Fat plants

Lava cactus, Cereus creeping - Brachycereus


Small columnar cactus native to the Galapagos Islands. The stems reach 50-60 cm in height, with a diameter of 4-5 cm; they tend to accrete with great ease, forming large clumps, with some erect stems, others semi-prostrated; the stem is dark green, with numerous ribs, and almost completely covered by long, sharp spines, yellow in the young specimens, they become gray or black with the passing of the years: for this reason the tufts of brachycereus consist of plants of various shades of color, from golden yellow to black. In summer along the stems bloom some cream-white flowers, tubular in shape, up to 10 cm long; they bloom early in the morning and close in darkness. These plants are among the first to colonize the areas devastated by volcanic eruptions, highlighting very much among the dark rocks.

Display and Watering

Exposure: put in a very bright position, preferably in full sun; these plants fear the cold very much, given the place of origin, therefore in winter they should be kept in a well sheltered place, for example in a heated greenhouse, with at least 15-18 ° C of temperature.
Watering: from March to September water only when the soil is completely dry; in the cold months water sporadically, about once a month. During the vegetative period, provide specific fertilizer for succulent plants, every 25-30 days, mixed with the water used for watering.


Brachycereus in nature grow on volcanic soils, so we can prepare an ideal soil using fine-grained lapillus, mixed with a little soil or peat to give it some cohesion. In general it is important that the brachycereus culture medium is very well drained, to avoid damaging water stagnation.


It can occur by seed, but in general these plants are propagated by removing one of the heads that make up the head with a sharp knife; after having dried it for 15-25 hours, proceed by burying it for a few centimeters in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts, which should be kept slightly damp for a few weeks, without exceeding the watering.

Lava cactus, Cereus creeping - Brachycereus: Pests and diseases

these cacaceans can be infested with cochineal and red spider mites.