The diamond cholla is a low-maintenance plant in Sonoran and Mojave Desert landscapes, as no supplemental watering is required. Locations with full sun are ideal for the growth of the diamond cholla. The diamond cholla does best in soil that is rocky and well draining. Pencil Cholla can be either erect and treelike, or trailing on the ground with rising branch tips. It also expresses its individuality in the number of spines it produces, with some plants having no spines, others sporting sparse spines, while still others are completely covered in long, thin spines. No matter their appearance, all Pencil Chollas have these things in common: they need very little or no added water or maintenance, they resist deer and rabbits, and the surface of their branches appears divided into flat, squarish or diamond-shaped tubercles – hence its other common name, Diamond Cholla. This relatively tidy cactus drops far fewer joints or dried fruit segments than other chollas, but it is still best when planted away from foot traffic. Use this cactus to add sculptural interest to rock gardens, bird and butterfly gardens, succulent gardens.
Diamond Cholla (Cylindropuntia ramosissima)