Welcome back, everyone! Today’s topic is the wonderful world of cactuses. Cactus plants are native to the Western hemisphere cactuses live in dry environments and most are considered to be succulents. They have thick stems as you see here and these stems will enable to store. Water cactuses also have a shallow root system. Many cactuses also have a rounded shape. This enables the plant to have high water storage capability, which is a very useful adaptation in natural, dry and hot conditions. Cactus have special structures called Ariel’s. You can see them here. The aerials produce a modified leaf called a spine. That’s the sharp part. These obviously protect the plant. The areas will also produce flowers as you can see here. The flowers emerge from the ends of the stems with over 2 000 species of cactuses. There are dozens available to grow indoors in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors. Some common cactuses include the golden barrel. We have the old man of the south. I think he’s really cute. We have this special one called Snowflake. We have the Apontia family, which are common bunny ears, prickly pears and often a cactus tree. We have balloons. This one’s very special. It’s a redheaded Irishman. We have this guy who’s very unusual. This is Sylvia. This one’s a special favorite. It looks reddish orange, But its nickname is called Lemon and last, but not least Miss Bella. It looks like pickles to me, but his name is peanut with enough bright light. Your cactus might bloom in some vibrant colors. This one will be reddish pink. This plant looks like it’s going to have a beautiful, white blue. Just remember, some of the blossoms may have a fragrance, but there are sharp spines under those beautiful blooms, the grafted cactus. As you see here are actually two plants that are fused together, the colors, the sizes and shapes will vary, depending upon the species that are grafted. The grafted plant cactus is also known as a moon plant. The bottom is called Hyloceri’s, which is a three-sided plant. It’s rather non-descript, but it does have a very famous cousin, The Honolulu Queen Cactus, which is where we get dragon fruit. The top portion is oxygen, calcium plant. This plant is a Gemini Calcium and you can see its green. It has chlorophyll and chlorophyll is what the plant uses to make. It’s beautiful, green color. The cousin, which is used for the top of the grafting, doesn’t have chlorophyll. Therefore, it doesn’t turn green in nature. It’s actually a grayish brown color. When it’s grafted on top of the root stock, it actually emits these beautiful, vivid colors, so it really comes to life as a grafted plant. Taking care of your new cactus is easy once you know what to do, lets. Take a look at this cactus. This cactus comes with a plastic sleeve, which is used for safety because of these humongous spikes. So we’re going to take that off very carefully. I selected this plant because as we mentioned Cactus have very shallow root systems. But this one looks like he’s outgrown his pot, so we definitely need to do something here, so I’m going to protect myself and put on gloves. carefully grasp the plant if possible in between the aerials and wiggle the plant out. I like to squeeze the pot. If you’re able to grab it by the base, do that and continue to twist the soil out of the pot and you can see. We lost some of the roots, but there’s still quite a few roots, so we’re going to pull some of the soil away. This cactus is probably several years old, so the soil might have been there for some time, so we definitely want to give it some fresh soil. Now let’s take a second and talk about soil. You definitely want to use a soil that is specifically for cactus and succulents, and it will say cactus, palm and citrus potting mix. This is great for succulents, also do not use regular potting mix. It will hold the water too much to the roots, and your plant will experience root rot. This has a tremendous amount of sand in it, which gives us great drainage as you notice. The plant was living in a pot that had holes in the bottom. You definitely need to have a pot that has a hole in the bottom for proper drainage. Even though you won’t be watering it very often. You want to make sure you’ve got plenty of drainage? Another quick tip is if you are going to plant it in a pot that perhaps doesn’t have a hole, make sure the pot that it’s planted in has holes and stick that pot inside a decorative pot and again if you are able to hold it by the base and wiggle it into position and remember, this is where you need to have gloves because the plant’s going to fight you a little bit. I want to make sure it’s at a good depth. You want to make sure the soil covers the plant up to the neck where it was in the previous pot gently? Push the soil into position. And there you go now at this point. You may want to water your cactus, but I highly recommend not watering this cactus as you saw the soil that the plant came out of was quite wet. The plant will be fine. Let it sit there. I would go for a week or two and then check on it after a week. Or so you want to check your cactus and make sure that it’s happy in its new home? You want to make sure that there’s no problems? No issues, no potential root rot. The soil should be relatively dry at this point. Since we’ve just repotted it, you may also want to fertilize it to give it a little extra nutrition since it’s been through a little bit of a stress. This is a succulent plant food, which is also good for cactus and it’s actually a squirt formula, so you’d actually squirt it on the side. I would do one or two squirts Following the manufacturer’s direction and then water the plant very, very minimally from the side of the plant. You never want to water near the stem. You always want to water the edge of the plant and twirl around and make sure there’s sufficient drainage. Cactus House plants also prefer the same care as those found in nature, they like a warm, sunny location or a spot with lots of bright light, while some cacti can handle direct sunlight, many are not suited for low light conditions. You always want to refer to the plant tag or oftentimes with cactus. Follow the instructions on the label plants that grow in highlight conditions and in warm spaces may need to be watered more frequently than those growing in cooler locations. Also in summer time. You’ll need to be watering more than you will in the winter time. You’ll want to rotate your cactus weekly. So the plant will grow in even light. Sometimes cacti will grow asymmetrically if one side of the plant receives more light than the other side. You may need to take this plant out and actually repot it, so it maintains an upright condition. Most indoor cactus plants available for sale are hardly down to about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. They may have warm temperature requirements and they may not be suited for life outdoors in the wintertime. You want to inspect your plants when you’re watering as well as in between times monitor your plants so you can stop any infestations early on any plant that looks like it may have a pest should be immediately quarantined, placed under treatment and kept away from other plants. If you suspect your cactus is being attacked by spider mites, scale or mealy bugs, you can provide a common home remedy, take a bottle and include one part, rubbing alcohol to three parts water. You do not want to spray your plant. Get a cotton swab, spray the swab until wet and DAP the area of the plant that may have a potential infestation again. Be careful of the spikes. While many indoor house plants can be saved from harmful insects using insecticidal soaps, pyrethrins and neem oil cactus are very special plants. You may not be able to use those products. You should always check the product labeling before applying to your cactus Occasionally. Bad things will happen to good house plants. And I have a few things that happened here. Some of the plants actually lost several little branches. When we were moving to set. Now don’t be alarmed. You can actually turn these into new plants. What I suggest doing is? After they’ve fallen off the plant or been unfortunately removed, allow about a week for the ends to harden over once they’ve hardened over, you’ll be able to plant them back in soil. I have two little plants here. That actually fell apart about two months ago. I’m just going to take them and show you what’s happened. I let them sit outside for about a week to harden over. And I have some pretty good little roots on this fellow you can see. After two months, there’s quite a lot of plant structure. Some cactus will bloom under cooler temperatures and in drier conditions, some cactus can take up to 50 years before they’re mature enough to bloom, knowing the type of cactus. You have will help you identify when to expect flowers on your specific cactus, displaying several cactus together in a group and adding rocks and sand topper can add a definite desert theme to a sunny location with little watering needs. The cactus can be a wonderful, low maintenance choice for an indoor plant presentation. Remember to spend quality time each week carefully inspecting and enjoying your cactus. Check out our cactus guide for more great information about taking care of your new plants.