Cacti - prickly hermits

Cacti - prickly hermits

The cactus world is bizarre. In any corner of the North Mexican desert, giants of Cereus, similar to Cyclopean-sized lamps, stand proudly. The fleshy trunks of Cereus, emerging from the hot soil, gradually widen, but from the middle they again barely noticeably narrow to the top, which has ascended twenty meters in height. From a distance they seem completely smooth, and only from a close distance can one see how these giants are armed with numerous and very strong thorns.

As if to contrast with the powerful Cereus, not far off, the stems of a snake-like cactus twine like a boa constrictor, and then a huge, slightly oblong green ball. And all of them are decorated with flowers in the hottest, stifling time. Here you can also find awkward prickly pears, as if entirely consisting of awkward thick highlights - "leaves" strewn with thorns.

Why would a cactus need its defensive outfit?

It turns out that the matter is very simple. For many herbivores, "green meat" is already very attractive, and therefore there are many thirsty people to feast on it. The most persistent "hunters" for cacti are antelopes and bison. They say that antelopes "invented" even a special device in order to protect themselves from painfully wounding cactus peaks. Holding a dense leaf of another plant in their mouths, animals use it as a shield, looking for suitable places on the cactus where they could painlessly "snatch" a tidbit. Like powerful pumping units, using the thinnest "plumbing system" of roots, cacti pump water (together with nutrients dissolved in it) from the bowels of the earth into their green reservoirs. They often accumulate several tons of such a fertile nutrient solution in giant candelabra of stems. Such a solid supply makes it possible for a cactus to live successfully, even when all living things around have dried up. No wonder he is called the green camel.

DIY cactus composition

The author of the article: Pravorskaya Yulia Albinovna, 69 years old
Agronomist, over 45 years of experience in gardening An article with a detailed description and step-by-step photos of composing a composition from cacti and succulents. Video on how to make a planter and pot.

Are you running out of space on your windowsill? Are there a lot of sand plants scattered all over the windows and they have no aesthetic appearance? There is a way out - make compositions from the cactus family. Collect several species in one bowl, and you will see how their appearance will change. From the many separately growing, you will get several beautiful compositions of cacti and succulents.

Cacti, sharp scissors or pruning shears, earth, drainage, a bowl, potassium permanganate, water and fantasy are all you need when composing a composition.

Indoor cacti

Cacti are peculiar thorny plants that have adapted to life in arid deserts, on the marginal plateaus of southern countries, belonging to the vast family of cactus. They grow well on the sands of deserts and semi-deserts, on rocky plateaus between rock crevices, heated by the scorching rays of the sun. Under such conditions, these plants have adapted to store moisture in the stem during the rainy season for dry times. Cacti, with a few exceptions, do not have leaves, and their function is performed by a thickened green stem, which has a wide variety of shapes: cylindrical, columnar, spherical, triangular, etc. Cactus stems are smooth, ribbed, tuberous, wrinkled with papillae or notches, they are covered outside hard cuticle with a waxy coating.

Cactus (Cactus)

The leaves of cacti are modified into spines, bristles and hairs of various shapes, lengths (up to 12 cm) and colors. They emerge from the toment-down pads. Only the leafy cactus (peyresquia) has leaves somewhat reminiscent of citrus leaves. Hairs, bristles and thorns serve as protection from animals in their homeland, and are also a device for the transfer of thorny fruits by animals, "babies" and reduce moisture evaporation.

On original, bizarre, and sometimes very small cacti, beautiful, large flowers, different in shape and color, appear. Flowers in cacti are bisexual, funnel-shaped, tubular, more sessile. In some plants, they bloom only at night. There are very fragrant flowers.

Cactus (Cactus)

Many of the cacti in their homeland produce edible fruits. Others go to feed livestock (prickly prickly pear), from candle-shaped cacti (cereus) form hedges, and their trunks go to small buildings and for fuel.

In the rooms, dwarf cactus species are bred, which take up little space. Several dozen of them can be grown on one windowsill. There are large collections of them in botanical gardens, as well as many amateurs.

Cactus (Cactus)

Materials used:

  • Indoor floriculture - D.F.Yukhimchuk.


Natural habitat - Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil. It has the shape of a ball on which large spines grow. Usually of medium size (up to 15 cm), but other subspecies reach 30 cm in diameter. A very popular houseplant.

The flowering period begins at 2 years of age and falls during the warm seasons - from April to October. The flowers are large, lush, and have a wide range of bud colors - from pink to crimson.

Watering the cactus should be rare, but abundant - they are very poorly tolerated overflow. The main subtlety is that the water must be warm and settled - a cold liquid can greatly harm the plant.

Orbiza balls growing in water, hydrogel, Orbeez, aqua soil

"Prestige" killer for beetles

Peat pots for growing seedlings of flower and vegetable crops.

"Agran" Kills on the fall

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Nutritional needs of succulents and cacti

Despite the strongly pronounced drought resistance, endurance, unpretentiousness, for succulents, including cacti (almost all cacti are succulents), grown as indoor crops, proper care is very important, which, in addition to the lighting regime, watering and temperature, includes fertilization - timely and accurate dosage.

Correctly selected feeding for succulents, cacti stimulate the development of all their internal tissues, flowering, strengthen immunity. Plants receive only a part of the elements necessary for life from water and carbon dioxide. The rest of the important ingredients are from the planting substrate and top dressing. They are subdivided into micro and macro elements. Of the latter, the main ones are nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus.

Since most succulents grow slowly, they do not need high nitrogen concentrations in their nutritional mix. In case of its overdose, the plant may "burst" - cracks will appear from the disproportionate growth of its internal and external parts, which, after healing, will remain disfiguring the flower scars.

Phosphorus in the right concentration has a positive effect on a regular, lush bloom. Potassium is a regulator of the growth of cacti and succulents, and is also responsible for the density of their covers.


These plants are also cacti, but the agricultural techniques for caring for them are fundamentally different. Ripsalidopsis or Schlumberger can often be found on the windowsills. Planted in rocky ground and scorched by the sun, these forest cacti are a deplorable sight.

Agrotechnology for the cultivation of forest species

A plant with wonderful vibrant flowers.

In nature, forest cacti live on tree trunks, the branches of which serve as a support for long whip-like leaves. Plants often live without access to sunlight, therefore, improper cultivation by careless lovers of these cacti in the scorching sun brings enormous harm to their appearance - disfiguring dry spots (burns) appear on the glossy surfaces of the leaves.

In the humid climate of tropical forests, these cacti absorb moisture not only by the roots, but by the entire surface of the leaves from the air. When keeping all types of forest cacti in a room, it is very important to provide them with high humidity, for which it is useful to spray the plants with soft, settled water, as well as humidify the air around your pets.

It is impossible to grow plants in the bright sun, so you should shade them in the summer from the scorching sun rays. An ideal place for growing forest cacti is the east window.

Watering the plants is carried out regularly, avoiding the complete drying out of the substrate in the pot. In winter, the care of forest cacti does not stop - they are also watered with warm water 2 times a month, the soil is carefully loosened to improve aeration of the roots, and the ambient temperature is lowered to + 15 ° C. In winter, plants are harmed by dry air, especially during the heating season. Remember to humidify the air in the room where the forest species grows.

During the budding period, pots with plants cannot be turned and rearranged - delicate buds may fall off, in this case flowering will not occur.

Almost all forest cacti (except for the epiphyllum) require annual transplantation into a fresh substrate. For planting forest cacti, you can use ready-made soil; soil for violets and begonias is also suitable.

Types of forest cacti

Huge flowers bloom at the ends of the shoots.

A distinctive feature of forest cacti can be considered flat fleshy leaves, they are long or short with smooth edges or curly cutouts. Cryptocereus has the most interesting leaf shape - its leaf blade is deeply cut on both sides, resembling the skeleton of a fish.

Schlumberger, aporocactus, epiphyllum, ripsalidopsis are very often found in the collections of florists. All plants are distinguished by exuberant flowering - many buds are formed at the ends of the green shoots, which turn into graceful flowers of the original shape and colors.

The petals are like the wings of a hummingbird.

Very often, novice amateurs cannot distinguish between Schlumberger and Ripsalidopsis, but in fact, everything is very simple.


The flower has rounded segments of leaves without sharp protrusions, blooms in April - May (Easter cactus) with charming flowers of white, orange, red, fuchsia color. The flower shape is chamomile with thin petals. During flowering, the entire cactus is covered with hundreds of pointed "suns". To stimulate the flowering of the plant, after flowering, the cactus is taken out into the fresh air, placing it away from the sun's rays. The plant is not brought indoors until October. The cooling period helps the plant to set new buds.


The leaves consist of flat, pointed segments with pronounced outgrowths. Flowers appear in November-December (Christmas, Decembrist), they have a complex multi-tiered shape with a graceful limb. There are varieties with orange-yellow, lilac-pink, red and white petals.

Philocactus (epiphyllum)

Long, flat leaves look like dense belts, flowering in early summer. During flowering, the epiphyllum is completely transformed, its unpresentable appearance is already invisible, because the whole plant is decorated with huge (from 15 to 20 cm) double flowers of an elegant shape.

They say that cacti protect the house from thieves and extinguish the negative radiation from computers. To help a person, the cactus itself must be well-groomed and healthy. We hope this article will help you in caring for your thorny pets.

I couldn't find a description for my pet. Who can I send a photo to for identification? Applications say that this is an indian comb, but I can't believe it.

Watch the video: YTP Adam Ragusea gets beat up by his cactus