The Cactus plant is probably the easiest and lowest maintenance plant you may want to consider to grow. Cactus plants come in various shapes, color and form. Cactus can be grown in any sunny, well-drained area. They need little maintenance. They make one of the most excellent house plants you can find. Some larger-growing cactus plants make dramatic floor plants with heights from 4 to 10 feet or more.
The cactus family is one of the most distinctive, striking, diversified and specialized groups in the plant kingdom. It includes close to 2,000 species, and they are all perennial and succulent. The succulent cactus plant have leaves, stems or roots that store water and can survive extended periods of no watering. The stem swells when water is stored and slowly contracts as the water is used.
The distinctiveness of the cactus family can be found not only in the flower structure, but also in one characteristic, that, although possessed by every cactus plant, is existent in all species of all other families of indoor plants. It is the spine cushion or areole. All cacti have areoles. These areoles differ in structure on different kinds of cacti, and it is one way of distinguishing one cactus plant from another.
Some parts of the cactus are edible. To prepare for cooking, the cactus thorns must be taken out, very carefully, with a peeler. Cactus is also used as bed and pillow stuffing. Cactus is also used as toothpicks, combs, sewing needles, fishhooks, building materials and as living fences or hedges.
The best way to successfully grow a healthy cactus plant is to purchase one that is already in good health. Try to avoid any plant that has damaged spines, obvious signs of bruising, or that has lopsided or uneven growth. It’s best if a cactus plant is purchased in the greenhouse where it was grown, or immediately after shipment to a retail outlet.
Cactus can also be grown from seed and one can find many seed companies that offer packets of mixed varieties. Do know, cactus plants can year to germinate, and may take a few years to see what your young cactus plants will look like. One must take care to grow in areas free from pests, especially mealy bug.