Cacti are part of what are called succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. Moreover, this name is not justified since these plants do not contain fat! In fact, it’s about succulents, which includes cacti. Let’s take stock of the main specificities of these amazing plants.
What is a succulent?
In common parlance, succulents are unfairly called succulents. A succulent plant or malacophyte plant is distinguished by its ability to resist strong heatto one drought long term and aridity important from the ground. In this category, we also find halophyte plants whose particularity is their high resistance to extreme concentration of saltwhich allows them to live by the sea.
Be that as it may, all these famous “succulent plants” are capable of store water in their various parts, whether their roots of course, but also their stems, their leaves and they are plants with extraordinary adaptive characteristics. Succulent plants are also more particularly present in arid regions of the globe such as deserts for example, and a large number of them are found in maritime regions.
Particularities of the Cactus
Cacti are divided into 90 genera and there are nearly 2,500 species. These are succulent plants that belong to the family of Cactaceae. Cacti are called xerophytes because they have the ability to resist an extreme water deficit because they save it.
Cacti are distinguished from other succulents by their excrescences – which can be, for example, prickles (glochids), hairs or even thorns – and which are called areolas. They are found exclusively in Cacti. All the thorny excrescences of a Cactus play different roles: they trap ambient air, capture dewdrops, protect the plant against the wind, the cold, the sun’s rays, but also against predators.
We note that the other determining criteria to belong to the family of Cactaceae are the flowers – small or large – that develop on the areoles, an ovary that appears under each flower, and single-celled berries (fruits).
Caring for your succulents
Succulents occupy a special place in our interiors and gardens. But make no mistake, these plants have requirements. No question therefore of leaving them in a corner and never watering them!
The watering of “succulent plants”, which includes cacti, should allow them to restock water. Generally between March and September, watering a maximum of every four weeks is sufficient, but the plant should never be drowned. It can be limited to a few centiliters of water, so as to rehydrate the substrate which should not dry out completely. If you place a succulent plant in a cold greenhouse, you may not water it.
Obviously, it is necessary to respect the watering needs of each succulent, and stop watering when it enters the period of vegetative rest. Note that if you install your succulents indoors, very close to a south-facing bay window, it may be necessary to water twice a month because in such conditions, the substrate of potted plants dry out extremely quickly.
So remember that the succulents including cacti need very little water, but they can still end up dying of thirst! Do not wait for the leaves of a succulent plant to retract, soften, dull or for the cactus to become stunted before moistening the potted root ball by drench or water at the neck succulents grown in the ground.