Fat plants

Cleistocacto - Cleistocactus strausii

Cleistocacto - Cleistocactus strausii

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Fifty shrubby, floriferous species belong to this genus, which can reach two meters in height.
Native to the eastern side of the Andes,
It is a succulent plant to grow at home or in a greenhouse.

The stem

Erect and cylindrical, it is crossed by thin longitudinal ribs, with very close areolas to each other.

Flowers and fruits

The flowers: the flowers bloom in spring and summer in the upper part of the plant, they are tubular and narrow and never open completely.
The yellow stamens emerge from the flower. It blooms around the age of ten.
The fruits: shaped like small spherical berries, they are cottony.

Display and Watering

Exposure: it must be very bright and sunny; in winter the temperature must never fall below seven degrees Celsius.
Watering: must be moderate. If it is cold, the environment and the ground must be dry.

Soil, fertilization and repotting

Soil: a mixture of universal potting soil and sand is used in equal parts, with excellent drainage.
Fertilizations: they are carried out once a month during the development period, with cactus fertilizer.
Repotting: usually they are not carried out, since the roots develop a lot, it is advisable to use rather large vessels.


The multiplication takes place by sowing in a bowl using fresh seeds; the container must be well drained and filled with seed mixture for cacti. The seeds should not be buried but placed on the surface, the bowl is covered with glass and placed in a warm and bright place, but not in the sun. After a few months the seedlings will germinate; in this period the soil will always be kept moist.
They can also be multiplied by cuttings: cuttings are taken from the stems, from June to August; the cut surfaces are allowed to dry and planted in a compost formed by garden soil, leaf mold, sand and gravel with bone meal.

Cleistocacto - Cleistocactus strausii: Pests and diseases

Scale insects can invade leaves; the rot of the base affects the plants grown in humid cold conditions.


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