San Pedro cactus, also known as Echinopsis pachanoi (syn. Trichocereus pachanoi), is a fast-growing columnar cactus that is indigenous to the Andes Mountains at an elevation of 2,000-3000 meters (6,600-9,800 feet).   It grows in different regions of the world and is found in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru. It is commonly planted as an ornamental cactus and is used in traditional medicine and traditional veterinary medicine. In the Andes Mountains area, it has been utilized for healing and religious divination for more than 3,000 years.  It can occasionally be mistaken for its close relative Echinopsis peruviana (Peruvian torch cactus).
A San Pedro cactus can be purchased in the US.
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Where in the US does San Pedro grow?
There are several locations in Peru and Ecuador where you can discover the San Pedro cactus in the wild, but you will need to look hard for it. The eastern slopes of the Andes, between 1,800 and 2,800 meters above sea level, are the best bet.
In some areas, tree nurseries and flower stores sell the cacti legally to customers. In addition, it is commonly grown in gardens across several cities, including Cuenca and Quito in Ecuador and Cusco in Peru.
Where can you find San Pedro cacti domestically? The plant may be grown outdoors in several western and southern states as far north as Colorado, and it is grown and sold in many regions of the United States. In Arizona and Southern California, it thrives very well.
In Southern California and Arizona, the San Pedro cactus thrives.
The San Pedro plant prefers sunny, warm environments and only requires water and a few fertilizers. It often grows on hills with fertile soil. Make sure the cactus receives direct sunshine when being grown indoors; a windowsill facing south would be ideal. Giving it a little more water on a hot day is a smart move.
San Pedro must first be dried until the cutting wound has “healed” before it can be grown from a cutting; after that, it must be given time to take root in the ground (which can take up to a year). It takes a lot more time and work to grow something from seeds.
Is it permitted to possess San Pedro cacti?
The San Pedro cactus contains a variety of alkaloids, however not all of them are equally abundant. They may be concentrated in a little layer beneath the skin, where they are scarce and highly challenging to obtain in their purest form. There is no way to calculate how much plant must be destroyed throughout the procedure without knowing precisely how it was collected by curanderos.
Growing San Pedro cacti for decorative purposes is permitted, but taking the mescaline out of them is prohibited. Making homemade preparations from this cactus is equivalent to having any type of mescaline in your possession, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Smith’s book introduced me to the intriguing biochemicals of the Cactaceae that indigenous peoples have used in the past and are currently using, but only under the guidance of the curandero. Literature demonstrates that some patients “don’t survive the ceremony” even then.
What is the cost of a San Pedro cactus?
Mescaline, an alkaloid and Class A chemical that has hallucinatory effects like to those caused by psychedelic substances like LSD and magic mushrooms, is known to be present in the cactus. According to Small, it was “not his problem” what the consumers did with the plant.
Many people have expressed interest in developing it into a medicine of some kind, but I’d prefer to see it put to good use.
Small then clarified that he was examining the Facebook accounts of prospective purchasers to make sure they only wanted the plant for growing purposes and did not want to sell it to anyone interested in using it to make drugs. He claimed that although he was ignorant of the requirement, he would look into it if he sold the plant to potential foreign buyers.
The extremely huge tree has stunned online cactus appreciation groups, and numerous bidders are interested in a top cut.
A Christchurch-based Facebook gardening community posted the cactus for sale, and since then, hundreds of bidders from across the world have volunteered to pay for shipping and purchase many meters of the plant.
Small claimed that transporting his plant hundreds of kilometers away had been simple. Prior to the cactus passing biosecurity rules, interested buyers from Germany and Spain had expressed their interest.
The majority of cacti must be imported and exported with a permission, according to the New Zealand Customs Service.
According to a representative for the Ministry for Primary Industries, in order to export plant material, the exporter must comply with the biosecurity laws of the country of destination, most likely by obtaining an import permit and a phytosanitary certificate. Most nations also had limitations on size.
Small thought about giving it to a museum, but ultimately opted to scatter pieces of the plant around the globe so that it might keep growing. Pieces that have been measured have been stuffed into a PVC drainage pipe where they should live for up to three weeks.
A 30-centimeter slab of cacti typically cost $15, but costs for roots, the cacti’s little offshoots known as pups, and midsection sections varied slightly.
According to him, the value of the entire plant was well over $5000, with a sizable portion of a healthy root fetching up to $200.
San Pedro cacti typically grow half a meter per year despite the fact that most cacti are labor-intensive, famously sluggish to sprout, and grow at a rate of only two centimeters annually. Buds open and die on the same day during flowering.
“They hardly ever get this large so quickly. Clearly, the conditions have been favorable for growth “Little stated.
Although he was aware of a rival North Island plant, he thought his, a member of the Trichocereus family, was the largest in the nation.
A hallucinogenic San Pedro cactus?
Since many cacti contain phenethylaminealkaloids like mescaline, they are known to be psychedelic.
 The most hallucinogenic species of the Echinopsis genus, which includes the San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi, also known as Trichocereus pachanoi), and the Lophophora genus, which includes peyote (Lophophora williamsii), are the two primary ritualistic (folkloric) genera. Other species from various genera are likewise psychoactive, however they are not necessarily utilized for ritualistic purposes.   
Can San Pedro cactus be grown indoors?
A San Pedro cactus can be grown indoors. One substantial cactus species that can be cultivated indoors is the San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi, USDA plant hardiness zones 8 to 10). They are no harder to care for than any other cactus because they need the same fundamental maintenance as other plants.
How do you identify a San Pedro cactus?
San Pedro cacti always have six to eight circular ribs. When the cactus is highly dry, the troughs or pockets between the ribs only fall deeply into the center of the plant.
Areoles: The areoles on the San Pedro cactus are pale/white. They frequently have a fuzzy or furry appearance. Typically, a notch or groove may be seen above each areole “brow, as it is frequently referred to.
San Pedro’s spines are small (between 2 and 5 mm), normally point upward, and are typically pale yellow in color.
Color: A San Pedro can be anything from a rich forest green to a faint blue.
Like most other cacti, San Pedro blooms at night and has large, white flowers.
Branches: A mature San Pedro plant will bear “pups, which resemble branches in nature. These pups typically develop close to the cactus’ base and can only develop vertically. An elderly San Pedro appears more like a dense thicket of many cacti than a branching tree at first glance.
The San Pedro Cactus
In Mexico, Central America, and South America, you can find the San Pedro Cactus, a species of wild cactus. Cocaine is made and distributed using this particular species of cactus.
Because of the presence of mescaline, which can induce hallucinations or delusions in people who consume it orally while drinking alcohol, the San Pedro cacti are poisonous.
The Peruvian Torch (Echinopsis Peruviana) Cactus
In the wild, the Peruvian Torch (Echinopsis Peruviana) Cactus is a species of cactus that may be found all across South America.
The Peruvian Torch Cacti are dangerous because they contain alkaloids that, when swallowed orally, make people feel sick and can also give them hallucinations or delusions, so once more: USE CAUTION!
The Prickly Pear
The Prickly Pear also contains spines on its pads, but they do not contain any poisons that make them more harmful than other varieties. just the stems of this plant’s latex sap are present (which will irritate your skin).
However, it does yield prickly pear fruits, which are edible and used to make jams and jellies.
Peyote Cactus (Lophophora Williamsii)
Native American rites and rituals involve the use of the Peyote Cactus, a particular variety of cactus. Because it contains the psychedelic mescaline, which can result in hallucinations or delusions when taken by humans, it is often referred to as the “meat of God.” Again, BE CAREFUL!
The Barrel Cactus
The ribs of the barrel cactus carry a poisonous secretion that can irritate the skin. In order to defend itself from predators, it too has sharp needles on its pads, although these merely contain latex-like liquid instead of the toxins discussed earlier (which will irritate your hands).
The Cholla Cactus
A cactus that shoots needles is called a cholla cactus. It contains some of the same poisons as those previously listed, but unlike barrel cacti, it does not produce any latex-like fluid; instead, just the spikes are harmful to people (and animals).
This species may be found all over North America, from Canada to Mexico, where it thrives best at elevations of 2000 to 7000 feet above sea level. Depending on where you are in this region, winter temperatures can range from 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 Celsius) to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (+38C).
The Saguaro Cactus
Despite having several sharp, pointy spines that can irritate both humans and animals, the Saguaro Cactus is not harmful.
Many residents of Arizona’s desert regions, where these cacti thrive best, have said that they are one sort that will give you shade.
How much time does it take a San Pedro cactus to grow?
After learning how to grow and maintain a San Pedro cactus, there are a few things you should be aware of before buying or adding it to your garden.
San Pedro cacti grow quickly and tall, which is the first thing to know about them. The cactus has individual stems that can reach heights of ten to twenty feet and a width of six inches. When cared for properly, they can grow up to a foot tall in just six months and continue to grow by a foot every year after that.
Around the summer, they grow exceptionally quickly and fragrantly, bearing white flowers that blossom at night and open the next day. Because cacti have rapid growth spurts, you should make sure that the plant is not directly beneath something that might limit its ability to expand if it were inside. If you’re growing it outside, all that should be required of you is to maintain proper grooming and order.
When a San Pedro cactus develops an infection or an infestation, care for it becomes difficult. The following are the root causes of this:
- a sunburn
- Frost Injury
Causes and Cures for Etiolation Growth
Cacti that have not had enough light exposure develop a pale, sickly-appearing growth on top of them or on their sides. This condition is known as étiolation. It could be compared to the cactus plant’s version of acne. The growths typically have a puffy shape and are very light green or yellow-green in hue. They are quite thin.
Put your cactus in greater light as soon as possible to start treating this problem. The etiolation growth is unfortunately impossible to remove because it is firmly attached to the cactus. However, if you expose the cactus to more light on a regular basis, you can aid in its recovery.
How to Avoid Desiccation Rot
In essence, desiccation is what occurs when a cactus becomes very dry. It becomes shriveled and has spines like a deflated beach ball. Despite the fact that cacti are desert plants, they can dry up more quickly if the temperature rises and they don’t receive enough water. Giving your cactus a lot of water at once may seem like the obvious remedy, but this isn’t the greatest course of action. Giving your cactus a small amount of water at first and gradually increasing the amount is preferable. This method of resolving the issue will encourage the roots to expand and become accustomed to absorbing more water, effectively hydrating the cactus.
What Happens When You Overwater Your Cactus
Overwatering is exactly what it sounds like; it occurs when you give your cactus too much water, which fosters the growth of bacteria and illnesses. Your cactus will expand up to almost double its original size if it is overwatered. In most cases, the water content of the cactus stem causes it to break open in one or more locations. The cactus will begin to decay, which is the most detrimental adverse effect of overwatering.
A rotting cactus typically has a brown appearance and a mushy texture. Make sure to water your cactus at intervals rather than all at once to prevent this issue, and maintain a constant watering schedule. If this does occur, you should temporarily cease watering the cactus. Moving it from the overwatered pot to a newer, drier pot would also be a good option. The divided sections are irreparable and permanent, yet the cactus can still be rescued and allowed to grow despite this.
The Effects of Sunburn Damage
When a cactus is overexposed to direct sunlight, sunburn results. More severe burns give the cacti a dark brown appearance, while less severe burns give them a whitish appearance at the top or on their ridges. Get the cactus to a shaded area as quickly as you can to remedy its sunburn. The damage is permanent if the cactus is already scorched to a sharp brown color. Give it daily short bursts of full sun exposure, increasing the time in the sun’s rays gradually over a few weeks to prevent it from happening in the first place.
Bug Infestations and How They Harm Your Cactus
Infestations of bugs might be imperceptible or blatantly noticeable. You can quite accurately determine whether or not there are bugs on your cactus by looking at it closely or using a trowel to probe about in the soil a little. You will need to use a fingernail or some tweezers to physically remove as many insects off the cactus as you can in order to remedy the problem. Physically removing the plant and cleaning the pot is preferable if the infestation is more severe. Regularly misting the pot and the cactus with a thin layer of insecticide can stop an infestation from occurring in the future.
Frost Damage from Cold Temperatures
The health of the cactus is also impacted by frost damage, which happens when plant cells are exposed to subfreezing temperatures and begin to die. Additionally, the cells rupture as a result of this, and the water doesn’t hold as well, drying it out. If you reside in a region with colder temperatures, your cactus is immediately more prone to this problem. Bringing the cactus inside or covering them with a tarp can stop this from happening and keep the cold from adversely impacting them. An alternative to consider is a grow lamp if the temperatures are lower.