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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Does Anyone Have A List Of Their Favorite Cacti For Containers?

Q. Would you please take the time to send a list of cacti that is best suited for containers? Thank you so much for your help.

A. I don’t know of any lists for container cacti. Any cacti can be containerized. The basic concerns will be the size of the cactus, how much it can tolerate low temperatures and how much sunlight it can handle. It may sound weird but some cacti require protection from high intensity sunlight and grow best with a little bit of shade.

Other cacti may come from the tropics and not handle temperatures below 45° F. The basic concerns are the larger the cactus, the larger the container needed. Look up the cactus you want to grow on the Internet making sure you have its correct Latin name. Find out where it came from. If it came from the tropics there is a good chance you will need to protect it from low winter temperatures. Find out about its exposure to light. If it is a shade loving cactus you will need to provide either shade cloth or lath to give it some relief from high light intensities.

Porous containers work best. This can be Terra Cotta or any porous material. The soil mix must drain freely. It should not be a houseplant mix and do not use our native desert soil. The soil mix should have compost or similar organics mixed with it at around 50% of the soil volume. The container must have a hole in the bottom for drainage. Do not put any course gravel or broken clay pot in the bottom of the container. Use the cactus soil mix through the entire container. When watering, water long enough so that water comes out the bottom of the container flushing any salts that might accumulate. I hope this helps get you started.

Maybe others have some favorite cacti that they may have liked growing in containers.

1 comment:

  1. Aw come on. What is your favorite cactus for a container?