Cleistocactus winteri for sale

Tarantula Cactus Plant: How To Grow Tarantula Cactus

Cleistocactus tarantula cactus not only has a fun name but a really neat personality. What is a tarantula cactus? This amazing cactus is native to Bolivia but will take a shine to your home interior with very little persuasion. The fuzzy arching stems look just like a giant arachnid crawling out of the pot. Instead of feeling creeped out, get some information on how to grow tarantula cactus and tame this unique spider-like plant for your own enjoyment.

What is a Tarantula Cactus?

There are thousands of varieties of cacti and each has its own unique aspect and habit. The tarantula cactus plant (Cleistocactus winteri) is one of the most distinctive in appearance. It produces numerous stems that trail down from the crown of the plant, covered in golden hairs. Also known as the golden rat tail cactus, the plant is easy to grow in the home and relies upon little care from its keeper.

This plant is so named due to its uncanny resemblance to the large hairy arachnids

by the same name. Instead of hunting down small rodents, birds and insects, however, this furry organism just drapes itself coquettishly out of its pot, relying upon its radiant good looks to capture your attention.

Cleistocactus tarantula cactus is a perfect plant for a beginning gardener, with ease of care and an undemanding nature. In spring, the plant will yield salmon colored flowers with rayed petals. The blooms are 2.5 inches across and brilliant against the golden stems.

How to Grow Tarantula Cactus

This variety of cactus makes an eye-catching display in a hanging planter. Along with the spiny hairs, it also produces spun white hairs that resemble cobwebs. The cactus may get as long as 3 feet per stem in its native habitat, but will be smaller in the home situation.

Broken stems can be callused off and planted in spring to create new plants. They are also propagated by seed, but it takes many years before the plant is mature. Most gardeners simply purchase one and put it in a sunny window, thereby forgetting it for long periods of time. This is ok, since the plant really only needs watering about once per month in the growing season.

Caring for Tarantula Cacti

In addition to watering once per month, the most important element of any potted succulent is the soil and drainage. Use a cactus potting soil or a mixture of 2 parts sand and 1 part loam in an unglazed pot with plenty of unobstructed drainage holes.

Fertilize in spring and summer once per month with a balanced fertilizer. Cease both watering and feeding once the plant goes dormant in winter.

Another aspect of caring for tarantula cacti is repotting. Repot the cactus every other year to keep up with its fast-growing needs. The tarantula cactus plant is a strong performer and will thrive for years with minimum effort on your part.

Scientific Name

Cleistocactus winteri D. R. Hunt

Common Names

Golden Rat Tail


Hildewintera aureispina, Winteria aureispinar, Winterocereus aureispinus

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Echinocereeae
Genus: Cleistocactus


Cleistocactus winteri is a branching cactus with spreading, arching, pendant or trailing stems that can grow up to 40 inches (1 m) long and up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. It has many short golden spines that literally cover the surface of the stems. Flowers are vivid orange to salmon-pink, up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) long, up to 2 inches (5 cm) across. They are repetitively and freely produced on mature plants in spring and summer and can last for several days.

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How to Grow and Care

Choose a location that gets full sun and has well-draining soil. Water Cleistocactus during the spring and summer when the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil dries out. During the fall, reduce watering to every five weeks if the ground dries out. In winter, keep Cleistocactus dry or the moist ground combined with the cool temperatures and dormancy may cause the roots to rot. Fertilize Cleistocactus with a low-nitrogen fertilizer during the active growth period. A slow-release fertilizer applied in the spring will be sufficient for the whole year.

It is possible to propagate by cutting a small branch from a Cleistocactus and rooting it, but this inevitably leaves a disfiguring scar near the base of the main stem. If an offset is removed to be used in propagation, remember to let it dry for a week or so, letting the wound heal… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Cleistocactus.


Endemic to Bolivia (Santa Cruz).

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

Cleistocactus winteri subsp. colademononis


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Cleistocactus winteri subs. colademononis – 10 seeds

Cleistocactus winteri subs. colademononis, sometimes listed under its old name of Hildewintera colademononis, is a fantastic plant with very long white and soft, hairlike spines. The common name “monkey’s tail” refers to the appearance of the hairy stems. It is free flowering and the outsize bright red blooms are particularly decorative

Cleistocactus winteri subs. colademononis is of easy culture, which makes it a good cactus for beginners. It suited to hanging baskets as well as pots. SUse a loose well drained cactus mix. Since they are rapid growers need plenty of space for their roots, repotting with fresh potting-mix should be done every other year or when the plant has outgrown its pot. However, repotting doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll need larger containers. Sun Exposure: Require filtered bright light, partial sun or light shade, but not in full sun that will sunscald it. They require moderately watering through the growing season. This can be done weekly or more frequently during the summertime, if the weather is sunny enough, but allow to dry fully before watering again. Kept this way, plants will show a healthy growth. Keep rather dry as soon as the temperature starts dropping in October and keep it dry in winter. The plant survives outside without protection in winter (cold hardy to -2° ) but is then somewhat prone to rot, too. Give an occasional high potassium liquid feed during the active growing period. Winter care presents no problems at temperatures from 5 to 15 degrees centigrade with plenty of light, but frost hardy to -2°C for short periods if very dry. This plant needs a period of cool rest in winter to produce flowers abundantly. It flowers freely indoors too if conditions suit it. Surface sowing is the best; seeds germinate in 14-28 days at 20° C, remembering that seedlings dislike strong light and dry conditions.

Hildewintera aureispina rare cactus for sale has very attractive golden spines and flowers

Hildewintera aureispina description

Description: It is a branching cactus of fairly rapid growth that resembles a very robust version of the popular peanut cactus (Lobivia chamaecereus) it forms soon tangled mounds of long stem.
Stems: spreading, arching, pendant, or trailing that can grow up to 1m long and 2.5cm wide with many branches.
Spines: It has many short bristly golden spines that literally cover the surface of the stems.
Flowers: upturned tubular vivid orange to salmon-pink, 4 to 6 cm in length, 5 cm across and very showy. They are repetitively and freely produced on mature plants in spring and summer and can last for several days..
Fruit: Green fruit 1 cm.

Cultural Practices: Hildewintera aureispina are of easy culture, which makes them good cacti for beginners. Require filtered bright light, but not in full sun that will sunscald it. It need a well drained soil mix. Water regularly in summer but allow to dry fully before watering again. During the winter months they should be rather kept dry. Since they are rapid growers need plenty of space for their roots, repotting should be done every other year or when the plant has outgrown its pot.
This cactus is sensitive to mealy bugs that find a lot of hiding ground among the spines. Hardy to -2°C.
Propagation: From cuttings in spring (let them dry till the ends callous well. Then replant them in fresh cactus soil that is ever so slighty moist, and keep it that way till they root) or Seeds (Seed should be sown in a well-drained soil mix. Surface sowing is the best; seeds germinate in 14-28 days at 20° C .

The “spiders in the cactus” story, almost invariably heard about a friend of a friend, is one of the urban myths recounted by Dr. Jan Harold Brunvand, a folklore expert at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He has written several books on such myths, and the most recent, “The Baby Train” (W.W. Norton & Company), discusses appearances of the cactus story through 1991.

The story is often attached to the name of a well-known dealer, the furniture store Ikea being frequently mentioned in the New York area. The cactus in question is supposed to have been field grown or harvested wild in the desert. It starts to tremble, the story goes, and then releases its awful contents: spiders or scorpions. Sometimes the victim is said to call the dealer, who sends men with a plastic bag, just in time.

When the story appeared in Pittsburgh, a spokesman for the local outlet of Ikea said: “Plants sold by Ikea are grown in an enclosed environment; they are not grown wild. They are well sprayed, and they are repotted before they arrive at the store.”

Tarantulas also have an undeservedly bad reputation, according to the Desert Museum. Tarantulas are very docile animals and are not easily provoked to bite. The usual prey of Rhetostica chalcodes, the most common species in the Tucson area, is insects. Its fangs are seldom used on humans and do not cause any serious complications. A Mexican variety is sold as a pet. Only 4 Cigarettes

Q. What can you say about the risks to a smoker who smokes only four cigarettes a day?

A. “The risk is less than for someone who smokes 40 cigarettes a day, but for a particular person, it can be very hazardous indeed, a bigger environmental hazard than almost anything you can name,” said James L. Repace, an environmental policy analyst at the Environmental Protection Agency.

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