Espostoa lanata 'Snowball Cactus'
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With golden spines and a thick, white wooly coating that closely resembles hair, it is no surprise from whence Espostoa lanata 'Snowball Cactus' got its common name! Native to the high elevations of the Peruvian landscape, this variety sports a columnar growth habit and reaches a height of only 12 inches when grown indoors, where pot size and reduced access to sunlight serve to contain its growth. This mature size, however, is reached ever so slowly – often over the course of a decade or more – as this hardy plant has prioritized survival over size as an adaptation to its harsh indigenous environment.
Especially well suited to intense drought conditions, it is vital not to overwater ‘Snowball Cactus,’ lest it succumb to rot as a result. To avoid this fate, be sure to utilize a porous soil mixture within a well-draining pot, ensure ample airflow around the stem and soil surface, and water thoroughly but very infrequently. As with most cacti, this variety prefers full sun, so be sure to situate it in a bright southern or western exposure. During the winter months, take care to shield this desert plant from temperatures much below 50 degrees, which can cause permanent damage to the stem and bring growth to a halt.
Though ‘Snowball Cactus’ rarely blooms when kept as a houseplant, when it does the large white blooms are a sight to behold!