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Echinocereus is a genus of ribbed, usually small to medium-sized cylindrical cacti, commonly known as hedgehog cacti, pitaya, or claret cup. These cacti are cherished for their showy, vibrant flowers that bloom in a wide range of colours, including pink, red, orange, yellow, and purple. The flowers often appear in spring or early summer, offering a spectacular display against the plant's green to bluish-green spiny body. Echinocereus species vary in form, from solitary individuals to clumping mounds of numerous stems, and are popular among cactus enthusiasts for their ease of care and striking appearance.

Where am I from?

I am native to the arid regions of Mexico and the southwestern United States.


Echinocereus cacti thrive in bright sunlight. In the UK, placing them in a spot where they can receive full sun for most of the day is ideal. If grown indoors, a south-facing window is a suitable location.


These cacti prefer a well-draining soil mix, typical of most cacti and succulents. You can use a commercial cactus mix or create your own by mixing potting soil with sand and perlite to improve drainage.


Water moderately during the growing season (spring to summer) when the soil completely dries out. In the autumn and winter, reduce watering significantly to prevent root rot, mimicking the cactus's natural dormant period.


Echinocereus prefers warm temperatures but can tolerate cooler temperatures down to about 5°C. Protect from frost to prevent damage to the tissue.


Feed with a cactus fertiliser or a diluted general-purpose fertiliser once during the spring to support flowering and growth. Do not fertilise in winter.


Repot in the spring every few years or when the cactus outgrows its pot. Choose a container only slightly larger than the current one, as too much space can encourage more soil moisture, leading to root rot.


Pruning is not generally required, except for the removal of dead or damaged stems to maintain health and aesthetics.

Pests and Diseases

Echinocereus are relatively resistant to pests, but be on the lookout for mealybugs and spider mites. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil to treat infestations. Over-watering and poor drainage are the main causes of root rot, so ensure your watering practices are appropriate.

Am I Pet Friendly?

Unfortunately I am not pet friendly.