Cacti and succulents are a whole universe of plant beauty. Original, enigmatic and splendid, they will help you decorate any corner of the house in a unique way .
What are succulent plants?
Under this name there is a wide range of species that are characterized by having a tissue capable of acting as a store or reservoir of water (they can be the leaves, the stem or the roots). In addition, succulents share the particularity of carrying out photosynthesis in two phases: one at night and the other during the day.
These two characteristics make them very efficient from the water point of view and have few irrigation needs.
At first, these drought adaptation mechanisms were described in the Crassulaceae family and for this reason they were called succulents. Later it was discovered that they were also present in other botanical families, so the most accurate term to refer to them is succulents.
The Queens Of The Desert
Although succulent plants have diverse origins, most of them come from arid and demanding climates, where rainfall is low. Over time, these plant species have evolved to adapt to this scarcity of water and survive.
The universe of succulents encompasses a total of 10,000 species belonging to some 50 or 60 botanical families. In addition to the cacti, the well-know cactus there are many other families that belong to this group, such as aloes, agaves, yuccas, etc.
Plants that endure everything, but do not abuse
Cacti are said to be all-terrain plants that require virtually no care. You hardly have to water them and their growth is slow and slow, so they do not require transplants or other attention.
The reality is that they require different attention from the rest. It is important to monitor aspects such as adaptation to their periods of growth and rest, which are different in each species. When cacti and succulents are in a resting period they hardly need water or food. In fact, one of the reasons why they wither is because you water and fertilize them when you shouldn’t.
On the other hand, the amount of light they receive or the type of substrate are not too relevant factors for their cultivation.
The key to having our succulent plants really healthy and beautiful is getting to know them and learning what their real needs are.
Succulents and cacti for small spaces
Is your house small and are you looking for plants to brighten up some of its corners? There are numerous species of small size cacti to choose from. Some examples are peperomias, gasterias or those of the genus Haworthia, etc.
Grow them in pots, indoors or on the terrace, and enjoy them for a long time thanks to their slow growth.
The best species
There are so many species that make up the universe of succulent plants and cacti, that it can be difficult to choose a few to grow at home.
One of the most sought after is the Ferocactus genus, with its extravagant spines and beautiful flowers. They love sunny, south-facing spaces. In rooms with little natural light, the stars are Zamioculcas and Sansevieras. Other interesting options are the Crassula ovata or «jade tree», a very long-lived small indoor tree, or the Beaucarnea recurvata or «elephant’s foot», a palm-like succulent».
Cacti and Succulents are perfects for vertical gardens
If you are thinking of creating a vertical garden at home, cacti can be an unbeatable option to compose it. Not only for its beauty, but also for its low watering needs (which translates into water savings of up to 80%) and for being very easy-care plants that do not need constant pruning or touch-ups .
When choosing the species we have to consider if the plant wall will be inside or outside. Choose Agave bracteosa, Dickya, Delosperma, Mesembryanthemum, Aporocactus, Cleistocactus colademononis, Echinocereus, Sedum, Crassulas, Echeverias, Graptopetalum, Orostachys, etc.