Blue Smoke Cactus is a beautiful addition to your indoor or outdoor garden. The plant is basically native to the central and northern parts of Mexico. Scientifically known as Myrtillocactus Geometrizan, the blue smoke cactus can amplify the look of your garden due to its unique foliage, with thick fleshy stems. The plant produces beautiful purple-blue color flowers and you could also witness purple fruits commonly known as bilberries.
The blue flowering cactus is a slow-growing plant but it can reach up to 16 feet in height. However, among the cactus, they are relatively fast-growing plants, that can grow 1 1/2 feet every year under good conditions. The plant gets its name due to the blue-grey color that is seen coming from this cactus. There are different varieties of Blue smoke cactus plants and one of the best-known varieties is called Breast Cactus due to its swollen tubercles that resemble the human breasts.
Quick Information about Blue Smoke Cactus (Crested Blue Candle)
- Common Names: Blue Smoke Cactus, Blue Crest, Crested Blue Candle
- Scientific Name: Myrtillocactus Geometrizan
- Native Place: Central and Northern Mexico
- Family: Cactaceae
- Genus: Myrtillocactus
- Mature Size: 13 feet to 16 feet
- Flower Color: Purple-blue
- Hardiness Zone: USDA zones 9a to 11b
- Propagation Method: Stem Cuttings
- Bloom Period: Springs and Summers
- Toxicity: Mildly Toxic
- Best Suited: Indoors/Outdoors
How to Care for Blue Smoke Cactus?
The blue smoke cactus is a beautiful cactus plant that does not require much attention from the owner. The cactus comes in various varieties and to help them bloom, you need to provide the optimum conditions. Planting it indoors or outdoors depends on the climate, size, season, and age of your plant. Here’s how you can help your plant mature with the minimum care and proper conditions.
- Soil: The blue smoke cactus likes well-drained and sandy soil. You can make a perfect soil mix for your cactus by mixing cactus and succulent soil mix and by adding some gravel. Add some pebbles at the bottom to ensure good drainage and an adequate amount of airflow. You can provide its native rocky surroundings to your cactus by adding gravel around the plant.
- Water: These plants are drought tolerant and you need to water them only when the soil feels dry to the touch. While watering, give the plant a good soaking so that the water reaches till roots. Before any other watering session, you must check that the soil is completely dry. You need good drainage at the bottom to avoid water sitting at the roots for a long time. This can be done by adding gravel at the bottom and soaking the dirt and making the soil dry before watering. Follow the same technique to water your cactus.
- Light: The blue smoke cactus appreciates full sun and it can thrive well in partial shade as well. When the plant is in its young period, keep it under partial shade or light shade and once it is matured, you can move the plant outside to full sun shade. If you are keeping it inside your room, pick a south window spot where sunlight comes straight to your plant.
- Temperature: If you are living in hot climate conditions, put a partial shade on your plant during the afternoon. If you are living in cold conditions, keep your plant indoors as it cannot tolerate cold temperature that goes beyond -4 degrees Celsius. Warm temperatures are fine for these species but you have to care a little more if you belong to colder regions.
- Fertilizer: For steady growth of your blue smoke cactus plant, fertilize it once a month during the growing period. However, if you want to encourage the blooms, you can fertilize the cactus twice a month with a high-phosphorous cactus fertilizer. It is recommended to fertilize the plant during the blooming period which is spring and summer. The plant does not rely fully on fertilizers so never over-fertilize your cactus for healthy growth.
Blue Smoke Cactus Varieties
There are several varieties when it comes to the blue smoke cactus with various beautiful combinations and unique distinct characteristics. Here are some of the major varieties:
- Breast Cactus: Also known as Fukurokuryuzinboku in Japan, the Breast Cactus is a rare species with swollen tissues that resemble human breasts. It is also commonly known as Titty Cactus or Booby Cactus.
- Blue Candle Crest Cactus: Scientifically known as Myrtillocactus geometrizans, the blue candle crest cactus is another popular variation of the blue smoke cactus species. The plant generally produces edible fruits and it is also used as a medicine for treating inflammation.
Health Benefits and Risks
- The Blue Smoke Cactus is moderately poisonous to both humans and animals. It contains mescaline, one of the most potent hallucinogens on earth, and can cause digestive problems in animals when consumed uncooked.
- The blue crest cactus plant must be kept far away from kids and animals since its thorns can also cause throat and mouth injuries.
- Bilberries, the fruits of blue smoke cacti, are delicious. Bilberries are used to make ice cream, beverages, liqueurs, jam, and even jelly.
- The fruits of the blue smoke cactus are also high in antioxidants, fibre, and Vitamin C.
The origin of blue cactus plants is a mystery, but we do know that the color is unusual in the natural world. The Fukurokuryuzinboku (breast cactus), while it is little, looks nice on a shelf or table if you desire an interior plant. The plants in a garden or outdoor area can be separated from one another and placed away from the path of observers. In this manner, as they grow and spread, it will be easier to appreciate them in all of their magnificence. You can get blue smoke cactus for sale online or you can go to the nearest nursery to gift yourself this magnificent plant. If you’re fortunate enough to own a blue smoke cactus, you’ll need to take good care of it to ensure it thrives.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: How often you must water your blue smoke cactus plant?
During summers, water them once every two weeks,s and in winter water them once a month.
Q2: What is the best time to propagate the blue smoke cactus plant?
The best time to propagate is in the summers when the plant is in a growing phase.
Q3: When do you repot your blue smoke cactus and what is the best time to do so?
You can repot your blue cactus every one to two years and the best time to do so is in the early springs when the plant just came out of dormant season.