Belle's Green House
Peruvian Apple Cactus
Peruvian Apple Cactus
Cereus peruvianus, which is more commonly referred to as Cereus repandus these days, makes a unique addition to your ornamental or edible landscape with its tall, thorny, columnar appearance and low care requirements.
Also known as the Peruvian apple cactus, you might be surprised to find that the Cereus fruits, called Peruvian apples, are actually edible! In fact, they make a wonderful source of food for both the people where this plant originated, as well as the local bird population.
Native to South America (as the name might suggest), this species of cacti is know for its truly epic height. Its grayish-green to bluish stems have rached over 30′ (10m) in height without any help from us gardeners. However, in intensive cultivation and through using plant supports growers have achieved over 110′ (34m)! No cacti in the wild has ever exceeded 82′ (25m), which makes the screw cactus one of the tallest-growing cacti on the planet.
Also known as “night-blooming cereus cactus”, it produces large, cream-colored flowers that only open for one night—so don’t miss your chance to see your apple cactus flowers!
Being a cactus, Peruvian apple cactus has relatively simple care requirements. You can even grow it as an indoor houseplant if you want to! It’ll just grow much slower, but don’t let that stop you from beautifying your home with this plant.Outdoors, it requires the same things many cacti want to thrive, so let’s get into it.
Light: When it comes to light and night-blooming cereus cacti, give it as much sun as you can afford. If growing indoors, that means a south-facing window if possible. Otherwise, you’ll notice it start to “lean” towards the light, which is a sure sign you aren’t giving it enough!If you don’t have a high light area of your home, you can rotate the container a few times a year to even out the leaning effect.If growing outdoors, give it full sun, 8+ hours per day. Remember, it’s a desert cactus – it loves the sun!
Watering: As you might imagine, you don’t have to go crazy watering your hedge cactus. During active growth of spring and summer, increase your watering a bit as fruits form and the plant requires more water to support all of the new growth on the plant. As the fall and winter come, taper your watering down.
No matter how much you’re watering, make sure to let the soil dry out almost completely before watering again, which is a classic tip for growing all sorts of cacti.
Soil: Cactus apple or screw cactus plant wants well-draining soil, which means a good cactus mix will do. You can even add a bit more sand to the mix to loosen it up and improve drainage even further if you’re finding your cactus mix is holding on to too much water.