Over the years, I’ve had several plants. Some worked out well and some died quickly. I found the easiest plant to own is a Cactus.
Many people look at a Cactus and think they are a prickly desert plant. If you look into Cactus further, you will find there are over 2,000 species of Cacti. Each is different and range in sizes from 1″ tall to 50 feet tall.
At one time all Cacti have leaves, but as they grow they need to store water. So the leaves fall off allowing the plant to store water in its stems. Storing the water in the stems allows the Cactus to grow and become large. Many even change shapes due to how much water they store.
The reason some Cactus, most found in the dessert, have points are to deter animals from eating them.
So why should everyone have a Cactus? They are obviously very versatile and can survive in cold or heat. They can survive even with little water and often live up to 10 years old. The more you water a Cactus, the more it grows. So, if you are in apartment, little watering will be necessary.
The only thing these plants do need is light. You should put them in the sunniest place in your house. The light does not have to be intense but the more the better.
The next thing you should do is to water it about every two weeks.
Note: That some Cactus do require watering every two days or so. Be sure to ask questions before purchasing.
If you want to water less, put the Cactus in plastic containers as these retain water.
Check the soil from time to time making sure it is moderately but not completely dry.
You should always water in the morning and dry days are better than rainy or humid days.
In order for your Cactus to bloom flowers, it must be in a cold temperature (around 40 degrees Fahrenheit) in the winter. You should not keep them above 65 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. If you cannot do this it is okay with the plant. It will not die, it just will not bloom flowers. A porch or garage often works just fine.
Most Cactus grow so slowly you will not really need to worry about repotting them.
If you like to make something unusual I have a couple of decorative ideas for these plants.
You can easily create a landscape by planting several compatible plants – ones that require the same amount of light, soil and water – in a shallow container similar to a casserole dish.
The most important thing is the design. You need to balance the colors and shapes in the containers. The bottom can be potting soil but on top put tiny pebbles. You can also arrange the pebbles in a unique design if desired.
Dish gardens are very popular and Cactus lead the pack. If you have a great variety of Cactus you will have a variety of sizes and shapes. As they grow, that will also change slightly giving a new effect.
Another idea is to use a clay pot and put plants off-center in order to make unique designs. Be creative. The more fun you have with it the better.
Source: Time Life Encyclopedia of Gardening