Did you know that the amazing Cactus family encompasses more than 2,500 species? Yeah, we know. Shocking! You’ve probably only seen one variety of cactus around you, and assumed that was it. But that is not all there is.
The natural distribution of the cactus plant extends from Canada, all the way to Central America and deep into the West Indies. If you are in the cactus country, then you should keep an eye out for all the variations of the plant.
Nature is a diverse subject with many things falling under its numerous categories. The cacti plant is quite an interesting subject, and we shall tell you a little about the different types of cactus available in this review.
Scientifically known as Schlumbergera truncata, the Christmas Cactus is bright pink in color and returns annually during the holiday season, hence its name. It originates from the humid forest of Brazil and requires more water than other cacti to flourish.
It has colorful flowers, when they bloom they may come in Salmon, hot pink, pale pink, deep red, and white shades. Its close cousin is the Easter cactus, Schlumbergera buckleyi, which as suggested by its name, blooms during the spring in April.
If you are interested in this beauty of a plant, you should know that it is quite affordable and can live up to 100 years. That is if properly taken care of and in a conducive environment.
It grows better in pots with well-drained soil and drainage holes. After a few years though, it is advisable to change the pot to sustain growth. It doesn’t have to be a large pot just an increment of a few centimeters will be adequate.
Another fascinating member of the Cacti family is the Barrel Cactus, also known as the mother-in-law cactus. It originates from the Mojave Desert in Southern California in the US and can grow up to 3 meters or 9.8 feet.
It has long spines and can live up to a long life of 100 years. Its flowers, which can be either yellow, tan, or red, bloom in April which is the spring season.
It does not need a lot of water as it can be watered only once and that will sustain it for 2 to 3 months. However, it does need an abundant amount of sun.
It grows fast and its growth is based on the sun’s orientation which is why it is sometimes called ‘compass cactus’.Fun fact, their fruits were collected by Native Americans as emergency food.
Also known as the sea urchin or starfish cactus, Astrophytum asterias originates from Texas in the United States of America and Mexico. It is spineless and can grow up to 6 inches.
It is quite small and has a yellow or white bloom. Its stem turns brown when in need of water though it consumes a small amount of water and flourishes in the sun.
It has been grown as a houseplant since 1840. It is a slow-growing plant hence has to be protected from extinction as it is endangered. This is due to urban development causing its habitat’s destruction and herbicides.
We should ensure the survival of this endangered species so that future generations may marvel at its beauty.
Old Lady Cactus
This is a type of powder puff cactus covered with spines hence its name. Scientifically known as Mammillaria hahniana, it originates from Central Mexico.
It is easy to grow hence for a willing cultivator, it is a beginner’s choice. It can grow up to 10 inches tall.
It has beautiful reddish-purple flowers that bloom in spring and summer to form a certain apex-ring-like formation. It is fed and watered during its growth cycle which is in summer and barely watered during the winter.
Bunny Ear Cactus
As the name suggests it has the resemblance of a rabbit’s head. It is also famously known as the angel wing cactus due to its unique shape.
It has really thin stems with glochids which have a polka-dot appearance instead of sharp spines. They might not be sharp, but the glochids can also penetrate your skin.
Its scientific name is Opuntia Microdasys and it originated from Central and Northern Mexico. They have yellow flowers that rarely appear and also have hairs on their surfaces which when touched might irritate.
The most popular cactus plant is perhaps the Bunny Ear Cactus, so we see this species more than others. But in addition to the above five, there are a ton of cactus species out there, they’re just not as easy to find.
A cactus is the perfect plant for folks that love plants but don’t know much about plant care. With most cacti, you can go for very long periods of time without having to water them or do anything else.