Nothing invokes an image of the Southwest more than the mighty Saguaro cactus. It makes a dramatic vertical accent in the garden where it will attract birds with its delicious red fruit and also provides nesting opportunities. The sweet smelling flowers open at night and close again by mid-day.
Whitewing doves and Bats are primary pollinators
Woodpeckers and flickers nest in Saguaros
Elf owls nest in abandon holes of woodpeckers
Fruit can be eaten fresh or made into jam or wine
Hawks and great-horned owls nest in branches
All desert creatures seem to relish the fruit
Desert slopes and flats, especially rocky bajadas in Ca and AZ.
Saguaros can live for 200 years and grow to be 75' tall. They begin flowering at about 50 years and begin to grow arms at about 75 years. The flowers and fruit are borne at the end of the stems so branching increases their reproductive potential.
Wait a week or two after planting then slowly water, just trickling. Flooding the base can turn soil to mud and make the plant unstable.