Tree Cactus Plant Care Guide

Difficulty Level: Low Key
Low Key

What is the Tree Cactus Plant?

“Tree Cactus” and “Blue Torch Cactus” are both common names for Pilosocereus Pachycladus. One of the defining attributes of this spectacular cactus is its unique bluish-green (sometimes silvery) turquoise color. This plant's special color will bring an exciting pop of blue into your home, office, or home office for that matter. The Tree Cactus originated in Brazil and has not surprisingly been cultivated, given its natural beauty and exceptional aesthetic.

If given just a small amount of love and lots of sunshine these cacti are known to grow fast and tall, gaining about 1 -2 feet per year. Amazingly, the Tree Cacti can grow up to 33 feet (10 meters) tall. Brazilian Torch Cactus care requires only minimal effort, mainly because it is sturdy, resilient, and is accustomed to a harsh desert environment.

Light CareLight Care

Being a desert species, the Tree Cactus loves to soak up the sun! This plant craves direct sunlight for up to 10 to 12 hours a day.  This amount of sun can best be achieved by placing your cactus on a windowsill or by a sliding glass door where it can be bathed in light.  If you live in a tropical or desert climate, this plant will also thrive outside in a yard, porch or balcony where it can take in all of those sweet rays. Keep in mind though that if you move your Tree Cactus from indoors to outdoors, it is best to allow it to first acclimatize.  This can be achieved by bringing it outside for several hours a day before making the move permanent.  Finding the ideal spot with lots of light will help your cactus grow faster and will also make its bluish-green color even more vivid.

Water CareWater Care

The Tree Cactus will require bi-weekly waterings to ensure sufficient supply.  During the summer months, this cactus may require more frequent watering as this warm season is when the Tree Cactus does most of its growing.  If the soil is dry several inches below the surface then it is time to water. You want to avoid allowing the soil to completely dry out. Keep in mind, however, that overwatering is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when caring for the Tree Cactus.  Too much water will cause rotting.

One important way to help your Tree Cactus thrive and avoid rot due to overwatering is to ensure that the soil drains well. This can be achieved by planting your Tree cactus in dry sandy soil and a pot that drains sufficiently.  There are specific cactus and succulent soil mixtures that allow for optimal drainage.

Food GuideFood Guide

Blue Torch Cactus care is quite manageable with minimal effort. This plant is known to grow an incredible 1 to 2 feet annually.  While it does not typically require extra fertilization, giving your cactus a little additional love in the form of plant food certainly won’t hurt. Be sure to dilute the water-soluble fertilizer or liquid plant food adequately (half the concentration recommended) first to avoid burning this plant.

Staff Holy Grail Tip:

The Tree Cactus, like other cacti in the Pilosocereus genus, can be easily propagated by cutting the top portion off of an established plant.  While the top cut will root to grow a new plant, the mature plant will bloom and continue to flourish. Be sure to allow your cutting to dry for about 3 days before you re-pot it in order to prevent root rot.  Given the fast growth rate of this striking cactus, propagation is a great way to exponentially build up your beloved houseplant cactus collection over the years.

- Ness