How to Grow a Peyote Cactus

Like most cacti, peyotes grow best in warmth and humidity.
Like most cacti, peyotes grow best in warmth and humidity. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Native American culture have long revered the peyote cactus as a sacred herb, using it for healing the sick and leading medicine men and wise men down the path to enlightenment for the whole tribe. Because of its medicinal and hallucinogenic effects, the cactus has been over harvested in many of its native areas, including Mexico and Texas. This slow-growing cactus takes a long time to reach any significant height or maturity -- up to five years -- but may be worth it for the look and culture of having the plant in your home.

Things You'll Need

  • Planting pot
  • Cacti soil
  • Plastic wrap

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Fill a clean plastic or ceramic planting pot three-quarters of the way full with cacti soil, available from garden centers and nurseries. This rich planting soil ensures that you have no need for fertilizer as long as you keep the soil fresh.

Wet the soil thoroughly, until excess water drains from the drainage holes in your planting pot. Allow the soil to absorb this moisture for two days.

Gently press the peyote cactus seed into the center of the pot, about ½ to ¾ of an inch below the surface. Cover the pot with plastic wrap and place it in a window where the cacti will receive filtered sun for at least five hours a day.

Observe the growth of the cactus. When you see the cactus break the surface of the soil, generally three to four weeks after planting, poke a few small holes in the plastic wrap. Increase the size and number of holes every two to three days to gradually expose the cactus to outside air. Remove the plastic two to three weeks after you poke the first holes.

Water the soil again until water runs from the drainage holes. From then on, water only when the top 2 to 3 inches of soil feel dry to the touch.

Replant the cactus in fresh potting soil every year. The cactus needs only fresh soil and water to sprout. Within four to five years, you will see the cactus form a clump of pups; this is the mature stage of the cactus.

Tips & Warnings

  • The peyote cactus causes hallucinogenic effects if consumed. It is illegal to grow this plant in some areas, and illegal to distribute it as a drug or medicine unless you are a licensed professional or of confirmed and certified Native American heritage. If you have any doubts about the legality of growing this cactus in your area, contact your local police department before starting.

References

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