Cactus (plural: cacti, scientific name: Cactaceae) is a succulent plant from the plant family Cactaceae whose name is derived from a Greek word, kaktos, which means spiky plant. It has 127 genera and 1750 species. Cacti are mostly found in water-scarce conditions, ensuring they can survive in homes with warm environments.
Cacti are graceful and stylish plants with distinct shapes and color variations. Mini-cactus plants are a good fit for tailoring contrasting home decor. Cacti handling is tricky initially, but it isn’t demanding as they quickly adapt to conditions unless they’re set-up in a freezing area.
Cactus requires bright and direct sunlight for ideal and sustained growth. These are generous to medium to high-intensity light. One has to be cautious while placing them indoors, before a window, as the window-glass magnifies and concentrates heat. This will result in the death of the plant.
This is a critical aspect as we’re told that cacti don’t require too much water. Contrary to that, they need regular watering once per week. Water is essential for the growth of cactus, but excessive watering can rot the plant. During the winter season, watering should be halted as it becomes dormant.
The optimum temperature ranges from 5°C-32°C as cacti vary in general and species. A species of cacti Rebutia minuscula can endure even -9°C. Therefore, any temperature of a warm spot is ideal for prime growth unless too harsh.
Age and Flowering
Cactus live for 100 years outdoors, but their life indoors gets reduced to 10 years. They usually get messy and less appealing outside over time as they keep the scratches as long as they live. If kept properly, many cacti bloom and produce bright flowers in the summer months.
House Plants Expert advise that cacti, due to their thick fleshy leaves, can sustain and survive below 30% humidity. To keep it from rotting, the soil should be evenly moist instead of overly wet or dry.
A 10-10-10 fertilizer is best for cactus nutrition. This fertilizer contains 10% nitrogen, 10% phosphate, and 10% of potash. Little doses should be fed with each watering in summer and cut-off in winter months. This even helps them flower.
Experts at Cactusway suggest that spikes of cactus are not poisonous, but they might contain fungi or bacteria on their tips, making the human-body prone to infections in the body if they are lodged into the skin. Moreover, spikes can also distort body tissues or muscles, causing injury. If someone is planning on eating them, consultation with a doctor should be obliged.
Succulents are an excellent source of oxygen production. Similarly, the cactus improves air-quality as it produces oxygen and absorbs carbon dioxide all through the night. It reduces radiations and bacteria, thus impeding air-pollution.
BBC UK advises that cactus should be repotted as roots begin to appear at the drainage holes (preferred pot). As a rule of thumb, the fast-growing species should be repotted every 2-3 years. Whereas the slow-growing species after every 3-4 years. Cactus enjoy active growth in the spring months and, therefore, be repotted in these months.
Broadly, the cactus is a plant that needs little attention. The lesser you do, the better it is. It will flourish once it’s set.
- Good air circulation
- Well-kept drainable pot
- Sparingly watering
- Adequate fertilizer dosage
- Appropriate usage of pesticides and fungicides
- Handling with gloves
There could be several issues that could range from pests-attack to root-rotting and softening of the plant. Too much or too little light and water factors can further contribute to issues.
If not kept supervised, cactus can catch several diseases, including:
- Cactus Anthracnose
- Charcoal Spot
- Dry Rot
- Scorch or Sunscald
- Cotton Root Rot
- Soft Rot
- Fungal Diseases
- Stem Rot of Cacti
Now you’re ready to adopt any of the mini-cactus plants at home for decorative or health purposes. Cactus is super easy to look after and appears like a beautiful living sculpture. It adds an aura to every room it’s in and is an artistic piece on its own.