Cacti are often used as decorations. Some people even consider them collectibles. The Pilocereus Azureus is a cactus that’s both beautiful, rarely found, and is considered a valuable collectible.
Also known as the Blue Torch Cactus, the Pilocereus Azureus is a blue Cactus that can enhance the look of any space it’s put into. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can grow this cactus in the best possible way.
Overview Of The Plant
The Pilocereus genus is native to the Caribbean, Mexico, and Brazil. However, the Pilocereus Azureus is a rare species that has its origin in the sub-tropical areas of Brazil.
The name Blue Torch Cactus is completely justified by the blue color of the cactus. However, it doesn’t start all bluish. Rather, the more the cactus ages, the bluer it gets.
Also, the golden spines along the ribs of this plant create a beautiful contrast. While the color of the cactus makes it a great decoration on its own, its beauty is further enhanced when it’s surrounded by green plants.
The cactus blooms at night, and its white flowers attract moths and bats, which help in pollination.
It can grow rather tall, but there’s a special characteristic of this plant that makes it great for indoors. After sprouting, the plant grows pretty fast until it reaches a height of 12-inch.
However, the plant remains stunted at this height for a long time. This makes it perfect for indoor placement, especially on patio or windowsills.
When it comes to growing a cactus on your own, location matters the most. If you live in a warm climate like that of a desert, it’ll be possible for you to grow the plant outdoors.
In any other case, you’d benefit more from planting the cactus indoors, as this will help you create the right conditions for the optimum growth of the plant.
Cactus usually grows in the desert, and that gives us more or less a clear idea of soil selection. For starters, the soil must be dry. It can be sandy or loamy, but it shouldn’t be claylike.
However, it’s best if the soil is sandy and has a good amount of limestone and perlite in it. To help the plant grow better, there should be some organic components in the mix.
Also, the drainage system must be top-notch. Cacti don’t require a lot of watering, and excess water clogging can prohibit their growth. To ensure that, you can use a terracotta pot, as these are moisture wicking.
Cacti don’t require much watering. You’ll be well off watering these once a week in the summer. In the rainy season, it’ll be enough to water it twice or thrice a month.
There’s a good way of understanding when you must water the plant. Just push one of your fingers about three inches down the soil. Water only if the soil is dry down there.
One thing you must make sure of is not to overwater the plant, or it will lead to root rot.
As we’ve discussed previously, The Pilocereus Azureus grows very quickly, especially in the early stages of its life cycle. However, applying some fertilizer can expedite the growth further.
But be careful in choosing the fertilizer. If the fertilizer is too strong, it may end up burning the plant. So, choose a 20-20-20 fertilizer in liquid form. Before application, dilute the fertilizer with water and apply it in small amounts. This should be done only during the growing season for the best results.
As these plants grow in the desert, they have great resistance to warmth. These plants usually grow at a temperature higher than 70-degree Fahrenheit. They’ve been tested to grow well even in temperatures consisting of three digits.
However, they can’t tolerate cold at all. If the temperature drops any lower than 50-degree Fahrenheit, their growth and condition start to worsen. When the temperature drops near the freezing point, the plant dies.
So, you shouldn’t have to be conscious of the temperature as long as you aren’t living in a cold area.
Pests And Diseases
The Pilocereus Azureus is quite a sturdy plant, and it doesn’t get inflicted frequently. Still, you must be cautious growing one of these.
One of the most common inflictions this plant can suffer from is that of mealybugs. These pests can damage the entire plant. Thankfully, these are rather easy to get rid of.
To do so, you need to clear the bugs out with high pressured water from a hose. Once the plant is clear of the bugs, apply light insecticide, so it repels any further bugs.
What Are The Uses Of This Plant?
There’s no medicinal benefit to the Blue Torch Cactus. It can, however, be used for landscaping. Due to its rare color, the plant can enhance the look of its surrounding plants. This is why it’s commonly used indoors and in rock gardens, cacti gardens, and patios.
Is It Toxic?
No, the Pilocereus Azureus isn’t toxic to humans or animals. However, the spines can be harmful to those who touch them without caution. This is why it’s recommended you grow it somewhere where kids or pets can’t reach it.
Is It Drought Tolerant?
Yes, the Pilocereus Azureus is drought tolerant and needs to be watered only once a week.
The Pilocereus Azureus is an easy-to-maintain plant that can be grown in almost every climate. Although the plant is rare and expensive, investing in it is completely worth it.
If you want to beautify your home, office, or garden, you should get one of these. Don’t forget to follow this care guide, as it’ll help you grow the Blue Torch Cactus to its best shape!