Echinocereus knippelianus, commonly known as Peyote Verde, is a cactus native to the mountainous regions of Mexico. It is a small cactus, typically reaching heights of only about 12 inches tall. The cactus remains globose for much of its lifetime, sometimes becoming cylindrical. It’s soft to the touch and much easier to handle compared to other cacti.
Deep green-colored skin is separated into sections by 5 or 6 ribs. Each rib is lined with small white areoles with spines that are weak and almost non-existent. The flowers are white or pink, borne from buds that protrude through the plant’s skin. The flowers are often very showy and are the main attraction of these cacti. They bloom in spring or summer and sometimes grow larger than the parent cactus.
- Echinocereus knippelianus Main Characteristics
- Peyote Verde Care
- Propagating Echinocereus knippelianus
- Potting and Repotting Echinocereus knippelianus
- Garden Uses for Echinocereus knippelianus
- Common Pests
- Common Problems
- Peyote Verde: Tips for Successfully Growing this Cactus Indoors (Video)
- Echinocereus knippelianus 3D View [Video]
Echinocereus knippelianus Main Characteristics
|Common Name||Peyote Verde|
|Botanical Name||Echinocereus knippelianus|
|Synonyms||Cereus knippelianus,Echinocereus inermis|
|Mature Size||up to 20 centimeters|
|Bloom Time||Spring, Summer|
|Propagation methods||by seeds, by cuttings|
Peyote Verde Care
Echinocereus knippelianus is a popular cactus species for cultivation, both in gardens and as houseplants. It is quite easy to cultivate and tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions. However, it does require some basic care in order to thrive.
Light and Location
Peyote Verde cacti should be grown in full sun. They will tolerate some shade, but they will not bloom as profusely in lower light conditions. Indoors, place them in a south- or west-facing window to get the most out of the evening sun.
These cacti are quite drought-tolerant, and they can go long periods without water. However, they will do best if they are watered regularly during the growing season. Allow the water to drain out and dry completely between waterings.
Echinocereus knippelianus prefer warm temperatures, but they are surprisingly tolerant of frost. They can tolerate temperatures as low as -12°C if kept dry. Regardless, if you live in an area that gets cold winters, it is best to grow these plants indoors or in a greenhouse.
Peyote Verde cacti are not particularly sensitive to humidity levels, but they prefer to be on the drier side. This is particularly true if temperatures fall below freezing. Don’t pair these with humidity-hungry plants.
Fertilizing your cactus will also help it to grow and bloom more profusely. Use a balanced fertilizer formulated for cacti and succulents, and apply it once or twice during the growing season (Summer). Be sure to dilute the fertilizer before applying it, as too much can damage the roots of these plants.
Propagating Echinocereus knippelianus
Peyote Verde cacti are relatively easy to propagate from seed or cuttings.
To propagate from seed, simply sow the seeds in a well-draining cactus mix. Keep the soil barely moist, and place the container in a warm location with bright indirect light. The seeds will germinate in 7-21 days. Once they have sprouted, thin the seedlings so that only the strongest one or two remain per pot.
To propagate from cuttings:
- Use a knife to take a cutting that includes 1-2 inches of the stem (a couple of nodes).
- Allow the wound to callus over, and then plant it in a well-draining cactus mix.
- Keep the soil barely moist, and place the container in a warm location with bright indirect light. The cutting will root in 4-8 weeks.
- Once it has rooted, you can transplant it into a larger pot or into the garden.
Potting and Repotting Echinocereus knippelianus
Peyote Verde cacti are not particularly fast growers, but they will eventually outgrow their pots. Wait until you see roots spilling out the drainage holes, then it is time to repot. The best time to do this is in the spring before they start actively growing.
To repot your cactus:
- Choose a pot that is only one size larger than the current one.
- Be sure that the pot has drainage holes in the bottom.
- Fill the bottom of the pot with a well-draining cactus mix.
- Gently remove the plant from its current pot and then set it in the new one.
- Backfill around the plant with more cactus mix, and then water generously.
- Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again.
Garden Uses for Echinocereus knippelianus
These cacti make excellent specimen plants in rock, succulent, or cactus gardens. They can also be used in container gardens or as houseplants.
Echinocereus knippelianus is considered non-toxic to humans or animals. However, as with all cacti, their spines are hazardous if handled without care.
Peyote Verde cacti are relatively trouble-free, but they can be susceptible to mealybugs and other pests. These pests can be difficult to control, so it is best to take preventive measures. Before adding them to your collection, be sure to quarantine any new plants and inspect them carefully for insects. If you do find pests, isolate the affected plant and treat it with an appropriate insecticide.
Peyote Verde cacti are prone to root rot, particularly if they are overwatered. This is a severe problem that can kill the plant, so it is essential to be mindful of your watering schedule. Allow the water to dry out completely between waterings, and be sure that the pot has drainage holes to allow excess water to escape.
Peyote Verde: Tips for Successfully Growing this Cactus Indoors (Video)
How big do Echinocereus knippelianus get?
Peyote Verde doesn’t typically reach higher than 10 cm in height. Therefore, they are quite suited as a desktop cactus or placed on a windowsill in the office. New offsets sprouting from the base may result in the plant overfilling the pot, but you can trim them off to maintain a neat look.
Echinocereus knippelianus 3D View [Video]