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How to Grow San Pedro Cactus

San Pedro Cactus is a beautiful, tall columnar plant, having between four and nine ribs, and which is native to the South American countries of Ecuador and Peru. Having been cultivated for hundreds of years in Peru, the cactus is still widely cultivated in that country and many others throughout South America. The San Pedro cactus is distinctive for its upright ribs, which are adorned with clusters of thorns, striking 8-inch white flowers, and in some cases, even tasty red fruits. This an extremely hardy and tolerant plant, which will grow under a tremendous range of climate conditions, and can be propagated very easily with stem cuttings. It can be grown successfully indoors as well as outdoors, by placing it in large pots or planters, in locations where it will be sure to receive abundant sunlight.

 

Growing procedure for San Pedro Cactus

Step 1

Choose a perfect 1-foot stem section from a healthy mature San Pedro cactus, and place a small piece of masking tape over the section which receives the greatest exposure to sunlight.

Step 2

With gloves on and using a sharp knife, carefully cut the stem away from the plant in a spot where there's a node, so it will root faster when planted.

Step 3

Place your cutting out of the direct sunlight, in a place that's dry and receives good ventilation. Leave it like this between three days and one week, until a callous is observed forming over the cut end.

Step 4

Prepare a 6-inch pot with loose, well-drained potting mix that can be purchased at a garden store. Take several pieces of old newspaper and fold them into one 3-inch wide strap, and loop the strap around the middle of the cactus stem so it can be lifted and kept steady. Then transfer the plant into the potting mix you've already prepared, and transfer the masking tape from your cutting to the side of the pot, so it can identify the side which was receiving the most direct sunlight.

Step 5

The cactus should be watered well when you first transplant it, but after this initial watering, don't water again until the top one inch of the potting mix is dry. You can water a little more once the roots have been established.

Step 6

Once the plant has been established, you can gradually increase sunlight until you see new growth appearing. The masking tape that you placed on the side of the pot should be used to orient the plant the same way it was when it was originally growing.

Step 7

Continue to nourish the cactus with a half-strength balanced liquid plant food in the early spring, and again in the middle of summer.