Most of you would say , “I am definitely not going to grow a cactus in my house; it’s a desert plant.” Well, think again. Cacti are beautiful and they demand less while simultaneously providing more greenery to your house. And while those other plants may wither and turn brown, a cactus will never die on you. Instead they might turn your desert home verdant. All you need is some space and sunlight. In the absence of light, the cacti will be etiolated. Plant these, after all they are not much different from roses; they have thorns. They are also strangely beautiful.
Below is a list of twelve strangely beautiful types of cactus that can easily be grown at home:-
12. Mammillaria or Pincushion Cactus
Owing to its silky thorns it is commonly called the Pincushion cactus. Growing the Pincushion cactus is an easy task. It could be carried out by anyone. So those who feel they don’t know much about gardening and are looking to plant something at home, this should be your pick. Also you are in luck if you are looking to make your home more colourful. Pincushion cacti are found in shades of pink, orange, lavender, yellow, pink and white. Another incentive of growing this plant is that it comes along with berries that taste like strawberries. However, you have to be careful of the curved spines. They don’t ask for too much space and require little water and negligible care.
11. Opuntia basilaris or Beaver-tail Cactus
The pads of this cactus look like a beaver’s tail, thereby giving it the name Beaver-tail cactu This cactus has gained popularity. Most people fond of gardening are likely to plant the Beaver-tail cactus. The cactus also comes with brilliant, colourful flowers. You can plant them in a pot. Just make sure that you don’t water it regularly and you place it in a well-sunlit area. Also use dry mulch to protect the cactus from excess moisture.
10. Gymnocalycium mihanovichii or Red Cap Cactus
The ‘red cap’ cactus is also called the Ruby Ball Cactus. Yes they certainly look like rubies and I would love to grow rubies in my garden. Albeit they are not very demanding in terms of watering, they require some amount of care. The rubies are not light lovers, however, the lower green portion require much light. Thereby making them great balcony dwellers.
9. Echinocereus rigidissimus or Rainbow Hedgehog Cactus
These cacti too are ideal for growing at home. The best place would be to place them in the south-west corner of your house, so that they receive sunlight for about 4 to 6 hours during the day. Watering is only called for when the soil runs dry. They are easy to handle and they’ll surprise you with magenta rings during the summer.
8. Cereus tetragonus or Fairy Castle Cactus
Albeit used for fencing, they can also be potted indoors. These plants grow with sunlight and in their direction too. So in order to get a uniform growth on all sides all you need to do is rotate the pot once a while. It is commonly called fairy tower but it could very well turn into a fairy palace given its quick growth a large size. Here’s a cactus that will not disappoint you for over a decade.
7. Haworthia or Cactus Zebra
This zebra does not require much light so you can put in inside your house as well. Of course to get the effect as shown in the picture you’ll have to plant more than one. However, make sure you plant these at least 6 inches apart in a large pot giving them each enough space to grow. Like humans plants also compete for air, water and light. Of course you don’t want your plants fighting.
6. Cereus peruvianus or Hedge Cactus
Anything that grows needs some amount of pampering else they will grow wild but here’s a cactus that will grow just fine without your pampering. Also you’ll find beautiful flowers on the hedge cactus in the spring. You’ll also see fruits on this plant once the flowering is complete. Since the fruits are edible for bird you’ll also attract birds in your garden!
5. Hatiora Gaertneri or Easter Cactus
This holiday cactus is so named because it blooms around the Easter holiday in the northern hemisphere. It will mostly care for itself once it is set up properly, although certain conditions are required for the Easter cactus to bloom the following year.
4. Gymnocalycium baldianum or Dwarf Chin Cactus
These are cute little cacti that can grow in containers. They are tolerant to drought so don’t worry about troubles with watering. They’ll also produce lovely white flowers adding to the beauty of your house. Even planting a single pot of this plant could give your house an elegant look. Your only concern should be handling it carefully because this plant has very sharp spines and edges.
3. Echinopsis chamaecereus or Peanut Cactus
During spring this cactus will produce many large, bright coloured flowers.The spines are not very dangerous so children too could participate in planting them. The Peanut Cactus can certainly impress the onlooker. The flower owing to its yellow colour requires grafting onto a green plant to survive. Peanut cacti have been hybridized into many forms and are easily available in several different coloured flowers.
2. Opuntia Microdasys or Bunny Ears Cactus
This cactus is the epitome of cuteness among all cacti. No guesses for its common name. Yes, the bunny ear shaped pads give it the common name Bunny Ears Cactus. The spines grow in a uniform fashion giving it the polka dotted cover. It definitely is more than just a decor. They usually require re-potting after a year or two. Using an unglazed pot will take care of removing the extra moisture that could ruin your Bunny ears.
1. Epiphyllum or Orchid Cactus
This the only cactus is the list that calls for a little more watering than the rest. The Orchid Cacti adds onto the beauty of your house for years. You could even plant it in hanger pots allowing the long stems to fall beautifully over the pot. Flowering these require some amount of care. And of course hybrids with pink, purple, red and yellow flowers are also available.
So go ahead and plant one! Neither the plants nor I are asking you to do a favour. Instead they will do you a favour by keeping your house fresh, beautiful and lively. Not asking for much. Ending this list with a quoted hope.
“I hope that while so many people are out smelling the flowers, someone is taking the time to plant some.”
― Herbert Rappaport