, they also look great alone because of their special thick stem with breast-shaped ribs and blue tint.
Is it an Indoor or an Outdoor Plant?
The Boobie cactus is more of an indoor plant. Since it was cultivated in a Japanese nursery first, it requires a much more controlled environment which is not possible outdoors. This plant is better off kept in a pot inside your home.
During the growing season, the temperature might get a bit too high for the succulent to grow properly. There are many species of cactus that you can grow outdoors, but this one, in particular, is just meant to be a cute addition to your indoor plant collection.
Different Types of Boobie Cactus
We have already mentioned abundantly in this article that the Boobie cactus does not grow naturally, and it is a cultivar. This means it was designed specially by humans for its beautiful appearance. Therefore, there are some varieties of Boobie Cactus.
Blue Myrtle Cactus
One of the most well-known variations of the Boobie cactus has to be the blue myrtle cactus. Like the regular Boobie cactus, it has a very thick green stem, but the blue tint of its stem is much stronger. The number of pricks sprouting from each areole is similar to the Boobie cactus.
This plant grows very tall, up to 15 feet tall. It has white flowers, which eventually turn a beautiful deep red as it begins to produce its berries.
Unlike regular Boobie cactus, the Bilberry cactus grows quite quickly, and it has a maximum height of 15 feet. They are grown commonly in Mexico because of the sweet berries that they produce. The fruits look wonderful with a magenta or vibrant blue color.
Like other Boobie cacti, the bilberry cactus also blooms with white flowers. These flowers bloom when the plant is about 2 feet tall, which doesn’t take long since this variation is fast-growing.
Is it Safe for a Home with Pets?
Good news for all you pet owners out there, no evidence has been found proving Boobie cactus to be toxic for pets or even humans. You don’t even need to worry about the pricks on these cacti because they are very lightly prickly. Your pets won’t get hurt.
The berries that the Boobie cactus produces are edible and taste sweet. They taste a lot like blueberries, and you can eat them fresh by picking them off the cactus.
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