Peanut Cactus Info: Tips For Growing A Peanut Cactus Plant

Peanut Cactus Info: Tips For Growing A Peanut Cactus Plant

By: Mary Ellen Ellis

Peanut cactus is an interesting succulent with many finger-like stems and stunning spring-to-summer flowers. If you live in a hot climate or like to grow succulents indoors, learn a little peanut cactus information to help you give it the conditions to help it thrive.

What is a Peanut Cactus?

Peanut cactus is a plant native to Argentina with the Latin name Echinopsis chamaecereus. It is sometimes called chamaecereus cactus. It is a clustering, or mat-forming, cactus with shallow roots. The stems are plentiful and shaped like fingers, or long peanuts. They can grow up to about six inches (15 cm.) tall and 12 inches (30 cm.) wide.

In the late spring and early summer, peanut cactus produces gorgeous, large, reddish-orange blooms that cover much of the cactus clump. These cacti are popular in the garden in hot areas because of the unique appearance and pretty flowers. They grow quickly and will fill in a space in just a couple of years.

Growing a Peanut Cactus

Peanut cactus care depends largely on the environmental conditions. This is a cactus that is only hardy in zones 10 and 11, although it can also be grown as a houseplant. It grows well outdoors in southern Florida and Texas and in dry, hot areas of California and Arizona. Where the temperatures are particularly hot, as in Arizona, peanut cactus should be given a little shade. In cooler areas of these zones, give it full sun. Give it as much sun as possible when grown indoors.

Whether growing indoors in a container or outside in a bed, make sure the soil drains well. A peanut cactus is susceptible to rot. During the growing season, water your peanut cactus whenever the top inch or two of soil dries out, but during the winter you can mostly leave it alone.

It only needs winter watering if it is not being kept cool, at temperatures at or below about 40 degrees Fahrenheit (5 Celsius). Give your cactus a balanced fertilizer once a year, at the start of the growing season.

Growing a peanut cactus is pretty easy if you have the right conditions. Just be sure that if you are growing it indoors that it gets a good rest period in order to flower next season. Rest means that it should be kept cool with minimal watering. It may appear to dry out and shrivel a little, but this is normal.

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What Is A Peanut Cactus – How To Grow Chamaecereus Cactus Plants - garden

Accepted Scientific Name: Echinopsis chamaecereus H.Friedrich & Glaetzle
Bradleya 1: 96 (1983), nom. nov. Remarks: N. B.: non Echinopsis silvestrii Speg 1905

Origin and Habitat: This species is supposed to be endemic to Argentina, occurring between Tucumán and Salta. Echinopsis chamaecereus was collected by the botanist Carlo Spegazzini and described at the beginning of the XX century. However, the plant was never found again in the area during several expeditions on horseback by expert Roberto Kiesling, who only found in the area the widespread Echinopsis saltensis.
Habitat and Ecology: Because the species has not been found in the wild, the type of vegetation it grows in is unknown.

  • Echinopsis chamaecereus H.Friedrich & Glaetzle
    • Cereus silvestrii Speg.
    • Chamaecereus silvestrii (Speg.) Britton & Rose
    • Lobivia silvestrii (Speg.) G.D.Rowley

Description: The peanuts cactus, Echinopsis chamaecereus (probably best known under its old name Chamaecereus silvestrii), is a very popular cactus with many crowded finger-like stems. Established plants can reach a height of 15 cm and width of 30 (or more) cm.
Stems: Pale green finger sized, initially erect that became prostrate up to 10 cm tall, 1.2 cm in diameter, up to 15 cm long. As cactus ages, eventually eventually become woody and spineless.
Ribs: 8 to 10.
Spines: 10 to 15 soft, white bristles, 2 mm long.
Flowers: Orange-red about 5 cm in diameter, often produced in prolific quantities from an early age.
Blooming season: In several flushes in late spring and early summer.
Remarks: Chamaelobivia hybrids: The peanut cactus is still often encountered as Chamaecereus silvestrii, and occasionally as Lobivia silvestrii. This plant has been intensively hybridized with other Echinopsis(especially Lobivia ssp.). This hybrids are sometime called "Chamaelobivia" and are pretty easy to grow and easy to get to bloom and are now available in different striking flower colours. They are often thicher, stronger, larger growing than C. sylvestrii and tend not to have the typical peanut shaped offsets. The offsets produced being more strongly attached to the main stems.

Subspecies, varieties, forms and cultivars of plants belonging to the Echinopsis chamaecereus group

Bibliography: Major references and further lectures:
1) Edward Anderson “The Cactus family” Timber Press, Incorporated, 2001
2) James Cullen, Sabina G. Knees, H. Suzanne Cubey "The European Garden Flora Flowering Plants: A Manual for the Identification of Plants Cultivated in Europe, Both Out-of-Doors and Under Glass" Cambridge University Press, 11/Aug/2011
3) David R Hunt Nigel P Taylor Graham Charles International Cactaceae Systematics Group. "The New Cactus Lexicon" dh books, 2006
4) Clive Innes, Charles Glass “Cacti” Portland House, 1991
5) John Borg “Cacti: a gardener's handbook for their identification and cultivation” Blandford P., 1970
6) RHS "A-Z encyclopedia of garden plants." United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. 2008
7) Kiesling, R. 2013. Echinopsis chamaecereus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. . Downloaded on 13 February 2015.

Chamaecereus silvestrii (Echinopsis chamaecereus) Photo by: Valentino Vallicelli
Chamaecereus silvestrii (Echinopsis chamaecereus) Photo by: Carolina González
Chamaecereus silvestrii (Echinopsis chamaecereus) Photo by: Cactus Art
The common name comes from the peanut-like offsets that this cactus provides generously along the stems. (Echinopsis chamaecereus) Photo by: Cactus Art
Chamaecereus silvestrii (Echinopsis chamaecereus) Photo by: Carolina González

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Cultivation and Propagation: This is an easily grown cactus, suited to hanging baskets as well as pots. Grow in well-drained soil in a sunny spot. This Echinopsis needs a period of cool rest in winter to produce flowers abundantly. It flowers freely indoors if conditions suit it. The plant survives outside without protection in winter (cold hardy to -8° ) but somewhat prone to rot, then, too.
Needs moderate water in summer, none in winter Watch for infestations of mealybug, scale insects and spider mite.

Propagation:: Easy to propagate from offsets or seed. Small joints are produced in quantities (peanuts) These offsets can be detached and planted immediately as they root easily with no assistance when they touch the ground. Just let them lay on the soil and you have a new start.

Varieties and Hybrids

Peanut cactus has a yellow-flowered form and a form that lacks chlorophyll (Echinopsis chamaecereus var. lutea) and has to be grafted onto a green rootstock to survive. This plant can't be put in sun and if it is grafted onto night-blooming cereus (Hylocereus undatus), which is only hardy in USDA zones 11 through 12, it can't withstand freezing temperatures. There is a monstrose crested form of peanut cactus (x Chamaelobivia f. cristata) where the stem growth is contorted to look like a mass of fuzzy caterpillars.
Peanut cactus has been hybridized with a number of species of Echinopsis (x Chamaelobivia hybrids) that used to be considered lobivias to produce plants that have wider stems, erect growth and larger showy flowers in various colors. "Fire Chief," "Captain Jessop" and "Mephysto" have red-orange flowers, "Violet" has magenta flowers, "Perla di Verona" blooms are pink and yellow and "Rainbow" has pink outer and red inner petals.

Echinopsis chamaecereus 'Lutea' (Yellow Peanut Cactus)

Scientific Name

Common Names

Yellow Peanut Cactus, Yellow Peanut


Echinopsis chamaecereus f. lutea, Chamaecereus sylvestris f. lutea, Chamaecereus sylvestris f. aurea

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Trichocereeae
Genus: Echinopsis


Echinopsis chamaecereus 'Lutea' is the yellow version of the Peanut Cactus, which is an albino form of Echinopsis chamaecereus. Any purely albino cactus can only be kept alive as a grafted plant, and E. chamaecereus 'Lutea' is sold grafted onto the stem of Hylocereus. It is a branched cactus with many crowded finger-like stems, up to 6 inches (10 cm) tall.


USDA hardiness zone 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Peanut Cactus needs a well-draining potting mix. Water the plant thoroughly until water comes through the pot's holes and let the soil dry at least halfway down the pot before watering again. In winter, decrease or withhold water. The plant will look shriveled, and stems can take on a reddish tinge, but the Peanut Cactus will plump up again and return to its normal color in spring.

This cactus grows well in hanging baskets or shallower, 4-inch (10 cm) nursery containers, because it is shallow-rooted. Hybrids can take deeper pots. It is difficult to transplant older clumps of Peanut Cactus because the stems break apart so easily. Fertilize the cactus once a year during the growing season using a balanced fertilizer at half the recommended strength. In areas with hot, dry summers, grow Peanut Cactus in areas that get partial shade. In areas with cool summers or temperate climates, grow it in full sun.


Echinopsis chamaecereus 'Lutea' is an albino form of Echinopsis chamaecereus.


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Types of Trailing and Hanging Cacti and Succulent You Can Grow

The following are the most beautiful and popular hanging cacti and succulent plants that you can hang or trail in your garden or indoor area:

#1. Euphorbia tirucalli, ‘’Sticks on fire’’

Don’t let this name scare you! These cacti have a toxic sap, so put them away from children and pets. You can easily grow them indoors or outdoors. Its stems can grow up to 3 feet long and tend to turn bright red and yellow, which makes it look as if it’s on fire.

They are ideal for growing in hanging baskets as the stems need space to spread out.

#2. Agave attenuata ‘’Fox Tail Agave’’

Everyone loves this succulent! They have unique inflorescences that bend over and give the succulent an interesting looking aspect.

Colloquially known as the ‘’Fox Tail Agave’’, this succulent is native to Mexico, and they prefer dry climates in order to thrive. They are often used as an ornamental plant in many areas of the world.

#3. Aporocactus Flagelliformis, ‘‘Rat Tail Cactus’’

This cactus is native to Mexico, and you can quickly grow it indoors or outdoors. However, they do produce very long stems, so you will need to keep this in mind if you are going to hang them.

However, they tend to prefer growing in hanging baskets because this will allow their stem to spread easily!

Make sure you wear gloves when you are about to handle this cactus, as they have fragile spines that can be a problem if you are working with the cactus barehanded.

This cactus can flower so, it is normal to see pink and red flowers when the cactus is more mature. If you have a rat tail cactus plant make sure the soil is completely dried before watering it.

If you are looking into propagating cactus, then do so from a stem, which will be easier to replicate than growing them using seeds.

#4. Beaucarnea recurvata, ‘’Ponytail Palm’’

This succulent is also colloquially known as ‘’elephant’s foot palm’’ thanks to its thick trunk. It has thin and long leaves, and it tends to grow so slow that you won’t even need to repot it for at least a couple of years.

#5. Ceropegia Linearis Woodii, ‘’String of Hearts or Rosary Vine’’

Native to South Africa, String of Hearts plant will look fantastic if you hang it or trail it mainly due to its distinctive flowers that have heart-shaped leaves.

They have green stems, which sometimes can go from a pale tone to a very dark tone. They prefer being exposed to light however, this light cannot be directly pointing at them.

They require a lot of water throughout the summer, but when winter comes, you can drastically reduce this amount. If you are hanging this plant, you will need to place them high enough, so they have enough room for the vines to grow.

#6. Crassula Pellucida Variegata, ‘‘Calico Kitten’’

This succulent plant also has heart-shaped leaves, making it an excellent choice for hanging baskets indoors and outdoors. Even though its leaves are green, they have a pink and cream tint, which makes them even more special.

You can place them directly under the sunlight, and this will bring about its colors. They will not, however, survive hard frosts or intense winters.

You should not water them regularly on the contrary, you should only water them once a week or so, and the container they are in must have drainage holes that are big enough for water to come out this way, you will avoid root rot.

#7. Epiphyllum anguliger, ‘’Fishbone Cactus’’

This type of epiphyllum is native to Mexico, so it needs to grow in warm climates where there is full exposure to the sun. It is usually grown as an ornamental plant.

The stems tend to trail when they are young, but when they reach maturity, they become too long to continue. What’s interesting about this cactus is that they produce nocturnal flowers in other words, you will only be able to see them at nighttime.

They also produce fruit, which is usually yellow and has a strong scent.

#8. Othonna capensis, ‘‘Ruby Necklace’’

This is a very interesting looking succulent that has many different vibrant colors! They have blue-green leaves, and they also produce flowers which are yellow or orange!

Can you imagine them hanging indoors or outdoors in your house? Simply beautiful!

Unlike other succulents on this list, the Ruby necklace can tolerate full exposure to direct sunlight. They only need well-drained soil to thrive.

#9. Senecio radicans, ‘’String of Bananas’’

This plant is native to South Africa. It is a beautiful succulent plant, and you can grow it in hanging planters, which will, in turn, allow the stems to grow in different directions.

It would be best if you placed them in a roomy area, as the stems can grow up to 35 inches in length. As its name suggests, the stems (or better yet, the leaves found in the stems) look like bananas.

This lovely succulent has an overpowering scent, and it produces yellow lavender or white flowers.

However, this is a very toxic succulent, especially for cats, as it can be poisonous.

#10. Calandrinia spectabilis ‘’Rock Purslane’’

This is a perennial succulent native to Chile. They produce small purple or pink flowers, which are loved by pollinators such as bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. They usually grow up to eight inches tall so, they are tiny succulents.

If you are planting them, make sure you do so when the extreme danger of frosts has passed by, as they are very susceptible to cold weather.

#11. Senecio rowleyanus, ‘’String of Pearls’’

String of Pearls plant is native to South Africa. You can grow it as a hanging succulent, and it will look fantastic in any area! Its stems have green leaves, and they resemble peas.

The leaves can grow up to 35 inches in length, and they will grow all over the place!

If you live in an area where frosts are the norm, consider growing this plant indoors, as they will not tolerate strong cold climates.

You can easily propagate this plant by using a cutting just plant the cutting where you would like, and make sure you water it every other day. Place them in an area where they receive indirect sunlight, and you will soon see how they thrive and grow.

#12. Senecio Fish Hooks, “Grey Fishhooks Senecio’’

Its shape is so unique that it has given this plant its name as well! The leaves look like fish hooks! They can have very long stems that could easily reach more than 5 inches long.

This is a trailing succulent, but it is so easy to care for and to propagate that you will be wondering if it’s a real succulent or not!

Make sure you don’t place them under direct sunlight otherwise, their leaves could burn. As with many other types of succulents, you will need to water them every couple of days. When you water them, use a lot of water, but let the soil dry out thoroughly before you water them again.

#13. Euphorbia caput-medusae, ‘’Medusa Head’’

This succulent plant resembles a snake! Its stems are very short and cylindrical, and they can grow up to 11 inches in length. The stems have small green leaves. They tend to bloom once they reach maturity.

Unlike any other succulent, you will need to water it regularly otherwise, they will suffer from droughts, especially during the summer months.

#14. Dischidia nummularia, ‘‘Strings of Nickels’’

One of the most exciting plants to look at! They are native to tropical rainforests, which means they can be found in many places as well.

They are epiphyte plants, so if you allow them to grow in nature without intervening, they will grow on top of tree trunks, rocks, and even other plants! They surely don’t know anything about personal space, hey!?

Once they reach maturity, they will start producing white and cream blooms, which look lovely if you hang them!

They need quite a bit of maintenance, mainly because of the epiphyte characteristic I mentioned earlier. They require well-drained soil, which will allow them to thrive.

You will also need to place them in a very humid place, as they need lots of water and the right atmosphere that gives them the impression they are still growing in a tropical rainforest.

#15. Sedum morganianum, ‘‘Donkey’s Tail’’

Colloquially known as the Burro’s tail, they are native to Mexico. They are succulent plants that produce pointy green leaves that are very long and vibrant.

Its stems grow in such a particular way that they resemble the donkey’s tail hence the name of this succulent.

They are very drought resistant, so you shouldn’t worry if you ever forget to water them. However, you should water the soil only when it’s completely dried and wait for a couple of days (or even weeks) before watering them again.

They need to receive indirect sunlight if you would like to see them thrive they are a perfect type of succulent to hang in baskets or containers.

#16. Sedum burrito, ‘‘Baby Donkey Tail’’

Not to be confused with the other type of succulent called ‘’ donkey’s tail’’. They are also native to Mexico. This succulent has smaller and more dense leaves in comparison to the Donkey tail succulent.

They are relatively easy to grow: you need to make sure they have well-drained soil and receive indirect sunlight. If you live in a hot climate, you will need to water them regularly throughout the summer. They are often placed in hanging baskets and are used as ornamental plants or as a way to make a wall display.

#17. Hoya Plant, ‘Wax Plant’

Also referred to as the ‘’Hindu Rope’’ this plant is native to Australia, India, and many other countries within Asia. It has vines that produce beautiful heart-shaped leaves, and even though they are hard to find in some countries, they still look beautiful whenever they are hanged.

They need to be in partial shade as they cannot tolerate full exposure to the sun. You could grow them indoors or outdoors, and you can use hanging baskets that will allow the stems to hang over all of the edges. In comparison to other plants, the Hoya succulent needs humidity to thrive.

#18. Senecio herreianus, ‘‘String of Beads’’

This plant is native to South Africa. It’s a succulent plant that you can easily hang or trail. They are not very common, and they are usually mistaken for ‘String of Pearls’ due to their similarity. However, the ‘String of Beads’ has oval-shaped leaves.

They are reasonably easy to propagate, you just need to make sure your soil is right so they can root correctly. If you live in an area with cold winters, make sure you protect your plant against extreme climate or frosts as they won’t survive otherwise.

#19. Hildewintera Colademononis, ‘‘Monkey’s Tail’’

Native to Bolivia, this cactus has an epilithic property, which means it only grows on rocks. How interesting is this!? They also have light green stems, which are sometimes fully covered with hairy spines, so you will need to use gloves whenever you handle them.

They can be fully exposed to the sun, as these hairy spines will protect the plant from any extreme climate condition. Lastly, place them in a hanging basket, and once your plant matures, you will see its blooms, which are usually red or magenta. It is a wonderful sight!

#20. Echinopsis Chamaecereus, ‘‘Peanut Cactus’’

One of my favorite plants, this cactus is native to Argentina! They have very long stems that resemble our fingers. On each one of those stems, they also produce soft white spines, so watch out whenever you handle the cactus!

When the peanut cactus matures, you will see some orange or red flowers, which are very beautiful!

You don’t need to water them regularly, as they resist extreme weather conditions. However, their soil must be well-drained, otherwise, they will get root rot.

#21. Sedum Little Missy, ‘‘Sedum Petite Bicolor’’

As its name suggests, this perennial succulent has two colors: pale green and pink, which surrounds its margins. Each summer, Little Missy succulents will produce pink and white flowers that look gorgeous in a hanging basket or trail.

You do not need to do much to maintain them in fact, they are so easy to grow that you could even plant them wherever you are struggling to grow other things. This type of plant is the savor one because they will thrive everywhere!

#22. Euphorbia milii, ‘’Crown of Thorns’’

This is an evergreen succulent plant, so it has bright flowers that never fade away. You will need a lot of available space if you want to grow them, though, as they can reach up to three feet if you let them!

They also need to be guarded against cold climates but, make sure no children or pets are near it, as they are moderately toxic. If you handle this plant, use some gloves!

#23. Schlumbergera x buckleyi, ‘’Christmas Cactus’’

This is your perfect Christmas plant. In fact, it could also be the ultimate Christmas present for all of your friends and family members! This cactus produces some red, pink, orange, and even purple flowers.

They should not be placed directly under sunlight otherwise, they will stop growing.

#24. Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, ‘’Flowering Kalanchoe’’

If you want to have a hanging succulent that catches everyone’s attention, then look no further because the Kalanchoe blossfeldiana will be your perfect choice. They are also called flowering kalanchoe for a reason!

They have orange, pink, cream, yellow, white, red, and purple flowers and very dark and oval foliage, which makes an exciting and sharp contrast.

They cannot be compared to any other succulent—they are simply astonishing!

#25. Echeveria, ‘‘Afterglow’’

This succulent also produces orange or red flowers. They will look fantastic in any hanging basket because you could even place them and form a rosette type of bouquet. They have lavender leaves that will grow and hang out of the basket.

You should definitely consider growing this rosette succulent!

#26. Sansevieria trifasciata, ‘’Snake Plant’’

Everybody loves snake plants! They are so easy to maintain that they are shade and drought tolerant, and, the most crucial aspect is that they do not come with snakes! They are the perfect succulent to hang in a basket, especially if you always forget about watering your plants.

#27. Euphorbia tithymaloides, ‘’Devil’s Backbone’’

Don’t let the long name fool you—this succulent is lush! It can tolerate strong climates. You do need to place it in a very open space because it can grow up to 8 feet tall. However, this is another highly toxic plant, so no one should be touching without any gloves or the right equipment.

#28. Kalanchoe tomentosa, ‘’Panda Plant’’

This succulent is so cute that you will want to have them all over the place! They have thin white ‘’hairs’’ called trichomes, which cover all of the leaves.

They are called Panda plants because they have brownish spots, which make them look like pandas!

#29. Gymnocalycium mihanovichii, ‘’Chin Cactus’’

This cactus has fascinating colors: its leaves have a pink tone to them. They also bloom, and its flowers are white, pink cream, or even green! They do well when exposed to direct sunlight however, they require lots of water in order to thrive.

#30. Euphorbia trigona, ‘’African Milk Tree Cactus’’

This is one of the slowest growing succulent ever! And even though they are fairly easy to grow, they will take their own time to do so. They can grow up to eight feet in height and need to be constantly watered.

#31. Opuntia microdasys, ‘’Angel Wings Cactus’’

They resemble some bunny ears! It has yellow and cream flowers that only bloom during the summer. These flowers will then turn into red or purple fruits. They are lovely, and you can quickly grow them in a hanging basket.

#32. Mammillaria hahniana, ‘’Old Lady Cactus’’

Its funny name matches its appearance! This cactus has white hair that covers the whole cactus. They will bloom in pink flowers, which are also strange looking as they protrude from the plant’s head.

Here are some frequently asked questions about cacti and succulents that you could hang or trail:

How do you hang cacti or succulents?

Your choices are endless on this one! You could use some hanging pots, containers, shelves, or even get really artistic and design your own hang or container.

Is it better to hang the cacti and succulents indoors or outdoors?

It will all depend on how much space you have and what you prefer. When you grow them indoors, you need to make sure they receive high light (because of their position), and you shouldn’t water them as often.

If you are growing outdoors, then you will likely need to find a shaded area, so they don’t receive full direct sun, and you should water them more frequently.

Is it difficult to hang cacti and succulents?

Not at all! You only need to find the right spot to place them and voilá! You are ready to go. I can assure you your house will look ten times better if you have several hanging succulents and cacti in baskets or trails.

As you can see, if you hang or trail your succulents and your cacti, then you could easily put them both indoors or outdoors. You will also bring a lot of character to your home because these plants tend to catch everyone’s attention!

If you do end up doing a garden makeover and decide to put these plants in trails or hang them, you will not regret it, and you could even become a very popular gardener because you have decided to present your plants this way!

Watch the video: Best Way To Grow Baby Cactus with this method. With Update English Subtitles