Echinopsis 'Flying Saucer'

Scientific Name

Echinopsis 'Flying Saucer'

Common Names

Echinopsis Hybrid, Trichocereus Hybrid


Trichocereus' Flying Saucer'

Scientific Classification

Family: Cactaceae
Subfamily: Cactoideae
Tribe: Trichocereeae
Genus: Echinopsis


Echinopsis 'Flying Saucer' is one of the most beautiful Echinopsis hybrids. It is a cactus with short, columnar, bright green stems that grow up to 2.5 feet (75 cm) tall and up to 5 inches (12.5 cm) in diameter. There are usually about 14 ribs per stem, with clusters of spines at intervals of less than an inch (2.5 cm). While it is handsome year-round, nothing about it prepares you for the show it puts on when flowering in the spring. Flowers are many-petaled, up to 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter, red at the outside with a hint of orange, giving way to deep pink and then a lighter pink moving progressively inward. The ring of stamens adds a pool of pale yellow, with a well of green at their base. Each bloom lasts only a couple of days, but overall the plant's blooming period continues for several days.

Photo via


USDA hardiness zone 9b to 10b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

If you can grow cacti and succulents successfully, you can likely grow the Echinopsis species without too much trouble. Like many cacti, they prefer a drying period between waterings, even to the point where they slightly wilt. When you water, however, you should water deeply. The plant will noticeably plump up. The cactus mustn't be exposed to prolonged dampness and sitting water. Never let your cactus sit in a dish of water. Lastly, make sure to fertilizer during the growing season for the best results.

Echinopsis can be easily rooted from offsets, which tend to cluster around the base of the mother plant. Cut offsets close to the stem, at the narrowest possible place. When rooting cacti from cuttings, let the fresh cutting dry out slightly on a paper towel and cut the cacti at the narrowest place possible. After a few days to a few weeks, depending on the size of the cut surface, the cut surface should have dried out and formed a callous, or slightly rough opening. Once the callous has formed, place the cutting in a rooting mixture of fast-draining cacti soil. See more at How to Grow and Care for Echinopsis.


Echinopsis 'Flying Saucer' is a creation of San Diego County nursery owner Hans Britsch.


  • Back to genus Echinopsis
  • Succulentopedia: Browse succulents by Scientific Name, Common Name, Genus, Family, USDA Hardiness Zone, Origin, or cacti by Genus

Photo Gallery

Subscribe now and be up to date with our latest news and updates.

Separating Pups From The Mother

One of the funniest experiences of the sea urchin cactus is seeing flowers more prominent than the plant itself.

What About Pups?

Some of the Echinopsis species are generous with pups while some find it hard to yield so many of them. Here are some neatly arranged tips for you to follow when pupping.

  1. Separate the pups only when it is the growing times with temperatures above 21-degree Celsius.
  2. Let the pups grow one inch or more in size before separating them.
  3. Pups with wounds (site for attachment to the mother) will require to heal before replanting. Expose the sores to dry under the sun for 7-10 days — no watering during the healing time.
  4. Plant your pups in the same soil mix as the mother.
  5. When finally in the soil, water generously as the baby pups have little or no roots for water absorption.

Types of Echinopsis Species @kaewcactus

Enjoyed learning about the Echinopsis Cactus? If so, you’ll really enjoy our ebook about “Rare Succulents You Wish You Knew About“. With this ebook you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents.


Echinopsis is a large genus of cacti native to South America, sometimes known as hedgehog cactus, sea-urchin cactus or Easter lily cactus. One small species, E. chamaecereus, is known as the peanut cactus. The 128 species range from large and treelike types to small globose cacti. The name derives from echinos hedgehog or sea urchin, and opsis appearance, a reference to these plants' dense coverings of spines.

Echinopsis is distinguished from Echinocactus by the length of the flower tube, [ citation needed ] from Cereus by the form and size of their stems, [ citation needed ] and from both in the position on the stem occupied by the flowers. They are remarkable for the great size, length of tube, and beauty of their flowers, which, borne upon generally small and dumpy stems, appear much larger and more attractive than would be expected.

Echinopsis Hybrid, Trichocereus Hybrid 'Flying Saucer'

I have the Echinopsis Hybrid 'Flying Saucer', and several other Trichocereus type cactus. I have been unable to get them to bloom. I am going to set them outside (under the porch) early to see if the cold will encourage them to bloom. I was wondering how much cold can they take and for how long?
Thanks, Gary

My various Echinopsis were undamaged this winter, and we were briefly below 20°F.

I have several Echinopsis/Trichocereus cacti (a combination of hybrids and true species) that just came through a 5 day spell of low to mid twenties during the night just fine without any measures to protect them - but it did warm up significantly during the day. I had another not survive, this was a hybrid, but I think the large amount of rain we got right after the freeze might have had something to do with that.

I seem to remember reading somewhere that a good cold spell during the winter months is supposed to help them bloom, but cannot remember where.

I guess, from my limited experience I would be inclined to be extra careful with the hybrids, and worry less about any true species that you can establish the hardiness for.

My luck with getting blooms on the different Echinopsis/Trichocereus cacti has been mixed, some have bloomed immediately from when they are little tiny balls while others have grown and grown, and despite bloom stimulating fertilizer have refused to bloom. One interesting experience I have had is with a batch of pups from E. eyriesii a couple of years ago, I had two pots full of them one I left near the house under the patio awning - but still with good sun exposure, while the order got put in the middle of the yard - those in the yard have already bloomed (and impressively so), while those near the house - which remains pretty warm even on the very cold nights - have not yet. Aside from maybe a couple of hours of sun a day more for those in the middle of the yard, all other conditions including water and fertilizer have been the same.

Thanks. I the past, I have watered them at least once while inside. This year they have not been watered. Hopefully this and putting them out early will get them to bloom. I have the Echinopsis Los Angeles, which looks like the E. eriesii, that blooms on and off all summer long. I put some of them in the yard this year and they bloomed a lot more than the ones on the porch. I usuallly just use rain water, but am going to use fertilizer this year. What type fertilizer deo you use?

All my plants went through their worst freeze ever, not the coldest necesarily, but the longest, every night from 25 degrees to 28 degrees for around 8-10 nights. And this little red flowered beauty is defying all cold weather by putting out flower buds now. There are three buds. Xuling

For regular fertilizing of cacti and succulents I use something called cactus juice or the miracle grow fertilizer specifically for cacti and succulents. Following some of the others on the forums here I have tried the rose and bloom stimulator varieties of liquid miracle grow to see if that would help get some of the Echinopsi to bloom. Not sure if I can say based on my experience so far that those have helped, but since others swear by it, I will keep using it in the spring in place of the regular stuff for those that I am trying to induce blooms in.

I have a couple of the E. Los Angeles in pots, which came through the cold just fine. The hybrid that died came without a name from the box store I bought it at, but had flowers with orange petals and a deep red heart (see attached - the color of the heart might not be quite as vivid as reality). I got a whole bunch of named hybrids over the fall, most of them pretty small, they are in pots and were just fine during the cold spell, but none of them have started on their flowers yet, like xuling's.

What a lovely color, I hope that it blooms again. I find the Miracle Grow fertilizer for C/S too expensiove and too time consuming counting out thousands of drops. I use "Cactus Juice" but am not convinced that it does anything. ja ja ja.

I'm going to wait at least another week, because the temps are going to drop to around 20F a couple days this week. Thanks for the tip on the fertilizer. I have been using tomato fertilizer half strength (a tip from other DG'ers). I'll try to find some cactus juice.

I believe that I found the Cactus Juice at Home Depot. X

I couldn't find the cactus juice, so I bought the Schults cactus fertilizer. I put the plants out at the end of February. They are now in full sun and the E. apricot glow is forming buds. I think I may have started watering them too soon. I'm going to wait a little longer next year. The plant in the first picture (center ) is the E. apricot glow. The second picture shows the E "Los Angeles". Most of them have buds.

I posted the wrong picture (first one). Here it is.

Very nice! A lot of my Echinopsi got buds, but except for Los Angeles, Fluffy Ruffles, eyriesii and oxygona they did not get flowers and this weekend we might hit 110F (definitely 108F) so I think the healthy flowering window for Echinopsis is closing here. As usual crazy hot weather caught up on me before I got many of my gardening plans finished. but at 108F and above working in the yard is not much fun at all.

I am not sure but I think you can get Cactus Juice from amazon, but I am sure the stuff you got is fine. The other thing that I have done that has seemingly helped a lot of my Mammillarias and some other cacti in the same hanging baskets flower is use the miracle grow cactus soil that has slow release fertilizer in it. I mix that with some sand and pumice and when I repot stuff use that as the new soil. Now Mammillarias seem to flower here without much problem, but the ones in the hanging baskets with the fertilizer containing soil did a lot better than a bunch that are just in the ground that only got one shot of liquid fertilizer a few months back.

The Schults fertilizer seems to be working well on my Mammillarias. They are blooming very well. And a lot of my other cacti are setting buds. I do mix the fertilizer with rain water, so that probably helps, too. Last year we had a very hot summer. Two weeks of 100F and above. Very unusual for our part of the country. My plants didn't do very well. This has been a mild spring and everything is looking pretty good. Thanks for the tip on the cactus juice. I may order some.

Blooming Mammillarias are so pretty. I think it very much is what your plants are used to if they never get a lot of 100+ then when they do get it they probably do not like it. Here we have been hovering between 95-100 for more or less the complete month of May and this weekend we are going way above that. I have a bunch of shade cloth already deployed, especially on plants that are in front of a west facing wall that get late afternoon low angle sun. They are fine with the mid day sun, but the low angle sun during the hottest part of the day seems to really get to them. Some 50% shade cloth to protect that side seems to work well though.
A whole bunch of the potted plants will go under the porch or a shade structure this weekend for the rest of the summer.

Watch the video: Flying Saucer Cactus Flowers and others

Previous Article

Growing cranberries in suburban and garden plots

Next Article

Alocasia problems: the expert answers on the diseases of Alocasia