Cacti are one of the most popular families among succulents and are very often used as interior decorations. Not only do they impress with their appearance, but they are also extremely practical in cultivation because they do not require much attention.
Even frequent travelers can opt for this type of plant in their apartment, so they won’t be forced to leave their keys to their neighbors so someone could water their flowers every few days. This does not mean, however, that these plants do not require any care. Curious as to how to take care of cacti? Read on so you can learn how to keep them as lively for long as possible. They’re sure to be an original decoration for your homely interior.
Cacti – what is it worth knowing about them?
Cacti are succulents that store water in their stems. Thanks to their storage capacity, they are able to survive in very difficult conditions. Cacti accumulate water in order to save it for later consumption. In the natural environment, they are not afraid of even long periods of drought. This feature is undoubtedly their greatest advantage when it comes to caring.
The possibility of collecting and economic management of water reserves and the variety of forms and shapes of cacti make them extremely practical and original plants for interior decorations. Nothing stands in the way of placing them in the bedroom, living room, dining room, or even in the kitchen.
The cacti come from America and can be found in both North and South America. These are invasive plants – they are already found on all continents except Antarctica. Cacti grow in deserts, flatlands, and mountains up to an altitude of 4700 m. It is difficult to accurately estimate the number of species of cacti because it can be counted up to thousands. An interesting fact may be that in Guatiza on Lanzarote, there is the Cactus Garden. This is where there was initially 1400 varieties of these plants (from all over the world). To this day, you can admire about 10,000 of them.
Popular potted cactus species, i.e., cacti that can be grown at home, are mainly:
- Echinocactus Grusona (Echinocactus grusonii);
- Astrophytum capricorne;
- Prickly pear (Opuntia microdasys);
How to water cacti?
As we mentioned above, cacti can survive even long periods of drought. Unlike other popular ornamental plants, they do not require frequent and regular watering. The soil of cacti should not be soaked in water. Spring is the only period in which they require your greatest and utmost attention. This does not mean, however, that they will require a great deal of commitment. Even in spring, it is enough to water them once a week. Remember not to pour in too much water. In summer, you may want to limit watering these plants to a frequency of once every two weeks. In the period from October to March, cacti should not be watered at all because they are at rest at this period.
Cactus substrate – do it yourself!
When choosing a substrate for cacti, you should pay close attention to its composition. This should include the following elements:
- expanded clay
- garden soil
The soil for cacti should have a loose structure since this will facilitate the drainage of water. This type of soil can be prepared by yourself at home! To do this, all you need to do is mix the universal garden soil, expanded clay, polystyrene balls, sand, and gravel altogether. Finally, add a small amount of fertilizer to the cactus, and you should be done.
What kind of cactus fertilizer?
Although cacti are plants that do not require special care, from time to time, you should think about fertilizing and transplanting them. As far as the latter is concerned, cacti grow to large extremes very rarely. This event happens once every few years. In the case of fertilization, it is advisable to do it once a year, in spring. Special fertilizers for cacti and succulents are used for this purpose. As with the soil, the composition of the fertilizer is worth noting here. Cacti belong to the plants that are not demanding in terms of nutrients, so they are fully satisfied with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium mixtures.
Where to put the cacti?
Since we’re talking about cactus care, you can’t forget about the positions that these plants like. First of all, they mostly favor window sills and other well-exposed places, preferably from the south side. However, it would still be good if they’re not thoroughly exposed to sunlight. This does not mean that cacti placed elsewhere will not grow. Just keep in mind that it should have access to sunlight.
Cacti in the interior – how to create a mini garden in the house?
By creating decorations using cacti, you can compose charming mini-gardens at home. For this purpose, large ceramic pots, mini-glaziers, and even wooden crates and wicker baskets are used. Cacti planted in specially prepared vases or covers also look very nice. These prepared mini gardens are usually placed on a windowsill. In winter and autumn, they can be placed inside the apartment, and in spring and summer, it can be put outside.
Cactus cultivation is not difficult at all – it does not require a lot of commitment and does not take too much space. For so little, you can gain original decorations that will beautify the interior and add style to it.