Screw Cactus is also known as Spiral Cactus, Twisted Cereus, and Contorted Cereus. This is an interesting twisted cactus plant from the Cactaceae family.
This special type of cactus plant is known by many scientific names such as Cereus peruvianus forma spirale, Cereus peruvianous tortuosus etc.
Spiral or Screw Cactus is mostly native to Peru or Argentina. But it is a species found all over South America and the southern part of the States.
As you already know, Cactus are desert plants, they are now common household plants and formed their Cactus World all over the globe, crowned as the king of Plantae as these Cactus Plants Live with the Characteristics of resilience – (ability to live in tough conditions and succeed in any hard situation in survival) cacti plants would have the throne.
Origin of Screw Cactus
The Screw Cactus plant is not a natural origin plant type but it is a combination of two species of Cacti Plants.
These species of cacti plants are thought to come from a clone from the vegetative propagation of the original plant discovered in Peru around the 20th century by botanists.
Few branches of the original cacti plant were imported in Europe around 1980 at a very high price. The original clone was done by strong gray stems covered with a dense pruina coating and have short spines (“short-spined clone”).
But, at the present time, almost all these cacti plants are hybrid specimens that are grown from seeds by cross-pollination, most likely with Cereus peruvianus or Cereus stenogonus. And they are usually darker blue-green in color and have longer spines.
Where Does A Screw Cactus Grow?
As you already know through the above information, The origins of these little attractive Cactus plants are not 100% clear, but it is generally considered and thought to be cross-pollination between the “Cereus Peruvianus” and the “Cereus Forbesii”.
This means the Spiral Cactus is likely native to Peru or Argentina. But it is for sure a South American species and is usually grown by botanists.
Physical Appearance Of Screw Cactus
This Cactus Plant grows quickly and has a striking elongated stem with spectacular blooms as it is a Flowering type of Cacti Plant.
You can admire, The spiny beauty of this cactus plant only begins once the plant reaches a certain height.
The Screw Cactus is a trunkless cactus plant that forms numerous tall, columnar-shaped, blue-green color spiral stems that are branching at the base in a candelabra-like arrangement- (Candle Holder Structure)
Further, the Stems of this cacti plant have a waxy blossom – (flower-like design) on the surface and these cacti plants grow for a height of 6-13 feet and grow 4-5 inches in diameter.
Moreover, The spines are sharp so you have to handle the Screw Cactus Plant carefully and the stems have five to nine widely-spaced ribs too.
Growth Characteristics Of Screw Cactus
Screw Cactus is a heavy flowering plant that produces, attractive pink color flowers.
Also, these Cacti Plants produce large purple fruits that are easily produced when the Screw Cactus Flowers are pollinated – [ powdery substance on the flower, when traveled from one place to another by wind or small insects ].
The pollen grains are not poisonous. The spines are sharp so the plant should be handled carefully.
How To Take Care Of The Screw Cactus?
The best thing you need to know about the Screw Cactus Plants is that Even the most notorious plant killers can keep this cactus plant alive as the plant needs low maintenance and requires occasional watering.
You should give this plant a little care when you grow it as Cactus Plants Indoors. And the simple requirements are;
You need to keep the cacti plant in the light shade when it is young and when it turns mature then, full Sunlight Exposure is recommended. As your cacti plant needs bright light the whole year throughout.
Unless you live in a desert area, you will have to make sure to provide the correct soil for the Spiral Cactus plant. Use a gritty soil base, which drains water quickly.
The drainage abilities of the soil are most important for this cactus plant as, It hates to survive in damp wet soil, and can die if you overwatered it.
Your plant will grow well in a rich, organic, well-drained soil mix. Growing the cacti plant in the correct soil mix will keep your Spiralis Cactus healthy and happy.
The Screw Cactus you grow needs regular watering during the growing season then, when the plant is dormant – [sleeping] you water less during the fall and winter seasons and allow the top of the soil to dry out slightly before watering the cacti plant again.
The plant is suitable for xeriscaping. – (the process of gardening that reduces the need for irrigation) and overwatering this cactus plant will kill the plant for sure.
This Cactus plant prefers average room temperatures of around 60°F – 75°F (16°C – 24°C). But, the temperature should not drop below 50° (10°C) in this you need to be careful.
When you are growing the plant like a cactus plant indoors then, you should fertilize the Screw Cactus twice a month with a good quality fertilizer.
When you begin your process of growing this cactus plant, First and foremost you must choose the right location for your Screw Cactus cactus is very important.
If you prefer to keep the Cacti indoor; you might want to keep them near a bookshelf or near your workstation then, you need to make sure the plant getting enough sunlight. If not, the cactus will not grow and might end up dying.
Keep the cactus plant in a sunny spot. During the very early growth period and place the plant where it can get enough at least indirect sunlight.
Different care needed by this cactus plant is that you need to relocate the cacti plant to another plant to ensure fresh air.
This Cacti plant does not like breezes, but they grow well in places with good air conditions.
Also, the Cactus plant is a sun-loving plant, so make sure to relocate them towards the sun. If you never move your cactus plant then, it will grow unevenly.
Rotate the pot every month to prevent distorted growth of this species of Cacti Plant.
Repotting Of The Screw Cactus
You should re-pot the plant every other year or when the plant has outgrown the pot. And make sure the soil you provide the cactus plant is dry and capable to remove the plant from the pot easily.
Further, throw away old soil and cut off any rotted or dead roots then, Move the Cacti plant to a new pot filled with fresh soil.
How to Re-pot a Screw Cactus?
Here are some steps to help you out with Repotting The cacti plant.
- Choose a well-drained pot and fill it with potting mix.
- Uproot or remove your cactus plant from the previous pot and place it in its new homely pot gently.
- Do not use your hands to uproot or remove this cactus plant.
- Turn the pot over and let gravity do the work for you.
- If you see any blockage or excess soil on the roots then, tap them gently against the pot to break the soil that’s blocked.
- Prune or cut off the dead roots, these roots will appear dried up or discolored.
- Put the cactus plant in the new pot.
- Then, use your hands to create a firm soil base for it to stand upright.
- After repotting the plant, keep it in a place that does not get direct sunlight.
Most importantly – Do not water the cactus plant for the first 02 weeks after repotting the Screw Cactus.
Propagation Process Of Screw Cactus
These are the best cactus plants that can be easily propagated/cultivated using the below methods.
- Cutting Propagational Method
- Seedling Propagational Method
Cutting Propagational Method
You can Propagate the Screw Cactus through the ‘Cutting Propagational Method‘ in the spring season.
The easy steps are ;
- Sever a branch,
- Replant the cut portion of the Cactus plant in moist, well-drained soil,
- Before replanting the cut portion, you have to allow the cut end to dry out and harden in order to make the plant’s root develop easier.
Seedling Propagational Method
You can also easily cultivate this cactus plant through Cactus Seeds.
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Similar Cloned Species Of Screw Cactus
As this type of cacti plant is grown through the cloning process, there are similar species originated by botanists. Some of them are.
“Corkscrew” which means Twisted is a similar species of Screw Cactus called Juncus effusus by botanists.
In the North, the plant is an herbaceous perennial which means the plant type which grows then dies down annually each year but whose roots or other underground parts survive and new growth begins the next year. This takes place usually in the early spring period of time.
In hotter regions, this species of Cacti Plant is half or semi-evergreen and in fact, this plant can even be harmful in some of the warm climates, due to its ability to spread through rhizomes which means – a horizontal underground plant stem that’s capable of producing the shoot and root systems of a new plant and these Rhizomes are used to store starches and proteins and enable plants to survive an annual unfavorable season underground.
Like other cacti plants, Screw Cactus is also an interesting cactus plant that brings earthy vibes to a living space, and is it easy to maintain these cloned Cacti Plants.
You can start with only one Spiral Cactus Plant and then use its cuttings to create a tiny cactus garden which will for sure give you a pleasant environment to live in.