Cactus gardens - a mini desert on your desk
To create miniature cactus gardens you need a porous potting mix, suitable heavy
containers and either heavy gloves or some sort of tool to handle the prickly cactus.
Simple metal or wooden tongs work well, or you can fold a newspaper into a strip about 1" wide
and long enough to wrap around the cactus and leave two tails to grab as a handle for moving the plant
Any container can hold a cactus garden but the shallow containers seem to work best for the smaller
specimens. Although plastic containers will work, the heavier clay or ceramic have more eye appeal.
desktop cactus garden
Cactus gardens are meant to be seen and admired close up, so choose either an ornamental or
neutral container. For soil, use special "cactus mixes" sold in online garden suppliers or mix equal
parts potting soil and builder's sand or perlite.
The coarser the material is, the better the drainage. This is the most important point to remember
when creating cacti gardens. Of course you need the star of the show, cacti.
Small cacti can be found in almost any garden center or
or ordered from specialty cactus garden suppliers. Some cacti have other cacti grafted onto them,
and range from the exotic to the extra-terrestrial looking.
Think about these or graft your own cacti to take your cactus garden a notch above the ordinary. Once
you've gathered the container, plants and soil, you're ready to start.
It's good to get an idea of the layout before actually starting to plant. If the container is going
to be viewed from the front, taller plants go in the back.
Or you could put tall plants in the center and work outward, placing small species at the edge and
letting trailing ones spill over the rim of the pot. Once you've put the cacti in place and gently
tamped the soil around them, add a top dressing of pebbles. This layer is usually about 1/2 to 3/4 inch
thick and is more than just cosmetic.
The loose stone allows air circulation while providing additional support for the shallow
rooted plants. As odd as it might seem, don't water your garden for at least a week after
planting. This gives the roots a chance to adjust.
Some folks only water their cactus garden when the weather has reported rain in Tuscon, Arizona.
As cacti gardens go, a dish with a few examples and some pebbles can be kind of boring.
So if you want to be a little more creative with your cactus garden you can add bright pebbles or
marbles, simulate water using a small mirror, add drift wood, small ceramic animals, tiny rodent
skulls if you happen to find some or other decorative tidbits. If you have chosen to use grafted
cacti, maybe a "crashed" model space ship will be just the thing!
Learn how to grow and take care of a Christmas cactus! Christmas cacti requires special care in order produce blooms.
How to grow cactus gardens indoors
Cacti are among the most fascinating groups of house plants. Everyone should have a chance to grow their own cacti or succulents.
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