Are you looking for a flower to introduce glamor to your indoor or outdoor garden? There are few choices more ideal than Myrtillocactus geometrizans! This succulent cactus can steal most of the attention at your exhibition, thanks to its typically massive size and unique maturity shape.
Myrtillocactus geometrizans grow remarkably fast. This plant may grow up to five meters —over 16 feet in height and up to 20 centimeters in diameters— within a few years if you care for it properly! It germinates rapidly with minimum effort on your part.
However, this ease of growth doesn’t absolve you of vital responsibilities. Myrtillocactus geometrizans may require relatively little care, but you must exercise such care to the letter for optimal results. In this lesson, we’ll look at the origin of this wildflower, how to propagate it, and the best care recommendations to ensure you make a giant show-off in your garden.
|Botanical Name||Myrtillocactus geometrizans|
|Common Name||Blue Torch, Blue Candle, Blue Flame, Blue Myrtle Cactus, and Bilberry Cactus|
|Size||Up to 16 feet|
|Pet Friendly||Non-toxic, but does have thorns|
Myrtillocactus Geometrizans Origin
This spiky green cactus is a member of the Cactaceae family. Geometrizans originate from central and Northern Mexico amidst a 50,000 square kilometers habitat. This succulent plant thrives in elevations about 1000m above sea level and dominates the tropical deciduous and xerophilous scrub forests.
Meanwhile, the plant derives its name “geometrizans” from its geometric patterns. Geometrizans bear blue, edible fruits which are similar to blueberries in look. You can satisfy your taste buds with its fruits whenever you’re in your yard.
Myrtillocactus geometrizans have medicinal uses, too. Researchers report that the plant contains Chichipegenin, Peniocerol, Sterol, and other valuable extracts with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Blue Torch, Blue Candle, Blue Flame, Blue Myrtle Cactus, and Bilberry Cactus are a few different aliases of this desert plant.
How to Care for Myrtillocactus Geometrizans
Caring for the Bilberry Cactus is a straightforward affair. All it takes to get the perfect plant is the ideal growth conditions (temperature, water, and fertilization) and other requirements like pruning and repotting. Let’s see the ideal prerequisites for nurturing the Blue Myrtle Cactus to optimal shape!
Myrtillocactus geometrizans grow best in porous, slightly acidic, and well-draining sandy soils with a 5 to 6.5 PH. This plant reacts negatively to stagnant soil water; thus, you should target excellent drainage.
You may pot your Blue Myrtle Cactus with a cactus mix. However, you may want to add some perlite to these soils to improve aeration and drainage. The best results may result from moving one part pumice with two parts of cactus soil.
Alternatively, it’s relatively easy to make the ideal soil mix for Myrtillocactus geometrizans at home. For indoor growth, make the base with equal peat moss and bark quantities. Then proceed to add coarse sand and vermiculite, pumice, or perlite.
Suppose you’re growing outdoors. The base combination remains the same, after which you’ll have to mix one part of it with equal amounts of insoluble grit and coarse sand. You may add some gravel to enhance drainage.
It’s advisable not to make your mix base using compost, and that’s because compost boasts excellent nutrient levels, which may cause root burns.
Light and Temperature
The ideal light condition for Blue Flame varies according to its age and the current season. Younger Myrtillocactus geometrizans grow better in filtered sunlight or partial shade, while mature cactus prefer direct sunlight glare. Your window sills — particularly if the southern or western exposure gets to your room — are an excellent place for planting this plant at its genesis.
However, this desert cactus hibernates in the cold season. Therefore, the light requirements change for both young and mature Blue Torch during winter. Keeping the plant in a part of the room receiving indirect sunlight until spring is ideal here.
It’s noteworthy that you don’t have to relocate this plant if you’re growing outdoors or in the garden. The light requirements adapt according to the season, and light will generally be lesser in winter and vice versa.
As per temperature, geometrizans is a desert flower; therefore, drastic temperature changes are a regular part of its lifecycle. When growing indoors, the ideal temperature range lies between 21° C to 35° C, although this has to fall to as little as 13° in winter.
What’s better? The Bilberry Cactus tolerates up to -4° temperature. However, exposure to such temperature levels for a long time may damage the cactus. It’s advisable to keep winter temperatures above ten °C at all times when this plant is growing outdoors.
The Blue Myrtle Cactus flourishes with little watering, thanks to its desert qualities. The ideal watering routine during summer is once every two weeks, after which the soil would be dry. This watering even reduces during winter, which is when the crop enters dormancy.
Overwatering the Blue Flame may stunt its growth due to its shallow root system. Fortunately, there’s no bad blood between you two if you forget to water it when due.
Test the soil with your fingers or a moisture meter to determine when to water the plant. Alternatively, you may keep an eye out for when the branches and steam start shriveling before watering them.
However, note that Myrtillocactus geometrizans may require little watering, yet you must keep this schedule strictly for maximum results. Well-draining soil is equally important to the plant’s germination.
Fertilizing isn’t a crucial need for this cacti. You may apply diluted fertilizer to the plant during summer once every three weeks or even every month. However, there’s no need for fertilization during winter (hibernation).
The ideal nutrient balance for Myrtillocactus geometrizans fertilizer is 5-10-5. These digits stand for the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium level that the solution contains, respectively.
However, fertilization is genuinely not a severe need for this plant. It grows just fine in its natural habitat: in nutrient-lacking soil and under harsh conditions. Applying too much fertilizer to the plant may burn its roots.
Myrtillocactus geometrizans flowers by themselves without any specific efforts on your part. What’s necessary is that the plant is getting the appropriate light and temperature, water, and fertilizers.
Typically, greenish-white flowers grow on the Blue Myrtle Cactus in spring — about the time it’s expanding to 2 feet. This color becomes dark red with time.
Trust your garden to smell fragrant when Myrtillocactus geometrizans are flowering. The flowers also attract pollinators and may help your yard in numerous ways.
Berry-looking fruits follow the flowering stage. These fruits —garambullo— are small and dark purple, and they explain why some call the plant whortleberry cactus or bilberry cactus.
Myrtillocactus geometrizans require little pruning care. There are rarely dead or overgrown stems to trim or prune. The plant thrives on its own, as long as it gets appropriate lighting and watering.
The Whortleberry cactus has quite a rapid growth rate. It may grow up to 3 feet in two, three years and continue to 16 feet over time. That’s sure to spell trouble when repotting if it were any other plant.
Luckily, Myrtillocactus geometrizans‘ root system is pretty shallow. Therefore, repotting takes place biannually with new soil and fertilizer. It’s also advisable to repot the plant in early spring, just after hibernation.
This cactus can become incredibly heavy as it grows. As such, it needs a formidable pot to hold its weight, for instance, clay, ceramic, or terracotta. These materials aren’t only weightier than plastic; they also facilitate fast soil evaporation and aeration.
Myrtillocactus geometrizans have high pest resistance levels due to their thick spines and skins. However, this quality doesn’t save you the trouble of pest control, as this cactus tends to be a magnet for mealybugs, spider mites, aphids, and scale insects.
An insecticidal soap spray is your best shot at eliminating these soft-bodied pests. You may get one from the store but may make yours at home too.
Mix ¼ cup vegetable oil with 1 Tbsp liquid dish soap-free of degreaser, bleach, fragrance, and synthetic dyes). Add warm water to the mixture and spray your cacti weekly to keep out the pests.
Your giant cactus is similarly immune to most diseases. The standard issue to watch out for is root rot, which may occur when the plant remains in poorly drained soil for long. You can easily avoid this problem with a clay pot that allows faster evaporation.
How to Propagate Myrtillocactus Geometrizans
You may propagate Myrtillocactus geometrizans in numerous ways. However, stem cuttings remain the ideal method due to their ease. All you need to do is wait until the plant starts growing side stems and begin the propagation in spring or summer.
The following is a step-by-step approach to propagating Myrtillocactus geometrizans with ease using stem cuttings.
- Cut a 10 cm (4 inches) long side stem using a sharp, clean knife
- Store the stem in a dry, bright room for three to four weeks, during which the bottom should dry out and form a hard, brown callus. Avoid watering the stem during this period, as it possesses sufficient moisture reserves to make it through the drought
- Get a container that’s about 15 cm (6 inches) wide and fill with well-draining substrate soil that’ll prevent root rot when you plant the cutting. The soil should contain sand, perlite or pumice, and compost in equal proportions
- Make a hole in the soil that reaches the container’s middle using your finger or any tool. Put the stem inside and set it upright with the surrounding soil
- Water the soil gently using a spray pump. You may proceed to add a rooting hormone here to get a headstart
- Roots should be generated within the first few weeks
You may choose to propagate Myrtillocactus geometrizans using seeds if you own a mature plant that’s already bearing fruit. Remove the seeds from the berries after they fully ripen.
Leave the seeds to lose moisture for about a week before placing the seeds in a clay pot containing well-draining soil. Keep the soil moist using a spray pump and place the pot on a window sill. You’ll see germination within two to three weeks.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you identify Myrtillocactus Geometrizans?
Myrtillocactus geometrizans start with an upright stature that starts looking like a tree (candelabra, to be precise) over the years. The plant has thick, blueish-gray stems, each with about six ribs that resemble an architectural structure with time. A two-year-old Blue Myrtle Cactus forms beautiful green-white flowers that later turn dark red. The plant has blue and delicious fruits that look like berries.
Is Myrtillocactus Geometrizans toxic to pets?
This Blue Cactus isn’t toxic to dogs, cats, and other pets. However, the plant has thorns that may injure your pets’ mouths and throat. Consequently, it’s best to make sure that your pets can’t reach the plant.
In addition, Myrtillocactus geometrizans may contain mescaline, a psychoactive substance with hallucinogenic effects. Therefore, the plant should be out of your kids’ and pets’ reach.
Does Myrtillocactus Geometrizans need nitrogen?
Yes, the Whortleberry cactus needs nitrogen for perfect growth. However, the nutrients shouldn’t be too much. Nitrogen should ideally be one-half of the phosphorus in a fertilizer mix.
Are eggshells good for Myrtillocactus Geometrizans?
Yes, eggshells are good for Myrtillocactus geometrizans. They contain calcium, which is a welcome nutrient in a good fertilizer. Add eggshells to your garden to supply calcium carbonate to your desert cacti.
Myrtillocactus geometrizans is a stress-free desert cactus that grows to majestic heights in an outdoor setting. What’s better? It births fruits that are up for sale in Mexican markets.
Suppose you’d want to give your indoor or outdoor garden a stunning look. Myrtillocactus geometrizans is inarguably your best bet.
Simply adhere to the care recommendations above to cultivate Myrtillocactus geometrizans with minimal effort and get optimal growth results. Your garden is on its way to making your neighbors green with envy!
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