Acanthocereus Tetragonus (Fairy Castle Cactus): How To Beautifully Grow and Care For Your Cactus

If you are looking for a plant to care for that is beginner-friendly, look no further than Fairy Castle Cactus. This plant is not only an easy plant for novice gardeners to grow, it is actually adorable too. There’s not much more you can ask for in a plant.  If this plant interests you, let’s learn a little more about it so you can make a fully educated decision on whether or not it is for you.

How to Identify Fairy Castle Cactus

This cactus grows in vertical columns, one on top of the other, so that eventually, it looks like the spires of a castle from a fairy tale. The columns (or spires) are ribbed and lined with tiny white spikes.

Where Does Fairy Tale Cactus Grow?

This cactus is a native of southern Florida and Texas. It also grows in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and parts of northern South America.

Uses of Fairy Tale Cactus

This is a great cactus to grow outside if you live in the proper climate, or in containers that can be transported indoors during winter. Fairy Tale Cactus is such an easy cactus to care for that it is perfect to use as a gift for beginner gardeners, home décor enthusiasts, or to teach children more about horticulture.

How to Grow Fairy Castle Cactus from Seed

Seeds can be collected from the fruit of the cactus and then planted in cactus soil. The downside of propagating a Fairy Castle Cactus this way is that it is excruciatingly slow because these plants hardly ever blossom and produce seeds, and then, the seeds take a long time to grow once planted.

If, however, you decide to go this route, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Purchase some seeds online or in a store to speed up the process
  • Plant the seeds in well-draining soil
  • Keep the soil moist but not soggy
  • Once sprouts appear, only water the plant when the soil is dry

Fairy Castle Cactus Growing Conditions

This is certainly a hassle-free succulent, but it does need a little attention. Tending to succulents requires that they are placed in the right conditions for optimal health and growth. To do this, you will need to consider three different factors, temperature, soil, and sunlight.

The most important growing condition to consider for a Fairy Castle Cactus is soil. They will grow best in soil that is coarse and sandy. Soils such as pumice, gravel, sand, perlite, and bark should be used; whereas, soils such as clay or peat moss should never be used with these plants.

Soil Tips:

  • Succulent and cactus soil can be created or purchased
  • Potted succulents and cacti should always be in a container that has drainage holes in the bottom
  • Succulents and cacti grow very well in raised garden bed because they drain excess water

When to Plant Fairy Castle Cactus

This cactus should be planted during the warm months of summer and spring so it will get plenty of heat and sunlight.

How to Plant Fairy Castle Cactus

It is best to plant this cactus in a container that has many drain holes so there is no chance of standing water.  Planting a Fairy Castle Cactus is a very simple process that includes the following steps:

  1. Choose a container that will give the plant’s roots plenty of room to grow
  2. Fill a container two-thirds full with succulent potting mix
  3. Place the plant into the container
  4. Moisten the soil thoroughly
  5. Allow the excess water to drain through the bottom of the container
  6. Set it in a warm place with plenty of sunlight

Fairy Castle Cactus Water Requirements

Tending to succulents also requires that they get a certain amount of water and no more than that. This is because succulents are designed to store water so they can thrive in dry, hot conditions. Too much water is far worse for a succulent than too little. Remember, they are drought-tolerant plants.

The best way to water an indoor or potted Fairy Castle Cactus is to soak it and then dry it. What this entails is setting the pot into standing water for fifteen minutes to allow the root system to soak up the water it needs. Once this time has ended, the pot will need to be placed somewhere so that the excess water can easily drain from the hole in the bottom of it.

The best way to water a Fairy Castle Cactus that is planted in the ground is to soak the soil around it. Once the soil looks moist, it should be left to dry out before watering it again.

Watering Tips:

  • Only water succulents when the soil around them is dry
  • Avoid getting water on the leaves of the succulents
  • Use an app such as Gardenia to create a watering schedule

Fairy Castle Cactus Sun Requirements

Just like most other types of succulents, Fairy Castle Cactus has a need for plenty of sunlight. An established and mature plant that is kept outdoors can handle full sun. A plant kept indoors needs to be kept in the sunniest place possible, preferably a south-facing window.

A plant that does not get enough light will start fading in color, turn yellow, or become etiolated. If this happens to one of your plants, move it to an area where it can get more direct sunlight or consider purchasing a grow light.

Light Tips:

A young cactus or a cactus that has not been exposed to full sunlight should be allowed to slowly transition into more sunlight so they don’t get sunburnt

It must also be noted that Fairy Castle Cactus does not handle cold weather very well. For this reason, they should not be planted outside if you do not live in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 – 11. If you don’t reside in either of these zones, it will be necessary to plant them in a container that can be brought indoors during cold weather.

Temperature Tips:

  • When kept indoors, don’t place a Fairy Castle Cactus near cold drafty areas
  • When kept outdoors, plan to bring them inside if the temperatures get as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit

Best Fairy Castle Cactus Fertilizer

Tending to succulents requires that they get the nutrients they need when they need them. Fairy Castle Cactus grows well with a cactus and succulent fertilizer during its growing season in the spring.

Feeding Tips:

  • Fairy Castle Cactus only needs to be fed during the warm growing months and should not be fed during the winter

Best Fairy Castle Cactus Companion Plantings

Sometimes it is nice to pair a plant with another. The best way to find a companion plant for a plant you already own is to consider the care each plant needs. Two plants that require the same type of care are going to make it easy to grow them both together. And, that is what can be found in these three lovely little plants that will make the perfect friend for your Fairy Castle Cactus.

Faucaria Tigrina ‘Tiger’s Jaw’

While this is a tiny plant, it is definitely distinct and full of character. Its strong features include thick, green triangular leaves that are trimmed with spiky teeth. It does look a bit like a jawline. Let’s take some time to compare and contrast these two succulents to make sure they are both plants that you will want together in your garden or home.

Similarities

  • Both plants can grow in partial shade
  • Both plants should be watered only when the soil is dry
  • Both plants do not tolerate cold weather
  • Both plants grow in Spring and Fall
  • Both plants are easy to propagate

Differences

  • Tiger’s Jaw only grows up to 3 inches tall; whereas, Fairy Castle Cactus can grow up to 6 feet tall
  • Tiger’s Jaw does not grow well indoors; whereas, Fairy Castle Cactus can grow indoors very easily
  • Tiger’s Jaw propagates through offsets and seeds; whereas, Fairy Castle Cactus propagates through cuttings and seed

Golden Barrel Cactus

This is a conventional-looking cactus but it is still wonderful as a companion to Fairy Castle Cactus. Including one of these in a succulent or cacti garden is sure to complete the look and feel of a desert oasis. Let’s look at some of the qualities that will make a Golden Barrel Cactus the optimal choice for a garden companion.

Similarities

  • Both plants can grow in partial shade
  • Both plants should be watered only when the soil is dry
  • Both plants do not tolerate cold weather
  • Both plants can be propagated by seeds
  • Both plants can be toxic

Differences

  • Golden Barrel Cactus only grow up to one foot tall; whereas, Fairy Castle Cactus can grow up to 6 feet tall

Milk Barrel Cactus

This is another cactus that has the conventional look. It has thick spiky ribs that line its entire stem. A Milk Barrel Cactus is another sure fit for any succulent or cactus garden and will make a great partner for a Fairy Castle Cactus. Let’s look at why these two will get along so well.

Similarities

  • Both plants can grow in partial shade
  • Both plants should be watered only when the soil is dry
  • Both plants do not tolerate cold weather
  • Both plants can be toxic

Differences

  • Milk Barrel Cactus propagates through offsets; whereas, Fairy Castle Cactus propagates through cuttings and seeds
  • Milk Barrel Cactus grows up to 3 feet tall; whereas, Fairy Castle Cactus can grow up to 6 feet tall

Fairy Castle Cactus Diseases and Common Problems

The most common problem that this type of cactus faces is overwatering. Because treating an overwatered cactus is difficult and not always successful, it is essential to learn how to properly water a cactus.

Fairy Castle Cactus Treatments and Maintenance

Overwatering

If you notice that your plant has become brown, mushy, or transparent, you are probably dealing with a plant that has been given too much water and is susceptible to root rot.  The best treatment for this condition is to dry out the plant.

Don’t give the plant any more liquids until it and the soil have fully dried. If the plant is in a container, move it to a place that will allow the excess water in the container to drain. If the plant is in the ground, it is going to be a difficult thing to fix and unless your weather patterns dry out the soil quickly, you may end up needing to replace your succulents.

Fairy Castle Cactus Repotting Instructions

Fairy Castle Cactus need plenty of room for their root system to grow and thrive. These plants can grow up to six feet tall, and consequently, will need to be repotted if they are in a small pot. This will need to be done every other year or when you notice that it has outgrown its container.

The steps for repotting a Fairy Castle Cactus are:

  1. Select a bigger pot
  2. Remove the plant from its current pot
  3. Break up the soil around the plant’s roots
  4. Fill the new pot half or three-quarters full with cactus potting soil
  5. Place the cactus on top of the potting soil
  6. Fill the remainder of the pot with cactus potting soil
  7. Water if necessary
  8. Place in a sunny spot

Where to Buy Fairy Castle Cactus Seeds Online

If you are interested in propagating one of these plants from seeds, try one of these online shops:

Where to Buy Fairy Castle Cactus Plants Online

Succulents, such as Fairy Castle Cactus are easy to find at any local lawn and garden store. They may also be sold at Farmer’s Markets and at greenhouses. But, if none of these places suit your purchasing requirements, why not try an online succulent shop?

There are plenty of places online that offer a wonderful selection of succulents and have great ratings from previous customers. Find a shop that has good ratings and good comments and give them a try. Online shopping has become a simple and accessible way to get all the gardening supplies needed in modern times. Give it a try.

FAQs

Question: Does Fairy Castle Cactus Produce Blooms?

Answer: Yes, these succulents can produce bloom, but it is rare and only mature plants will do so.

Question: What is Cactus Corking?

Answer: This is a natural process that cacti, including Fairy Castle Cactus, can go through. It is a browning of the cactus that some viewers think looks like fungus, a disease, or a dying stem. However, this is part of the aging process of cacti.

If you are wondering why your cactus is turning a shade of brown, it could be going through the process of corking. Here are some of the features of cactus corking to help you decide if this is why your cactus is brown, or if there could be another reason.

Traits of Corking:

  • Begins at the bottom of the stem
  • Usually grows up the stem evenly without patches
  • Slowly grows; this does not happen quickly or overnight
  • The cactus stem should still feel firm or hard, not squishy when touched

Question: Can Fairy Castle Cactus be Propagated?

Answer: Yes, these plants are very easy to propagate. They can be propagated either through planting seeds or by using a cutting.

Using a cutting is the quickest and easiest way to propagate a Fairy Castle Cactus. Since these cacti produce so many branches, it is nothing to cut off a branch for the purpose of propagation. If this is the method you choose to take, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Only use clean and sharp tools to cut off branches so as to prevent an infection in the cactus
  • Allow the cuttings to air dry for a few days before planting them
  • Consider dipping the cuttings into a rooting hormone before planting them
  • There’s no need to water the cuttings for the first few weeks since they don’t have roots

Concluding Thoughts

Owning and caring for succulents is meant to be a cathartic pastime. This is the sort of hobby that should leave you in awe at the wonder and beauty of nature. If you have never tried gardening, now is the best time to start. There have never been so many resources to help new gardeners and there has never been such an uncomplicated system of purchasing gardening supplies. This truly is the time to begin.

If you’re in, if you’re convinced that this is the time for you to begin experiencing nature for yourself, Fairy Castle Cactus is going to be the best companion for you. It is a quiet companion that only needs a small amount of attention from you. In return, it will give you the thrill to watch it grow alongside you while showering you with all its natural wonders. Yes, it truly is time for you to begin your gardening adventure.

Research Citations

Succulents and Sunshine

World of Succulents

Gardening Know How

Sublime Succulents

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