- Author: Jennifer DeDora
If you're looking for a unique cactus for a small space, special interest area or a low water garden Cleistocactus strausii is the right plant for the job! It is commonly known as a silver torch cactus. But in my family we call it the alien cactus, because when it blooms in late spring it really does look like it belongs on another planet!
Silver torch cactus requires little water and well drained soil with abundant sunlight and not much more. I lost a beautiful specimen a few years ago after a very heavy rain saturated my cactus garden, they don't recover well if they end up toppled over after being watered too much.
Silver torch cactus is perfect for small gardens, it only requires a few square inches of ground space, it only grows vertically so it's great for a multi-dimensional plantings. But a word of warning…it's spines are sharp and very small and take a long time to remove from skin, so it's not a plant to plant in areas frequented by pets or children. It's a look but don't touch plant!
All pictures are of my silver torch cacti, we successfully moved them from our house in Dixon to our new house in Vacaville. We used very thick gloves and carried it in a canvas sling we made. It transplanted beautifully.