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San Pedro cactus care

San Pedro cactus care

The Echinopsis pachanoicommonly called San Pedro cactus or wachuma, is a spiny, columnar-type cactus native to the Andean mountain range, where it grows at a variety of altitudes between 1,000 and 3,000 meters. Despite this, like many other cacti and succulents, it is an extraordinarily resistant plant whose use has now spread throughout the world and requires little care in order to be cultivated. It is a highly appreciated plant for its ornamental value and frequently used in traditional Andean medicine. In this EcologĂ­aVerde article we are going to see the San Pedro cactus care.

Main characteristics of the San Pedro cactus or Echinopsis pachanoi

The San Pedro cacti it can reach heights of up to 7 meters, and it is an arboreal cactus that tends to branch out a lot from its very base. Gives edible fruits dark green, and San Pedro cactus flower, large, nocturnal and white in color with an intense aroma, it always forms in the upper part of the stem. Since its habitat is a high altitude area with frequent rains, this species can withstand low temperatures better than most cacti.

Effects of the San Pedro cactus

As we have mentioned above, the San Pedro cactus was usually used in the Andean traditional medicine both in people and in the veterinary field. Due to its high alkalinity, the fruits and the cactus itself have strong hallucinogenic properties if ingested, in addition to causing the heart rate to accelerate and the pupils to dilate. You must be very careful in this regard, as high doses of San Pedro can be dangerous to your health.

The cactus is also traditionally used to treat a multitude of pains and as a healing agent, as well as to treat some skin problems, but it is important not to use it without prior knowledge or without first consulting an expert.

San Pedro cactus care - Main characteristics of the San Pedro cactus or Echinopsis pachanoi

San Pedro cactus care – basic guide

Despite being a strong and resistant plant, the San Pedro cactus will enjoy much better health and appearance if some basic guidelines are respected in its care. Therefore, we encourage you to follow these instructions on San Pedro cactus care.


The San Pedro cactus can be grown in a pot without any problems despite its large size, as it is a plant with shallow roots and a trunk that is not too thick for its height. Regarding the sun, unlike other cacti, the San Pedro will appreciate a location in a semi-shaded area, since direct light in intense times or hours can cause burns.


We have already said that this plant withstands low temperatures better than many cacti, but frost is still very dangerous for it. If you plant it outdoors, keep in mind that if the temperature drops below 3ÂșC in your area, it is very likely that your cactus will not survive.

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If you plant your San Pedro outside, you should do it on fertile soil. In a pot, use a substrate for cacti and succulent plants, with black peat, perlite and containing material that favors water drainage. This is important because, like most succulent plants, it is not convenient for this cactus to suffer accumulations of humidity or waterlogging, or it is likely to suffer from fungal attack. If you see that fungi appear, do not hesitate to use one of these homemade fungicides for cacti.

Adult cacti also need a supply of clay in their substrate. If you have it in a pot, a transplant every two years and in spring will be enough.


Excessive watering should be avoided. As usual, the best measure here is to water only when the substrate is visibly dry. As a guide, weekly watering should be adequate in summer and spring, while once a month is sufficient in the cold season.


If you want to help the cactus to grow strong and give beautiful flowers, it is important to provide it with a specific fertilizer for cacti once a month in the spring and summer months. Here we explain how to make organic fertilizer for plants.

How to make the San Pedro cactus bloom

The San Pedro cactus is fast growingbut its pretty night flowers they tend to wait. There are many who have specimens of this plant with many years and have not yet seen them bloom.

However, if you want your San Pedro cactus bloom, the only thing you have to do is make sure you follow all the indications expressed above. If you maintain adequate conditions of temperature, light, humidity, substrate and fertilizer, your San Pedro could begin to bloom when it reaches approximately one meter in height, like the one in these images.

San Pedro cactus care - How to make the San Pedro cactus bloom

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