Can You Pass The Cactus Test?


Growing cactus in pots is a great way to add interest to your home as they are low maintenance and are dramatic in form and colour.

Cactus plants are at their best in terms of beauty during the flowering season, but that doesn’t mean they don’t look beautiful otherwise. If a low-maintenance garden in the home is what you aspire to have, species of flowering cactus will be ideal for you. More importantly, the fact that these plants grow well in containers can be an added advantage, as they can be placed and moved anywhere in the house as and when you need.

Selecting a decorative pot is half the fun of growing cactus in pots, so look for colors and forms that complement each other or your homes décor.

Desert Cacti are succulent plants following the cactus genera and which are adapted to extremely desiccated and the arid regions of the world. These species are the ones which are usually covered with spines and hair, an adaptation to survive water scarcity. 

The characteristic features of a cactus include their fleshy stems, which perform the functions of the leaves; and the spines, which are believed to be modified leaves. These spines protect the plant from being eaten by animals, and minimize water loss. In some cacti, spines provide shade, to avoid water loss. The white, hair-like radial spines that cover some cactus protect the plant from frost and sun. Apart from reflecting sunlight, these spines trap moisture and hide the sharp, yellow central spines on the plant. The nature of spines may vary with different species. They can be sharp or blunt, soft or hard, long or short, and straight or hooked.

Cactus plants require a ample amount of sunlight, so its recommend keeping them near a sunny window. Some varieties of cacti only flower when they receive ample sunlight. You may have to keep the species outdoors, so that it basks in the sunshine to produce beautiful flowers. Cactus plants don’t require much water, over watering can turn out to be detrimental for the species, as water logging often results in rotting of roots. Being succulent species, they store water and can go without for a minimum 14 days. 

Growing cactus can be easy. Basically, these houseplants grow best when they are unattended as too much attention is likely to result in some mistake on your part, which will either spoil the plant or a part of it. If you want to have a home garden, but it’s not possible for you to devote enough time for it, then cactus houseplants are your best bet.