Monday, June 9, 2008

Grow an Indoor Catcus Garden

You are drawn to all varieties of cactus maybe because you live in a very dry climate with arid land or maybe you just like them simply because they are different. Have you thought of growing them as indoor plants as they require very little maintenance. Cacti are succulents which means they have the ability to store water, unlike conventional pot plants. These plants seem to thrive on neglect but they do require a warm temperature.

There are predominantly two types of cacti – the jungle type and the desert type. The jungle varieties require partial shade whilst their desert counterparts prefer full sun and for this reason alone do not combine the two varieties of cactus in the one container. All cacti should be kept draft free and will not endure if they are placed near a fan or air conditioning duct.

Ensure you pick a pot plant container (preferably terracotta or clay) with drainage holes. The pot plant saucer should contain gravel and there are a few varieties with different colors available. A cacti’s worst enemy is overwatering. Clay and terracotta pots breathe which is a huge plus for growing any variety of cactus. Plant your cactus in soil with good drainage. Potting soil and sand in a mixture of 60/40 is ideal. Please do not use “sea” sand because it contains salt.

You can get a variety of either jungle only of desert only cacti of different heights and structures so you can create an interesting look. Fill your terracotta pot with soil to within 2 inches of its brim and use a spoon to plant your cacti adequately after deciding on how you would like to have them arranged. After being planted and bedded in their pot, arrange a thin layer of gravel, of your desired color, on top of the soil to give them a stunning effect. You can them place them on a sunny window sill where they will do well. Just remember, jungle cacti need partial shade.

Keep in mind that water is a priority when it comes to cacti. During cooler winter months they may only need watering once a month. In the warmer months weekly watering is sufficient, even though you need to water them sparingly. Cacti can be fertilized twice a year but only during the hotter months when the plant is actively growing . Apart from overwatering causing stem rot, mealy bugs and fungus gnats can kill your plant if neglected.

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