How To Grow & Care For the Spedro Cactus

The Spedro Cactus, often spelled “San Pedro Cactus,” is a fast-growing columnar cactus native to the Andes Mountains in South America. It’s admired not only for its beauty but also for its cultural and historical significance. Many indigenous cultures have utilized it for religious rituals and traditional medicine.

In its natural habitat, the Spedro Cactus can grow to a remarkable height, often reaching over 10 feet tall. Its green-blue stems are ribbed, with spikes running along the edges, and it produces large, beautiful white flowers.

A hardy and resilient plant, the Spedro Cactus has become a favorite among gardeners and cactus enthusiasts worldwide. The following guide explores the Spedro Cactus in detail, offering an in-depth look at its growth requirements, care needs, and other essential information.

Common NamesSpedro Cactus, San Pedro Cactus
Botanical NameEchinopsis pachanoi
Plant TypeCactus
Mature SizeUp to 15 feet tall
Sun ExposureFull sun
Soil TypeWell-draining cactus or sandy soil
Hardiness Zones8-10
Native AreaAndes Mountains, South America

Spedro Cactus Care

The Spedro Cactus is an easy-to-care-for plant that thrives in conditions similar to its native mountainous habitat. Like most cacti, it prefers dry, well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight.

While it can endure some neglect, providing optimal care will ensure a thriving, flowering cactus. Understanding its specific needs for light, soil, water, and temperature is key to enjoying this unique and intriguing plant.

Light Requirement for Spedro Cactus

The Spedro Cactus thrives in full sun. It requires at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily to grow healthy and produce flowers. If grown indoors, place it near a sunny window or use artificial grow lights.

Soil Requirements for Spedro Cactus

Plant the Spedro Cactus in well-draining cactus or sandy soil. The soil should retain some moisture but allow excess water to escape quickly. Adding perlite or sand can further enhance drainage.

Water Requirements for Spedro Cactus

Watering the Spedro Cactus sparingly is essential. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, and reduce watering during the winter months. Overwatering can cause root rot and other issues.

Temperature and Humidity

The Spedro Cactus prefers a temperature range of 50°F to 80°F. It can tolerate mild frost but should be protected if temperatures drop below freezing. Low humidity levels are suitable for this cactus.


A balanced, water-soluble fertilizer designed for cacti can be applied during the growing season. Fertilize once a month, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Pruning Spedro Cactus

Pruning is generally not required for the Spedro Cactus. However, dead or diseased parts should be removed using clean, sharp tools.

Propagating Spedro Cactus

Propagation is commonly done through stem cuttings. Allow the cuttings to dry for a couple of days before planting in well-draining soil.

How To Grow Spedro Cactus From Seed

Growing Spedro Cactus from seed is possible but requires patience. Plant the seeds in a well-draining mix and keep them in a warm, bright location.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases


Mealybugs can be controlled using insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Root Rot

Overwatering can lead to root rot. Proper watering and soil drainage can prevent this issue.

Common Problems With Spedro Cactus


If exposed to intense, direct sunlight, sunburn may occur. Gradually acclimate the plant to sunlight to prevent this.

Stunted Growth

Poor soil, insufficient light, or inadequate water can result in stunted growth. Adjusting care practices can help.

Failure to Flower

A lack of sufficient sunlight or nutrients may prevent flowering. Ensure proper sun exposure and fertilize as needed.

Pro Tips

  1. Plant the Spedro Cactus in a container with drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.
  2. Protect from extreme cold by moving indoors or covering with a frost cloth.
  3. Be patient when growing from seed, as germination can be slow.
  4. Position the plant carefully to ensure sufficient sunlight without causing sunburn.
  5. Monitor the plant regularly for signs of pests or diseases and treat promptly.