Carnegiea gigantea


Plant Type: Cactus
Sun: Sun
Drainage: Adaptable
Water: Naturalize, Occasional
Height X Width: 50' X 15'
Santa Clara County Local: No
What do these mean?



This emblematic cactus grows in the Sonoran Desert of the US Southwest and northern Mexico where it benefits from the high moisture levels (for a desert). It has a very sparse presence in southeastern California. The saguaro germinates and grows under the shade of a “buddy plant” where it establishes an extensive root system as it slowly grows in columnar form into full sun exposure. By “slow” I mean a few centimeters a year. Once saguaro grows to six feet or so it begins to branch. I am sure that my great grandchildren will enjoy that moment. Saguaros, like other cactus, respond immediately to the presence of water, absorbing a large volume in a short time. Cactus often do not regulate water intake very well, so they may split open after prolonged exposure to moisture. For this and other reasons, I grow my saguaro in pots against a south-facing wall with overhead protection. With monthly water they have thrived in climate zone 15 and grown about a half inch a year.


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: No
Evergreen or Deciduous: Evergreen