Blueberry cacti – Myrtillocactus geometrizans – Myrtillocactus geometrizans – Fatty plants – Blueberry cacti – Myrtillocactus geometrizans – Succulent

A genus of about three species of cacti, coming from Mexico, with an erect stem, which can reach, in the wild, even four metres in height. The stem is blue-green, covered with bloom and grows quite quickly, with little branching. In summer, it produces few white flowers, close to the areoles, followed by edible fruits, with a taste similar to the blueberry (hence the name), called garambullos in Mexico.

It has 5-6 ribs, on which areolas are present woolly, with five-seven radial thorns, red-green, and a central black spine.

Exposure and Watering

Exposure: The Myrtillocactus likes very bright locations, possibly in direct sunlight.

Watering: not abundant, waiting for the soil to dry between one watering and the other; completely stop the administration of water during the winter.

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Soil

Sandy and very well drained. In order to allow a good growth of the plant, it is advisable to repot it every one to two years, or at least when the roots completely fill the pot.

Multiplication

Sow in containers filled with cactus compost, spraying water on the ground to keep it moist; store seeding containers in a warm, moist place until seedlings appear. Transplant small cacti as soon as they can be handled, if left to grow too much in the sowing container they will rot easily. Cuttings can be made in mid-summer, letting the wound dry for a couple of days, before placing the cuttings in a mixture of cactus soil and sand in equal parts.

Blueberry cacti – Myrtillocactus geometrizans: Pests and diseases and varieties

Parasites and diseases: if it receives excessive amounts of water, or the soil is not light enough and drained, it can suffer from root rot; sometimes aphids and cochineals can cause a slowdown in the growth of the plant.

Variety: There is a particular variety called M. Geometrizans cristata, smaller than the other species; the other varieties are M. schenckii, M. chichipe and M. cochal.

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