January 28, 2008

My Cacti Collection

When the weather is cold and uninviting, I love to visit my greenhouse and spend time with plants from warmer climates.  I hope you enjoy these photos of some of my cactus collection! (These pictures were taken with my amazing Canon EOS 1-D) Scroll down to the bottom and also read more about cacti and succulents.

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Cacti & Succulents

If you like growing plants, but don’t really have the time to care for them properly, perhaps you should consider growing succulents.  Succulents, which also includes the cactus family, require very little maintenance.  These plants are able to survive prolonged drought because they store moisture in their fleshy stems, roots, or leaves, which have very few pores for water to escape through.  And in very severe conditions, they can shutdown active growth altogether and become dormant.  Some succulents have spikes on the edges and tips of their leaves, which act as a defense against predators.  Cacti differ from other succulents because they have pad-like buds, called areoles, out of which grow sharp spines.  These spines detach easily, protecting the plant from harm.  But, because most cacti grow primarily in the dessert, the main purpose of the spines is to collect and condense moisture, dripping it onto the ground for the roots to absorb.

Succulents can be found in many climates, and offer a great diversity of exotic forms.  Some look like smooth stones and others, perfect rosettes.  Some resemble strings of beads, and others are more architectural in nature.  Cacti and succulents make excellent potted plants.  Just give them plenty of bright light and very little water.

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