Growing a cactus is generally a love it or hate it part of the gardening world. They make some of the best plants to grow and it’s even possible to plant varieties that produce fruit and eaten.
Some of the advantages of cactus in a garden are:
- Low maintenance – You really don’t need to worry about watering them everyday. In the Texas summer when the temperature reach 105° in the shade, the heartiness of a cactus plant is well suited to the dry and drought conditions of August. You do want to generally avoid tall-growing cacti such as a Sedona like cactus due to the intense storms that can roll off of the Great Plains. A tree branch being torn from a tree in a 70 mph wind gust is bad enough, but an entire cactus with spines? That’s a little frightening.
- Little trimming – Generally, you can let a cactus plant grow as it wishes however, if a cactus ever needs trimming make sure to use heavy work gloves and a good pair of garden shears.
- Go long periods without nourishment – Cactus can survive in desert climes with little water and little minerals from dusty and rocky soil. Miracle-grow isn’t a necessity.
- Cacti put out fruit that used in various candies and jams – I learned this 1st hand when I was a student in archaeological field school. Along with learning how the Native Americans cooked turtles, not for the weak of stomach, we foraged for prickly pear fruit during our time off. It’s full of moisture and is just the thing when your hot and thirsty.
- Security – One of the most overlooked reasons for having a cactus garden is security. Placing cactus strategically under windows is a great deterrent to a burglar. Also, you can plant them as a border for other plans in a garden. They serve as a natural defense against animals like dogs and coyotes.
There are some down side to cactus in a garden.
Cacti that receives too much water too much can start to rot and become an invitation to rodents and insects.
The largest deterrent to a cactus garden is pets and small children. The curiosities of pets or children child under 10 years old are generally not compatible with cactus. These critters need to be trained about these plants so that a painful trip to an emergency room or veterinarian is not necessary.
Here is a good website with some further information about cacti:
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