The Fairy Castle Cactus of the Cactaceae family is a known succulent frequently misspelled as Fairy Tail Cactus due to its fairytale-like connotations, with some even calling it a Princess Cactus. The tower-like branching growth habit of this cactus stem has many avid gardeners comparing it to a colony of medieval castles, especially when mature.
Cacti enthusiasts often keep this as a houseplant as the Fairy Castle Cactus lifespan may reach over a decade long. A wonderful cactus for novice growers, this Acanthocereus genus succulent will surely bring caretakers many magical years.
JUMP TO TOPIC
- What Is a Fairy Castle Cactus?
- Fairy Castle Cactus Care
- Features of the Fairy Castle Cactus
What Is a Fairy Castle Cactus?
The Fairy Castle Cactus is a succulent indoor plant that thrives in partial sunlight, although the cactus can still be grown outside in the garden, planted in a pot, or on the ground.
Many cacti collectors love to grow Fairy Castle Cactus for its low-maintenance needs.
Fairy Castle Cactus Care
Cultivators usually propagate Fairy Castle Cactus as gifts for friends and family due to its whimsy and ease of care. Under the right conditions, novice cacti enthusiasts will find this succulent relatively easy to care for.
The Fairy Castle Cactus has the typical water requirements of other succulents. The ideal watering method is “soak and dry,” where the soil base of the potted plant is watered until excess water comes out of the container. Once the water drains, it is recommended to allow the soil to dry out before watering again.
Overwatering the Fairy Castle Cactus can lead to root rot, which can cause the plant to perish. The root rot can encourage bacterial and fungal infections, which can kill the plant faster.
When grown indoors in colder regions, watering should be drastically reduced during the winter months.
The Fairy Castle Cactus requires partial sun or partial shade when it comes to sunlight exposure. Unlike many cacti who prefer the full sun, this plant does not tolerate excessive and intense sun exposure. The ideal light levels would be bright indirect lighting or even just the morning sun at most, as the harsh noon and afternoon sun will likely harm it.
The Fairy Castle Cactus appreciates six hours of morning sunlight or at least six hours of bright filtered light. Keeping the plant in the shade during extreme heatwaves is highly advisable to avoid accidental sunburns.
Indoor Light Requirements
The Fairy Castle Cactus can be exposed to plant grow lights when grown indoors, although natural light exposure is most recommended. Placing the succulent plant in a south-facing window can provide ample natural light without the threat of sunburn.
The Fairy Castle Cactus prefers well-draining soils to thrive. A great soil mixture is an even combination of sand, perlite, and garden soil to promote moisture retention without excess water stagnation. This mix is ideal for succulents planted directly on the ground, as the quick-draining soil will enhance and facilitate stronger root growth.
For potted succulent plants, commercial cactus potting soil mixes are available. The ideal containers for planting these plants are unglazed terra cotta or clay pots. The material allows excess moisture to be wicked away from the soil, keeping the roots of the cactus in the best state of hydration.
The Fairy Castle Cactus is not a cold-hardy plant as it has adapted to living in arid regions. Areas in USDA zones 10 to 11 are the most ideal locations to keep this succulent thriving, as the warm conditions of these places encourage cactus growth.
The lowest temperature that the Fairy Castle Cactus can tolerate is around 30 F, although it is better to be cautious and keep the plant warm and dry indoors when the slightest hint of chill is evident.
The Fairy Castle Cactus does not require high levels of humidity to thrive. Growing prolifically in dry arid locations, these succulents have adapted well to storing water efficiently through their root and plant tissue systems.
Excess humidity may also enhance the risk of fungus and mildew, which can lead to plant deterioration.
The Fairy Castle Cactus has a great photosynthesizing system that provides adequate growing conditions. Gardeners who add supplemental fertilizers to this succulent are recommended to use specific ones suitable for cactus plants. Organic fertilizers specifically formulated for cacti are the most ideal.
The fertilizer should be diluted when applied to keep the plant’s root system from experiencing a shock. The growing season is the most appropriate time to fertilize, so the spring and summer months are best so that the weather is warmer and conducive to plant growth.
Fertilization is ideally done twice a month and reduced or stopped during the year’s cooler months.
– Rest Period
The Fairy Castle Cactus does not tolerate cold, so when it experiences cold and chilly weather, the plant can go into a period of dormancy. Care should be taken to ensure that the succulent plant does not encounter temperatures below 25 F to prevent the cactus from having any risk of frostbite.
For Colder Seasons
A safer approach is to keep the Fairy Castle Cactus indoors when the colder seasons approach. Ensuring warm, dry, and bright indoor conditions will allow the succulent to continue growing despite wintry conditions outside.
During the cooler periods of the year, watering should be reduced, and fertilization should be stopped completely.
Although some techniques tend to yield more success than others, the Fairy Castle Cactus can be propagated in several ways:
– By Cuttings
Growing Fairy Castle Cactus from dried, calloused cuttings is one of the easiest methods in cultivating and propagating this succulent. This system yields the highest viability and yield compared to other methods.
– By Offsets
Cacti cultivators also propagate Fairy Castle Cactus from offsets, which are little growths emerging from the base of the plant. These offsets are often allowed to dry and become callous before being planted in the cactus soil mix.
– By Seeds
Propagation of Fairy Castle Cactus from seeds can be quite tricky and challenging. This technique is recommended for cultivators who have the time and resources to fulfill their ambitions.
The Fairy Castle Cactus is usually a very healthy plant that is naturally resistant to many pests and diseases.
However, there are instances that cactus cultivators need to watch out for to keep the plant vibrant and strong.
– Mealy Bugs
The Fairy Castle Cactus can sometimes be susceptible to mealybugs. Mealybugs often attack the plant’s roots, body, and spines. Mealybugs are identifiable by their white wooly appearance and tend to hide in unexpected and narrow spots of the plants.
Spraying the mealybugs with 70 percent rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol can kill them and keep them away. It is recommended to be vigilant if mealybugs are spotted since it is quite possible for them to lay hundreds of eggs in the plant’s soil.
– Fungus Gnats and Spider Mites
Fungus gnats and spider mites may also present an issue, but they are not common. Insecticidal soaps or neem oil mixtures can alleviate this concern.
– Root Rot
Root rot is another common problem, and this is due to the roots being exposed to overly wet soil conditions or in stagnant water. This condition is apparent when the cactus turns yellow and becomes soft and brown at the top. Rot is often caused by overwatering, fungus, or bacteria.
Features of the Fairy Castle Cactus
– Name Origin
The plant family was originally known as Cactus Tetragonous by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The Fairy Castle Cactus is a cultivar of the Acanthocereus tetragonus.
It falls under an official scientific name, Acanthocereus Tetragonus. The first part of its scientific name is derived from the Greek word “akantha,” which means thorn. The epithet “tetragonus” refers to the number of sides of the columnar plant.
While its common name may be magical, the cactus also goes by other names, such as The Barbed-wire Cactus, The Night-blooming Cereus, and The Triangle Cactus.
The Fairy Castle Cactus is a slow-growing succulent that can reach up to six feet tall when grown under ideal conditions. The growth rate of this succulent can start quickly though eventually, it slows down as it matures. This can be attributed to the number of new growths the cactus has to produce to increase its mass, which takes a lot of energy.
The Fairy Castle Cactus is a succulent plant that stores water in its thick fleshy tissues adapted over time for this particular function. This allows the succulent to stay alive and thrive amid dry weather conditions.
The Fairy Castle Cactus can grow new stemming branches and expand vertically. This growth habit makes the whole plant look quite compact yet stately due to its uncanny resemblance to the towering turrets of mighty castles.
When the Fairy Castle Cactus matures, the base of its oldest stems can turn brown and woody, seemingly dried up. The process of stem browning and solidifying is called corking, as the maturity of these parts of the plant increases its stability by turning into rigid bases.
The roots of the Fairy Castle Cactus are thin, shallow, and fibrous. While the whole plant can grow to exceptional heights, the roots of this succulent plant can be quite shallow in proportion. The white, hair-like fibrous roots efficiently absorb moisture from the soil, yet they tend to grow slowly.
The roots dislike excess and stagnant water and are quick to develop root rot if this condition continues. Root rot can also make the whole plant susceptible to fungi, so care has to be taken so that the roots do not sit in overly wet soil.
The Fairy Castle Cactus can take around ten years before any flowers bloom. The lengthy lifespan of this succulent proves that sometimes, it takes patience to wait for something beautiful and worthy to come into life. Since the cactus is part of the Cereus family, its flowers usually bloom at night.
The Fairy Castle Cactus does not flower often, but when it does, the succulent produces a large flower, which can be either yellow or white. Flowering is quite rare, so the occasion can be quite noteworthy when the plant does produce blooms.
The Fairy Castle Cactus is native to Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, and the southern parts of the United States of America.
The succulent can normally thrive in the coastal areas and the hot and dry coastal thickets and sandy environments of its native habitats.
How often do Fairy Castle Cactus bloom?
Fairy Castle Cacti typically bloom once a year, usually during the spring or summer months.
Can you touch a Fairy Castle Cactus?
It’s best to avoid touching Fairy Castle Cacti as they have sharp spines that can cause injury.
How do I know if my Fairy Castle Cactus is too cold?
If your Fairy Castle Cactus is exposed to temperatures below 50°F (10°C), it may show signs of cold stress such as discoloration or shriveling.
The Fairy Castle Cactus is a magical succulent plant that often brings a smile to many cactus cultivators’ faces, whether they are novice gardeners or skilled experts.
The whimsical nature of this succulent sweetheart never fails to draw an admiring gaze from whoever sees its towering turrets.
So, let’s go over what we’ve learned about cultivating this captivating cactus:
- The Fairy Castle Cactus is a great succulent to grow for any gardener of every skill level.
- The Fairy Castle Cactus requires plenty of bright shaded light exposure or morning sunlight, as the harsh direct sun of the noon and afternoon can damage the plant.
- The Fairy Castle Cactus prefers light sandy soil that is quick-draining and allowed to dry out a bit before watering again.
- The Fairy Castle Cactus can be grown outdoors where the weather is warm and dry or grown indoors if the local climate has colder conditions.
- The Fairy Castle Cactus can be easily propagated, although the cactus is a slow-growing succulent that rarely produces flowers and may only do so once it has reached a decade.
The Fairy Castle Cactus is a delightful succulent plant to keep. Easy to care for and slow to grow, this cactus plant is ideal for people who love to keep plants without too much fuss and mess.
Cactus cultivators often treat this enchanting succulent as a point of imagination, where each of the towering turrets hides a royal secret. No wonder this captivating cactus just keeps on getting more beloved each day!