Take a walk in your garden when you feel low, and observe the difference. Plants act as natural stress relievers. Indoor cactus plants add splendor to the decor of your living room. Cactus is a popular variety of houseplant that can find place in your rooms, porch or terrace. This guide to different types of cactus plants can help you plan out your cactus garden.
Cactus belongs to the cactaceae family and is usually referred to as the New World plant. New World plants refer to plants that are extensively found in North America, South America and the West Indies. Migratory birds carried the cactus seeds in their digestive tracts to the rest of the world. Cactus is referred to as cacti in common and is believed to have grown thirty to forty million years ago.
A cactus plant has prominent fleshy green stems that act as leaves (leaves are generally absent) and spines of various colors and shapes. Cactus is covered with a lot of spines; the name cactus for the plant comes from a Greek word kaktos meaning thistle. Spines protect the cactus from predators, excessive wind and help collect moisture during nights.
Flowers of cactus plants are ostentatious and flower in shades of yellow, white, red and purple colors. The fruit borne by cactus look like berries and are generally edible. Few varieties of the cactus plant can grow to be a small round globe; there are varieties in cactus that can grow up to resemble large trees. Cactus blooms for a short time during spring and at times just for a few hours. Blossoms of cacti are generally sensitive to light and choose to bloom only at a given time of the day.
Cactus plant is easy to grow and comes in a variety of shapes and colors. The cactus family includes 2000 species. Cactus can be grown either inside or outside the house with ease. They require enough sunlight and a well-drained area and hardly any maintenance. Small specimens of cactus grow less than 1" above the ground. Cactus plants such as aloe vera, cheverias, peperomias can be grown as pot plants.
The first step in growing a healthy cactus is to buy a healthy cactus. Do not buy any cactus with broken spines, visible damages or irregular growth. The best buy of a cactus would be from the green house where it was grown. Cactus plants can also be grown from seeds. But germination and growth can take a year or more. Propagating them from shoots or stems is easier.
The second step would be to take care of the cactus in a way that it would have grown in its natural climatic condition. Try and provide the natural climatic condition that the cactus would have enjoyed when it grows in its natural habitat.
- Choose unglazed pots that are wide to accommodate far-reaching lateral roots of cactus plants. Tall and narrow pots are unsuitable for growing cactus.
- Avoid transplanting the cactus plant often.
- A good soil mix can do wonders for the growth of cactus plant. An alkaline soil containing peat, perlite and coarse sand is ideal for cactus.
- Place cactus plants in the sunny locations of your home.
Types of cactus
There is some type of cactus plants that thrive on sunlight while others prefer shade. The Christmas cactus plant prefers shade. The Christmas Cactus has flowers in bright shades of yellow, pink and fuchsia. It makes for a wonderful addition to your cactus garden or a gift. While fuzzy and hairy types of cactus require more sunshine the soft and smooth varieties would do better in lesser light.
Some cactus and succulent types can be used as pot plants. These include Aloe Vera, crassulas, Echeverias, peperomias and kalanchoe. Cactus plants such as Cereus peruvianus, Yucca elephantipes, Euphorbias, ponytail palm or bottle palm grow very tall.
Create a cactus garden with some of the exotic types of cactus plants and enliven your yard. Plan out the size of your cactus garden and the type of cactus plants that will suit best. Look for cactus plants that will thrive in your area, temperature and soil. Get cactus soil at a garden store or prepare the mix yourself. Cactus gardens are relatively easy to maintain and need minimal watering and tending to.