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Trichocereus Peruvianus v. Matucana
Trichocereus Peruvianus is one of the most revered trichocereus species. This easy-to-grow, ornamental, columnar cactus is often recognized with San Pedro because it is also a sacred symbol with a long history of sacramental use amongst the various peoples of South America. It is somewhat less common in landscaping than pachanoi but is still tolerant of a wide variety of conditions and can handle more water and fertilization than most cacti, making it a good species for beginners. Its rapid growth rate rivals that of pachanoi (up to18 inches per year), and it can reach up to 18 feet with maturity. It is sometimes used as a grafting stock, although its large spines, which can easily measure three to four inches, make it more difficult to work with than San Pedro or Blue Myrtle. Like pachanoi, peruvianus is frost hardy to about 26 degrees Fahrenheit and can be raised outdoors all year in Zone 9 or warmer. Otherwise, it should be kept in medium to large pots that can be moved inside during the winter months. Plants can be watered frequently during the summer months. During the winter, they should be slowly acclimated to cool, dry, dark conditions to avoid stretching that could damage the aesthetics and structural integrity of the plant. When breaking dormancy in the spring, a reverse process of slowly introducing the factors necessary for growth may be beneficial for the same reason. For optimal skin color, T. Peruvianus should be kept in partial to full sun and the soil should be well-draining and rich in organic nutrients and minerals. Its blooms are also large and white. THESE SEEDS ARE ACTUALLY A VARIETY OF T. PERUVIANUS OBTAINED THROUGH BOTANIST GERARD KOEHRES.
These seeds should be germinated in a fine sandy soil at about 70-75 degrees. A commercial potting mix with the larger material strained out is ideal. Flatten out the soil and then put a thin layer of loose soil above it. Sow the seeds on the surface and press in very lightly. They need light to germinate. Mist the soil to keep it moist and cover with clear plastic. Ideally, the covering should not be flat across the top because it will cause the water to drip back on the young seedlings, which sometimes causes rot. Something like a sandwich bag often makes a better “tent” because the water will run down the sides more easily. The soil should not be allowed to dry out while the plants are seedlings. Use a mister if the soil does get dry. Place the seedlings on a heat mat (ideally) and in bright light. Placing the seeds just a few inches from fluorescent lights is ideal for starting seedlings, although natural light will work too. Note that using a heat mat will cause more evaporation, which may require more attention. Be sure to air out the seedlings once a day for best results.