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Tuesday, August 15, 2017 Cacti and SucculentsContainer GardeningHouseplants

The Wacky Personalities of Cacti

Cacti seem to have their own personalities, don’t they? Unlike the sculptural lucky bamboo plant or the happy-go-lucky pothos, cacti illicit a wide range of reactions based on their unusual exteriors.

Are they cranky because they are so prickly?

Are they guarded because they are so thorny?

It’s easy to look at cacti and impose different personalities for each one. And it's why they are so collectible. And why it's impossible to own just one. 

I think that’s why cacti have always been favorites in our household. They seem a little dangerous (don’t touch them). Or standoffish (you can forget to water them and they don’t care). But cacti are actually the most loyal plants around, in part because they take such little care. No prima donnas here. 

When my sons were small, we’d make monthly visits to a greenhouse where they got to select one special plant. They almost always chose cacti. Sometimes we went home with the symmetrical-spined balloon cactus. Other times we purchased the multi-armed Desert Gem cactus, a cute little mini prickly pear. Lemon Ladyfingers and Golden Pincushions came home to live in little bowls on the kids' windowsills. There went grafted cactus and furry white Old Man cactus. They made little desert landscapes with Lego figures dwarfed by their cacti buddies. 

I’m still always on the lookout for cool ways to display cacti for our house and yard. Dropping them into old tin cans is fun. I spotted the festive conga line of cacti, above, in one of my favorite shops in Minneapolis, Minnesota: Hunt & Gather.

Do you want to learn more about buying cacti? See our Shopper's Guide to Buying Cacti. And get some inspiration for decorating with cacti with our FREE Cacti and Succulents Idea Book. 

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