Lifestyle

Houseplant of the week: blue candle cactus

Why will I love it?
This rare and very strangely shaped cactus stands out from the rest, thanks to its “scientific experiment gone wrong” appearance and its long mouthful of a botanical name, Myrtillocactus geometrizans Fukurokuryuzinboku. Buy it from a specialist: you won’t find this in your average garden centre or plant shop.

Light or shade?
Bright, direct light.

Where should I put it?
On a sunny, south-facing windowsill.

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How do I keep it alive?
Pot in free-draining soil and, as with all cacti, allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Use fertiliser to feed your cactus during the warmer months (April-September). Keep the temperature above 10C. These cacti like to have a winter rest period, so you should stop watering from late autumn until spring.

Did you know …
This is a “monstrose” (with abnormal or distorted growth) cultivar of the more widely found Myrtillocactus geometrizans. Characterised by unusually shaped ribs along with areoles that resemble … well, you know what. This is why this cactus goes by the nickname “booby cactus” or “titty cactus”.

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