Best Types of Cactus You Can Grow at Home

Samarjeet Chauhan - Oct 25

Dreaming of a garden with a bunch of colors and beauty? Instead, dream of a cactus garden. Do you wanna know why? Then read about the cactus plants below.

A very popular and unique plant that goes by the name of Cactus is a great place to start the journey of “Crazy Plant Lover” in you. Whether to complement your interiors or make your garden a more beautiful place, adding the prickly cactus plants will do the job. This prickly pal is beautiful with its striking shape, flowers, and shape. 

Cactus plants can also be called succulents. But succulents can not be called cactus. All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. There is a wide variety of cactus plants, each with its distinct shape, size, and features. These cacti thrive in dry and hot climates. Great. Isn’t it? You no longer need to keep an eye on your plant, even in your busy schedule. As the cactus needs a minimum amount of water and can grow well in dry areas, adding greenery to your little world is no longer tough. 

Best Flowering Cactus for Your Garden

Cactus plants are not always prickly and thorny. These cute succulents can also bloom flowers. Yes, there are tons of flowering cactus out there. Making your dream of a cactus garden can be achieved by adding these cactus plants to the collection. We prepared and brought the best of flowering cactus for you to add the colors and feeling of calmness to your garden and homes:

Spiny Pincushion Cactus

This cactus flower plant goes by the scientific name Mammillaria spinosissima. The pincushion flowering cactus forms the cluster stems in a columnar or spherical shape. It also develops and bears bright pink blooms in the shape of a funnel with a central spine in yellow or red-brown in color. 

The pincushion cactus needs well-drained and gritty soil. During spring, early fall, and summer water them when the soil dries out. Also, in the winter, half the time of watering the plant. This plant can live and grow between 65 degrees Celsius to 95 degrees celsius. To make the plant grow healthily, you can also add any organic fertilizer to the soil. 

Christmas Cactus

Christmas cactus, scientifically known as Schlumbergera bridgesii, is a flowering cactus. It has stem segments of flat as well as small rounded shapes. It also has minor notches on both ends of the stems. At the end of the stems, the pink and red flowers emerge, making it look appealing and beautiful.   

To care for this cactus plant, water them every 2 to 3 weeks, but let the soil dry in between watering sessions. Keep the cactus out of direct sunlight but make sure that it gets enough indirect sunlight. Before six to eight weeks, you want the Christmas cactus to bloom then, place them in a dark place for a minimum of 14 hours starting at night and 6 hours in the sunlight. It is because the flowers can only bloom in a cool and environment short day cycle. Make sure that you do not turn on the light even for a second when you place them in the dark. 

Lobivia Cactus

Scientifically known as Lobivia Famatimensis, a cactus that has a small variety. But this small variety is a piece of baggage when it comes to the yellow flowers. This plant bears and blooms a bunch of canary yellow flowers that grow in cylindrical or globular shapes.

It enjoys bright light during its growing season. It also needs full light and even if kept indoors, make sure they get enough light for growth. Water them in between every 12 to 15 days. Water them when you feel that the top 2 – 3 inches of soil have dried. A fast-draining, rich cactus mic is an ideal soil for this cactus. 

Pencil Cactus

A euphoric cactus that goes with the scientific name Euphorbia Tirucalli is the Pencil cactus. It has slender and slightly toothed stems. Pencil cactus does not have any obvious foliage. The diameter of the branches is similar to the pencil, which gives it its name. It lacks the spines, which is the identity of the cactus. During the early summer and late spring, the pencil cactus blooms small yellow flowers that appear at the ends of the slender stems. 

Pencil cactus grows well in sandy and well-drained soil. It also needs full sunlight to grow and bloom the small yellow flowers. Also, the pencil cactus is toxic and harmful for both pets and people. The plant needs water every two to three weeks with the drying of soil in between the watering sessions. 

Different Species of Cactus Plants

These desert-growing plants are quite fun because of their color and can turn out to be one of the best plants for you to start your gardening practices. Below mentioned are the best types of cactus for your garden and home:

Star Cactus

Star cactus is also known as starfish cactus or sea urchin cactus. This cactus goes by the scientific name of Astrophytum Asterias. It is one of the perfect indoor cactus plants with yellow and white blooms. The blooms make this petite cactus beautiful and attractive. 

Star cactus needs water occasionally and can grow well in desert areas. So, they make one of the best desert cactus trees. They will turn brown and dry out when they need water. They can also thrive to grow in a good cactus mix soil with a well-drainage capacity. They need at least 6 hours of sunlight when you are growing them outdoors.

Feather Cactus

It goes by the scientific name Mammillaria Plumosa. The feathers of this plant might attract you to touch it but be careful. The fluffy white feathers are soft and fluffy but in reality, they work as a camouflage for the sharp pines behind them, covering the surface. This cactus grows usually in clusters of soft and feathery-looking spines in a columnar and spherical shape. 

You need to regularly water feather cactus in summer but keep the water off the spine to maintain its look. Feed the cactus plant with fertilizer once or twice a year. You can also feed them monthly but only weak fertilizers. It is to keep them healthy. Plant the cactus in a fast-draining succulent soil mix for the healthy growth of the cactus trees.

Bunny Ears Cactus

Yes, these cactus plants are called Bunny Ears Cactus. The scientific name of this cactus is Opuntia Microdasys. They are also called angel wing cactus plants because of their cute shape. These cute-looking cactus plants do not have spines like other cacti. Bunny ears cactus has polka dot spots on its body. Even if this cactus does not have ears, it is still dangerous. You can not hug this plant because of the absence of spines. The polka dot-like spots of the Bunny ears cactus can still stick to you.

It is a low-maintenance cactus that needs very little of your attention. Position Bunny ears cactus under the bright light. Make sure that it gets a minimum of 14 hours of sunlight daily. In winters, try to reduce it to bright indirect sunlight for the cactus. Wear gloves when dealing with the plant so that you can not come in contact with the polka dots on the body of the cactus. Water the Bunny Ears cactus every two to three weeks and let the soil dry in between the watering sessions. 

Moon Cactus

This succulent cactus goes with the scientific name Gymnocalycium Mihanovichii. The moon cactus is a popular addition to the succulent family because of its bright colors. It is a hybrid plant that bears the two types of cacti transplanted together. Moon cactus have a short lifespan as compared to the other species of the cactus.

This cactus plant needs indirect sunlight of 1 to 2 hours either in the morning or afternoon placed in a bright shade or near the windows. Moon cactus is sensitive to intensive rays, so keep an eye on the amount of light they receive, as it can burn the cactus. Plant the cactus in well-draining soil along with watering them sparingly. Let the soil dry in between the two continuous watering sessions. 

Barrel Cactus

The scientific name of Barrel cactus is Echinocactus Grusonii. It is a plump and round cactus plant. Moon cactus can live up to 100 years and can just grow up to 3 feet tall. It is grown especially as an ornamental cactus for its red, yellow, orange, and pink flowers. The spines of barrel cactus have an endless variety. This cactus offers a wide variety of colors and textures.

An infrequent need for watering for the barrel cactus. However, regular watering can increase the growth of this cactus plant and is practiced by nurseries on the Moon cacti that grow on the field. It will rot if kept in wet feet, so make sure to dry out the soil in between watering sessions and switch with an adequate amount of water. These cactus plants like bright light and warm temperatures. But also, these can tolerate cooler temperatures up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Hence, the cactus plant, which is kept in a cooler environment tends to take the shape of a barrel. 

Plant & Grow Cactus Plants in the Right Way

If you plan on planting a cactus, make sure you do it during the late spring or early summer. It is the time when the cactus plants grow and bloom. Also, they will establish the roots faster and stronger, making a good start for their growth. 

Outdoor Plantation:

Cactus plants grow well in lightweight and well-draining soil. For the cactus, prepare the soil by mixing native ones and the ones especially for cactus.
Then dig a hole in the soil, which should be 11/2 times wide as the roots of the stem.
Next, dig the plant in the hole and make sure that the north faces the north side. Often, this side can be marked but if it is not then making sure to ask the garden center. It is because the south side receives more sun and is resistant to sunburn, while the north side may not be able to handle the harshness of the sun.
Fill in the slides of roots with the remaining soil mix.
Water the cactus lightly.
If you are getting an outdoor greenhouse cactus home, make sure to cover it lightly with a cloth for a few weeks so that it can get used to the strong sunlight in the outdoor environment.

Indoor Plantation:

Make sure to choose the pot that is 11/2 times wider than the cactus plant root balls.
Fill the pot you chose 1/3rd with fast-draining cactus soil. This soil will have the right amount of nutrients to make your cactus grow fast and healthily.
Place the cactus plant in the pot. Make sure that the stem and root ball are in the same depth as before. You can wear gloves or use a thick layer of newspaper that can help you to protect your hands.
Fill around the rootball with soil mix. Just leave a little distance between the layer of soil and the rim of the pot.
Water the plant lightly until the soil is as soft as a drenched sponge.

Ways to Propagate Cactus Plants

There are many ways in which you can propagate cactus plants. Below mentioned are the ways to propagate cactus:

Propagating Cactus through Stem Cuttings: It is one of the most common and easiest ways to grow cactus. Cactus can successfully be propagated through stem cuttings.
Propagating Cactus through Seeds: Propagating by seeds is a slow process and takes a lot of time. It will also be rewarding for you when it becomes successful. Put the harvested seeds in the right conditions for them to grow properly.
Propagating Cactus through offshoots or offsets: Carefully remove the offshoots and plant them in the right cactus soil to start a new plant of that cactus.
Grafting Cactus: Attaching a cut piece of one cactus to another cactus is called grafting. But for this process, compatibility is the key feature. If the two cacti are not compatible, they can not grow well.

Benefits of Planting Cactus

Cactus Reduces Stress as well as Anxiety: Adding cactus to your collection can keep you away from stress and anxiety. As it minimizes the amount of carbon dioxide in the place, it can create a better environment. Keeping the cactus around can bring the feeling of calmness. Also, if you keep the plant around patients, it can help in speedy recovery.
Better Quality of Indoor Air: Cactus plants help in a better breathing environment by cleaning the air. Cactus purifies the surroundings that they are living in. Like other plants, cactus also inhales carbon dioxide and converts it into breathable oxygen.
Lowering Down of Ambient Noises: Background noises hamper productivity as well as concentration. But with the presence of cactus, it can reduce the amount of ambient noise in the surroundings by 3 to 5 decibels.

Basics of Cactus Plants Fertilizers

Fertilizing the cactus plants can help them to adapt to their new environment. It also helps the cactus to grow actively. The cactus plants require a very simple kind of fertilizer. The fertilizer should have a high amount of phosphorus and nitrogen. Dilute the fertilizer before giving it to the cactus plants. 5-10-5 is the right ratio of applying fertilizer to the plants.

Even though cacti can survive in harsh conditions, they still need some care and proper food. Feeding the plants fertilizer once a year is a good thumb rule to keep them healthy. But if you really wish to organize the growth of your cactus plants, then feed the fertilizers twice or thrice a year.

With cactus plants, say yes to plants in your home and your garden. Make the place a beautiful and alluring environment with cacti and feel the refreshment of greenery with the pop of colorful cactus flowers.

Samarjeet Chauhan - Oct 25

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