Peruvian Apple Cactus
Peruvian Apple Cactus

Image Source: iStockPhoto

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The Cereus repandus is an oversized columnar cactus that originated in South America. This thorny plant has been domesticated and became one of the most popular ornamental plants today.
Essentially, taking care of a Peruvian Apple Cactus isn’t as straightforward as you think. While it is true that the plant is beautiful and self-supporting, it requires some care for it to flourish and remain healthy. Luckily, you can grow a Peruvian Apple Cactus in your garden. And we are here to teach you how to do that.

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Cereus repandus (Peruvian Apple Cactus) Information & Quick Facts

  • Botanical name – Cereus repandus
  • Common name – Peruvian Apple Cactus, Hedge Cactus, Giant Club Cactus
  • Plant type – Ornamental
  • History – The Cereus repandus was first discovered in South America. However, the exact origin of the plant remains unknown. Many believed that this particular plant species might have originated in either Brazil, Venezuela, and the Caribbean.

Where do Peruvian Apple Cactus grow? Essentially, the plant grows on sandy and dry soils. In fact, it can tolerate mild acidic to mild alkaline substrates. In short, it is a durable plant.

How Do I Know If the Apple Cactus Is Peruvian?

Peruvian Apple Cactus on wild
Peruvian Apple Cactus on wild

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Numerous Peruvian Apple Cactus variants exist today. Over 30 variants exist, with the least common ones being the following:

  • Cereus jamacaru
  • Cereus hildmannianus
  • Cereus tetragonus
  • Monstrose Apple Cactus

The Peruvian Apple Cactus has a distinct appearance, but we can say that it isn’t the most attractive. The most distinguishable aspect that lets you identify this plant is its grayish-green or bluish stems. Except for the Monstrose Apple Cactus, the Peruvian has cylindrical stems that shoot upward. Each stem can grow 4 to 8-inch in diameter.

Monstrose Apple Cactus
Monstrose Apple Cactus

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Peruvian Apple Cactus grows fruits, as well. Their color ranges from violet-red to violet-yellow. They aren’t as thorny as the rest of the plant. By the way, this plant comes with spikes or horns–just like other cacti. Hence, caution is necessary when handling it.

Peruvian Apple Cactus Fruit Health Benefits

Fruit of the Peruvian Apple Cactus
Fruit of the Peruvian Apple Cactus

Image Source: iStockPhoto

As mentioned, Peruvian Apple Cactus bears fruits. But can you eat the fruit? Yes! And believe it or not, these fruits come with numerous benefits.

Peruvian Apple Cactus Fruit Nutrition Facts

Like other cactus fruits that you can eat, the fruit of Peruvian Apple Cactus contains lots of vitamins, minerals, and healthy sugar. The fruit’s flesh is rich in beta-carotene, which eventually produces vitamins A and C.

Consuming the fruit of the Peruvian Apple Cactus gives health benefits. It can improve your digestive system. Is it good for the kidney? Yes! The fruit also helps in optimizing your kidney health.

Peruvian Apple Cactus vs Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruits
Dragon fruits

Image Source: iStockPhoto

Dragon fruits and Peruvian Apple Cactus fruits are quite similar when it comes to appearance. However, Dragon fruits have scale-like leaves on their exterior. Meanwhile, the fruits of the Peruvian Apple are naturally smooth and spherical on the outside. Once it begins to ripen, the fruit will “split,” revealing its white flesh filled with small seeds.

Peruvian Apple Cactus: Things to Know Before Caring

Before you get and plant a Peruvian Apple Cactus, it is important that you know all the following information. In this way, the cactus will thrive robustly and healthily.

Can You Grow Peruvian Apple Cactus Indoor or Outdoor?

Peruvian Apple Cactus is propagated outdoors. But you can still grow the Cereus repandus indoors. You simply have to place the plant in an area where it can receive bright but indirect light. The plant can grow as high as 6 feet if potted in a container. Moreover, you must rotate the plant so it won’t lean toward the sun.

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Does Peruvian Apple Cactus Have Thorns?

Yes. The exterior of the plant features thorns or spikes. These thorns are sharp and pointed, as well. Hence, it is important that you handle the plant with extreme caution so that you won’t get hurt or wounded.

Is Peruvian Apple Cactus Toxic?

One of the best things about the Peruvian Apple Cactus is that it doesn’t contain toxic compounds. Therefore, even if you ingest the plant, no serious health issues could occur. The cactus is non-toxic to both humans and animals.

How Often and How Long Does Peruvian Apple Cactus Bloom?

The Peruvian Apple Cactus flowers only bloom once every year during the night. During this period, the cactus will grow pink, white, or yellow flowers. They are only short-lived since these flowers close before sunrise. This is quite the opposite to the Peruvian Apple Cactus lifespan, which could last for many years.

Does a Peruvian Apple Cactus Bloom at Night?

Yes. The Peruvian night blooming cactus does only bloom during the night. These flowers often close before daybreak, so you would only see them during nighttime. By the way, these flowers can become fruits in winter if you fertilize the plant during its flowering period.

How Fast Do Peruvian Apple Cactus Grow?

The Peruvian Apple Cactus growth rate is quite fast. Specifically, the said cactus can grow from two to four feet every year, especially if set under the right conditions. Furthermore, the plant can also spread out quickly, growing sprouts throughout the length of the stems.

How Big Can Peruvian Apple Cactus Grow?

The tree-like structure of the Cereus repandus is one of its appealing features. The Peruvian Apple Cactus features cylindrical stems that grow up to 33 feet high and 20 inches in diameter. The coloration of its stems ranges from grayish-green to blue. With scaffolding, it may grow over 100 feet, making it the tallest cactus variant.

How Tall Can Peruvian Apple Cactus Grow?

Under optimal conditions, the Peruvian Apple Cactus height can be as tall as 15 feet to 30 feet. Many growers of this cactus use fertilizers to further extend the height of the plant to over 50 feet. Some were even able to grow the cactus to over 100 feet, which is downright astounding.

Are Peruvian Apple Cactus Cold Hardy? Can It Survive Frost and Winter?

Interestingly, the Peruvian Apple Cactus is hardy down to 18 degrees Fahrenheit. But there’s no guarantee that it can survive freezing temperatures. When growing the plant, make sure that you cover it with plastic sheets to protect it from extremely low temperatures.

Cereus Peruvianus Propagation: How to Propagate Peruvian Apple Cactus

Propagating the Peruvian Apple Cactus requires some specific strategies. Read on to learn them.

Peruvian Apple Cactus Temperature

Despite being a robust plant, the Peruvian Apple Cactus favors certain temperature levels. From spring to fall, temperatures of 60 degrees Fahrenheit to 75 degrees Fahrenheit are the most recommended for the plant to grow healthily. During winter, growers recommend that the plant will only be exposed to 50 degrees Fahrenheit to 55 degrees Fahrenheit of temperatures.

Peruvian Apple Cactus Light

Since it is a cactus, the Peruvian Apple Cactus can easily thrive on sunny days. It prefers bright light coming from the sun. Others opt to put the plant where it can receive indirect sunlight for safer growth. While you are free to put it under direct sunlight, it’s not recommended that you do this when the heat is scorching hot. That could actually damage the plant.

Potted Peruvian Apple Cactus

Potting and repotting Peruvian Apple Cactus require some extra caution. It is best that you pot or re-pot the plant while it is still young, specifically during spring. You should do this once a year. Once the plant begins to mature, don’t re-pot frequently; only do it if it’s necessary. Make sure that you re-pot a mature Peruvian Apple Cactus on a larger pot to cater to its growth.

Peruvian Apple Cactus Watering

How often do you water Peruvian Apple Cactus? Despite popular belief, watering the cactus frequently is essential during summer. It could help them survive the heat. You can water the plant in winter, but only seldom.

But how do you know when this plant needs water? Among the common symptoms are wrinkles and sagged tips. If you notice that the stems are leaning and wobbly, that’s a sign that the internal moisture of the plant is low.

Peruvian Apple Cactus Seeds

You have to sow the seeds of the Peruvian Apple Cactus just under the surface of a healthy cactus and plant mix. Once done, get a plastic wrap and cover the pot using it. Doing this would maintain relatively high humidity. The seeds will then germinate after or two.

How to Grow Peruvian Apple Cactus

There are numerous approaches on how to propagate Peruvian Apple Cactus. The following methods are the most effective.

How to Grow Peruvian Apple Cactus From Cutting?

You can propagate the plant from cutting. Here’s how you do it.

  • Get some Peruvian Apple Cactus cuttings from the plant’s stem top.
  • Next, let the cuttings dry and rigidify by setting them aside for up to two weeks.
  • After that, you can plant the cuttings in a pot filled with the most suitable cactus mix.

Peruvian Apple Cactus Problems

As a robust, virtually disease-resistant plant, the Peruvian Apple Cactus is still not impervious to problems. We listed the most common one below, including the potential solutions.

Peruvian Apple Cactus Yellowing

Peruvian Apple Cactus Yellowing
Peruvian Apple Cactus Yellowing

Yellowing is a common problem for various cactus species. And the main reason for this problem is overwatering.

Specifically, you shouldn’t wet the soil where this plant grows. Otherwise, yellow shades could develop on their stems. Yellowing is a tell-tale sign that the plant is experiencing stress.

Only water the plant when its soil is dry. We recommend that you get an entry-level moisture meter so that you can check the moisture of the soil.

What’s Peruvian Apple Cactus Price

The price of the plant isn’t that fixed. On Etsy, the average price of a Peruvian Apple Cactus is about $10 to $50. Some are more expensive than this price range.

Where to Buy Peruvian Apple Cactus

If possible, you should buy the plant in your local gardens and succulent shops. There’s a possibility that stocks of this plant are available in those stores. If the cactus is not available, then you can proceed on online shops like Etsy. There, you can buy great ornamental plants and succulents for a price you can certainly afford.

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