Trichocereus terschekii

From: £36.95

This giant cactus is possibly the hardiest of the columnar growing cacti and, in milder areas, the most improbable plant species you could encounter growing in the open garden in the UK. It is, by cactus standards, relatively cold and moisture tolerant and, once established, can grow quite quickly with up to 20cm of stem height added annually.

The perfect partner for other architectural succulents – plant one and you’ll never have to water it again! After some years plants can produce huge dinner plate sized white trumpet-shaped flowers and, eventually, will sprout side branches and look exactly like those comic book cacti.


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Origin: Foothills of the Andes Mountains in Argentina, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador
Genus: Trichocereus
Species / Cultivar: terschekii
Synonym: Leucostele terscheckii, Cereus terscheckii, Echinopsis terscheckii

Plant Biography

Trichocereus terschekii, also known as Echinopsis terschekii, belongs to the cactus family, Cactaceae. First described as Cereus terscheckii by Ludwig Georg Karl Pfeiffer in 1837. The species is named after the botanist Terscheck. Over time, taxonomic revisions have seen the species moved to the genus Echinopsis, which has led to some confusion in its classification. Despite this, it is often considered to be Trichocereus, especially in horticultural contexts.

Trichocereus terschekii
Soil: Well drained
Soil that does not show much signs of moisture, either visibly or when handled.
Growth Rate: Medium
Expect to see moderate growth during growing season.
Water Requirement: Low
Will grow in a drier position and is unlikely to need regular watering once established.
Maintenance: Moderate
Some special care needed, which may include pruning or winter protection.
Situation: Full Sun
Wants direct, unfiltered sunlight most of the day, such as a south facing position.
Eventual Height: 5-7m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 0.3-1m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Half Hardy
Will need protection from frosts in order to survive winter, eg. with fleece jacket.
Habit: Evergreen
Always in leaf throughout the year. It won't lose all its leaves at any one time.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Trichocereus terschekii, a robust, columnar cactus, can grow up to 10 meters tall in its native habitat but rarely reaches that size in gardens. It thrives in well-drained soil and requires full sunlight. Watering should be infrequent, allowing the soil to dry completely between waterings, especially in winter when the cactus enters dormancy. It is tolerant of extreme temperatures but should be protected from hard frost. Plants must be kept very dry during winter – the combination of cold and damp can cause rot.

For optimal growth, a cactus-specific fertiliser can be applied during the growing season. Suitable for arid and semi-arid environments, Trichocereus terschekii adds a striking architectural element to landscapes while requiring minimal maintenance.


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