I’m pretty sure that almost everyone knows those notorious facts about cactus I’m going to write here. But the problem is that a great deal of these statements are far from being real; many of them are half-true, or even false. So I believe it’s necessary to have a closer look at them. Here we go.Cactus and succulent are synonyms.
Not every succulent is a cactus
, but every cactus is a succulent. Lots of succulents belong to the botanical families of lilaceous, euphorbiaceous, crassula, etc.
Cactuses grow well only in the sun.
Normal growth and development of cactus plants is possible prevalently when there’s plenty of light. Though with the help of certain tricks flowering is still possible in conditions of little sun. As a matter of fact, only several “unprotected” types of cactus needs some shading (but sunlight is still essential for them). Those who put their cactus plants somewhere in the depth of the room, on shelves together with figurines and ceramics, kill them slowly.
Cactuses need warmth all the year round.
Cactuses need a period of rest to grow properly and flower. Dry, cold and sunless winter time puts them to sleep. Only hygrophilous cactuses of tropical forests, that grow during the whole year, demand no wintering.
The more often you look at your cactuses, the better they grow.
Examining your cactus plants frequently, you can notice an imminent danger (a wound, loss of roots, ticks) on time and take measures to prevent it.
Cactuses are desert plants, they don’t like water.
Not all cactuses are xerophilous. But even the most xerophilous cactus species need much watering during the period of growth (and not only for the sake of nutrition, but also for the sake of stalk cooling by evaporation).
The less you touch cactuses, the better it is.
Cactuses suffer when you move and turn their pots, they lose their beautiful thorns and don’t flower. It happens mostly with experienced cactus collectors that “nurse” their cactuses too much in the beginning.
The more seldom you transplant cactuses, the better they grow.
It’s necessary to transplant cactuses every year. Proper transplantation is by no means harmful to them, on the contrary, it stimulates growth of roots and a stalk.
Cactuses do not love change of conditions.
For this reason don’t be zealous in search of far-fetched panaceas, tricks and secrets. Frequent changes of soil, arrangement, regime and watering calendar can result in illness of your cacti and even death. Don’t overdo, as you run the risk of losing your cactus collection.
Cactuses should be fertilized plentifully, if you want them to bloom.
Cactuses should be fertilized to the extent of their needs, which are much less than those of deciduous plants. The overfed cactus will never bloom, as well as the starving one. But underfed cactuses usually don’t die, while overfeeding often can be fatal, as they are not adapted to it physiologically.
Rapidly growing cactus perishes easily.
Excessively fast growth, especially if it’s caused by artificial fertilization, result in the cactus with a friable stalk, thin downiness, and weak resistibility to infections and vermin. Give your cactus everything need, and let it grow with its natural pace. Only this way you will have a strong and healthy plant.
Cactus blossoms once in its lifetime and then perishes.
A healthy cactus should blossom every summer without any harm for itself. It can get exhausted only if too many fruits will set on it. In such cases it is better to remove some berries as soon as they are set.
A cactus, which doesn’t start to grow in summer, often perishes in winter.
A cactus that doesn’t grow is considered half-dead, though some cactus species can live in such half-dead state for several years. To save the plant, it is necessary to find out the reason, why it doesn’t grow (most often it’s because of the loss of roots) and take necessary measures. You should not be afraid of your cacti and learn how to take them in the hands, how to transplant them, how to wash and cure them. A cautious cactus collector who is afraid of thorns will never achieve a success.
Your cactuses themselves will teach you how to care for them if you always love and learn to understand them.