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The Fascinating World of Totem Pole Cactus


totem pole cactus
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Totem Pole Cactus: An

Totem Pole cactus, also known as Lophocereus schottii f. monstrosus, is a unique and intriguing cactus species. It is a slow-growing columnar cactus that can grow up to 12 feet tall and 6 inches in diameter. This cactus is native to Sonoran Desert in Arizona, Mexico, and California. The totem pole cactus is a favorite among gardeners and collectors due to its unusual shape and striking features.

History and Origin of Totem Pole Cactus

The origin of the totem pole cactus is still unknown, but it is believed to be a genetic mutation of the Lophocereus schottii. The first recorded sighting of this cactus was in a nursery in Santa Barbara, California in the 1960s. Since then, it has gained popularity among gardeners and collectors around the world.

How to Identify a Totem Pole Cactus?

The totem pole cactus has a unique and distinctive appearance. It has a smooth, green stem with no spines or leaves. The stem is covered with small bumps, which are actually the remains of the areoles where the spines would normally grow. The cactus produces beautiful flowers that bloom at night and are pollinated by bats and moths.

Where to Grow a Totem Pole Cactus?

Totem pole cactus is a hardy plant that can survive in a range of temperatures from 20°F to 110°F. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil. It is commonly grown in pots or containers, but can also be planted in the ground. This cactus does not require frequent watering and can tolerate drought conditions.

Interesting Facts about Totem Pole Cactus

- The totem pole cactus is a rare and unusual cactus species that is highly sought after by collectors.
- It is slow-growing and can take up to 10 years to reach its full height of 12 feet.
- The totem pole cactus is called "totem" because it resembles the Native American totem poles.
- It produces beautiful flowers that bloom at night and are pollinated by bats and moths.

Tips for Growing Totem Pole Cactus

- Plant the cactus in well-draining soil and in a container with drainage holes.
- Water sparingly and allow the soil to dry out completely between watering.
- Place the cactus in full sun and protect it from frost.
- Fertilize once a year with a cactus-specific fertilizer.

Common Problems with Totem Pole Cactus

- Overwatering: This can cause root rot and damage to the stem.
- Underwatering: This can cause the stem to shrivel and become wrinkled.
- Pests: Common pests include mealybugs and spider mites.
- Sunburn: This can occur if the cactus is exposed to too much direct sunlight.

Totem Pole Cactus vs. Other Cacti

The totem pole cactus is often compared to other columnar cacti such as the Saguaro cactus and the Organ Pipe cactus. While they share similar characteristics, the totem pole cactus has a unique appearance due to its lack of spines and bumps.

Saguaro Cactus:

The Saguaro cactus is a large, slow-growing cactus that can reach up to 70 feet tall and is covered in spines. It is only found in the Sonoran Desert.

Organ Pipe Cactus:

The Organ Pipe cactus is a multi-stemmed cactus that grows up to 20 feet tall and produces beautiful pink and white flowers. It is native to Mexico and the southwestern United States.

Totem Pole Cactus in Landscaping

Totem pole cactus is a popular choice for landscaping due to its unique appearance and low maintenance requirements. It can be used in rock gardens or as a focal point in a xeriscape garden. It also looks great in containers on patios and decks.

How to Create a Xeriscape Garden with Totem Pole Cactus?

Xeriscaping is a landscaping technique that involves using plants that require minimal water. Here are some tips for creating a xeriscape garden with totem pole cactus:
- Choose drought-tolerant plants such as agave, yucca, and succulents.
- Use rocks and gravel to create a natural-looking landscape.
- Group plants together based on their watering needs.
- Water sparingly and only when necessary.

The Future of Totem Pole Cactus

The totem pole cactus is a rare and unique cactus species that is highly sought after by collectors and gardeners. However, due to its slow growth rate and limited availability, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find. Conservation efforts are underway to protect this species from extinction.


Totem pole cactus is a fascinating and unique cactus species that is highly valued by collectors and gardeners. Its striking appearance and low maintenance requirements make it a popular choice for landscaping. With proper care and maintenance, totem pole cactus can thrive in a variety of environments.

FAQs

Q: How often should I water my totem pole cactus?

A: Water sparingly and only when the soil is completely dry. Overwatering can cause root rot and damage to the stem.

Q: Can totem pole cactus be grown indoors?

A: Yes, totem pole cactus can be grown indoors as long as it receives adequate sunlight and is planted in well-draining soil.

Q: How tall can a totem pole cactus grow?

A: Totem pole cactus can grow up to 12 feet tall and 6 inches in diameter.

Q: What pests are common with totem pole cactus?

A: Common pests include mealybugs and spider mites.

Q: How long does it take for a totem pole cactus to reach its full height?

A: It can take up to 10 years for a totem pole cactus to reach its full height of 12 feet.


Image totem pole cactus



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