Succulents & cacti

Succulents & cacti

Because they are able to store water, they are particularly easy to care for. But they can also be extravagant, fragrant, flowering and inspire with exotic shapes.
Succulents are survival artists
Where little rain falls, succulent plants are at home. They can store water in their leaves, stems or roots and thus survive longer periods of drought without any problems. This simplifies their care as house plants and is the reason why they are so popular.
Succulents are not a plant family in their own right. The only decisive factor for classification is their ability to store water in the plant body. A distinction is made between leaf, stem and root succulents, depending on which part of the plant serves as a water reservoir.

Their metabolism is also interesting. Unlike other plants, many succulents absorb the carbon dioxide required for photosynthesis at night. The reason for this is that the loss of water for the necessary gas exchange at night is lower. Still no succulent at home? Get one.
Succulents like it hot and sunny
You like succulents? Then you should reserve a sunny spot for them right away. Especially species with a whitish-green, greyish-green or blue-green surface need a lot of light and warmth. If this is not the case, they «protest» with unnaturally extended shoots. There are a few exceptions, such as Aloe, which prefer less sunny locations.
Ask when you buy it. It is equally important to water sparingly. Succulent plants like it especially in summer, when they get regular watering. However, the upper substrate layer should be completely dry by the time the next watering is due. Furthermore, the plant doesn't like stagnant water. Also avoid watering on rosettes or leaves. This destroys the natural «wax coating» of the plant, which is also its evaporation protection.

Tip: turn the succulents every few weeks by 20 to 30 degrees so that they grow evenly. In winter they tolerate somewhat lower temperatures. But they should not be placed in a cold place or with a cold draught. Sometimes they also need some water.
Cacti? Love heat and sun... but not too much!
As «sons of the desert» most cacti like it warm and sunny. But some species do not tolerate full midday sun on a window sill or on the terrace. Therefore, it is best to find a place for your cactus where it gets as many hours of light as possible every day without the danger of «burning». As a rule of thumb: the lighter the color of the cactus, the more sun it can tolerate. But avoid draughts.
Cacti can store water in their stems and tubers for a long time. Therefore, they need rather little water and the watering intervals may be longer. Nevertheless, they cannot get along without water indefinitely.

It is best to water them with stale water or rainwater and make sure that no waterlogging occurs in the pot. This would cause the cactus to rot. During the growth and flowering phase, a special liquid fertilizer for cacti is recommended.
How cacti become «flowering wonders»
Cacti are not only easy to care for. They are also very popular because of their unusual appearance. This is especially the case when they form flowers. Some cacti only bloom for a few hours, others for a few days and some even only at night. However, they need a resting period from October to March. This can vary depending on the cactus.
For some genera it is sufficient to restrict watering extremely from November to March (only a few drops of water every three to four weeks) and put them in a cool place. For example, to a place with a lot of light directly behind a cool window. For the other cacti we recommend moving them to a bright winter habitat with temperatures between 8 and 15 degrees. When moving, however, the substrate must be dry so that the cactus does not rot.

Either way: from March on, the plants should be slowly accustomed to water and higher temperatures. If the cactus still does not blossom then, it may be due to its age. Some species flower after two years, others after ten years or even more. Good luck!
Fancy cacti, which are partly even frost-resistant
Cacti are always beautiful. But there are species that are really special. Here are some examples.

Farmers' cactus (Echinopsis): is known for its many beautiful flowers with little care. The flowers are partly plate-shaped and partly bell-shaped and appear from the third year of life.
Ball cactus (Echinocactus): is also called mother-in-law's cushion because of its long thorns and is very decorative. For the pretty thorns to develop well, the location must be suitable (sunny, bright - cooler in winter).

Our plant for men «Jack» for example, is a ball cactus!
Bilberry or Blueberry Cactus (Myrtillocactus):His name reveals it. This cactus inspires with its sweet berries and looks good at the same time. It likes it sunny and warm.

And if you are curious about it now, you will find it among our plants for men. His name is «Max.»
«Columnar cactus» Euphorbia: this succulent plant seems to originate directly from a western film. It loves a bright location, but is very easy to care for and quickly grows into a handsome fellow.

With us you will find the euphorbia among our plants for men. Its name is «Bruce.»
Last but not least, there are also cacti that can survive even harsh winters in the garden. So for example Escobaria vivipara (down to -15 degrees C, small, robust, with pink flowers in summer); Echinocereus coccineus (down to -20 degrees C, with striking orange or red flowers); Opuntia fragilis (down to -20 degrees C, small, with exotic flowers); Echinocereus triglochidiatus (down to -25 degrees C, belongs to the most beautiful garden cacti with its cushion-like growth and wonderful flowers); or the extravagant Opuntia macrocentra in purple (down to -20 degrees C, with yellow-red flowers).

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