Echinopsis peruviana

Peruvian torch cactus
Fast-growing, clustering columnar cactus with showy white flowers. Nice in pots. Tolerates cool temperatures. Moderately spiny.
height 5–12ft
width 3–6ft
tolerates Cool Summers, Drought, Narrow Planting, Pots, Rooftops, Wind
This cactus gets year round rain in its native habitat and is less forgiving of indefinite periods of drought, like many other cactus. Once dry it appreciates water, and with sharp drainage will grow quite quickly with regular water.

Yellowing is generally a sign of underwatering, though it could be underfertilizing as well. This cactus responds well to fertilizer.
exposure Part Shade – Full Sun
drainage In Ground: Cactus Mix, In Pots: Cactus Mix, Tolerates Sandy Soil
fertilizing All Purpose
origin Peru
8, 9, 12–24

Sunset Zones Map

Outdoor Exposure Guide


Full Sun
Six or more hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Shade
Three to five hours of sun beams directly landing on the plant's leaves.

Part Sun
One to two hours of sun beams directly landing on the plants leaves.

Full Shade
The plant is never fully lit by sun beams, but is in a bright spot or has dappled sunbeams playing over the leaves throughout the day.

Deep Shade
The plant never has dappled light on the leaves, and is in a place that feels dim, even on a nice sunny day.


Growing Notes

When planting cactus it’s often best to avoid the spines entirely. This can be done by cutting down each side of the nursery can and then peeling it open to expose the roots. This way you can hold the root ball while planting and you never need to touch the cactus. If the plant is tall and top-heavy, this often isn’t an option. Wrapping such cactus in cardboard makes them more manageable.
While your cactus is out of the nursery can, but before it is planted, is the easiest time to weed right up near the lowest spines. Be sure to pull weeds early with heavily spined cactus, as once they are established they can be difficult to remove.
You may find your cactus develops hard brown scabs that eventually cover the cactus, especially on older growth. This is called corking, and is the natural process of the cactus ‘branch’ becoming a cactus ‘stump’ and getting bark, just like trees do. Corking is totally natural and adds to the beauty of your cactus over time.
Columnar cactus are among the best tall plants for narrow spaces. If they get too tall at any point, they can be topped during their growing season which will encourage them to send out new branches, both at the pruning point and also lower down. These tops are generally easy to root; let them dry for a couple weeks in a bright area and then plant half deep in well-drained cactus mix. Keeping them warm will help them root.
Columnar cactus look best in tall, upright pots or paired with other vertical architecture.