The Peruvian Apple Cactus is a large, upright columnar cactus with thorny, ribbed stems and edible fruits. It is native to South America. The stems are long with a few branches and large specimens have a tree-like appearance. Stems are cylindrical, gray-green to blue with 3-5 ribs and brown spines. The stems can reach 10 meters (33 ft) in height and 10-20 cm in diameter. Flowers are large and white, with many long petals. They are fragrant and they open at night. It is also known as the Queen of the night, for its night-blooming flowers. The flowers are born on the ribs, along the length of the stems. Fruits are large and very colorful. They are oval or elliptic, smooth and thornless and bright pink to red-violet or yellow. The fruits have a sweet, white flesh with many small, black seeds. The flesh continues to sweeten as the fruits open out fully. It is grown as a potted plant and as a specimen plant. It is one of the most cold hardy columnar cactuses and it can be cultivated outdoors in zones 8-11.
- The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
- Put the seeds on the soil.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil.
- Water the seeds.
- Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade.
- When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.