The most remarkable, easy-going, and fascinating companions to have in the garden are by far the cacti. And the Fairy Castle Cactus is no exception.
This beautiful cactus should be included in your collection if you are a huge fan of cacti and unusual plants in particular.
The Fairy Castle Cactus derives its unusual name from the way its branches cluster together to form spires and turrets looking like a medieval castle.
It also goes by other names, including barbed wire cactus, triangle cactus, or night-blooming cereus. Its scientific name is Acanthocereus Tetragonus.
Here is all you need to know about the Fairy Castle Cactus, its growth, care, and common problems. So keep reading!
What is Fairy Castle Cactus?
A Fairy Castle Cactus is no different from many cacti when it comes to being a devoted sun-worshiper.
Cacti love the sun, and the Fairy Castle Cactus’ native habitat is the sunny coastal region of Florida, Central America, the Caribbean, northern South America, and some parts of Texas.
The cactus thrives outside under the right conditions, but it also makes a wonderful (and well-liked) indoor houseplant.
Each variety of succulents has a special selling point. The primary attraction of the Fairy Castle Cactus is the profusion of erect, rich green branches sprouting from its five-sided main stalk.
The overall appearance resembles a fairytale castle as the branches spread and diverge to generate tiny branchlets, thus the peculiar name.
The Fairy Castle Cactus can develop dozens of branches and branchlets over the course of its existence and reach a height of about one meter.
The Fairy Castle Cactus rarely blooms, but when it does, it produces enormous, delicate flowers that are either yellow or white.
Whilst the branches are a shade of bright green when new, corking, an aging process, can cause them to turn brown over time.
Fairy Castle Cactus Growth and Care
Like several other species living in arid regions, fairy castle cacti thrive when exposed to lots of sunlight.
While selecting a location to plant it, ensure your cactus has access to a minimum of 6-8 hours of direct sunlight.
If you are planting it indoors, make sure to do so in front of north, south, or west-facing window.
The Fairy Castle Cactus may at first seem to be quite self-reliant; however, it is not as tough as it first appears.
This plant is quite vulnerable to colder climates and frost because it can only withstand USDA zones from 10-11.
It is preferable to plant your Fairy Castle Cactus in a container and bring it inside whenever the outside temperature in your location drops below 30 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius).
Temperature and Lighting
The Fairy Castle typically thrives in sunny, warm surroundings; Therefore, you should position the growing media someplace where it will receive enough sunshine for roughly six hours each day.
You shouldn’t grow your Night-blooming cactus in the cold or close to an air conditioner because doing so will sap its energy.
In essence, cold weather robs your cactus of moisture and makes the stems droop because the cells that keep them upright will break down.
Contradictory to the stereotype, cacti plants are not heat-tolerant, despite the fact that they may tolerate dryness to some degree.
So, make an effort to maintain the space below 90 degrees Fahrenheit, particularly during hotter seasons.
Your Fairy Castle Cactus plant will experience some repercussions from excessive heat.
White or pale patches growing on the branches and spine are one of the typical indicators that your cactus is stressed from the extreme sunlight and heat.
Removing the damaged plant parts, particularly ones that have become black and appear completely wilted, is the only way to treat such a problem.
Soil and Planting
Some amateur gardeners frequently commit the fault of growing new cacti seedlings in regular potting soil.
You should take into account selecting well-draining soil and amending it with equal portions of pumice and perlite in your quest to create the optimal growth environment for your Fairy Castle plant.
Organically grown perlite aids in hastening the draining cycle, while pumice absorbs extra moisture to keep your houseplant’s base or root from rotting.
Sand is a second component that is also suitable for making some DIY potting mixes because it significantly increases the drainage capacity.
The Fairy Castle Cactus has certain distinctive watering requirements, much like any other cactus.
If you water it at the same intervals as other houseplants, it won’t survive. But that doesn’t imply you should disregard your night-blooming cactus.
Simple watering techniques would be sufficient to ensure that your cactus survives for many years.
Additionally, you should check to see whether any extra water is draining from the drainage holes as you proceed.
The soak and dry technique would be perfect for succulents like the fairy castle that has the capacity to flourish both indoors and outside.
Before you water your potted plant again, let the soil thoroughly dry out. Reduce the watering frequency of your Fairy Castle Cactus during the winter.
Keeping track of your plant’s water schedule is one of the easiest methods to keep it in check, especially if you’re overwhelmed by the upkeep requirements of the rest of the plants in your garden.
Any soluble fertilizer with a high phosphate and nitrogen content is suitable as possible support in assisting your fairy castle to produce robust stalks, spines, and blooms.
The most crucial thing to check is that the solution has the necessary macronutrients at a ratio of 5-10-5.
Once the growth hormones are starting to come out of hibernation in the spring, use the cactus fertilizer; skip nourishing your cactus during the winter.
Pruning Your Fairy Castle Cactus
Although pruning can be annoying, it’s a necessary measure for your Fairy Castle Cactus to look beautiful and remain healthy.
To enhance ventilation and let the light reach every area of the plant, trim back excessive leaves using a pair of clean, sharp gardening shears.
Replant the cuttings if you want additional baby Fairy Castle Cactus.
Repotting and Transplanting
Your Fairy Castle would need to be transplanted if it outgrew its original containment. Additionally, it needs enough space for the root system to grow.
Therefore, every 2 – 3 years, primarily during a growth period, should be the perfect time to transplant.
Start by allowing the soil to dry up totally. Remove the plant from the pot slowly, being careful not to damage the roots.
Spray some antifungal to any scrapes and eliminate any dead or rotting roots.
Spread out the roots of the plant carefully as you place it in the center of the new container and refill it with soil. Don’t water the cactus for a week.
Flowers & Fruits
The Fairy Castle Cactus is not one of those plants that are grown exclusively for its blooms.
This specific succulent’s distinctive, fantasy shape is what draws people in. It does bloom on occasion, but the operative word here is “rarely.”
A fairytale castle cactus matures after the age of 10 and rarely blooms before that if it does.
You can anticipate yellow or white flowers in the summertime if your plant is one of the uncommon flowering varieties.
The blooms feature long, exquisite petals with a rich yellow or white core, and they bloom between dusk and dawn. Hence the name night blooming cactus.
The blossoms of the plant should draw a lot of pollinators if it is grown outside.
These include bees, bats, sphinx moths, and hummingbird moths, according to where you reside.
The blossoms wither away at the close of summer and the start of fall, leaving behind rectangular, reddish-colored fruits.
Each fruit is approximately 2 inches (5 cm) long and appears shiny and spiky.
After the fruits have grown to their full size and you want to use them for eating or for propagating, you could start harvesting these in the fall.
Fun Facts about Fairy Castle Cactus
- Despite being small, the Fairy Castle Cactus’ fruits are incredibly delectable. They are fresh and delicious, and you may eat them raw or cooked.
Did you know that some people have even known to have made wine using the Fairy Castle Cactus fruit?
- The stems of this cactus are also edible. Young plant stems can be treated like a vegetable and consumed either cooked or raw. Although a little tart, the flavor is really delicious. Only use young stems; older stems may be fibrous and tough.
- The Fairy Castle Cactus’ spines are claimed to produce a mild sedative that works wonders for treating insomnia. Although, as a warning, this could only be for the fearless.
Whether they are inexperienced gardeners or accomplished professionals, the Fairy Castle Cactus is a lovely cactus that frequently puts a smile on the faces of several cactus growers.
Anybody who views this succulent’s quirky characteristics and towering turrets is sure to be in awe.
The Fairy Castle Cactus might make the ideal mate if you don’t already have one in your botanical family.
With time, you’ll realize that the little time and effort you invest in caring for this adorable, low-maintenance cactus is worthwhile.
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