What is the Organ Pipe Cactus? 

The Stenocereus thurberi, also known as the Organ Pipe Cactus is a large species of cactus, native to Mexico and Southern Arizona. They are popular in warmer, rocky parts of the Sonoran Desert. The Organ Pipe Cactus usually reaches heights of 16 to 26 feet and are distinguished by their many, tall columnar arms that emerge from its base, a defining characteristic of the species. 


Quick Facts

Botanical Name: Stenocereus thurberi

Plant Type: Succulent, cactus

Sun Exposure: Full sun

Flower Color: White

Foliage Color: Green

Height: Can reach up to 26 feet tall 

Seasonality: Year-round (blooms in late spring-summer)

Native Regions: Sonoran Desert in Arizona, Mexico 

The Organ Pipe Cactus

This unique night-blooming cactus grows in a tree-like columnar form, often exceeding twenty feet in height. It develops multiple stems that cluster together, creating clumps. When fully grown, it can span 10 to 15 feet in width, showcasing numerous branches. The cactus features upright, olive green stems with distinct ribs and closely spaced, long black spines. Its blooms, which unfurl exclusively at night, boast three-inch funnel-shaped white flowers. 


Best Ways to Care for Your Organ Pipe Cactus

Soil – Well-draining soil is essential to prevent waterlogging, which can lead to root rot. A mixture of sand, gravel, and some organic matter is the perfect mix. 


Water – Water once or twice during the hot, dry weather season. Too much water can cause this cactus to rot. 


Temperature – Organ Pipe Cactus thrive in hot desert climates, tolerating brief periods of freezing temperatures but may need protection during frost. 


Fertilizer – Use a balanced cactus or succulent fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer). Apply sparingly. 


Pests – Monitor plants regularly for signs of pests and contact professionals to treat any infestations. 


Incorporating The Organ Pipe Cactus Into Your High-Desert Landscape Design

For assistance in selecting plants like the Organ Pipe Cactus for your backyard, feel free to reach out to us at Desert Foothills Landscape for a consultation.