Lophocereus Marginatus (Mexican Fence Post Cactus)

With so many types of succulents and cacti available it can be hard to decide on which to add to your garden.  If you are currently wondering which type of cactus to include in your home or garden space, take some to consider Mexican Fence Post Cactus.  This is an incredibly easy-going option that is really lovely for landscaping in arid regions.

How to Identify Mexican Fence Post Cactus

This type of cactus is easy to identify since it has such bold features.  These features include:

  • Light green coloring with parts that are yellow-green
  • It grows in a column-like shape
  • It grows multiple arms that can be trained to wrap around other objects
  • It grows ribs that produce dozens of sharp white spines
  • It grows tubular-shaped flowers that produce red fruits
  • It grows up to 20 feet tall

Where Does Mexican Fence Post Cactus Grow

This cactus is a native of southern Mexico.

Lophocereus Marginatus

Uses of Mexican Fence Post Cactus

As its name suggests, this is the perfect cactus to use as a naturally growing fence.  It can be trained to grow in such a way that its arms will intertwine with other cacti and form a fence.  If a fence made from cacti is not something you need or want, Mexican Fence Post Cactus is also a great choice for bordering a garden bed, as a simple decorative feature in a plant container, or as a solitary focal point in a yard.

How to Grow Mexican Fence Post Cactus from Seed

While this is certainly not the easiest method for growing a Mexican Fence Post Cactus, it is still a method that works.  If you are patient and determined, you can grow your own cactus by following these steps:

  1. Procure healthy seeds from a trusted seller.
  2. Store the seeds in a cool, dry, and dark place until you are ready to plant them.  Springtime is recommended.
  3. Prepare a seedbed by pouring a seed starting mix into a seed starter tray.
  4. Place the seeds on top of the seed starting mix and lightly cover the seeds with the mix.  The seeds should be covered by only a few millimeters of the mix.
  5. Spray the mix with water so that it is moist but not soggy.
  6. Cover the seed tray with the included tray cover or a piece of clear plastic.
  7. Set the seed tray in a warm, dry, and brightly lit place.
  8. Only moisten the seed mix when it is dry.
  9. Remove the tray cover or the clear plastic once sprouts are a few inches tall.
  10. Once the sprouts are healthy and strong enough, transplant them to a container or garden bed filled with succulent/cacti potting soil.
  11. Treat the sprouts as mature plants.

Mexican Fence Post Cactus Growing Conditions

Most cacti are hardy plants and are famously unfussy about their care, and Mexican Fence Post Cactus is no exception; however, they do need proper care to grow strong and healthy.  If you want some great looking cacti in your home or garden, strive to provide them these conditions:

  • A plant container that allows excess moisture to escape
  • A well-aerated and well-draining potting soil mix
  • Hot temperatures ranging between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Little to no humidity (anything ranging between 40 to 60 percent will be fine)
  • Little to no water (only water the cactus when its soil has completely dried out)
  • Plant protection by placing Styrofoam cups over the tips of its arms
  • Six or more hours of direct sunlight or access to Grow Light

When to Plant Mexican Fence Post Cactus

It is always best to plant a cactus at the beginning of spring so it has time to acclimate to its new home and grow a little during the warm seasons of the year.

How to Plant Mexican Fence Post Cactus

Planting and repotting a Mexican Fence Post Cactus is a straightforward process.  This should be done either just after you bring the plant home from the store when it has outgrown its current container, when it is suffering from root rot, or when the soil it is planted in is two years old.  So, if your cactus is in either of those four situations, grab a pair of really thick gardening gloves and follow these steps:

  1. Water the cactus two days before planting it so that it is less likely to be shocked by the process.
  2. Select a new plant container or a sunny spot in your yard.
  3. Prepare the plant’s new home either by filling the plant container or the hole in your yard with small pebbles covered by a cactus potting mix.  The container or the hole should be two-thirds full of these items.  
  4. Water the mix in the container or the hole.
  5. Wear gardening gloves to remove the cactus from its current container.  If necessary, you can use a small shovel or a spoon to loosen the dirt from around its roots.
  6. Clean and trim the roots if your cactus is being treated for root rot.
  7. Place the cactus in the container or the hole and cover its roots with more potting mix.
  8. Ensure that the cactus gets plenty of sunlight where it is placed and only water it when the soil around it is dry.

Mexican Fence Post Cactus Water Requirements

Always water your Mexican Fence Post Cactus using the soak and dry method.  The steps for this watering method are:

  1. Fill a large container with water (the container should be able to hold the potted plant).
  2. Put the potted plant into the container filled with water (the water should not flow into the plant’s soil over the top of the pot; the water should only flow into the soil via the pot’s drainage hole(s).
  3. Allow the soil to soak in the water for up to 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the potted plant from the container filled with water and allow the excess water to drain from the pot’s drainage hole(s).
  5. Repeat only when the soil is completely dry.

Mexican Fence Post Cactus Sun Requirements

This type of cactus requires at least six hours of direct sunlight every day.  If you cannot provide this amount of sunlight to your cactus, consider investing in some grow lights to compensate for the lack of natural lighting.

Best Mexican Fence Post Cactus Fertilizer

This type of cactus does not require fertilizer to grow strong and healthy; however, if you would like to give it a boost during its growing season, you can do so.  It is best to give it a maximum of one feeding a month during the spring and summer months – never fertilize your cactus during autumn or winter since can cause the cactus more harm than good.  

When you do fertilize your cactus during its growing months, I recommend using something safe, organic, and easy to use.  EarthPods Cactus & Succulent Plant Food Capsules are designed for use with cacti and succulents so you can be sure that your cactus will get the exact nutrients it needs.  On top of that, you can rest assured that the product is completely safe for the environment.

Best Mexican Fence Post Cactus Companion Plantings

Personally, I think cacti look their best when surrounded by other types of plants.  It softens their prickly appearance by providing other textures for our eyes to contemplate.  If you agree that a cactus needs a little visual softening, then consider using one of the following plants as a companion for your Mexican Fence Post Cactus.  Don’t worry, I’ve selected plants that will complement your cactus in regards to appearance, care, and growing conditions so you won’t have to learn any new techniques or gather any new equipment.

Queen of the Night

This particular type of cactus may not have the softening effect that you really want for your Mexican Fence Post Cactus, but it will offer something else, namely, color and flair.  This lovely plant produces vanilla-scented blossoms during spring nights that are sure to qualify it as a winning match.

Care Tips

Provide your Queen of the Night plant with arid conditions, well-draining soil, little water, and plenty of bright sunlight.

Pros

  • Queen of the Night has care and growing conditions that are similar to Mexican Fence Post Cactus
  • Queen of the Night is easy to propagate via cuttings

Cons

  • Queen of the Night can easily get root rot from improper watering methods
  • Queen of the Night can grow up to thirty feet tall
  • The blossoms on Queen of the Night only last six hours

Sedum Adolphii (Golden Glow)

This particular type of succulents is very fast-growing and easy-going.  Anyone can grow one or dozens of these without a lot of effort.  The beauty of this plant is not just in its gorgeous colors and structure, it is in the fact that its care requirements are minimal.

Care Tips

Provide your Sedum Adolphii with well-draining soil, bright but indirect sunlight, and plenty of warm weather.

Pros

  • Sedum Adolphii has care and growing conditions that are similar to Mexican Fence Post Cactus
  • Sedum Adolphii can turn yellow and orange when placed under healthy stressors
  • Sedum Adolphii is the perfect choice to use as a groundcover
  • Sedum Adolphii propagates itself via offsets
  • Sedum Adolphii only grows up to 12 inches tall
  • Sedum Adolphii is not listed as a toxic plant by the ASPCA
  • Sedum Adolphii produces small white blossoms in the spring

Cons

  • None

Echeveria Lola

Any type of Echeveria is a wonder to behold and to own.  They are dainty and unfussy which makes it a guarantee that you will love this hybrid variety.  It has all the good points of its parent plants and none of their faults, so try one alongside your Mexican Fence Post Cactus for an awesome color and texture combination.

Care Tips

Provide your Echeveria Lola with bright and indirect sunlight, well-draining soil, and warm, arid temperatures.

Pros

  • Echeveria Lola has care and growing conditions that are similar to Mexican Fence Post Cactus
  • Echeveria Lola only grows up to six inches tall by four inches wide
  • Echeveria Lola is not toxic

Cons

  • Echeveria Lola is susceptible to root rot, fungus, and mealybugs
  • Echeveria Lola does not produce offsets

Mexican Fence Post Cactus Diseases and Common Problems

As is the case with most plants, Mexican Fence Post Cactus is not immune to a few problems.  These, however, can be prevented or treated if you are willing to invest a little time and energy into them.  Let’s talk about what pests and diseases this plant faces and how you can keep your cactus from succumbing to either.

Improper Growing Conditions

Your Mexican Fence Post Cactus should be provided with the proper growing conditions.  If this cactus receives too much water or too little sunlight, it can cause it to rot and increase its chances of a pest infestation.  

A cactus that receives too much water or is exposed to too much humidity will develop yellow and/or mushy stems.  A cactus in this condition is like a magnet to insects.  You can prevent many insect infestations by providing your cactus with proper amounts of moisture.  The best way to do this is by watering it via the soak and dry method

A cactus that receives too little sunlight will suffer from etiolation.  This can inhibit its growth, cause root rot to set in, and even cause the plant to attract pests.  The best way to deal with this issue is to place it in a spot that gets plenty of direct sunlight throughout the day.

Mealybugs

You can prevent these cotton-like insects from infesting your cactus by spreading diatomaceous earth in its soil and on its stems.  If these insects do infest your cactus, spray them with a mixture of alcohol and water and wipe them off with a brush.

Scale Insects

You can also prevent these tiny brown insects from infesting your cactus by spreading diatomaceous earth in its soil and on its stems.  If these insects do infest your cactus, hose them off and coat the stems of your cactus with neem oil.

Where to Buy Mexican Fence Post Cactus Seeds Online

The seeds for this type of cactus are difficult to find from reputable online sellers.  If you want to procure some for your garden, the best way to do so is to reach out to these companies that deal in rare seeds:

Where to Buy Mexican Fence Post Cactus Plants Online

If you are interested in getting your cactus garden started with a Mexican Fence Post Cactus, you can purchase one or a dozen at Kazumi Nursery.

FAQs

Question: Is Mexican Fence Post Cactus Toxic?

Answer: No, this type of cactus is not considered toxic; however, it is recommended that you keep it away from pets and small children because the spikes can be dangerous.

Question: In Which USDA Hardiness Zones will Mexican Fence Post Cactus Grow Best?

Answer: This cactus will grow best in zones 9 to 11.  If you live outside of these zones, you should plan to bring your cactus inside during cold or wet weather.

Question: Can Mexican Fence Post Cactus be Propagated via Cuttings?

Answer: Yes, propagating this cactus via cuttings is a great way to grow a garden full of them.  The steps for this propagation method are:
1. Cut off a small piece of the cactus with a sterile cutting utensil.  Remember to wear gloves.
2. Allow the cactus piece to callous for a few days before replanting it.
3. Fill a clean plant container with clean succulent/cacti potting mix.
4. Place the calloused cactus piece in the potting mix and set the plant container in a warm and sunny spot.
5. Water the soil after a few days.
6. Treat the cutting as a new plant.

Concluding Words

This may not be the cactus for every home, but it is certainly one that is fun to try growing.  It is easy to care for and it brings a lot of character to a home or garden.  If you have the right growing conditions and a fondness for desert plants, then you really need to get a Mexican Fence Post Cactus right away.

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