Cactus – Do you want to own a unique, decorative, and eye-catching plant in your home, office, or garden? Or maybe you are looking for a low-maintenance and undemanding plant that also bears beautiful and vibrant flowers? 

Cactus

Then a cactus is a perfect plant that you can add to your collection!

A cactus is a flowering plant family with approximately 2,000 species and 139 general. This plant is native to North and South America and generally found in warm and dry areas and adapted to live in the intense heat and desert environment.

Cactus: Overview

Cactus Overview

Cactus is a succulent perennial plant. They have typically thick flesh-filled stems that contain chlorophyll. They can distinguish it from other cacti plants through their dark bumps or areoles in their body, hair or fur (trichomes), spines, or barbed bristles.

Cactus varies significantly in size and general appearance. Here are the different categories of cactus according to their growth and formation:

  • Arborescent Cacti. These are tree-like cacti that typically have at least one main trunk with many branches and sub-branches.
  • Columnar Cacti. These are smaller varieties of cacti. They are consist of straight shape of cylinder stems, with or without branches, and have no clear division in the trunk and branches.  
  • Globular Cacti. These cactus have stems that are relatively smaller compare to other categories. They have lower, more rounded limbs than the columnar cacti. Globular cacti may be singular, while others may form clusters on their stems that create large mounds. Some branches in an array may share a common root.
  • Other Forms. Other cacti have an entirely different look. Some grow as forest climbers and in some tropical regions. Their stems are usually flat like a leaf, with fewer or even no spines. Epiphytic cacti generally grow downwards, creating clumps in trees where they thrive.

Flowers

Cactus Flowers

Cacti are all flowering plants; however, some have more prominent blooms, and there are a few that will flower quite quickly with colorful and vibrant displays.

Cacti bloom on new growth, so it may rarely bloom if your plant sits there throughout the years. It would be best if you allow the cacti to follow its standard development period. It should be dormant in winter and wake up in spring, so it is better to place it somewhere dry and cold – but not dark – over winter and avoid watering altogether. Provide it with lots of sunlight as much as possible and start to water it during spring.

How to take care of cactus?

As we all know, cactus thrive in hot and dry climates; however, they can also thrive in a home environment where they fit as a home decor style.

Here are some care tips to keep your cactus healthy and happy:

  • Find the perfect location. Cactus is typically from deserts; therefore, they love the sun. Placing them where they can receive enough sunlight is excellent. However, cactus can also get sunburned if they received sunlight throughout the day. Overexposure to the sun may cause your cactus to turn yellow or brown. Morning or filtered sunlight is excellent. 
  • Please give them the right amount of water. There are some problems when it comes to watering our cacti. Some cultivators say that we should not give too much water to our cacti because they are from the desert. But the truth is that they need regular waterings like the other plants; they have a unique ability to survive drought. However, please take a look and make sure that the soil is dry before watering it again.
  • Choose the right pots. When repotting your cactus, take a look at your pots or container. Make sure it has drainage holes to avoid stagnant water at the bottom part. Soaking your soil in water can cause rot on your cactus roots and eventually to its body.
  • Choose the right soil. It would be best if you planted cactus in a well-draining and coarse medium. You can use three parts of regular potting soil, three parts coarse sand/poultry grit/gravel, and two parts perlite or pumice. This mixture is excellent for your cactus because it allows air to circulate, preventing your soil from getting soaked with water.
  • Give food to your cacti. Cacti also need to be fertilized every once. During the summer growth months, you can give them fertilizers along with every watering.

Cactus Propagation

Cactus Propagation

<威而鋼
span data-preserver-spaces=”true”>There are various ways to make your cactus collection multiple and propagate more. Who doesn’t want to have an extensive collection of cactus, right? Cactus can be propagated through the process of division, cutting, seed growing, and grafting. 

  1. Division: It is the most comfortable form of propagation. You can use this process when your cactus plant starts crowding on its container. You can do it by separating a part of a body (usually the baby cactus) from the mother plant. However, you need to use gloves if the cactus to be divide has some prickly spines to avoid injury.
  2. Cuttings: This may be the fastest way of propagating cacti. This process includes cutting down the body or stem of the cactus plant then replanting it again in a separate container. However, you have to ensure that you use a sanitized knife to avoid rot on the cactus plant. Also, it is essential to air-dry the cut portion before replanting it again. 
  3. Seed Growing: Cacti may germinate only a few ovules at a time. Put the roots in a well-drained mix and water them regularly, preventing the seedlings from drying out. Seeds will not germinate until moisture has pas through the hard seed coat.
  4. Grafting: This propagation method is excellent for cacti species that cannot grow independently, such as the moon cactus. Here are the different types of grafts:
  • Flat grafts: Both scion (the upper part) and stock (the region with the roots) have the same diameters.
  • Cleft grafts: Inserting a smaller scion into an aperture made in the stock.
  • Side graft – cutting diagonally on the stock and scion.

In grafting cactus, you can use a rubber band or tape to keep the cacti pieces together.

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