Today we’re looking at the mighty cactus. Cacti come in all sorts of shapes and sizes but actually form two distinct groups: desert, and jungle cacti. Many people also get confused between succulents and cacti – there are even websites dedicated to differentiating them.

 

Cacti, are the only plants where flowers, branches, and spines grow from an areole. They also feature spines, and many varieties have flowers. These are the most common ways to differentiate between the succulent and the cactus.

Some people are weary of growing cactus plants thanks to the unique conditions they need to grow and survive in. However, there are so many varieties out there to try. Growing cactus plants can be very rewarding but can admittedly be a matter of trial and error – especially when it comes to the potting mix you use, and the watering schedule you adopt.

First off, take a look at our range of beautiful pots that are just perfect for indoor plants. We’ve got sets of five pots of differing sizes that come in a range of colours. We’d always go for a calming grey pot to offset the brilliant greens of cactus varieties but that’s because we’re so stylish (wink).

 

What do they need?

Cactuses need good drainage and a sunny, bright position so make sure you pick the right spot in your home for your plant. Water sporadically and make sure to let the soil dry out completely before you water it again – you have to treat these plants mean to keep them keen. You can give them a monthly feed with a specialist fertiliser.

Potting mix
Cactus plants like really course, airy, and dry soil. Pearlite, small rocks and stones, sand, compost, coir and even gravel can all be mixed up to create the perfect soil for your plant. Make sure your potting mix really lets water fall through it – cacti don’t like soggy bottoms but do like tor each down with their long roots. It’s preferable for water to sit in the tray beneath the pot, than the bottom of the pot itself.

Only water your plant when the soil is dry.

We’ve chosen two favourite cactus varieties for you to try, one indoor, and one that can be grown outdoors:

Glaucous Barrel Cactus are probably the most well-recognised of the cactus varieties. They have sharp, long, nasty-looking spines and compact, bright yellow flowers. They are cylindrical in shape and sport either a single, or cluster of stems. These guys can grow up to 60cm.

 

Ball Cactus is a small variety that can reach the heady heights of 15cm. They have ribbed stems (either single or cluster stems) that are ridged with bristly spines. In the summer, Ball Cactus also sport lovely yellow flowers. These guys are evergreen and pretty hardy.

 

There is a whole world of cactus varieties out there for you to try. Be warned though, once you get started, you may well find cactus growing to be a little hard to give up.

Happy planting!