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.