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Cactus Garden

A cactus garden is easy to care for, esthetically very pleasing and can be planted in areas where it is hard to get other plants to grow. Cactus gardens might primarily be associated with warmer climates but the fact is that you can keep a cactus garden a lot further north than you might expect. There are many cactus species that can tolerate the temperature falls below zero from time to time making it possible to keep cactus gardens as far north as new york and southern united states. The elevation where you live will however of course have a big impact on the climate so you will need to make sure that the climate in your areas is suitable for cacti If the temperature drops below freezing every now and then and then during the winter where you live than you can likely have a cactus garden if you choose the right species. You can also keep a number of palms. If the temperature drops considerable below freezing or if your area is prune to extended periods of below freezing temperature than a cactus garden might not be able to survive the winter. This does however not mean that it is impossible to keep a cactus garden. Just that it will require more work to have one as you will have to move the cacti inside for the winter. They will need very little care during the winter provided they are stored in the right way.

Choosing plants for a cactus garden

It is important to choose the cactus plants you choose to use in your garden well. They should be chosen not only for their looks but also for how suitable they are in your climate and how well the adapt to the soil you used. Local nurseries can sometimes but not always help you find species that are suitable for your climate. If you are living in an area where cactus gardens are rare than you should be prepared that you might have to do most of the legs work yourself as there might not be anyone that can tell you which species do well in your area. It can sometimes be hard to find the species you want without paying a high price or starting from seeds. Starting from seeds can be a good alternative for some species but is perhaps not a choice in regards to more slow growing species. When you choose species make sure to choose cacti that have different shape and that flowers at different times in different colors. I also recommend putting in some other succulents such as Aloe and Agave in your garden even if they are technically not cacti. Using hanging cactus can add an extra stunning level to your garden. Your goal should be to create a garden that has a lot of contrast while maintaining a calm and balance.

Planting a cactus garden

Once you have chosen your plants you will need to plants them in your garden. Make sure that you where heavy gloves to protect you and the plants when you plant them. You want to make sure you do not hurt yourself nor the plant. If you need to plant a large cactus you can place wrap a soft towel around it as handle to get better control over it. If you do this carefully you should not hurt the plant. Cactus plants are often sold in clay pots. It is often best to smash the pot carefully to get the plant out. Trying to drag it out of the pot can damage the plant. Make sure you plant the cactus on the same level as it was in in the pot. If you plant it lower it might rot, higher and it might tip over. It is better that it end up a little higher in the ground than a little lower but try to plant it as good as possible.’

If you live in an area where you will need to store the plants inside during the winter you should leave the cactus plants in the pots and plant the entire pot. The dirt level around the pot should be on the same level as in the pot. Cacti do well with little root space and by planting them like this you make moving them a lot easier for you and a lot less stressful for the plant

Caring for a cactus garden

A cactus garden can be low maintenance and easy to care for provide that you planed it well before hand. It is important to have well draining soil and rocks placed in such a way that you easily can do any maintenance work without risk being stung by the cactus plants. If you live in an area where the cactus need to be protect from the winter the garden will require more work but not as much as you would expect. You can find more info on this below. If you garden is well planned than all you need to do is water and fertilize the plants and remove weeds. It is very important to keep all weeds away from a cactus garden as the weeds otherwise quickly can gain the upper hand and completely cover your garden. If you live in an area where the cacti can be out all years but where you might experience cold nights we recommend covering the cacti for extra protection during the winter nights.

Water & Fertilizing a cactus Garden

It is easy to fertilize your cactus garden. Cacti only want fertilizer during the growth period. During their rest they want no nutrients and very little water. During the growth period the cacti want plenty of water without ending up standing in water. If you have a sandy well draining soil in your cactus garden it is almost impossible to over water them. You might think of cacti as desert plants but the truth are that you can find them in a number of different ecosystems including tropical swamps and mangrove forests where they can live mere centimeters from the waters edge. How much water and nutrient your cactus garden wants depends on what species you have choose to plant in it. We usually give our cacti half the nutrient dosage that we would give regular plants and that ha worked very well. There is however exception form this rule, especially with small cacti and succulent species.

Winter storage

Storing your cactus plants during the winter does not have to be hard. Simply place them in a dry cool area with a lot of light. If you can not give them a light cool are than any cool are will do but in this case you will need to keep a close eye on them to make sure that the plants don’t start to wither. If they do you might have to bring them up into a light spot early. Allow the cacti to be planted in the same pots all year round. Simply dig down the pot and all in the garden during the summer. If you want to learn more about how to store your cactus plants over the winter you can read our article on the subject.