Cleistocactus strausii Silver Torch Live Cactus
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This striking cactus develops slender columns up to eight to ten feet tall. It is a vigorous grower that has interesting, silvery blue spines on hairy, bluish-gray columns. The silver torch begins to flower when the columns reach about eighteen inches tall. The decorative flowers are deep red or burgundy and protrude from the sides of the columnar stems and along the tips. Use it in combination with other columnar cacti and succulents in exotic cactus gardens. Plant the silver torch in foundations, raised planters, containers, courtyards, or narrow, confined spaces. It looks interesting when mixed with other columnar cacti along a tall wall with its striking silvery blue color. This cactus is native to high, mountainous regions in Bolivia and Argentina.
This showy plant grows quickly during the summer with supplemental irrigation, but is generally drought-resistant. The silver torch likes to be kept dry during the winter and will rot with too much water. It likes full sun or partial shade. The plant is hardy to about thirteen to fifteen degrees Fahrenheit.