If you are fond of Cacti, you would also be looking forward to growing Peyote. The key ingredient if you want to grow Peyote is patience. Patience is the key to growing Peyote, as it is the slowest-growing cactus ever. While most of the Cacti are slow growers, Peyote is quite slower than most of them.
Under most ideal conditions, it takes around 10 years for the Peyote cactus to grow into adult size. It can even take up to 30 years for the Peyote cactus to begin flowering. The factors that affect the growth of the plant are the temperature, sunlight, and the quality of the soil.
Peyote Cactus – An Overview
Peyote is a cactus plant that is native to the North American region. It has been one of the most common cactus plants that have been used for religious purposes. However, of late, it is being grown for recreational purposes.
Scientifically known as Lophophora williamsii, it is also called Mescal. It does not grow more than 5 cm in height, but its parts under the soil develop quite longer in the form of roots. The cactus is spineless and resembles a globe. It comes with narrow furrows, along with woolly white areoles.
The cactus is known to bloom into yellow flowers. The fruits are red in colour and have black seeds. Peyote can grow individually, but it also has suckers that clump together and thus grow into a group of Peyote plants bound tightly together.
Peyote Growth and Cultivation – A Few Things You Need to Know
As you might have come to know by now, Peyote is a slow-growing cactus native to the Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico and parts of the United States and Central America. The spineless cactus does not grow too high, but it is quite close to the ground. It can reach a maximum height of around 4 to 5 cm.
The Peyote cactus can be grown from the seeds or even by replanting it from an existing plant. If you are looking to grow and cultivate Peyote cacti, you will need to look for regional restrictions. It may be illegal to grow the Peyote cactus in most regions because of the hallucinogenic effects it and its components from it can cause.
What Are the Factors That Affect the Growth of Peyote?
There are several factors that would affect the growth of Peyote. One such prime factor that would affect the growth of Peyote as a cactus plant is the proper temperature. The plant, being a cactus and something designed for hot weather, prefers a hot and dry climate. It would grow in a temperature that ranges from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. But, the temperature should not fluctuate too much as it can cause shock and can be detrimental to the plant.
Another factor that can affect the growth of the Peyote is the amount of sunlight that the plant receives. Peyote needs a lot of sunlight for proper growth. It should ideally be placed in such an area that it can receive a lot of sunlight for the most part of the day. However, the excessive heat and the winds can be a big no.
The quality of the soil can also be a deciding factor that would determine the level of growth of the peyote cactus. The soil should be much drier. It will thrive in well-drained soil with a slightly acidic pH level. The plant should never be over-watered. This can result in root rot. It may also be a good idea to ensure that it is enriched with the nutrients such as nitrogen and potassium. This helps you in promoting the healthy growth of the plant.
What are the ideal conditions for proper Peyote Growth?
- Hot and dry weather: Make sure that the temperature lies between 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit
- Well-drained soil: The soil should be drained well enough and slightly be acidic. It should also be enriched with nutrients.
- Direct sunlight: It should require a lot of sunlight to grow. However, it should be protected from heavy heat and strong winds
- Minimal disturbance: The plant is quite sensitive and needs to be taken proper care of. It can be damaged easily with excessive handling, transplanting, or environmental stress.
How Long Does It Take to Grow Peyote?
Peyote is an extremely slower-growing cactus. It can take anywhere between 10 to 30 years for Peyote to grow and begin flowering. It is also known to be flowering quite sporadically. In the wild, you will find it taking around 30 years to grow into the size of a golf ball and produce the first round of flowers.
In most scenarios, Peyote can take anywhere between five to seven years to reach maturity levels. However, the actual growth rate of peyote cactus can be dependent on several factors that, include growing conditions, temperature, and the right amount of sunlight.
- During the first year, Peyote usually develops into a small and round button. This can be so small that it would be of the size of a dime.
- During the second and third years, it will continue to grow into a crown with small sinless arms.
- By the fourth year, the Peyote will grow to attain the distinct look and appearance of the Peyote cactus.
What Does a Peyote Plant Look Like?
With an average width of 8 cm and a height of five cm, a Peyote cactus is spineless, soft, and smooth in appearance. In most of cases, it resembles a globe with spineless arms. It is generally blue-green to gray-green in colour. It also has tubercles and fuzzy hairs on its surface. It also produces pink flowers, which further produce edible berries that are pink in color.
The Peyote cactus has a distinct, round shape and is covered in small, spineless arms that give it a unique and unusual appearance. The actual colour of the Peyote cactus can be dependent on the conditions in which it is grown. The colour can generally be green to blue-green to gray-green. The plant also comes with a fleshy and thick structure. The waxy coating is what helps it retain the moisture in the hot and dry weather conditions.
The root system of the peyote cactus is quite complex. It helps the cactus to absorb water and nutrients from the soil. The roots grow quite extensively below the ground, making it a survive even during the hot and harsh weather conditions.
Can You Grow Peyote Indoors?
Yes, Peyote cactus can be grown indoors, but make sure that it has been receiving ample light, proper soil and the proper level of watering. You need to take an absolute care of providing it with the proper watering and nutrients to help it grow in the indoors.
Some of the conditions that you should provide Peyote when growing it indoors would include:
- Light: Peyote does need a lot of light, so make sure that it receives enough light. You would be expected to keep it in an area that receives proper sunlight.
- Soil: The soil mix that is well draining is yet another important factor to be considered. A mix of sand, perlite, and potting soil may be the right option to consider.
- Watering: It is advisable to water the Peyote cactus regularly. The soil should dry out completely between two watering sessions. Overwatering can result in root rot.
- Temperature: Peyote needs warm temperatures between 75 to 85 degrees F.
How to Grow Peyote?
Growing peyote is similar to growing other cacti. It may be a good idea to grow it in a half-and-half mix of coconut husk and pumice. Patience is the key to growing peyote as it takes a long time to grow, which can even take as long as 30 years.
Peyote is a vulnerable cactus and it can take several months for the root system to get properly established. That is where your patience as a succulent grower is put to the test. It is recommended to keep the soil warm for the first two years for accelerated growth of the Peyote cactus. Avoid watering it from mid-autumn until the end of winter.
The right way to grow Peyote cactus would involve the following steps:
Get Peyote seeds or seedlings from the legal sources
Growing and harvesting peyote cacti is illegal. You need to satisfy a few statutory conditions to be able to grow Peyote. It is completely illegal to harvest it from the wild. If you are from the United States, you can grow or harvest Peyote cacti only if you are member of the Native American Church. The Peyote cactus can be used by these communities only for the religious purposes. If you do not belong to the Native American Church, you can avail of legal permission and get the seeds from the licensed outlets.
Pick the right container.
The Peyote cactus grows to a height of 3 to 6 cm and thus will need a shallow container. It comes with an extensive network of roots and thus needs a container with a shallow and wider base. The good drainage capability is yet another factor that one needs to consider.
Prepare soil mix
Peyote needs a soil mix enriched with the nutrients. It is advisable to use a mix of potting soil, sand, and perlite in equal parts. Make sure that you have added a slow release fertiliser to the mix.
Plant your seeds or seedling.
Create a small indentation with your fingers to plant the Peyote cactus. Place the seeds or seedlings into the indentation and cover them with the soil. Provide a little watering to help settle the soil around the plant.
Provide an adequate amount of light.
Peyote cactus requires an adequate amount of light. It needs bright and direct sunlight, and thus we advise the placement of the cactus in an area that receives enough sunlight for the most part of the day.
Maintain proper temperature and humidity.
Peyote cactus requires a warm temperature for proper growth. You will need a temperature of around 75 to 85 degrees F and a lower level of humidity. The plant should never be placed in areas that are likely to receive extreme temperature fluctuation.
Once you have followed all those precautions and options, stay calm and patient. Your peyote should begin to grow to its fullest glory. Make sure that you have provided the proper conditions for the Cactus to grow as it should.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you grow peyote fast?
The best way to accelerate the growth of Peyote cactus is to keep the soil warm for the first two years. The plant would soon grow to be from infant green to its specific colour. It is also advisable to water them only occasionally to promote a better growth.
Is it hard to grow peyote from seed?
It is really very hard to germinate the Peyote from seeds. The cactus finds it really hard and difficult to sprout when the temperatures are too low or too high. The temperature should be maintained between 70 to 90 degrees F.
What age does Peyote flower?
The Peyote cactus generally begins to flower at the age of around 10 to 30 years. The plant would need a few ideal conditions to let it flower. However, some special cultivation techniques can make it grow flowers in just under three years.
What kind of soil does peyote need?
Peyote cactus needs the type of the soil that is well draining. The soil mix should also contain lots of organic matter such as coco coir as well as perlite or vermiculite. These elements can be helpful in the effective draining of water.
How often do you water peyote?
It is recommended to water the Peyote cactus one to two times a week. During the winter, it is recommended to limit the frequency of watering. The soil should not completely dry out, and a little moisture should be left in the soil.
The Closing Thoughts
Growing a Peyote cactus can have its own plus points. But, being a very slow-growing plant, it comes with its own issues. You will need to be extremely patient and give proper attention to the peyote to be on the right track to grow it. Given the fact that it takes decades to grow, we expect you to be a die-hard cactus fan.