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Golden Torch Cactus Care – Tutorial

Golden Torch Cactus Care – Tutorial

Golden Torch Cactus, or echinopsis spachiana, is a cactus that be found in the South American flora.

Nowadays it’s cultivated around the world as a rockery or potted plant. Its spines are approximately 1,5 cm long and it has a cylindrical body. 

As it grows, the Golden Torch Cactus gets multiple spines, all of them parallel to the main body.

It can grow up to 2 meters in height with its flower being 15 to 20 cm in diameter. The cactus usually has around 10 to 15 ribs.

This cactus is very attractive for its lime green color and beautiful white flower.

Cultivated kinds of the Golden Torch Cactus are very different from the original species. For instance, they can be smaller and the flower usually has no scent. The blossom may also be of a different color.

If you have previous experience with succulents or cacti, this one will pose no challenge for you. Even if this is your first plant, though, it’s a low maintenance one; there’s not much you can do wrong. Water them a day late? No problem. Put them inside a day after the winter’s first frost? No worries. You can’t kill it that easily! It’ll stay with you for years whether you want it to or not!

 

 

Golden Torch Cactus Care

Use crushed stone or tiny pebbles as soil to improve drainage for your Golden Torch Cactus. Direct light is best. Water your cactus every 10 days to two weeks. This cactus grows best in temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). Tolerates low temperatures of down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius). Fertilize during the growing period with all-purpose plant fertilizer. As the case with most cacti, humidity is not an area of concern.

 

Soil

Cactus mix soil may be a good choice for your plant, but it isn’t ideal. For your Golden Torch Cactus, you may want to tinker around with the soil you use.

For example, crushed stone or tiny pebbles provide a good drainage system for your cactus. Using them, the soil is less likely to stay wet for too long. Rotting can be prevented that way. And make sure to always pick pots with drainage holes at the bottom!

 

Light

Golden Torch Cacti love bright light and need fresh air. In summer you should keep your plant outdoors, making sure it’s in a sunlight-flooded place. An extra service you can offer your plant is turning it a few times a day so each side of it can bathe in sunlight evenly. That way, it won’t begin to lean.

 

Watering

Between two waterings, Golden Torch Cactus likes a drying period of around ten days to two weeks. Whenever you do water it, though, water it generously. Excess water should always be removed afterward. Make sure your type of soil doesn’t stay most for long periods if you want to keep your plant for a long time!

In winter, you shouldn’t water your echinopsis spachiana as much. Misting it once a month should be enough.

 

Temperature

Echinopsis spachiana is a rather robust plant that grows best in temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). It tolerates temperatures down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius). Over winter you should keep it dry and consider moving it inside, though. Weather conditions can mean the death of your plant if temperature stays very low for an extended time and conditions stay wet.

 

Humidity 

Your cactus is resilient and doesn’t need any adjustment in humidity. Whether inside or outside, summer or winter, it doesn’t make much of a difference to this plant.

 

Fertilizer

When in the growing season, fertilize your plant. Cactus fertilizer should be easy to find in your local gardener store. I recommend an all-purpose plant fertilizer if possible mixed with a bit of water. Make sure that the soil is always a little moist when you feed your plant!

Golden Torch Cactus basically goes dormant during winter, so you shouldn’t fertilize your cactus between October and March. Or, in case you live in the southern hemisphere, between May and September.

 

Propagation

Your cactus can be rooted from one of its many offsets growing at the base of the mother plant. To do that, you have to cut an offset from the main stem.

Cutting one at the most narrow place is recommended. Once you have your offset, let it dry a bit before slicing the bottom part open. Next, you have to wait a bit; it may take a few days to a week or two until a rough callous has formed around the cut.

That’s when you’re able to put your offset into a rooting mixture. It’s critical to keep the cut part of the cactus offset somewhat moist and lukewarm for a while. 

It will take a few weeks, but eventually, roots will grow and it’s high time to pot the plant. By then it’s robust and can survive in normal cactus soil. And just like that, you have a new cactus plant!

 

Growth  

Golden Torch Cactus is slow at growing. Blooms will only come out in the third or fourth year, but they’re worth the while. Once it gets warmer, place or plant it outside. As it gets colder, put it back indoors; a room with little sunlight is most suitable. There’s not much else you have to do!

 

Potting

It’s recommended to repot your Golden Torch Cactus in any warm month. Should you have to move pots, you need to make sure the soil is completely dry before you even begin.

Gently shake or knock away old remains of soil until your roots are mostly clean. Old and rotten parts of the roots have to be removed as well! Now you place the plant in its new pot and fill it with its soil.

While doing that, make sure the roots are spread out amongst the soil. Before you water your plant, keep it dry for a week or maybe 10 days, then begin watering it bit by bit.

Terracotta and concrete pots are best for your cactus, though the former is susceptible to heat. Repotting isn’t a huge issue with your cactus; in fact, it’s not something you need to do oftentimes.

 

Common problems with Golden Torch Cactus

 

Toxicity

Your echinops spachiana is moderately toxic. Ingesting it can cause an upset stomach, a sore mouth, and in some cases even vomiting. It has sharp spines as well; a fact you should be aware of if you have pets or little children.

 

Root rot

Amateur succulent keepers may face the problem of rotting roots. As you may have guessed it’s the result of overwatering. Don’t worry, though, you can easily fix that. Repot the cactus after cleaning the roots and cutting off dead ones. Make sure the new soil is dry!

 

Pest control

Common succulent pests

Your Golden Torch Cactus can be affected by mealy succulent pest or red spider mites in rare cases. Mealy pest resembles cotton particles.

You need to closely inspect your plant to find them. It’s critical to find them as soon as possible as this pest spreads quickly.

Isopropyl alcohol of a high percentage is an effective pesticide to use against this particular pest. Don’t worry, it won’t harm your plant at all!

On the other hand, red spider mites are easier to spot and more dangerous to your plant than mealy pests. You’ll notice that your plant starts looking unhealthy and dusty if it’s infected by these mites.

If you suspect your Golden Torch Cactus may be infected by red mites, get out a looking glass as they’re hard to spot by the naked eye.

They like cool weather, so they tend to attack plants in fall or early winter. To prevent this pest, keep debris and dust far away from your plant.

Once it’s infected, though, you should consider getting the mites’ natural predators to take care of the infestation. Ladybugs are your best friends if you seek to eliminate red spider mites!

 

Tips to grow Golden Torch Cactus problem-free

  • Never overwater your plant. Let it dry between waterings.
  • Fertilize it every month in summer, never in winter!
  • Provide each of its sides with lots of sunlight.
  • Repot it once every two years, making sure to prune the dead roots.
  • Propagation is recommended, it doesn’t hurt the plant at all and declutters it.

 

Frequently asked questions about Golden Torch Cactus 

 

Can you leave Golden Torch Cactus outside in winter?

If the climate doesn’t get too cold and you make sure it’s sufficiently protected from rough weather. It can stay outside for winter.

 

Does this plant have psychedelic components?

Golden Torch Cactus does have psychedelic properties such as 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine.

 

Can I add sand to my soil mix?

Coarse sand makes a great addition to the soil if used for a Golden Torch Cactus. It helps with drainage and therefore prevents root rot!


 

Conclusion

You don’t exactly need a green thumb to successfully raise this cactus. In fact, it’s a plant I’d recommend to beginners or those that look to decorate a space rather than become a plant expert.

Either way, Golden Torch Cactus is a lovely and attractive plant.

Other plants you may like include Angel Wing Cactus or Opuntia albispina, and the Bishop’s Cap, Astrophytum ornatum. Both of them are as attractive and easy to care for as your Golden Torch Cactus.

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