is a hidden treasure of plants waiting for you when
you look into the world of cactus and succulents. There is a wealth of plant material in cactus and succulents to turn a barren
landscape into an unusual garden or a bright window
into a showcase of colorful foliage and flowers,
or a dreary collection of containers into
a splash of colors. If you are an apartment dweller
and space is limited, decorative dish gardens of cacti or succulents can
give you miniature desert scenes indoors. In all-year
temperate climates, big plants like the organpipe
cactus (Lemaireocereus thurberi) or some of the succulents like aloes
and agaves can be put in the ground for permanent
landscape features. Where summers are short, these
same cactus and succulents are suitable for container gardens. The
variety of plant forms with cactus and succulents is infinite. Water is, of course, still necessary for these plants. One cactus lover we know keeps a water fountain near, and dips out a small amount of water each day. We're considering the same with a wall water fountain . Not only do fountains provide water, they darn good looking, too! You can grow
different kinds of cacti for striking foliage, for individualistic
plant shapes, or for colorful flowers; often
these different features may be found combined in
a single plant. The Succulent Echeveria has foliage in shades
of blue-green or pale green, often lined with red
or pink; some plants (like Euphorbia grandicornis)
have bizarre shapes for cactus; other types are desirable because
of the interesting patterns of the spines. Succulents are never boring!
are fond of flowers, the beautiful orchid, and Christmas
cacti are perennial favorites, while night blooming
types with breathtaking 12-inch flowers offer dramatic
beauty. A cactus is simply a succulent plant that
can store moisture, but not all succulents are cactus.
Succulents do not belong to any one plant family
but are represented in nearly thirty different ones.
You find them in the lily, amaryllis, crassula, daisy,
and milkweed families, and even among the geraniums.
You can easily identify cactus. With rare exceptions
(the lemon vine, Pereskia aculeata, and its close
relatives) they do not have leaves, or, when any
are present they soon fall. Although most of them
have spines and bristles, there are even some cactus
without spines; several have long hair or a wooly
covering instead. Among the succulents, the often
seen jade plant (Crassula argentea) and the donkey
tail (Sedum morganianum) have been popular house
plants for years because they are succulents that grow almost untended.
The crown-of-thorns (Euphorbia milli) and the poinsettia
(Euphorbia pulcherrima) have withstood the test of
time as beautiful gift plants. The familiar wax plant
(Hoya carnosa) is a succulent and so is the rosary
vine (Ceropegia woodii). Tiny crassulas and sedums
that you have seen for years in florist shop windows
are also part of this large group called cactus & succulents.
cactus and succulent related resources