Hi Guys, In this Blog I will be talking about the wacky and wonderful Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ commonly called the Spiral Cactus and sharing info about how to care for and grow this unusual looking Cactus.
Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ Cactus is a fast growing columnar and then later branching cactus that over time forms into a ‘Candelabra effect’ from the base.
When young and grown from seed these cacti start off growing straight and then start to grow with a twist after 5 cm’s in height and can reach 13 feet high when mature.
Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ originated from an original cactus in Brazil and around 1980 a few cuttings from this original cactus were taken and imported into Europe. Nearly all Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ that are sold worldwide have been grown from seed or from cuttings.
This cactus is becoming more common in cultivation with many online and garden shops selling it.
Mature Cereus forbesii ‘spiralis’ like full sun, and a sunny position or window or greenhouse is ideal, but young plants like to have more shade until they are more mature. If you are growing these Cacti behind glass though you will need to protect them from intense midday sun on very hot days in Summer, this is to prevent scorch or yellowing of the cactus skin, and a shade cloth or light net curtain can be used over glass to protect these cacti from the very hot midday sun in Summer. If you only have a north facing window that never receives any sun or growing indoors away from windows then LED Plant Grow lights especially made for plants can be used to replicate the natural full spectrum light and sunlight that these cacti need to grow and thrive.
Cereus forbseii ‘Spiralis’ need a very well draining cactus and succulent soil that is free draining and dries out fast in between watering’s, you can use any good quality cactus soil that is ideally low in peat, but I like to make up my own Cactus soil of 3 equal parts of Loam, Grit and Horticultural sharp Sand, you can also use Pumice or Perlite or Lava Rock instead of Grit, the most important thing to remember is that the soil drains fast and dries out fast in between watering.
Spring and Summer water when the soil in the pot has dried out and reduce watering from late Summer, keep Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ cacti dry with little to no water over the Winter months, If your cactus starts to look shrivelled over the Winter months then a light watering can be given as long as the temperature you are overwintering your Cactus is above 10 Celsius /50 Fahrenheit, as temperatures lower than this can cause rot.
Feed Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ Cacti twice a month in Spring and Summer with a good quality cactus and succulent fertiliser, you can also use a good quality Tomato feed used at half the recommended strength that they recommend for tomatoes, if you want to see what I like to use to fertilise my cacti and how I do it then check out this video I made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How I fertilise my Cacti and you can watch this video below:
These Cacti like a minimum Winter temperature of 50 Fahrenheit / 10 Celsius and they are not frost hardy at all. The ideal temperature during their growing season in Spring and Summer is around 60 – 80 Fahrenheit / 15 – 27 Celsius, its best to protect these cacti from excess heat above 85 Fahrenheit / 30 Celsius because stems can scar and scab and yellowing can occur unless plenty of ventilation can be given, open windows and use circulating fans in very hot sunny weather.
Re potting is best done in Spring and Summer and when the cactus has outgrown its pot. Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ grow fast when they are given plenty of root space and you may need to re pot every one to two years. Once repotted its best to keep these cacti unwatered for a week to ten days to allow the roots to settle into the new soil and pot.
If you want to know How to repot a cereus forbesii spiralis cactus than check out this video I made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on Repotting a Cereus forbesii spiralis Cactus and you can watch this video below:
Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ will produce White and pink blooms in Summer with buds a deep purple colour, red fruits form if the flowers get pollinated.
If you want to know How to get your Cacti to flower, then check out this video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to get your Cacti to Flower and you can watch this video below:
Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ can be propagated by seeds or from cuttings taken in Spring or Summer, Cuttings must be allowed to fully callus over for a few days or weeks first before planting. These cacti grow tall and branch out over time and these branches can be pruned off and taken as cuttings. Seeds will germinate after 2-6 weeks. If you want to know How to Grow Cacti from Seed then check out a video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to grow Cacti from Seed and you can watch this video below:
Mealy Bugs and Spider Mites, Thrips and Scale insect are the most common pests of all cacti, but Cereus forbesii ‘spiralis’ is very prone to Mealy Bugs and Scale insects, this is because these pests love to hide in between the twists on these cacti. Remove any pests that are visible with a q tip cotton bud dipped in rubbing alcohol / Isopropyl alcohol, and then once pests have been removed with the rubbing/isopropyl alcohol treat the whole cactus with a systematic insecticide spray or Horticultural Neem oil mixed with Horticultural soap. Check out a video I have made for my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon on How to use Neem oil on Cacti as a pest and disease treatment, and you can watch this video below:
I hope you enjoyed reading this post on How to Grow and Care for Cereus forbesii ‘Spiralis’ and for lots more tips and tricks on growing many different types of cacti & succulents then check out my You Tube Channel called Desert Plants of Avalon and you can follow me on Instagram, Twitter and facebook at @desertplantsofavalon
Happy Growing Guys,