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genus that includes some species of columnar cacti, originating in southern America, especially in Brazil. In nature they reach 2-3 meters in height, while in containers they remain close to 60-80 cm. They grow slowly and initially develop for some years as a globose cactus; they have a dark green stem, crossed by 5-15 ribs, which bear numerous spiny areoles; the thorns are yellowish, but become gray with the passage of time. The exemplary specimens develop at the top a cephalio, consisting of hairs and thorns of brown or black color; these plants, unlike the melocactus, grow in height even after developing the cephalio, which tends to become lateral over time. In summer from the cephalio numerous flowers bloom, 7-10 centimeters long, of white, red or pink color; the flowers are only open at night. The flowers are followed by small oval fruits, containing numerous seeds, which generally sprout a few millimeters from the cephalio.
lay in full sun, these plants love bright and warm positions; the coleocephalocereus fear the cold, in winter they must be kept at temperatures above 10-15 ° C.
from March to October water sporadically, leaving the soil to dry well between one watering and another; in the cold months water only sporadically, once every 30-40 days, with small amounts of water. During the vegetative period mix a specific fertilizer for succulent plants with the water, every 20-30 days.
use a well-drained substrate, prepared in a mixture of universal soil with washed river sand and pozzolana or fine-grained pumice.
occurs by seed in spring, the seedbed must be kept moist until the seedlings have reached a few centimeters in height. Generally the small succulent plants cannot stand the direct sun, the recently sprouted seeds should be kept in a shady place. Sometimes the coleocephalocereus tend to shrink, producing new specimens at the base of adult plants: these small plants can be removed and repotted in a single container.
Coleocephalocereus: Pests and diseases
excess watering can favor the onset of root rot; these plants are sometimes attacked by cochineal and mites.