Commonly known as the Tree Cactus, Pilosocereus lanuginosus has a remarkable appearance that steals your attention away with its vibrant yellow casing of thorns around a thick green succulent stem.
Tree cactuses are great for indoor keeping because of their ability to grow upright in average humidity levels at home. These beautiful cactuses are great for adult homes.
If you have kids at home, we would suggest that you steer clear of temptations for domesticating this cactus as the thorns on their body are not quite kid-friendly.
Overview of the Plant
Let us give you a clear idea of this tree cactus or Pilosocereus lanuginosus. Naturally occurring in the native lands of Northern South America, Brazil, and the Caribbean, these cactuses can grow really tall.
Typically, they will grow to a height of 10 – 40 feet when they are grown in a big space. They can also be kept at home as a houseplant, but the proportions will be much more modest in the enclosed space of a tree pot.
The tree cactus gets its name from its Latin origins, as the Latin word “Pilosocereus” means “hairy candle” in English. It comes from the genus “Cereus” which has a total of 33 species of cacti in the family.
The tree cacti are far from being candle-like. In fact, they have really strong and sturdy stems that fluff up when these plants are in bloom. The fluffiness around the thick stem is actually the growth of yellow and cream extensions that are characteristic of a Pilosocereus lanuginosus in bloom.
On some summer nights, Pilosocereus lanuginosus will make beautiful flowers that are white/yellow in color.
Many people think that they have bad luck when they can’t keep a plant alive. In reality, this whole anxiety with plant care can be overcome by gathering proper knowledge about plants. In order to make a plant grow to its optimum state, we must be aware of what its requirements are. Let’s talk about the particular needs of a Pilosocereus lanuginosus.
First of all, the plant must be potted in an optimum medium. For a Pilosocereus lanuginosus, the best medium of soil should drain and dry fast. Soggy soil will be counterproductive for the growth of the plant, as it tends to rot when it absorbs too much water.
The pilosocereus lanuginosus blooms in the summertime, so it is basically a summer plant. It needs a lot of light to grow. Even when growing these plants indoors, make sure to locate them in a place that gets a lot of indirect or direct sunlight.
Humidity is not a problem with this plant since it is well accustomed to harsh conditions. These plants will thrive in dry air just as well as in average moisture levels.
When watering the plant, make sure not to overwater it in order to keep the succulents from rotting. Only water the plant sparingly when the plant is in season. The season for this plant is summer, so during the winter, they will stay completely dormant and will not require any watering.
Also, an essential thing to remember about plant care is the pH level of the soil. Every plant has an optimum level of pH for the plant to absorb maximum benefits from the nutrients and minerals present in the soil.
For the Pilosocereus lanuginosus, the soil should always be neutral to acidic. To ensure this, add some agricultural limestone to the soil mixture and simply neutralize the acids present in the soil.
Pests & Diseases
One of the most heartbreaking things to happen to your plant is a pest infestation. Pests usually have a sneaky way of showing up, and they are quite irritatingly slow to get rid of as well.
If you are a first-time plant parent, make sure that you do everything to immediately get rid of pests because they are really adept at killing plants swiftly.
Fortunately enough, the Pilosocereus lanuginosus do not get too many pests and diseases. The only problem you have to look out for is an infestation of mealybugs.
Mealybugs are pests that look like clusters of white cotton spots. If they are seen on any part of the plant, be quick to get rid of them before they suck out all the sap from your plant and cause it to wither and die. These bugs are actually pretty common for houseplants, which is why you can find some easy, foolproof methods to remove them.
To remove the mealybugs, you have to start by locating all of them on your plant. Inspect the whole plant from leaf, stem to root because the mealybugs could happen on any part of the plant. Once you find it, spray water on it at high pressure and try to wash them away. After an initial job of water-shooting, get some insecticides and treat the affected area generously.
Uses of Pilosocereus lanuginosus
These succulents are basically just eye candies for the cacti lover. There is no doubt that the Pilosocereus lanuginosus is a gorgeous plant. They look quite like the ordinary cactus, but when they bloom they are a sight altogether. If you are lucky to catch the flower on a summer night, then consider yourself lucky.
The Pilosocereus lanuginosus is a non-toxic succulent, which makes them ideal for home environments. However, their sharp and long spines are dangerous for kids and pets. If you have a Pilosocereus lanuginosus at home, remember to put them in a safe and spacious place in the house.
Pilosocereus lanuginosus are succulents that just really hate the cold. If you are living in a tropical area, the conditions are already set for you to grow these beautiful tree cacti indoors.
These succulents are really nice to look at, and just about anybody could grow them because of their low maintenance requirements. Once they bloom flowers, they become a really beautiful sight to behold.
Just make sure to never over-water your Pilosocereus lanuginosus and to never keep it within reach of children and pets.