Beginner’s guide to starting your own cactus garden
Start a cactus garden for various reasons. Cacti and other succulents have an interesting and often otherworldly appearance. Are you looking for low maintenance potted plants? Do you want to help the environment by saving water? If so, then these gardens are for you! The cactus is remarkably adaptable and there are about as many cactus decorating ideas as there are gardeners capable of designing them.
Easy-care cactus varieties to grow indoors:
In nurseries and garden centers there are hundreds, if not thousands, of cacti and other succulent varieties to choose from, with more being added every year. Many of them are suitable for indoor gardening. Some of the most popular cactus varieties to grow in your home are listed here.
Pin plants (Mammillaria sp.) have a thick layer of spines that create small balls or “fingers”. They have many flowers which are brilliantly colored.
Hens and chicks (Sempervivum tectorum) bloom in a pattern resembling that of a rose. Little “babies” form around the “mother” plant, hence the common name.
Sea urchin cactus (Echinopsis sp.) is a ball-shaped cactus with small, widely spreading spines. They feature beautiful flowers and are a good cactus for beginners.
The upper colored ball, often red, is a Gymnocalycium grafted on a cactus with a green base, giving the Ruby Ball Cactus its name (usually Hylocereus undatus). Moon cactus is a common name for this plant.
The Hedgehog cactus (Echinocereus sp.) has a spreading style of growth and frequently produces bright flowers.
Crown cactus (Rebutia sp.) has a thick layer of hairy spines and grows in a cluster of small balls. One of the easiest cacti to grow indoors is this one.
Pilosocereus pachycladus is a huge, fast-growing cactus with a folded star shape with fuzzy spines running along the edge of each fold.
The Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera bridgessii)sometimes known as winter cactus, is a popular holiday plant with bright flowers at the end of its hanging branches.
Cactus Garden Ideas:
Cacti, which are a type of succulent, tend to be quite easygoing. Cactus gardens can be planted outdoors or indoors to add a distinctive touch to your decor.
Outdoor Cactus Landscaping Ideas: You can grow a cactus garden in your backyard if you reside in a warm winter environment. There are a variety of outdoor cactus garden ideas to choose from, including:
Cacti are scattered among flowering perennials and small bushes.
A desert-inspired cactus landscape surrounded by gravel or crushed stone.
The organ pipe cactus, blue candle cactus, and cow’s tongue cactus are some of the large cactus species.
The large barrel cactus, blueberry cactus, and prickly pear cactus are good examples of magnificent cactus specimens.
Container cactus gardens: The beauty of a container cactus garden is that you can create one even if you live in a cold winter climate; all you need to do is store your cacti somewhere safe over the winter. Here are some examples of cactus arrangements for outdoor containers:
An assortment of small cacti in a shallow terracotta bowl.
Several pots, each containing a huge cactus or succulent type.
Cactus hanging baskets: Rattail cactus, orchid cactus, and Christmas cactus are all options.
A beautiful combination of annual and perennial flowers, as well as cacti.
Indoor cactus decoration ideas: If you have a bright, sunny window, you can grow a cactus inside.
A glass bowl, box, or even a hanging ornament filled with tiny species of cacti and other succulents is a fascinating slice of the desert environment brought indoors. However, a cactus terrarium should be placed in an open container because too much moisture could cause your plants to rot.
Along your windowsill, display a selection of miniature cacti in equally small but attractive vases.
Grow a large cactus next to the fireplace, at the bottom of the stairs, or in a nook near a window to draw attention to a particular area.
In a rustic wooden or terracotta container, create a small desert garden with small cacti and miniature desert animals.
General cactus care:
Cactus plant care is simple, although not completely maintenance free. Although there are exceptions to the norm, most cacti and other succulents require comparable general maintenance.
Your cactus garden, whether indoors or outdoors, needs plenty of light. Every day, try to get at least six hours of direct sunlight.
This is a certain way to kill your cacti if you overwater them. Always let the soil dry out completely between drinks as these drought tolerant plants are prone to root rot. It’s not uncommon for cacti to just need water every few weeks throughout the winter.
If your cactus garden is outdoors, mother nature will take care of watering demands in the form of rain for most of the year, but if not, you need to water your plants properly. at least once a week during the warmer months.
Cacti and other succulents don’t need a lot of fertilizer, but they do benefit from a light feed during their growing season, which runs from spring through summer.
The majority of cacti are slow growing and don’t mind getting a little attached to the roots. It’s time for a new home if you observe roots growing out of the pot or if your plant has grown out of proportion to the size of the container.
What is the best cactus soil?
Cacti should be planted in specially formulated cactus potting soil, which can be purchased or made at home. Cacti care requires good drainage, and standard potting soil retains too much moisture for these low-moisture plants. On the nursery shelves, you will find a variety of cactus soil mixes, some of which are even brand name organic cactus soil, but it’s quite simple to make your own cactus soil.
One-third horticultural sand, one-third cactus compost (you can use any potting soil for this, but remove any large pieces of wood or twigs), and one-third sand in the form of pumice, perlite or porous gravel is an excellent formula for cactus soil. Before planting your cactus, combine these components correctly. If you are making a cactus terrarium, start by putting gravel in the bottom of the container, then fill it with cactus soil.
First published: Jun 04, 2022, 03:49 IST