Cacti are members of the plant family Cactaceae, which has 127 genera. They can be tall and lanky or short and spherical and almost often have scales or spines which protect them from predators. There are over 2,000 species and we have no doubt, there'll be something to fall in love with for everyone.
The best place for your cacti in your home, is a north facing windowsill if kept indoors. They thrive best with access to as much light as possible.
During the spring and summer months they thrive better still outdoors with an area that is partly shaded so their leaves are protected from direct sun and rain.
If cacti do not receive sufficient light, they become etiolated or leggy meaning they stretch and lose their shape.
Cacti need to dry out completely between waterings depending on the environment and the pot your cactus is planted in.
This can be during spring and autumn once a fortnight, during summer once a week and during winter can be once a month.
They can easily be overwatered if not allowed to dry out completely which in the long term can lead to root rot.
The soil should be loose and not densely packed to allow for free water drainage and oxygen supply to the roots. We recommend a cacti and succulent mix for your Cacti.
Cacti love the heat. There are no two ways about it.
As previously mentioned, a north facing windowsill is ideal for them in the warmest room of your house.
Most cacti will go dormant during winter and can easily cope with the cooler climates especially on the South Island of New Zealand, but we recommend keeping them in the warmest room of you home in winter also.
Cacti do not cope well with high humidity as they originate from environments which are dry and hot for the most part of the year.
We do not recommend planting cacti in terrariums for that reason due to the built up of humidity in an enclosed environment over time which in the long term can potentially lead to root rot of your cactus.
Cacti do not require regular feeding with fertiliser.
You can feed them once a year at the beginning of spring with cacti and succulent specific fertiliser which is available from most garden centres to encourage blooming.
Please do not feed your cactus houseplant fertiliser as it will do them more harm than good.
Most cacti can only be propagated through seeds that need to be germinated and then grown into plants.
Some cacti grow pups that can be taken off the mother cactus ideally only if they already have their own root system. They can still be taken off if they don't have their own root system yet but then need to be rooted separately.
Cuttings can also be taken of some cacti that need to be left unpotted to callus over which can take 6 - 8 weeks or longer depending on the size of the cutting. Once callused over the cutting can then be rooted straight into soil.