Cacti and Succulents

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Scientific name: Cactaceae

Cacti are originally from the Americas. People have mixed feelings for Cacti. For some, they are fascinating plants with a lot of character, becoming a collectors’ item. They are hardy plants that permit its owner to travel and come back with no damages; since it does not require a lot of care and watering. Cacti can be divided into two groups, desert cacti and forest cacti. Needing different requirements. Desert cacti will need less water vs forest cacti needing higher humidity levels. 

As for Succulents, they are the “cousins” of cacti, with less thorns and spikes, making them more appreciated by some. Aloe Vera being one of them, which is commonly used in skin care. Echeveria being another one, which is much appreciated in offices, because of its compactness.

Cacti and Succulents are excellent plants for beginners and children. They are easy to look after in hot climates, like Egypt.

Light

Most desert cacti need strong intensity of light since they are outdoor plants originally. They can be tamed to become indoor plants, therefore should be placed right next to a sunny window. In winter make sure to place them in the sunniest spot available.

As for forest cacti, they need lots of bright light but sheltered from direct sun.

Most succulents need a sunny location except for Haworthias and Gasterias which prefer a shadier location.

Temperature

Desert cacti will need higher temperatures up to 40 C, also appreciating the desert coolness at night.

While their forest “cousins” will tolerate up to 30 C during the day. 

Succulents optimum temperatures are between 15C to 30 C. Appreciating up to a couple of hours of mild morning or late afternoon sun. 

Watering

Do not water cacti and succulents if the soil is not totally dry. Refrain from over watering and spraying the plants, especially in winter when temperatures drop to 15 C.

Most people kill their cacti and succulents by over caring and over watering.

Feeding

Feed with special cacti fertilizers if available, which are weaker than normal ones. Otherwise dilute the dosage (with water) 50 % of regular plant food. Feed sparingly every month, refrain fertilizing in winter when temperatures drop to 10 C.