Trichocereus Pachanoi (San Pedro Cactus) Definitive Guide

Trichocereus pachanoi is one of the most commonly spotted cacti you could come across in the desert gardening circles. 

Their floral tube has earned them the name Trichocereus pachanoi. These plants are originating from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and from South America. San Pedro cactus is what you could call these plants in common.

Trichocereus Pachanoi

They usually grow in high altitude places. Trichocereus pachanoi are a fast growing set of plants which usually form with multi stems. They would form in columnar manner. Trichocereus pachanoi plants require easy maintenance from you. 

They would be great picks for desert gardens, rock gardens , succulents’ gardens and for Mediterranean gardens as well. 

This article is a comprehensive guide on how you should look after these beauties well and if you are an ethustisati succulent grower you may find this article interesting.

How do I identify Trichocereus pachanoi

Trichocereus pachanoi form is a  multi stemmed columnar cactus. The Trichocereus pachanoi stem would reach a maximum height of 6 m and a maximum width of 6 -15 cm.  

The Trichocereus pachanoi stem would be pale green to blue green in color when they are young. As they mature, they become dark green in color. 

Trichocereus pachanoi may further consist of 8 round ribs. They may carry white areolas with few spines.

Further Trichocereus pachanoi produce larger white flowers. They would carry a fragrance and tend to take a trumpet shape as well. 

This is a crucial factor which you could use to identify these plants. Those flowers would be 8 inches in width. 

Trichocereus pachanoi plants flowers will arise in the night and stay in bloom until the next day. You could spot these flowers arising from the spine clusters in the branches.hose flowers would be very showy.

In addition to that Trichocereus pachanoi plants produce offsets near the base of the plants. They also produce an oblong shaped fruit. 

They would be dark green in color. Further those fruits would be 5-6 cm in length and 3cm in diameter.

Growth rate

Trichocereus pachanoi are rapid growing plants.

One look care guide

Botanical NameTrichocereus pachanoi
Common NameSan Pedro cactus
Plant TypeCactus
Mature SizeMaximum height of 6 m
Maximum width of 6-15 cm
Sun ExposureFull sunlight to partial shade
Soil TypeWell draining
Soil pHslightly acidic ph
Bloom TimeSummer
Flower ColorWhite
Hardiness ZonesUSDA hardiness zones are from 8b-10.
Native AreaArgentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and from South America
Average price $ 14

Trichocereus Pachanoi

How do you take care of Trichocereus pachanoi?

Light Requirement

Trichocereus pachanoi optimal growth would be benefitted from direct sunlight during cooler conditions. 

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On the other hand, they can survive in light shade during summer. Further when you bring Trichocereus pachanoi plants outdoors from indoors, you need to ensure that you slowly accustom them to direct sunlight. 

If you expose them to direct sunlight at once, it will create harmful effects on the plants.

For example, they may suffer from scorches in the plants. Do not leave Trichocereus pachanoi plants under direct sunlight during intense summertime as it would also result in scorches in the plants. 

As such, the best is to leave them under light shade during summer.

If you grow them deprived of sufficient sunlight, it will make them etiolated also. Hence you should ensure that they have adequate sunlight levels. 

Temperature and humidity

Trichocereus pachanoi are tolerant of temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit ( 10 degrees Celsius) to 15.8 degrees fahrenheit ( -9 degrees Celsius).

Is it cold hardy?

Trichocereus pachanoi can have cold conditions up to -12 degrees Celsius.

USDA Hardiness Zone

Trichocereus pachanoi’s preferred USDA hardiness zones are from 8b-10.

Watering Requirement

Just like with the rest of other succulents and cactus, you need to always ensure that you allow the soil to dry between two watering sessions

Having said that, they need to have a little more water compared to other cactus and succulents. If there is excess water around the plants, it would make the plants attractive towards fungal infections. 

Ideally you need to water them moderately. If you water them well during warmer months , it will allow them to grow vigorously.

Soil Requirement Type / pH

It is vital that the Trichocereus pachanoi plants have a fertile potting medium to grow well. Besides , it needs to have a slightly acidic pH as well. 

More importantly, the right soil mix needs to have excellent drainage too. Consider adding a fair bit of humus in the substrate so that it will make the plants less susceptible for diseases such as root rot.

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Pot size Potting and Repotting

Ensure that you use a pot which has an ample draining to grow the Trichocereus pachanoi plants

Additionally, it needs to contain sufficient draining holes too. Best is to go ahead with an unglazed clay pot to grow the plants as they would evaporate the excess moisture retaining in the pot rapidly.

Where to Plant 

Ensure that you choose a place where they can gain sufficient sunlight. Besides, when you grow them in containers, ensure that you are using a well-draining soil mix as aforesaid.

Fertilizer and time of year

You may choose a balanced fertilizer to feed the Trichocereus pachanoi plants during their growth season. 

Having said that, these plants would also go dormant during winter, and you need to suspend feeding them during this season. If you have immature plants, best is to use a very diluted fertilizer occasionally. 

Trichocereus Pachanoi


Trichocereus pachanoi produce flowers in white during July. They start to blossom during the nighttime and will stay in blossom until the next day. 

What is more special about these blooms is that they carry a sweet fragrance as well. They would be 8.7 inches in diameter.


Trichocereus pachanoi are winter dormant plants.


Trichocereus pachanoi are toxic plants for pets and for humans since they have toxins such as psychedelic hallucinogen, mescaline etc.

Common bugs and illnesses

If you supply them water in abundance specially during hot weather, it will make the plants more susceptible for fungal diseases. 

For example, they may suffer from diseases such as from damping off, orange rot, witches broom disease, black rot etc. 

In addition to that, they may also suffer from root mealybugs, scale, spider mites too. To control them, you may simply treat them with neem oil sprays.

Special Care tips

Trichocereus pachanoi could be maintained with minimum supervision from you as aforesaid

With that being said, you should ensure that you do not grow them in a well-draining soil mix unless it would lead to numerous types of diseases as explained in the above.

Trichocereus Pachanoi

How to propagate Trichocereus pachanoi

You may use the Trichocereus pachanoi seeds to propagate them. To proceed with that, you need to arrange items such as clear glass jars which have lids. 

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Alternatively, you may use plastic wrap instead of lids as well. Moreover, you need to arrange a mix of fine sand and sowing soil too. I do not recommend using potting soil as it would lead to root rot.

First, you should fill the bottle with some sowing soil. Next you can sprinkle the seeds onto the soil. Refrain from burying the seeds in the soil.

Next consider misting the soil lightly. After that, cover the specimen with a plastic wrap so that the moisture can retain within. 

Lastly, you need to place the container in a sunny spot where you do not leave them under direct sunlight. Moreover, you may also use a LED lamp of 150 watts or higher for this purpose. 

The germination would take place within two to three weeks. If there are seeds which do not germinate even after 6 weeks of time, that literally means they will not germinate at all.

While the germination takes place, you need to open the lid and see whether you could spot any signs of any fungal attack. 

For example, chances are that fungus gnats may attack the seedlings during this process. If you spot any signs of mold you need to rinse the jars and allow them to dry and then close them.

Trichocereus pachanoi benefits 

Many ancient people consider Trichocereus pachanoi has medicinal values

Moreover, they have used them for religious purposes as well. For example, many people tend to use these plants as a substitute for peyote during hallucinogenic rituals. 

They use these plants for this purpose simply because they have mescaline. Apart from that you can use them as ornamental plants as well. 

Moreover, they would be great picks for desert themed gardens too. In addition to that you can use the Trichocereus pachanoi as indoor decorative plants as well.

Apart from that, Trichocereus pachanoi is used for grafting stocks. They have hardy rootstocks and many people tend to use them as the base cactus for small lower growing cacti plants.


Trichocereus pachanoi plants are such fabulous plants that anybody would wish to have. That is simply due to the fact that they have numerous benefits as explained in the above. 

If you make sure that you provide their main growing requirements fulfilled, they will thrive well and it is very unlikely that you have to keep inspecting the plants.

Credit to : Cactus Peru
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About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.