this genus is composed of a single species of columnar catus native to South America, found mainly in Argentina and Bolivia. It has an erect stem, very ramified, with 8-10 very evident ribs, along which open numerous areoles equipped with long thorns, yellow-black, which become greyish with age, rigid, is medium green in color, sometimes tending to bluish, in nature can reach 7-9 meters high, with a stem diameter close to 40-50 cm.
In summer, it produces several tubular flowers, 10-15 cm long, white inside, green outside, covered by scales, which bloom at night and remain open for many hours; in autumn, we can see the big oval fruits, of green colour, which become red when ripe; they are edible and are consumed cooked, or we eat their raw rind. The specimens cultivated in containers keep within a size of less than two metres, developing numerous ramifications.
Exposure: the stetsonias should be grown in full sun, they can bear temperatures close to -8°C, but the ideal winter temperature is close to 10°C, for this reason they should be placed in a cold or temperate greenhouse, or in a bright and well ventilated place, in the house.
Watering: from March to October water regularly, letting the soil dry well between one watering and the other, intensify watering during the hottest and driest periods of the year. In winter, drastically reduce watering: if the plant is kept at temperatures below 10-15 ° C stop watering; if your stetsonia is kept at home, with temperatures above 15 ° C is good to water it at least once a month.
During the vegetative period add some potassium-rich fertilizer to the water of the watering, every 10-15 days.
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Stetsonia coryne: Soil and reproduction
Soil: prefers loose, very well drained soils; it is possible to use a specific soil for cacti, prepared by mixing universal soil with washed river sand and perlite or lapillus with a fairly fine grain size. These plants are to be repotted at least every two years, in order to allow a balanced development.
Multiplication: usually it happens by cutting, even if it is possible to sow the stetsonias in spring, placing the small seeds, completely cleaned up by the pulp containing them, in a seedbed filled with peat and sand in equal parts, which is to be kept humid and in a warm and sheltered place from the sun, until the small plants are big enough to be handled, for repotting them in a single container.