Cleistocactus winteri is a attractive cactus with very long white and soft, hairlike golden spines. The common name Monkey's Tail refers to the appearance of the hairy stems. It is a vigorous, epilithic (growing on rocks) cactus, branching at the base. At first upright, then pendent and up to 8.2' long. The stem is cylindrical, light green, up to 3" in diameter, completely concealed by the spines. The flowers are vivid orange to salmon-pink and up to 3" long
This plant is a heavy bloomer and mature cactus's, over 50 cm tall, will profusely produce deep violet-red tubular, slightly curved flowers. The blooms are 6 to 9 cm long and protrude horizontally from the stem on the sides near the tips. In common with other cacti in the genus Cleistocactus, the flowers hardly open, with only the style and stamens protruding. Floral tube with silky hairs.
Monkey's Tail cactus require filtered bright light, but not in full sun that will sun scald it. It need a well drained soil mix. Water regularly in summer but allow to dry fully before watering again. During the winter months they should be rather kept dry. Since they are rapid growers need plenty of space for their roots, repotting should be done every other year or when the plant has outgrown its pot. A slow-release fertilizer applied in the spring will be sufficient for the whole year.
Landscape UsesIt is used as an ornamental, It is an excellent plant for container growing. It always looks good and stays small.
For watering cacti, the golden rule is to make sure the soil is completely dry before watering! This will stop the roots from rotting. It is advised to always use a pot with a drainage hole so that excess water can get drained out. If kept in a sunny area, you will need to water it once every week. If it is in a semi shaded or filtered light area, you might need to water it once in 2 weeks.
Cacti like soil that is well aerated and fast draining. You can fertilise the cactus in the summer months when it is in its growing season. During the winters it is best to cut back on any fertiliser and let the plant rest.
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