Looking Sharp!

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Spring is not all about outdoor flowers.  It’s also the season for Cactus and Succulent flowering too.  They are the on-trend houseplants at present and they owe their well-deserved popularity to being very low maintenance, in fact, life doesn’t come much more easycare than this group of plants. 

There is a huge variety available by way of differing shapes and textures, making them iconic plants that cannot easily be ignored.    When several different varieties are planted together in a container or Terrarium for which they are very suitable, they make an eye-catching, stunning display.  


If you want to make a Cactus plant happy, give it sunshine.  They are best suited to a warm and sunny or bright windowsill.  Little water is needed during the winter, just enough to stop the Cactus from shrivelling to nothing.  Watering should be increased from April onwards allowing the compost to dry between waterings.

Repotting in spring is best, use a ready mixed Cactus compost which contains everything they need. I always use a folded piece of newspaper wrapped around the Cactus to prevent spines detaching and causing injury!!  This makes it easy to hold in the correct position for potting. 

Some of our favourites include:

Opuntia microdasys
Otherwise known as the Bunny Ear Cactus.  Despite the cute name, the Bunny Ear Cactus is in no way cuddly!   It has no central stem or leaves - the individual segments which constitute the Cactus body are oval shaped pads from which additional segments form. These new segments always grow in pairs, giving new growth areas the appearance of bunny ears.

Echinocactus brevispina
This globe shaped Cactus changes to a barrel shape gradually as it matures.  Popular for its short golden spines.


Ferocactus stainesii
More commonly known as the Mexican Fire Barrel Cactus.  It is barrel shaped with a dark green body and thick bright red spines.  A great Cactus to add to your collection.

Opuntia subulata
A species native to the Peruvian Andes.  Sometimes known as Eve’s Needle Cactus which suits its cylindrical shaped stems, few succulent leaves and sharp spines.

Astrophytum myriostigma
Unusual, deeply segmented, no spines but has silver hairs making it appear quite grey.


 

Succulents are also easy to care for and prefer a bright sunny position.  Aloe Vera for example, requires minimal attention due to its long, fleshy leaves which as a succulent have a natural capacity for water storage.   It’s a great plant for the kitchen as should you ever burn yourself whilst cooking, simply break off a stem and apply the open flesh of the plant to the burn.  Aloe has an amazing ability to heal burns quickly.  The broken leaf won’t grow back, but this hardy plant will soon produce plenty more leaves.

Crassula Sansevieria (Mother in Law's Tongue) and Zamioculcus are other Succulents loved by our customers for their distinct appearance and ‘hard to kill’ nature!

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