Trichocereus peruvianus (syn. Echinopsis peruviana), Peruvian Torch cactus, is a fast-growing columnar cactus native to the western slope of the Andes in Peru, between about 2,000–3,000 m above sea level. The Peruvian Torch grows high in the Andean mountain deserts of Peru and Ecuador and is similar to the San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi) which is found in the same region.
The human use of the cactus dates back thousands of years to the northern coast of Peru and the monks of a pre-Inca culture known as Chavín (900 BC to 200 BC). They prepared a brew called "achuma", "huachuma" or "cimora" which was used during ritualistic ceremonies to diagnose the spiritual links to a patient's illness.
The plant is bluish-green in colour, with frosted stems, it has large, white flowers. It can grow up to 3–6 meters tall, with stems up to 8–18 cm in diameter; it is fully erect to begin with, but later possibly arching over, or even becoming prostrate. Groups of 6-8 honey-coloured to brown rigid spines, up to 4 cm in length, with most about 1 cm, are located at the nodes, which are evenly spaced along the ribs. A short-spined variant which is nearly identical in appearance to its relative, Echinopsis pachanoi (San Pedro cactus), is known.
Propagation from cuttings - depending upon the local environmental conditions soil should well draining and able to hold enough moisture for a week or more without drying out. Any soil used should never be "rich" in nitrogen. These are easily identified as being dark in color and / or high in manure content. A good basic soil mixture will consist of a basic "cactus soil mix" supplemented with 25% washed sand and 35% perlite. Pots must be well draining and do not need to be large in order to support an extensive root network.
Once established these plants will be able to handle large amounts of watering compared to other cacti genera. Like other plants warm temperature and sunlight will result in rapid growth. Watering should take on a cycle between watering and keeping the soil moist (but not damp) with a short "drying out" period to keep soil microflora in check once every 10–14 days. Watering should be stopped or severely limited in the winter months when plants go dormant.
Echinopsis peruviana can be propagated from either seeds or cuttings.