How to Grow Espostoa — Cottonball Cactus

Espostoa lanata, Cotton Ball Cactus
Espostoa lanata, Cotton Ball Cactus

Espostoa is a genus of shrub-like or tree-shaped cacti, all have a more or less dense white woolly coat of hair.

Espostoa are cylindrical in form and multi-ribbed. The flowers are funnel-shaped and covered even on stamens with scales and auxiliary hairs. When Espostoa are old enough to bloom, a tight woolly, white, yellow cephalium is created laterally at the shoot; white blossoms grow out of it.

Get to Know Espostoa

  • Plant type: Cereanae, old man cactus
  • Hardiness temperature: 45℉ (7.2℃)
  • Shape and size: Grows to 15 feet (4.5m) tall
  • Flowers: Funnel-shaped, covered with scale an auxiliary hairs
  • Bloom time: Rarely blooms
  • Common name: Cottonball cactus
  • Genus name: Espostoa
  • Family name: Cactaceae
  • Origin: Andes of Southern Ecuador and Peru
Espostoa lanata
Espostoa lanata

Planting Espostoa

  • Light: Full sun or a bright warm greenhouse
  • Soil: Well-drained soil preferably a cactus soil mix
  • To reach full growth, Espostoa must be planted in the ground, not a container.

How to Water and Feed Espostoa

  • Water: Regular light watering during warm weather, drier in winter. Sprinkle or mist the plant regularly durig the growing season.
  • Feeding: Apply a cacuts fertilizer during the growing season; do not feed during winter.

Espostoa Care

  • Keep Espostoa dry and cool during the winter period.
  • Propagate Espostoa by seed.

Espostoa Species to Grow

  • Espostoa lanata (cotton ball, Peruvian snowball, Peruvian old man). Attractive, yellow-spined cactus is completely covered with fluffy, white, almost silky hair. Wool appears to grow in spiral manner. A fine potted plant for indoors, lath house, or greenhouses. Usually grown for its interesting appearance rather than profusion of blooms; flowers appear only on mature plants and are often hidden by hair.
  • E. melanostele, large, thick cylindrical cactus bears areoles with brown wool. Numerous, inch-long, black, radial spines surround single, stouter central one.
  • E. ulel. Treelike species may reach 15 feet tall or more. Unusual cephalium on top.

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