If you lack a natural green thumb but have an eye for interiors, explore the vibrant world of drought hardy cacti. These sturdy, fuss-free plants will help transform a tired corner of your home into a fresh space full of character.
Have some fun with these spiky succulents and follow our guide to incorporating and caring for these low maintenance plants.
Choosing Your Cacti
There are hundreds of cacti varieties to choose from. Start by selecting a shape that appeals to your style and space confinements. Are you drawn to columnar or flat padded tree forms? Head to this handy guide for inspiration on the different shapes and sizes available.
If you’re a lover of Australian succulents, you’ll be interested to know there are no true native cactus varieties. However, there are two plant species that are cactus-like in appearance and growth.
Cactus shapes are a versatile addition to many spaces. Follow these tips when considering the best spot for your spiny friends to thrive:
- Cacti love sunny spots. Remember to rotate the pots every few weeks to ensure all sides get an even amount of light. The sunnier varieties may even produce stunning cactus flowers.
- Some smaller cactus varieties will survive in low-lit corners. Try the Rat’s Tail Cactus for a hanging pot position, the Arizona Snowcap, or one of the Rhipsalis species.
- Most cacti can be kept dry during cooler months and withstand temperatures of up to 50 degrees, so placing them next to your Cannon heater is a safe option.
With the perfect conditions carved out for your cactus, get creative with your styling.
- Choose a pot that befits the inhabitant. A classic European or delicate Chinese porcelain pot contrasts beautifully to minimalist desert plants.
- Selecting a modern pot with gilded accents or a splash of colour is a subtle way to add playfulness to your surrounds.
- If your cactus hasn’t yet reached great heights, prop it up high on a bookshelf or sideboard to mimic an elongated look.
- Cacti poking out from behind furnishings, can add flair to your room and a surprising splash of green amongst cluttered corners.
- Home offices benefit from a bit of escapism. Adding a small cactus garden to your desk can make all the difference to your workspace and creativity.
- Stand your cactus proudly against a stark white wall in your hallway or entrance for a striking welcome.
Caring For Your Cactus
When watering your cactus, you want to emulate the natural climate of the desert – dry with occasional wet spells. Soak the topsoil thoroughly until water leaks out from the drainage holes in the pot. You can leave the cactus for weeks, or even months, before you water again.
If you’re unsure whether your cactus is having enough to drink, inspect its appearance. Generally, a well-watered cactus is plump and shiny. In contrast, an under-watered cactus will appear shrivelled, dull and soft to the touch.
Most cacti will need to be repotted after 1-2 years or when the plant has outgrown the pot. Your potting mix should be of a well-drained variety and specifically suited to cacti and succulents.
If your cactus is yellowing or struggling to grow, a fertiliser might be the trick to breathe in some new life. Slow release fertilisers and liquid fertilisers specific to cacti and succulents are the best choices.
Finally, for more ideas specific to your needs, chat to your local cactus nursery for help with products and instructions best suited to your chosen variety.