Most Different Types of Cactus Houseplants

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Most Different Types Of Cactus Houseplants

Want to give a Christmas gift of plants, consider the different types of cactus as a unique and festive gift.

So that stubby little plant you seen with thorns is most certainly a cactus, we all know that! But are you completely sure the next time you see a cactus-like plant if it really is a cactus? Not so sure are you now, this is because there are so many varieties of the cactus plant that most often people get confused.
The cactus is an easy-to-grow plant, even when it is completely neglected you will see this stubborn little plant struggling but managing. The cactus is a very well adjusting plant. It can survive in any condition with little or no water for weeks. The cactus plant can vary in size and shape. It can be very tall and thin or it can be short and stubby, some even have flowers. Did you know there are almost 2000 species of cactus?

What Kind of Cactus Do I Have

A cactus is a type of succulent plant that is characterized by its spiny stem, fleshy leaves, and flowers that can be either yellow or red. It has been in existence since the formation of the planet Earth. Cacti are succulents with fleshy, flattened stems that store water in the stem tissue. They stand out from other succulents because they have a specialized structure where the stem is covered with overlapping, fleshy leaves that form a green, waxy coating.
Different types of cacti can be identified according to their shape and location. There are many different species of cacti such as the columnar, columnar-spine, globular-columnar, globular-spine and tuberous-rooted species. The most common cactus plants are the columnar and globular varieties.

Types of Cacti Plants

There are different types of cacti and different species. Here are a few types of the cactus plant:

Arid Climate Cacti

Arid Climate CactiThis is the most typical type of cactus plant, the kind that we all naturally think, one that is surviving in desert conditions. This cactus plant has spines and sometimes has flowers, which makes it a very ornamental plant.

There are different types of arid climate cactus as well.

Star Cactus

Star CactusStar Cactus is an easy-to-grow cactus that is spineless and has white flakes outside.

Astrophytum Asterias or star cactus only grows up to about 2 inches tall and 5 inches wide.

Attractive areolas (spinal pads) grow along their ribs, but without thorns.

The greenish-brown body is covered with white scales, which contributes to its ornamental value. Star cactus flowers are yellow with a reddish base.

The star cactus grows as a spherical cactus and then star-shaped, hence its name. If you have small spaces and windowsills the Chin Cacti is perfect as it is a small plant and one that blooms early. Its flowers are pretty white and pink. The pincushion cacti are a group of free-flowering cacti that are the simplest to look after.

The reason they are called pincushion is that they are so densely spun and hairy-looking. Rainbow cacti are so-called because their flowers are red, white, magenta, and pink. This cactus looks like an explosion of colors and makes for a very interesting centerpiece.

Sea Urchin cactus

Sea Urchin CactusThe Sea Urchin cactus is a small grayish-green or whitish-green plant.

It has a bright yellow flower with a red base that appears every 5 years.

The goat’s horn cactus is a small cactus that has brown spines twisting around it. Its flowers are mostly wine red at the base.

Bishop’s cap is a spherical cactus with white scales and yellow flowers.

Plant Desert Agave Succulent Aloe Cacti Plants

Rain Forest Cacti

Most people cannot imagine a cactus plant growing in a rainforest, but you will be surprised at the number of rainforest cactus there are. In fact, rainforest cactus are very pretty flowering cacti and make great thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter Garden gifts.

They look very different from arid cactus, they have wide and flat green stems which look a lot like leaves and they do not have thorns either.

These rainforest cacti need more water yet should not be flooded with water. They should not be allowed to completely dry out in the summer months as they will just die. Though the rainforest cactus needs sunlight, too much of it will harm it and too little will also harm it. It’s a tricky little plant these rainforest cacti but pretty to keep in the house. There are different types in the rainforest cacti as well.

Barrel cactus

Barrel CactusBarrel cactus, Echinocactus spp., and Ferocactus spp. are round cacti that originate in the North American desert in the southwest.

They live up to 100 years and grow less than 3 feet tall.

Barrel cacti are popular ornamental plants grown for their yellow, orange, pink or red flowers.

Fairy Castle Cactus

Fairy Castle Cactus

The fairy castle cactus is a unique name for an unusual type of cactus, also known as Cereus tetragonus.

This North American cactus got its common name because of its many groups of stems that vary in height and appear as tiny towers and towers.

The ribs are clear and the thorns are short and dense.

Cholla cactus

Cholla CactusCholla cactus, Cylindropuntia spp., are closely related to fig cactus but have a more limited range in the US southwest. Cholla cacti grow rounded or elongated cylindrical stems connected by segmented joints.

Grow the Chola cactus carefully and leave plenty of room to move around the plants.

Dense thorns covered with paper sleeves appear in all colors and are colorful in some species. The cholla cactus is an excellent addition to xeriscaped gardens or southwest in sunny and dry places.

Prickly Pear Cactus

Prickly Pear CactusFig cacti belong to the genus Opuntia and include some of the most cold-tolerant cactus species in the world, with several species that can withstand sub-zero temperatures.

Gardeners from all over North America grow fig Pericles in dry, sunny landscapes and indoors in well-lit rooms.

They bloom and fruit abundantly with little care.

San Pedro Cactus

San Pedro CactusEchinopsis pachanoi is the botanical name of the cactus of San Pedro.

This Andean native to Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru grows at altitudes between 6,600 and 9,800 feet above sea level.

Gardeners around the world grow San Pedro cactus as an easy-to-grow indoor plant or as a fast-growing landscape cactus for mild climates.

The Most Popular Cactus Varieties For Gardeners

There are so many different cactus varieties in the world, that gardening enthusiasts often have a hard time choosing between them when it comes time to plant a cactus garden. If you like flowers but have no time to tend them, you may appreciate the beauty of one of the flowering varieties.

Like things a little easier, there are many cactus varieties that never even need to be watered. Whatever your tastes, there’s a type of cactus available to suit your needs. Our experts have tried to bring to you a number of the most popular cacti, so that you will at least have a basic understanding of what’s available.

Flowering Cacti

Flowering CactiFlowering cacti are by far the most popular cactus varieties. Cactus flowers are often large, beautiful blooms, which would make even the most amazing rose garden blush. A more common type of flowering cactus is the Christmas cactus.

Christmas cactus

There is the Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus, which flowers in between these, holidays and is hence named. The Easter cactus is one that quite naturally flowers around Easter. The Orchid cactus is one that can bloom under extreme shaded heat and high humidity. The flowers of this cactus plant are 6 inches long and of varied colors, they have the sweetest scent and most often bloom at night.

This cactus displays beautiful red flowers, and dark green, waxy leaves. These types of cacti are labeled as ‘holiday cacti’.

Holiday cacti, whether Christmas, or Easter; are the most popular cactus varieties for those who like indoor cactus gardens. Requiring very little care, holiday cacti do well in northern homes where they can be exposed to cooler temperatures in the wintertime. The colder temperatures encourage bloom regeneration each year, and will help your cacti to bloom more generously.

Edible Cacti

Other popular cactus varieties are the fruit-bearing types. These include the cacti that bear both the prickly pear, as well as the dragon fruit. These cacti are also quite popular in commercial industries, as well as in-home gardens. The fruit-bearing cactus varieties do require a bit more care than their flower-only cousins. If you decide that you want to grow a fruit-bearing cactus, it is recommended that you first consult a horticulture expert, who can instruct you about the finer details of caring for these cacti.

Other cactus varieties are tree cacti, as well as the thorn-less varieties. Regardless of which type of cacti you prefer, cacti are a wonderful plant for gardeners of all experience levels. If you prefer to grow an indoor cactus garden, there are several cactus varieties that are considered miniature (some as small as the tip of your finger) that look beautiful in indoor rock gardens.

Talk to an expert at your local home and garden center today, and ask to see the many cactus varieties they carry.

What To Look For In Cactus Identification

Cacti are succulents that often store water or liquid in them in order to survive the heat of their chosen region. Cacti are plants that usually have spines on them, and because of this distinctive feature, many people assume that all plants with spines on them are cacti. This is far from the truth since many other plants are succulent and have spines on them.

Is This A Cactus?

Here are some ways to tell if the plant you are looking at is a cactus or not. Cactus identification is a great help for those who are still studying cacti. Cacti usually have areoles from which flowers, spines, and branches sprout. This is their most distinctive feature which differentiates them from other plants.

Spines are another feature that most cacti have which can help in proper cactus identification. Do not mistake these spines for thorns because these are not the same. Spines in cacti vary from each other in color, shape, appearance, and size.

The flowers of cacti are singular in the aspect that they are very striking and very unique from other plants’ flowers. The downfall of this knowledge in proper cactus identification is that the only way you can differentiate cacti from other plants which are similar is when they are flowering.

Cacti seldom have left, but those which have left have unique leaves. This is one sure way of proper cactus identification which can be used to differentiate between cacti and other similar plants.

Some plants that people might mistake as cacti are aloe, agave, euphorbia, lithops, and echeveria. These plants have similarities to a cactus which can sometimes confuse people. The Euphorbia is the one single plant that has inspired a lot of debate from people who are not familiar with it because it definitely has the looks of a cactus. The differences between a cactus and the Euphorbia are in the fluid inside them and the origin of the spines or thorns.

Lithops may also confuse the beholder because they are highly similar to cacti but they are just succulents, not cacti. Their appearance may be similar but this is where the similarity ends. The right cactus identification will help you know the difference between the two plants.

It pays to know the way of proper cactus identification especially if you plan to have further studies regarding cacti or any other botanical field. Cactus identification can be achieved by being more observant and meticulous in studying plants.

What You Need To Know About The Different Types Of Cactus Species

When it comes to different types of plants, the cactus family is one of the most easily recognizable. This succulent plant family usually grows in hot and humid surroundings. The deserts in the Americas are filled with these types of plants. If you happen to travel in Arizona or Mexico, you can easily spot different cactus species across the expanse of the desert.

These cactus species differ in shapes and sizes but they all have the characteristic stems and spines that made the cactus plant very popular. Furthermore, all cactus species have an amazing ability to conserve water; it can live as long as 300 years even in the aridest and hot environment.

Uses Of Different Types of Cactus

Uses Of Different Types Of CactusAll through the years, the uses of the different cactus species evolved. In the olden days, some species of cactus plants served as food for people who are living in the deserts of America. People who wander into the desert and get lost often rely on the cactus for something to eat, because the watery and fleshy stems of some cactus species are edible.

However, with the improvements in the means of transportation and the increasing availability of food supply coming from other parts of the country, the need to feed on the cactus has become almost non-existent save in cases of emergency.

In our modern times, the use of the different cactus species expanded. Since certain cactus species are small enough to fit inside houses and apartments, the cactus has found its way into many American homes and offices.

In fact, many interior decorators in the country now use different cactus species in their designs which made some species of cactus quite expensive these days. A lot of plant nurseries that are selling exotic cactus species are earning quite well from these plants.

Another notable use of the cactus is in the field of medicine because some species of cactus contain important chemical components that can be used to treat different types of illnesses, such as the prickly pear cactus. The prickly pear cactus (also known as nopal) has been used as a source of medicine for some time.

This type of cactus which originated from the Latin American regions is said to reduce blood glucose levels in human beings. Currently, many pharmaceutical companies are using this type of cactus as a source of ingredients for drugs used to treat patients with diabetes mellitus.

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