How to grow Stetsonia
To the genus Stetsonia belongs a unique species of the Cactaceae family native to northwestern Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay.
The species in question is the Stetsonia coryne and whose name was given in honor of Francis Lynde Stetson, of New York.
The plant has an elongated oval shape with very prominent lateral ribs from which areola of thorns that can reach even 3 cm long, while the central spine, very robust and hard, is placed on the top of the plant and reaches the 10 cm. The plant can reach up to 10 meters high in nature, with stem diameters of even half a meter.
These plants are, in fact, columnar cacti with dark green or bluish stems, furrowed by 8-10 ribs medium pronounced along which are these areolas with thorns that have earned him the nickname of “toothpick cactus”.
The structure of the plant is also very branched which becomes more evident with the increasing age of the plants.
It has flowers that are up to 15 cm large, funnel-shaped and white in color, which grow laterally but close to the top of the stem or of each branch, and which open only at night.
In this sheet we will see how to grow Stetsonia according to its climatic and soil needs.
To start off with, Stetsonia is slow growing and in pot has much lower growth than in nature.
In any case the Stetsonia is not difficult to cultivate but, as mentioned, it has a very slow growth.
The cultivation of this plant requires a porous and permeable soil mixed with coarse sand in order to allow good drainage.
The waterings must be regular in the period from spring to summer, but suspended during the winter period and the temperature must not be lower than 7 ° C.
Furthermore, in winter it should be sheltered, but it can withstand even brief frosts if planted directly in the ground and if there are no traces of humidity.
You must choose a position in full sun to get the best cultivation results.
As far as fertilization is concerned, this should be done at the beginning of spring with a specific product for cacti, if cultivated in pots or with well-humified organic substance (such as mature manure) if grown in the open ground.
The reproduction of the Stetsonia occurs by sowing on fine and sandy soil kept humid and at a temperature of about 21 ° C until the seed has sprouted. However, reproduction becomes faster and simpler by branch cutting; in this case it is sufficient to cut the top of the stems (about 5-10 cm in length) and place them in a very sandy soil, taking care to let the wound dry.
Finally the repotting technique. It should be performed every 1-2 years, taking care not to damage the thin stems.