watering of a pencil cactus - Knowledgebase Question

new york, ny
Question by kerithcreo
December 6, 2005
our office recently received a 6ft tall pencil cactus. currently we have it in a place that has partial light. i am wondering how often we need to water it and if it can survive outside on a terrace. we obvioulsy have cold conditions being new york city.

thank you for your help

Answer from NGA
December 6, 2005


Pencil cactus won't survive outdoors in your climate so keep it inside during the fall and winter months. You can take it outdoors in mid-spring and leave it out all summer long. Pencil Cactus is quite easy to grow if placed in direct sunshine or very bright indirect light. Water sparingly maybe twice a month... allowing most of the soil mass to dry out. Feed bi-monthly but don't feed the plant if the soil is extremely dry... the soil needs to be a little moist before fertilizing. When your plant becomes too tall, cut it back to the desired height. Wear gloves and a long sleeve shirt when pruning Pencil Cactus. The sap may cause skin irritation. Be careful not to get the sap in your eyes.

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