Cacti are one of the most popular indoor plants. They provide beautiful colors and interesting shapes. There are many varieties of cacti, but they all have similar characteristics: they grow from underground stems, their leaves are covered with spines or thorns, and they produce flowers when mature.
Cacti are native to the deserts of Mexico, Central America and South America. Some species were introduced into North America where they became common houseplants. However, they are not very hardy and should be grown only indoors.
Types Of Cacti For The Garden
There are different kinds of cacti for the garden. These include:
Pothos (Echinocactus pyrifer) – Pothos is a small plant that grows up to 2 feet tall and produces white flowers which resemble tiny pearls. These flowers bloom in late winter or early spring.
Sedums (Sempervivum tectorum) – Sedums are small plants that grow up to 2 inches tall and produce flowers which look very much like the flowers of a pineapple. They bloom in late summer and have red, pink or yellow petals.
English ivy (Hedera helix) – English ivy is a vine that grows to about 8 feet long. It produces small green flowers which are often used in floral arrangements. It blooms during spring and early summer.
Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia amoena) – Dieffenbachia is a vine that grows to about 10 feet long. It produces white flowers which bloom in mid-summer.
Asparagus Fern (Asparagus setaceus) – The Asparagus fern is a small plant that grows up to 2 feet tall. It produces small white flowers which bloom in late fall.
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) – The Boston fern is a vine that grows to about 7 feet long. It produces small white flowers which bloom in mid-summer and have brown spots on their petals.
Bromeliads (Aechmea fasciata) – The bromeliad is a small plant that grows up to 1 foot tall. It produces red or yellow flowers which bloom in mid-summer.
Ferns (Davallia mariesii) – The fern is a small plant that grows up to 2 feet tall and has palm like leaves. It produces small white flowers which bloom in the spring.
Topiaries (Chlorophytum comosum) – The topiary is a small plant that grows up to 6 inches tall and has tiny leaves. It produces white flowers which bloom in spring and summer.
Peperomia (Peperomia obtusifolia) – The peperomia is a small plant that grows up to 1 feet tall. It produces white flowers which bloom in the spring or summer.
Cereus (Cereus peruvianus) – The cactus is a small plant that grows up to 5 feet tall and has spines on its skin. It produces white flowers which bloom in the spring.
ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) – The ZZ plant is a small plant that grows up to 2 feet tall and has oval leaves which grow on top of one another. It produces white flowers which bloom in the summer.
Aspidistra (Aspidistra eliator) – The Aspidistra is a small plant that grows up to 3 feet tall and has oval shaped leaves. It produces white or green flowers which bloom in the spring.
Gloxinia (Sinningia speciosa) – The Gloxinia is a small plant that grows up to 1 foot tall and has oval shaped leaves. It produces red, purple or white flowers which bloom in the spring and summer.
These are just a few of the many cacti for the garden that are available to plant in your tropical and desert landscape. These are just some of the most popular ones; there are hundreds if not thousands of different types of cacti available to plant. You can check your local nursery or gardening center to see what kinds would be best for you.
Cacti Landscaping Ideas
You have completed your research and know more about cacti. After getting suggestions from friends and family, you decide on which ones you want in your cacti garden. You visit your local nursery and pick out the cacti that you want.
Now it’s time to start planting them.
Once you have chosen your cacti and obtained all of them, it’s time to start planting. You may already have an idea of where you want to plant them; if not, this is the time to decide. Many people like to make their own beds or small gardens with their cacti.
This is easy to do, and you can create a little oasis in your own yard.
Others prefer to use their cacti to make a desert landscape. This involves using a larger area of the yard and arranging the cacti into a landscape that looks somewhat like a desert. This is great for people who live in hotter, warmer areas as it adds to the “desert feeling” of your area.
If you live in an area that doesn’t get too hot or doesn’t have a desert nearby, this may not be the best choice for you.
After you have chosen whether you want to create a garden or a landscape, it’s time to start planting your cacti. This is very easy to do; simply dig a hole or holes big enough to fit your cacti in then remove them from their original containers. After that, place them in the hole then fill in the hole with soil and pat the soil around it.
Keep repeating this until all of your cacti are planted.
Cacti shouldn’t need too much pruning. They may lose a spine or branch every now and then, which should be removed immediately. Other than that, most pruning should be left to people who have more experience dealing with cacti.
Care and Maintenance – Watering Cacti
One of the most important parts of care and maintenance is watering. Most cacti need plenty of water so they can grow, but too much can be dangerous. If cacti get too much water, the soil can get flooded and their bodies can rot.
If a cactus gets too little water, it will begin to dry out and shrivel up.
Sources & references used in this article:
The ever-changing landscape of cactus systematics by AC Gibson, KC Spencer, R Bajaj… – … Missouri Botanical Garden, 1986 – JSTOR
The conservation of cacti and succulents in botanic gardens by S Oldfield, D Hunt – BGjournal, 2010 – JSTOR
Prickly pear cactus and pastoralism in southwest Madagascar by JC Kaufmann – Ethnology, 2004 – JSTOR
High proportion of cactus species threatened with extinction by B Goettsch, C Hilton-Taylor, G Cruz-Piñón, JP Duffy… – Nature plants, 2015 – nature.com
Molecular systematic study of the Cactaceae: using chloroplast DNA variation to elucidate cactus phylogeny by RS Wallace – Bradleya, 1995 – BioOne
Diversity and conservation in the cactus family by P Ortega-Baes, S Sühring, J Sajama, E Sotola… – Desert plants, 2010 – Springer