If you’re considering a change in your interior scheme, why not try adding a cactus or two to your home? Yes, they are prickly, can be a shift from your traditional ideas concerning house plants, and may even require your entire home décor layout to take a shift to accommodate, but cacti (the plural of cactus) have a myriad of benefits that more than outweigh these simple concerns.
For instance, the humble cactus is a succulent, which means it needs very little water to thrive. This is a great detail if you are often forgetting to water your plants. Some species of cacti blossom with lovely flowers, which rival many common houseplant choices. And with 2,000 species of cacti in the world, matching them to your existing décor should be easy and fun.
A cactus can live from 15 to 300 years, depending on the species, and if you love the symmetry of geometric shapes, you’ve got plenty of options. If you like earth tones, cacti are the perfect choice as they come largely in three colors: green, brown-green, and blueish.
Yes, your home or office might look like you’ve adopted a southwest motif, but that’s OK. Believe it or not, desert motifs are one of the most popular.
Table Of Contents - Click To Expand Or Hide -->
Why Cactus Plants Are Good for Homes
We all know that plants are great for homes because of their purifying properties. They clean the air, give new life to the space, and can even create a level of peacefulness and tranquility. You might be thinking that a cactus cannot possibly do the same work as, let’s say, a ficus, but you would be wrong. Some flowering cacti do the same work leafy plants provide and more.
What makes a cactus even better than some houseplants are the very best qualities that help them thrive in the desert. The first is drought resistance. They retain lots of water by design but need very little to grow, even from seed.
And they don’t need direct sunlight to flourish. If that wasn’t enough, they’re pretty easy to cultivate from their seedling state, giving a win to even the most inexperienced gardening enthusiast.
How Cactus Can Be Good for Your Feng Shui Flow
Feng shui is the arranging of items within the home to maximize the overall flow and harmony of the space. Symmetry is largely a factor with proper feng shui; proper lighting, temperature, and even placement of plants make a tremendous difference. And this is where cacti come in.
Cacti are shaped to harness the flow of energy while being out of the way enough so no one gets pricked by their spines. They need little water, but the right soil is key, ensuring the plant’s harmony with the warmth of the room. And while they don’t need direct light, they will wither in darkness, forcing you to brighten your home by extension.
Cactus Plants Are Easy to Grow and Maintain Any Time of the Year
On the surface, outdoor cacti seem to take care of themselves, and while this is mostly true, there are behind-the-scenes actions that are taking place when you aren’t looking. Rain retention after a shower, pollination by bees, and even how birds make their home in dried-out cactus husks, all happen through the year, but only when outdoors.
For your indoor cactus, there are a few variables you need to know before placing your first new plant. You need to know how to properly water them, where to put them in a room for optimal light-to-shade ratio, and even what temp to keep the space. You need to know if your cactus will have a long root, and even what soil to grow it in if you decide to evolve it from a seed.
It all sounds pretty daunting, but we promise, that incorporating a few cacti will enrich your life in ways you cannot immediately imagine. They require your respect, your care, and your diligence, but beyond that and a little start-up attention, they will grow and become your favorite home or office foliage.
How Do Cactus Grow Indoors?
Growing your cacti is not as simple as growing a rubber plant or orchid, but in another light, it’s quite a bit easier overall. For instance, when growing your cacti, water only in spring and autumn, but stop for the rest of the year.
Any other plant would require year-round watering. And some plants can grow in any soil, while cacti need something commonly known as cactus compost with good drainage.
Most plants need direct sunlight. Cacti are best in the southern or eastern-facing sun, preferably near a window until it becomes too cold in the winter months.
While roots need room to grow freely with flowers and shrubs, cactus can push through rocks and pebbles, so putting some grit or tiny stones in the pot with the compost gives them greater root strength.
Finally, repot your cactus if it gets too large for its original pot, using lots of care in the moving process. You don’t want to hurt yourself on the spines or hurt the plant by uprooting it too violently.
Cacti might look hard and resilient, and in a way, they are, but they still need a soft hand during relocation. Using a fork to unearth your cactus and lift it out for replanting is an easy way to be safe and tender with it.
What Kind of Soil Do Cactus Need Indoors?
The best soil for growing new cacti as well as continuing the life of an existing indoor cactus is “cactus compost.” It is specially formulated to drain thoroughly so your cactus doesn’t contract bacteria or molds.
If it does end up moldy, it needs to be sterilized either in a microwave or steamer. You can also find the right soil listed as “cactus soil.” It is tailored to the cactus’s needs by botanists.
How Much Water Does a Cactus Need?
An indoor cactus plant that is maintained in a temperature range of 60 to 75 degrees should be watered when the soil is about 90% dry. Add enough water to saturate the soil until it starts to disperse out of the drain hole in your planting pot.
This should be done about every 10 days but can be longer. If you feel the need to water your cacti during winter, every four to six weeks will be adequate.
How Much Do Cactus Plants Cost?
By and large, cactus plants are relatively inexpensive. They are plentiful in the desert, and some are harvested from these arid areas, but most for indoor use are grown in nurseries.
The typical cactus plants you see are easy to cultivate, and thus are cheaper than the more exotic variety. And as you can understand, larger plants come with larger price tags.
Cactus Decorating Ideas Are Nearly Endless
A cactus is one of the more flexible plants because of its limited watering needs and the ease with which they thrive in moderate sunlight. Some clever décor ideas for your cacti can be:
- Using multiple pots with many different cacti to give depth to an area. It’s called clustering.
- Add some cactus-themed additions to the furniture, like cactus embroidered throw pillows or even a stuffed cactus for the kids to rest on.
- Want to add to your desert theme in the bathroom? Get some cactus towels or a southwest shower curtain.
- For smaller cacti, change their planting medium from a pot to a goldfish bowl and add decorative stones.
- Use different size cacti to add scope to your space that will catch the eye.
Artificial Cactus Plants Look Just Like the Real Thing
The innovations in creating artificial plants of all styles have come a long way, and cacti are no exception. If you want to place some decorative cactus plants and have children who like to look with their hands, as most kids do, then incorporating fake cacti is a wonderful choice.
To the untrained eye, they are indistinguishable from the real thing, never need water, and will look good for years to come.
Using cacti for home décor, as a hobby plant, or as a way to tip your hat to the desert for giving us one of the nature’s most ardent survivors, will surely enrich your life.
They are easy to maintain, need little attention, and can have surprises in store as they mature. If you have used cacti in your home or have stories about adventures decorating with cacti, we would love to hear them.