Flowers Gardening

Buying Cactus Plants And Caring For Them


Introduction To Buying Cacti

Cacti, which are generally quite tough customers, seem to follow their own rules in a lot of aspects. If you are ever wishing to purchase Cacti or a Cactus or any other Succulent for that matter, it is advised that you should forget everything you know about all other plants and plant species. Cactus plants that are in flower for example, are by no means a good guarantee of you keeping them in good health and preventing your Cactus from diseases. And if you buy Cacti in winter you might just have to prepare yourself for a huge disappointment.


Where Are The Best Places To Buy A Cactus? 

Wherever you buy a Cactus make sure it has been named.


  • Garden Centres
  • Flower Shops
  • Nurseries
  • Special Cactus Nurseries 


The 7 Most Valuable Pieces Of Advice When Buying Cacti

  1. Check if the Cactus is rooted firmly in its pot.
  2. If the neck on the plant is soft or discoloured, you can  be sure that it is rotting from the inside-out. You cannot always see this with the naked eye so feel the neck of the Cactus with your finger to double check.
  3. Do not accept any sick or pest infected cactus plants. White flakes, black spots, dry discolouration of shoots, red spider ants are all signs of pest infected and diseased plants.
  4. Do not choose Cacti that have been left standing in the dark for any length of time. Light deficiency w ill encourage unhealthy growth, which in turn will weaken the plant considerably.
  5. Do not buy any Cactus or Succulent species which start shooting and producing the flowers before they are supposed to. This is a trick brought up by artificial lighting and raising the temperatures.
  6. Make sure to check that your chosen specimen has all the right characteristics and if you noticed even something small out of place… Don’t buy that Cactus.
  7. Do not hurry to buy a flowering Cactus. Not like other plants, if a Cactus is flowering it does not always mean it is healthy. If you buy a healthy flowering Cactus and you take really good care of it, the Cactus might flower every year.


Transportation Tips

A singular Cactus will usually be wrapped up in newspaper. On your way home make sure you always hold the Cactus by the pot. If you are transporting more than 1 Cactus it is advisable you ask for a polystyrene transport pallet. During the winter months, Cacti should be transported very warmly wrapped inside a closed container. Make sure your Cacti are only outside for a limited amount of time. Cactus can be very sensitive to the cold so it would be best avoid the cold as much as possible, on their behalf of course.

Caring For Your Cactus In Different Positions

Cactus Requirements

Success when growing Cacti is fairly simple, just give your desert dwelling Succulent all its right requirements. The light the Cacti receive should imitate the desert sun, the soil should imitate the desert ground and watering should imitate rain in the desert. If all of these activities are fulfilled successfully then you should have a spectacular, beautiful, flourishing Cactus in no time. The best position for a Cactus would be; plenty of light, sun and fresh air… Warmth during the growing period… Cool temperatures and dryness when the Cactus is dormant.


Different Positions 

On A Windowsill:

Give your Cactus a proper window seat. If you stand the cactus on an outside window ledge, sheltered from the rain, during the warm part of the year, you will be helping a lot to promote the well being of the Cactus.


In A Greenhouse

A heated greenhouse is the ideal environment for a Cactus or many Cacti. During the Winter, most Cactus species can can handle a cool greenhouse with temperatures that occur under 10 degrees Celsius. For the Cactus species that love to be warm places the average temperature should not sink below 12 degrees Celsius. 


In A Balcony Box

You can move your Cacti from their Winters home to a balcony box from the middle of Spring onwards. Only leave the Cactus in the balcony box until Autumn. They must be moved back to their Winter home before the first frost strikes.


Bad Positions For Cactus

The following is a list of unsuitable positions for the Cactus to be put in:

  • On a plant table indoors.
  • Bathrooms.
  • Badly insulated windows.
Flowers Gardening

Best way to buy fuchsias

Interested in fuchsias as a garden flower? here is the best way to buy fuchsias…


Fuchsias grow well in humus-rich, well drained soils which are perfectly aerated. If your Fuchsia is going to thrive in your garden or patio it is imperative that you try as much as possible to simulate these natural wild conditions.


Fuchsias thrive in the following positions:

  • East facing balconies and patios they receive adequate sunlight in the morning
  • Positions facing south-west or north receive sunshine in the afternoon or evening
  • Gardens facing south and are not in direct sunlight all day
  • Flower beds on the east or west side of the house
  • Shady positions


Fuchsias do not grow well in positions that are too dark and will produce very few flowers in these sites. Avoid them at all time. Positions that are unsuitable will encourage disease and pests these results in little foliage. Hot positions with dry still air, patios or balconies that receive strong wind and non ventilated rooms are all bad positions for the Fuchsia and must be avoided.


How to improve sites

Sites that offer unfavourable conditions for Fuchsia growth can be adjusted quiet easily.


Positions in the wind

Fuchsias dislike draught and prefer airy surroundings. Strong wind results in the shoots of the young fuchsia breaking off and thus destroying the fuchsia. A wind breaker can be erected to prevent strong wind from harming the plant. You can use:


  • Opaque matting or porous cladding
  • Trellises or open fencing covered by climbing plants for a unique design
  • Neighbouring plants or bushes break the force of the gusts of the wind


try and plant the fuchsia between broad evergreen plants of different heights to protect the fuchsia from draught in a flower bed. Bushes, shrubs and other plants will protect the fuchsia well.



Fuchsias grow well in shaded positions and will not produce foliage in direct sunlight. Provide shade for the fuchsia by using trellises with bushy climbing plants or creepers, synthetic shading mats for fuchsia in greenhouses and UV protection screens or Venetian blinds for those in a conservatory.


Improving humidity

During the summer the air is very dry and not adequate for fuchsia growth. The microclimate surrounding the fuchsia can be improved by:


  • Spraying with water daily in the morning and evening (not during the daytime where there is direct sunlight)
  • Installing a humidity-dispensing source near the fuchsia such as a fountain, a small pool or water basin.
  • Planting plants close to the fuchsia, which have huge leaves which emit a lot of water into the air through evaporation.
  • Planting low-growing plants that will result in the soil not drying out.
  • Using a 5 cm layer of mulch of grass cuttings, rotting compost or bark to prevent the soil from drying out


TIP: Plant low-level lobelia beneath the fuchsia in the mid-spring. The thick overhanging blue carpet produced by the lobelia will act as a soil moist retainer. It also looks beautiful.


Improving humidity in the greenhouse

Use a water spray in the mornings to create a mist around the plants then allow fresh air to blow through. By so doing you supply humidity and cold air which encourages evaporation in the greenhouse.


It is good practice to spray young fuchsia plants daily. You can also stand shallow dishes of water in between the fuchsia pots or stand the plant pots on a dish with moist sand or Hortag.


Indoor plants lose water slower than outdoor plants. Make sure that leaves dry up before the evening .


How to select fuchsias for particular planting sites…


You can tell what position a particular fuchsia prefers by the way that it looks. Fuchsias which have large surfaces are normally very soft. Fuchsias which have large and numerous petals should be kept in a shady position. White-flowering varieties normally discolour when they are subjected to too much sunlight.


Fuchsias for the patio or balcony

  • Upright varieties which grow quickly look wonderful when planted in large containers. These include Happy, Lady Thumb and Larissa.
  • Fuchsias that produce numerous shoots grow compactly and tend to stay low. They should be planted in wide tubs and containers.
  • Fuchsias which have hanging branches should be propagated in secure hanging baskets for example Elfriede Ott and Harry Gray.


Elegantly trailing types with soft shoots are ideal for tubs, free-standing urns pedestals and small hanging baskets.


Fuchsias for the garden

There are a wide range of varieties of fuchsia suitable for the garden. Combining standard and bush fuchsia results in the creation of diverse plant structures that look marvellous. Fuchsias can be combined with summer flowers and shrubs and can be planted in front of trees. Due to their shapes and multi-coloured flowers, fuchsias tend to dominate the scenario.


Plants in shades of green create a suitable background. Summer flowers in shades of pink, blue and white will blend well with the colours of the fuchsia flowers.


Hardy fuchsias

Hardy bush fuchsias fit in well among shrubs or rows of trees. They cope with a lot of sun as long as the roots are kept moist. Hardy fuchsia begin flowering in mid-summer till the beginning of frost. In the winter the parts of the fuchsia above the ground die and the roots will produce new shoots when spring comes. These fuchsia reach heights of up to 1,5m in warm, sunny positions.


Hardy fuchsias should be planted 5cm deeper than other fuchsia varieties and need to be protected from frost.


Fuchsias indoors

The conditions in the house are normally different than those outside and are far from ideal conditions needed by the fuchsia to grow well. Fuchsia indoor seem to have a shorter lifespan when compared to those growing outside. This is due to the fact that there is less fresh air in the home; there are lower temperatures at night and very low humidity levels.


Where to buy fuchsias

Nowadays one can obtain fuchsias from a wide range of sources. There are many fuchsia raisers and gardeners who formed clubs and societies to acquire new fuchsia varieties. Flower shops normally stock bedding plants and varieties for patios and balconies.


Nurseries normally have varieties of function at different stages of growth. You can get advice from nursery staff regarding how best to care and grow the fuchsia.


Garden centers offer large quantities of plants and at cheaper prices than flower shops. It is rare to find botanical rarities in garden centers. There are also numerous plant containers, soils and potting composts, plant protection agents and useful reading information.


If you are purchasing a limited choice of fuchsia you can use mail order companies which provide unusual varieties. You can also purchase fuchsia at regional shows were private collectors showcase their plants.


Points to consider when purchasing fuchsias

Always select fuchsias that have vibrant colours and shiny, perfect leaves which are not spaced out too far apart. Watch for spotty leaves as they spell out fungal infection here!


The undersides of the leaves must be free of pests such as white fly. The roots of the plant must be firm and white.

Flowers Gardening

Caring for camellias and where you can buy Camellias

Caring for camellias and where you can buy Camellias

Everyone would want a plant that produces endless flowers and is green during the dull moments of the year when other plants are dormant. However you camellias need to be cared for if they are going to flourish and give you the flowers you desire.


Camellias do not thrive in normal indoor conditions. However they can be kept as indoor plants as long as they are given the right kind of care. Camellias require adequate light, soil, air and water.


When and where to purchase camellias

Camellias are difficult to acquire because they are not widely available like other plants. They also need a long period for cultivation, which results in higher prices. You can obtain camellias from flower shops, garden centers, tree nurseries and specialist camellia growers.


Flower shops and garden centers

The normal have few varieties at a higher state of budding during the Christmas period. The pink-flowering Camellia japonica Elegans is common in most shops and is affordable.


Tree nurseries

They offer a selection of camellias around spring planting time. The camellias are imported from Italy and France .


Specialist camellia growers

There are specialist growers who only concentrate on raising and growing camellias. They normally stock a wide selection of species and varieties throughout the year.


Buying camellias by mail order

There are mail order companies that specialize in camellias and they normally deliver within 2 weeks depending on your location. Mail order companies have colourful catalogue which have useful information and caring techniques for the camellias.


Tips on purchasing camellias


  • Camellias are normally sold in a pot or container, the younger smaller ones being sold in pots while the larger older ones are sold in containers.

  • Purchase camellias that have shiny, fresh leaves. This shows that they are healthy

  • They should have many branches and should only be sold before they are 2 years old

  • The camellia roots must grow and spread throughout the pot, having the white rootlets being visible on the outer edges. The roots should not look brown.

  • Do not use the number of buds as a main criterion for purchasing the camellia

  • Purchase camellias that have tags on them which have the variety name to help you care for the plant correctly

  • Price is normally influenced by the particular variety and its rarity.