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Stenocereus Thurberi: Grow & Care for Organ Pipe Cactus

Written by Iris

Jul 29 2021

Stenocereus Thurberi: Grow & Care for Organ Pipe Cactus
Stenocereus Thurberi, Organ Pipe Cactus, is a cactus native to Mexico and the United States. Stenocereus Thurberi, the species is found in rocky deserts. Two subspecies are identified by their distribution and height. The Organ Canal Cactus National Monument is named after the species. Its common English name derives from its similarity to a pipe organ. It is known locally as Pitaya dulce, Spanish for "sweet pitaya fruit" or sweet cactus fruit.

How to Choose and Prepare a Planting Site

Stenocereus Thurberi 'Organ Pipe Cactus'succulents need strong light. When planting this succulent type in a garden, make sure it gets sunlight. Full to partial sun is the best for its growth. It is better to grow outdoor rather than indoor. This type of succulent prefers a warm climate. It can survive at zone 9b-11b which is around -3.9 °C (25 °F). If you live in a cold area, it is better to plant Organ Pipe Cactus in an indoor environment. As long as it gets enough sunlight, the plant will grow happily.
Stenocereus Thurberi

When to Grow Stenocereus Thurberi (Organ Pipe Cactus)

If you're planting a cactus outside, try to do so during late spring through summer when the plants are actively growing. They'll establish roots more quickly and get off to an easier start.
Stenocereus Thurberi

How to Grow Stenocereus Thurberi (Organ Pipe Cactus)

Steps for Stenocereus Thurberi (Organ Pipe Cactus) Propagation with Seeds

Stenocereus Thurberi (Organ Pipe Cactus) can be propagated by seeds. This succulent type does not require repotting often. Of course, the first-time repotting is essential when it is bought from the store.
This succulent type is a slow grower so even if it can be propagated by its seeds, this method is not recommended. To propagate from the seeds, plant the seeds in a well-draining soil mixture. This method can be used outdoors. In cooler areas, indoor propagating is recommended.
Stenocereus Thurberi

How to Care for Stenocereus Thurberi (Organ Pipe Cactus)

Light Care

Strong light is essential for healthy desert cacti, especially in the winter. Some species may scorch in direct summer sun if they haven't been hardened off first. Stenocereus Thurberi (Organ Pipe Cactus) like bright, but not direct, sunlight. Move them outside during the summer.

Soil Care

 The cactus'habitat is rocky, sandy and usually inhospitable and unfertile. Stenocereus Thurberi (Organ pipe cactus) grows well in well-drained, gritty soils.

Water Care

You can grow organ pipe cacti in sunny or partly shaded areas. They also require a considerable amount of water. Be sure to keep the soil constantly moist and provide the plants with as much water as they need. The best time to water organ pipe cacti is in the morning. This is because their pores will still be open when the sun comes out. If you water them in the afternoon or evening, the pores will close and no water will be absorbed. Organ pipe cactus care is highlighted with the aid of watering. The most frequent reason for potted cactus failure is over irrigating the plant.

Temperature and Humidity Care

During the active growth period, desert cacti prefer hot, dry temperatures, ranging from 70-80 F In the winter, the plants prefer a cooler period, down to 55 F. In their desert habitats, many cacti are accustomed to very chilly nights. You must protect them from very cold winter drafts. Forest cacti are somewhat less picky about temperature; during the growing season, they have a wide range, from 55-70 F. During the rest period, a colder spell of 50 F is essential.

Fertilizer Care

You can fertilize organ pipe cacti anytime during the year, but it’s best to do so in the spring and summer. Fertilizer that’s specifically made for cacti works best.

Pruning Care

Stenocereus Thurberi (Organ Pipe Cactus) don't need pruning, just the removal of dead or damaged growth with clean, sharp garden shears. We strongly suggest wearing protective gardening gloves while you perform this task.

Pests and Diseases

All types of cactus can be prone to pests including mealybugs, scales, fungus gnats, and spider mites. In most cases, it's possible to carefully wash these pests off of plants using cotton swabs and water.
Stenocereus Thurberi

Stenocereus Thurberi (Organ Pipe Cactus) FAQ

How fast does organ pipe cactus grow?

about 2.5 inches a year
Within the monument boundaries, an average organ pipe cactus stem grows about 2.5 inches a year.

Is the organ pipe cactus Edible?

Organ Pipe cactus fruit can be eaten fresh cut into slices or simply peeled and enjoyed as is. The flesh can be pureed and incorporated into desserts such as sorbet and popsicles.

What is the difference between organ pipe cactus and saguaro cactus?

The saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) is the largest cactus in the United States and is among the tallest cacti in the world. The saguaro are tall columnar cacti that branch well up on the column later in life. Their northernmost range is north of Phoenix, AZ. The organ pipe (Stenocereus thurberi) is the most common columnar northwestern mainland Mexico the northern most part of their range in southwest Arizona. Organ pipe cactus generally branch right at the ground and their columns are much narrower than that of the saguaro. Google some photos for a visual.