Blue Myrtle Cactus How To Grow & Care (Myrtillocactus Geometrizans)

The magnificent Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  can give your house a touch of the desert. Growing this plant all by yourself is quite simple if you know a few simple tips and tricks.

Photo by Amante Darmanin

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  is a columnar, upright cactus that eventually takes on a tree-like form.

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  cactus can reach heights of 13 feet to 16 feet. When fully developed, the plants take on the appearance of candelabra. Each stalk has a diameter of about 3 inches (7.5 cm) and five or six ribs. Keeping a Blue Myrtle Cactus indoors is rewarding because it adds a lovely touch to rooms and produces edible fruits.

Blue Candle Cactus is a low-maintenance plant that is popular among cacti enthusiasts. They can be propagated either by growing them from seeds or by taking cuttings of their stems in the summer. They are often used in rockeries, as individual specimens, groupings, containers for terraces, or as part of hedges.

RELATED: How to Propagate Any Cactus (Easy & Fast Step by Step)

So, if this Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  seems like something you want to grow, read on. We will tell you everything there is to know about this beautiful plant.

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans or Blue Myrtle Cactus  | Quick Guide

Widespread in xerophilous scrub and tropical deciduous woods, Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  is endemic to northern and central Mexico and can be found as far south as Oaxaca. It is also widespread in the desert of Chihuahua, Mexico. The species is the most well-known of its genus, Myrtillocactus, and it belongs to the family Cactaceae. 

In contrast to other succulents, the Blue Candle Cactus is a rapid-grower that can reach a height of up to 16.5 feet. However, this can only be accomplished under specific growing conditions. The following is a summary of some of its primary needs and characteristics. They will help you decide whether or not this cactus is the right choice for you.

RELATED: Ten Extraordinary Types of Tall Cactus Can Revive Your Yards and Landscapes

Common NamesBlue Candle, Whortleberry cactus, Bilberry cactus
Difficulty LevelIn general, they are simple to care for
Mature SizeAchieves a maximum height of 16 feet, with a stem diameter of four  inch
Watering Requirements0.8 cups once every 12 days in the summer; once every four weeks in the winter
Sunlight RequirementsRequires plenty of light that is both bright and direct
ToxicityNot toxic to humans and animals
HumidityPrefers a dry environment: 30% humidity indoors
Soil RequirementsWell-drained and aerated cactus peat-free soil
Ideal pH Range6.1 to 7.3
Climate Preference9a to 11b (Semi Hardy Zones); 25 degrees F or – 4 degrees C
Fertilizer NeedsNot needed, but fertilization can be performed occasionally
Growth PatternVertical with new branches emerging from the top of the plant
Propagation MethodsSeeds or stem cuttings
BlossomsProduces creamy green-white or yellow from March to April
Potting positionIn less than a foot, on a window facing south
Repotting NeedsOnce a year
Common IssuesOverwatering, root rot

Blue Myrtle Cactus | General Features

Even though its primary color is green, Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  has some gorgeous accents of gray and blue. These tonal hues add interest and character to the cactus and help make it a topic of conversation. Moreover, its distinctive ribbed verticals, which develop tiny spikes from regularly spaced areoles, are immediately recognizable. 

Here are some of its primary features described in detail:

Growth

Expect to repot the blue myrtle every other year as it is a fast-growing, thick shrub cactus.

Photo by Bernard DUPONT

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  is a shrubby species of cactus that has the potential to reach a height of 16.5 feet (five meters) and a width that is equal to its height. The stems have a succulent quality, and they are armed with small and thick spines.

Additionally, the diameter of the stems is about eight inches (20 cm), and they are a bluish-green tint with a waxy feel. Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  will produce only a single isolated column in its early stages. As the cactus matures, however, it will start to produce the “candelabra” branches that will eventually become the cactus shrub. 

You won’t have to wait long for them to reach maturity. The growth rates are consistent, and you can see it grow in just a few months with proper care.

Blossoms

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  will start flowering when they reach a height of two feet (60 centimeters).

Photo by Mike Keeling

The small, greenish-white, or creamy flowers of the columnar candelabra cactus bloom in the spring. Initially, seeming white, the color of the bloom will eventually transform into a deep red. In addition to this, the blossoms have a pleasant aroma that draws in pollinators. 

RELATED: 25 Beautiful Flowering Succulents To Grow Indoors (With Pictures)

The blooms are short-lived and only live for a single day, but after they are gone, blueish-purple, oblong-shaped berries appear that have a sweet flavor and can be eaten. You should water your plant occasionally and keep it in a cool spot during the winter. Springtime flowering of the Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  is only possible in this manner.

Fruits

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  produces huge fruits with an average diameter of 1.5 cm.

Photo by Amante Darmanin

One of the popular names for the Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  is “the bilberry cactus” because of the bilberry-like fruit it produces. They are collected from the wild and put on sale in various markets around Mexico because of its high demand there. 

These little berries, which resemble blueberries, have a sweet, delicious taste and can be eaten fresh or dried, like cranberries or raisins. If you want to utilize seeds to propagate this plant, select a ripe fruit that has developed on the plant, wash and dry it, and then use the seeds. The seeds can be planted into the ground once they have dried.

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans or Blue Myrtle Cactus  | Propagation

Stem cuttings are the most efficient and effective method for propagating Myrtillocactus Geometrizans .

blue myrtle cactus
Photo by Megan Hansen

In general, the process of propagation should be performed during the plant growing season, which runs from spring through summer. You can propagate the Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  plant by either planting seeds or removing stems from established plants. 

However, remember that propagating plants from seeds take longer than growing them from stem cuttings. When propagating a plant from a cutting, you should wait two to three weeks for the cut surfaces to callous over before planting them in the soil. 

Sow seeds directly into the soil once the danger of frost has passed if you’re using seeds to propagate your plant. Collect seeds from ripe fruits, clean them thoroughly and then wait until the season has passed before planting. Here is how:

1. Propagation By Seeds

If you choose to start new plants from seeds, wait until all danger of frost has passed before you start planting. It is also important to avoid exposing the seedlings to direct sun.

Seedlings require a warm, airy place, as well as one that receives lots of indirect sun and, if the temperature is exceptionally high, partial shade. 

In addition, the first time you water, you should do so very carefully, and then you should wait until the soil is entirely dry before you water it again. Nevertheless, here is how to propagate your Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  with seeds:

  • Gather seeds from a mature fruit on a plant. Then, wash the seeds and dry them.
  • Place fifty percent of the cactus soil mixture in the container.
  • You can help speed up the drainage process by adding gritty sand.
  • Get a seed-starting tray with a lid, then spray it with water.
  • Cluster the seeds to improve their chances of successfully germinating.
  • Put the pot in a warm location with a window facing south.
  • Before transplanting the seedlings, wait until they are at least an inch tall.

2. Propagation By Stem Cuttings

You can also propagate these beautiful plants with stem cuttings. However, you should try to avoid exposing your cutting to direct sunlight. Young plants require a place that is warm and airy as well as one that receives lots of light and, if the temperature is exceptionally high, partial shade. In any case, the following is the procedure to follow:

  • Cut a stem that is four inches (10 cm) in length using a clean, sharp knife.
  • The stem must be kept in a bright, shaded area for three weeks.
  • When possible, start a new generation during the season’s active growth.
  • When the callus has formed, insert the cutting into the soil.
  • Plant the cutting in the pot, then layer the soil around it to keep it upright.
  • It should only take a couple of weeks for the propagated stem to produce roots.

Blue Myrtle Cactus | Common Issues

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  may not have enough space in their containers as they grow.

blue myrtle cactus
Photo by cultivar413

You shouldn’t be shocked if various winged creatures flock to your cactus plant, including butterflies, moths, birds, and bees. Bats pollinate most Blue Candles and sphinx moths.

Therefore, it’s essential to recognize the difference between beneficial and harmful animals. The Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  plant, on the other hand, is quite robust against both pests and diseases, and the only issue that might arise is the development of root rot.

Root Rot

Root rot in a Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  cactus can typically be traced back to one of three frequent causes: over-watering, retaining excess moisture in the soil or using soil that does not drain adequately. The most important rule to follow in order to avoid overwatering is to administer water only when the soil has totally lost all of its moisture

Keeping a log of when the plant was last watered would also be beneficial. Additionally, you should use both your sense of touch and your sense of sight to determine whether or not the soil is totally dry and in dire need of watering. Finally, the Blue Myrtle that you have needs to be unpotted before you can begin treating it for root rot. 

After that, remove any remaining soil from the roots by brushing it off. Additionally, decaying roots can be identified by their brown or black color and soft and mushy texture. 

Last but not least, because this fast-growing cactus has an extensive root system as it grows, it needs to be repotted every one to two years at the very least.

Space Limitation

When Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  are too big for their pots, the cactus may suffer since it cannot get the room it needs to continue growing. As a result, it is essential to keep an eye on the development of this plant and determine how often it requires repotting.

Pests

Even though Geometrizans  are tough and resistant to pests, they are sometimes attacked by scales and spider mites. However, getting rid of these insects is not a challenging task at all. Simply mix the alcohol with a few drops of liquid soap, and stir well. Next, combine it with four parts of water, then spray it on the plant to keep the pests away.

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans or Blue Myrtle Cactus  | Care

The essentials of Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  care and upkeep are as follows:

1. Pruning of Blue Myrtle Cactus

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  does not require frequent pruning.

blue myrtle cactus
Photo by sergio niebla

It is not necessary to prune Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  very often at all. However, even while you won’t need to prune this plant, that doesn’t mean that maintenance can be completely ignored. Once the roots have taken hold, you will need to pay close attention to the amount of water and light they receive in order to promote healthy growth.

2. Fertilization of Blue Myrtle Cactus

You shouldn’t fertilize it during winter since it will be dormant.

blue myrtle cactus
Photo by Amante Darmanin

Myrtillocactus  Geometrizans  cactus does not require a lot of water or food. It has a very low requirement for the use of fertilizers. Nevertheless, during the spring and summer months, you should apply a fertilizer explicitly designed for cacti and succulents to your blue myrtle once every month in order to promote proper growth and development. 

You also shouldn’t fertilize it during the winter months since it will be dormant and won’t be able to absorb the nutrients. In addition, just like with watering the plants, excessive fertilization is worse for the plants than inadequate fertilization.

3. Soil of Blue Myrtle Cactus

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans , like most other cacti, do best on sandy soils.

blue myrtle cactus
Photo by Megan Hansen

Growing conditions ideal for Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  include sandy soils that are moderately acidic (with a pH of 5 to 6.5) and exceptionally well-drained. 

To thrive, the roots need to be able to draw in oxygen from the soil, which means that the soil must be kept dry. It may be possible to improve the drainage of the soil by mixing in some gravel. However, you shouldn’t base the mix on the compost because it has such a high concentration of nutrients that it could harm the plant. 

Cactus soil that has already been mixed can also be ordered from reliable stores that sell garden supplies online. However, you can also alter the drainage qualities of the soil in your yard. The first step is to obtain two-thirds of the minerals from the grit, sand, or perlite. 

The next step is to mix one-third of organic materials, such as a high-quality compost that does not contain peat or coconut coir. With the right kind of soil, you can protect your cactus from getting diseases or rotting at the roots and make sure it grows healthily.

4. Watering of Blue Myrtle Cactus

You may not need to water this cactus at all during the fall and winter months.

blue myrtle cactus
Photo by Amante Darmanin

This shrubby cactus species is very resistant to drought but does benefit from occasional irrigation during the summer. However, it cannot accept water that has been left to stand. 

You should water them once every two weeks during the summer and then wait for the soil to dry up before watering it again. You will need to stick your finger into the ground in order to check how dry the dirt is before you can water the plant again. 

If it seems dry to you, you should give it some more water. Also, if it is in an area that does not receive direct sunlight and is planted in a container that is 5 inches in diameter, you need only give it 0.8 cups of water every 12 days. 

Also, during the winter months, you should only water it around once every month. Your plant will continue to grow even when it is dormant; however, it will do so at a significantly slower rate, and as a result, it will have a lesser demand for water and nutrients. 

You may also be able to keep this cactus dry throughout the cooler months; however, you will need to watch when the stems and branches begin to shrivel up. 

After they have established themselves, you should then water them. 

If you overwater your cactus, the stems will become wrinkled and might even feel mushy. Additionally, the spines may have a dry and brittle appearance, and they will break off readily. 

Additionally, utilize the deep-watering approach to irrigate the plant rather than spray irrigation to ensure the water reaches the roots first. 

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  need to adhere to a routine for watering their plants. So, ensuring that the soil drains effectively before planting is of utmost importance.

5. Placement

Unless you reside in a hot location, grow this plant indoors.

blue myrtle cactus
Photo by Amante Darmanin

During the winter, you should move this cactus to a spot that is a little bit cooler but still gets a lot of natural light. Also, moving it to a location where it will be exposed to milder temperatures will help to stimulate blossom production the following year. 

In the summer, a fully grown plant needs bright, direct sunlight; however, immature plants should be placed in a partially shaded area so that their delicate stems don’t burn. 

Also, you should cultivate this plant indoors unless you live in an extremely hot region.

6. Repotting

Because of its weak roots and dense growth, it should be repotted once a year.

blue myrtle cactus
Photo by Amante Darmanin

Since the blue myrtle cactus is a fast-growing, dense shrub, you should anticipate the need to repot it at least once every other year. Particularly when grown outside, it has the potential to attain a height of up to 16.5 feet (five meters) in height. 

The best time to repot it is after a year because its roots are shallow, and it grows densely. 

In addition, when you repot the plant, make sure you use all brand-new materials, including the soil and the fertilizer. Clay is the material that should be used to make the optimal container for Myrtillocactus Geometrizans . They let the water in the soil drain more quickly than plastic and help the soil breathe simultaneously.

7. Humidity

A high relative humidity is not a pleasant situation for the health of this plant.

blue myrtle cactus
Photo by Frank Vincentz

Since Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  can tolerate dry conditions, high levels of humidity can present a slight challenge for them. This plant does not do well in environments with high humidity, and prolonged exposure of its stems to damp conditions might cause them to wilt. So, an humidity level of thirty percent would be considered suitable for them.

8. Temperature

This cactus is only semi-cold hardy and can only withstand 22° F/-4° C for brief periods.

blue myrtle cactus
Photo by Jonas Yates

The Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  plant can tolerate temperatures as low as 25 degrees Fahrenheit, but at night it must not be kept in temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, if you live in an area that is prone to frost, you should initially cultivate the young plant indoors. Throughout the winter, make sure that they are kept warm with a frost blanket or sheets. The plant is only semi-hardy and has a minimum temperature it can withstand, which is 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 degrees Celsius).

Final Thoughts on Blue Myrtle Cactus

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  are interesting desert houseplants that add a splash of color to the surrounding vegetation and surroundings. As a result, the cactus plant is frequently utilized in both the landscaping industry and the grafting of other types of cacti. 

Additionally, due to the high demand for the plant’s fruit in Mexico, it is also planted for harvesting for commercial uses. Therefore, the Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  is an excellent option to consider if you want to grow an incredible cactus in your own house.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you care for Myrtillocactus Geometrizans or Blue Myrtle Cactus?

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans   “Dinosaur Back Plant” thrives in an outside garden. Be sure to use a tall planter with soil that drains effectively and put your plants there. “Dinosaur Back” enjoys being in the sun during warm summer. However, you must relocate your plant to a location with more shade during the winter months. 

How do you identify Myrtillocactus Geometrizans or Blue Myrtle Cactus?

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  is a columnar and upright species of cactus that, as it matures, takes on the appearance of a tree and is reminiscent of a candelabra. 

It features strong stems with a bluish-gray tint, and each has between five and eight ribs. Eventually, these ribs come together to form an architectural structure.

How big does Myrtillocactus Geometrizans or Blue Myrtle Cactus grow?

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans  is a huge shrubby species of cactus that may grow to heights of 4 to 5 meters and has branching that resembles a candelabra on mature plants.

Sources for Further Reading

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans . (2022). Retrieved 8 November 2022, from http://www.uaplantscienceclub.com/myrtillocactus-Geometrizans .html

Myrtillocactus Geometrizans . (2022). Retrieved 8 November 2022, from https://apps.cals.arizona.edu/arboretum/taxon.aspx?id=991

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