The Fairy Castle Cactus (Acanthocereus tetragonus) is an eye-catching, low maintenance columnar cactus that gets its name from its numerous curved branches that are thought to resemble the spires and turrets of a fairytale castle.
This cactus is native to North America and some parts of South America, and is commonly found across southern Florida as well as various areas of Texas.
Although it is a very slow-growing plant, it can eventually reach heights of up to 6 feet (1.8 m) tall. Its many five-sided branches can produce an interesting silhouette.
The Fairy Castle Cactus is a great plant for beginners as it's really easy to care for. It adapts well to a wide variety of conditions and environments and has low maintenance needs, so it's hard to go wrong here.
As with other types of cacti, these plants are suited to a desert environment which means they're adapted to thrive when exposed to lots of sunlight and not a lot of water. Try to give your Fairy Castle Cactus a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day, although if you live somewhere particularly hot then you may need to protect it from the harshest midday sun, as this may burn your plant.
Also like other cacti, the Fairy Castle Cactus doesn't like to get too cold - it's very important that you protect it from frost. If you normally keep yours outdoors, be sure to bring it inside before the winter chill sets in.
The Fairy Castle Cactus is often sold with large bright flowers, but take a closer look - these are actually frequently fake flowers that have been glued onto the stems! They won't harm your plant, so you can just leave them be as they'll eventually fall off as your cactus grows. However, if you'd prefer not to have fake blooms, you can gently remove them. Make sure to wear gloves when handling your Fairy Castle Cactus, though, to protect your hands from the spines.
You may notice that parts of your Fairy Castle Cactus start to turn woody and brown at the bases of the older stems. Don't worry about this, your cactus isn't drying up! This is a natural part of the plant's ageing process, as the hardening of the base helps to provide stability for newer, taller branches so that your cactus won't become top-heavy and fall over.