Species and Flower Colors
- One of the most common species in the family, the Echinopsis oxygona species, generally produces pink flowers with a yellow center. The bodies of the cacti are round with short spikes. The subdenudata species of Echinopsis produces very large white flowers with pale yellow centers, and E. cristata is another common species that produces creamy white flowers with black centers. There are also E. eyriesii that produces white flowers, E. pentlandii that produces red and E. aurea that produces distinctive golden flowers.
- Most species of Echinopsis cacti produce flowers on a long stalk, which varies in length from under 1 inch up to 10 inches and in color from dark green to yellow. Some species will produce one flower per stalk, while others produce many stalks from one central cactus. Depending on the species, flowers range from around 2 to 9 inches in diameter. To encourage flowering, cacti should be fertilized with a cactus-specific fertilizer in the spring. They should be flushed with plain water in the fall as temperatures drop.
- To flower regularly, these cacti need proper care. Sea urchin cacti like very hot, dry conditions. A soil mixture of four parts loam, one part sand and one part crushed brick will provide adequate drainage and nutrients, though cacti cultivators can also use a potted cactus mix that is well-draining. These cacti need weekly watering in the summer months so that the soil stays moist, but they require less water in the winter. In colder months, Echinopsis should be brought inside, and temperatures shouldn't get below 50 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 10 degrees at night.
- These cacti can be repotted if the roots are crowded in the pot, but they can grow right to the pot edge without being damaged. When repotting, choose a new pot that is only 1 to 2 inches larger than the old one, as these cacti don't generally spread. To propagate Echinopsis, take a cutting and place in sandy soil in the summer. They can also be propagated by seed in warmer months.