Myrtillocactus geometrizans f. crestata
Botanical Name — Myrtillocactus geometrizans f. crestata
Common Name — Dinosaur Back Plant or Crested Blue Candle
Plant Family — Cactaceae
Native to Central and Northern Mexico, the Mytillocactus crestata prefers dry, hot conditions with plenty of direct sun to grow. Allow the soil to dry completely between watering and water thoroughly in the grow season. You can also fertilize the Myrtillocacti with a cactus fertilizer once per month, spring through fall.
The Myrtillocactus geometrizans crestata is a highly sought after and rare form of the Myrtillocactus geometrizans. The crested formation occurs naturally in a clumping manner that can take years to build in height. The cactus is more or less spineless, its blue coloration will become more saturated with the proper sunlight. Avoid touching the plant's tissue with your bare hands as you may leave behind an oily fingerprint.
- These cacti prefer lots of sun, at least five hours of direct sun daily. Young plants may need shade protection from afternoon sun.
- Indoors a south facing window is ideal. Outdoors seat them in a place where they will get plenty of sun exposure, but protect them from intense, peak afternoon sun.
- These plants are semi- hardy. Prefers a cool or warm climate where temperatures remain between 60 F to 80 F. Best to bring indoors when the temperature falls below 50 F. If kept in a cooler in the dormant months, can help encourage blooms when active.
- Myrtillocactus prefers to stay on the dry side. In the summer water them only when the soil has dried out entirely. Always err on the side of underwatering. They are built to withstand drought, and overwatering is one of the quickest ways to kill them.
- During the winter water very infrequently, if at all. It’s safe to cut back on watering entirely. Water should be restricted to only enough to keep the stems and branches from shrivelling.
- They prefer a gritty, sharply draining mix. A cactus mix would work fine. You can amend it with sand or fine pumice up to 50% to improve grittiness and drainage.
- In the optimal conditions, small cream colour flowers can appear across the top of the cacti’s body during the summer,, succeeded by a tiny very sweet, edible, plum-like fruit.
- You can fertilize during the spring and summer months to give them a boost or refresh their soil. Apply a balanced cactus fertilizer diluted at half strength, once a month.
- Propagation can be done by cuttings in summer. Let cutting callus before planting. Make sure that it is kept warm and dry to root.
- Myrtillocactus are not especially susceptible to pests or diseases. Keep an eye out for common pests such as aphids, mealy bugs, and scale.
- Root rot can be a common issue in the instance of overwatering.
Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)
- These plants are very low maintenance. They prefer to be pot bound. Repot them once every one to two years. Early spring is the best time to repot, when they are just awaking from their dormancy.
- Myrtillocactus are not known to be toxic to humans or pets.
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