What Are Some Facts About Cactus

A peculiar plant is the cactus. It can withstand high temperatures since it can hold a lot of water. Cacti are primarily found in the hot, dry climates of South and North America. Cacti come in approximately 2000 different species. Cactus, on the other hand, has become an incredibly popular house and garden plant all over the world since it is a highly appealing plant that comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. Therefore, overfishing and habitat loss are major threats to cacti’s ability to survive in the wild. As a result, several species are classified as endangered, and commerce in the majority of cacti species is prohibited by law.

Variety of Shapes And Sizes

  • Depending on the species, a cactus’ life cycle might last anywhere from 15 to 300 years.
  • Cacti exist in a wide range of sizes. When completely filled with water, one of the largest species can reach heights of 66 feet (20 meters) and weigh up to 4800 pounds (2177 kilograms). The smallest species are typically little taller than a few inches.
  • Cacti are adapted to life in arid climates. As a result, they have a large capacity for water storage, which they do by storing it in their stems and roots. Stems are utilized for photosynthesis, a process that turns carbon dioxide and sunlight into food, in addition to water storage.
  • Even though the cactus’ roots are only a few inches deep, they can grow up to seven feet (2.1 meters) in diameter. Since water may easily travel through the sand, cactus concentrate on having roots that are thin and shallow in order to collect as much water as they can.
  • Cacti can be shaped like a starfish, a tree, a cylinder, or something else entirely. They might have ridges or a flat surface.
  • Cacti can be green, brown-green, or blue-green in color. Cactus develops a waxy coating on a surface that stops water loss through transpiration (evaporating of the water through small holes during high-temperature periods).

What distinguishes cacti from other plants?

Cacti are perennial succulent plants. Typically, cacti have thick, woody, or herbaceous stems that contain chlorophyll. Areoles—small cushion-like structures containing trichomes (plant hairs) and, in nearly all species, spines or barbed bristles—distinguish cacti from other succulent plants (glochids). Areoles are modified branches that can develop into flowers, other branches, and leaves (if any are present).

How long are cacti alive?

Carefully! To loop around the top, use either very thick gloves or folded newspaper. With tweezers, you can remove large spikes that have stuck you. Small spikes can be removed by covering them with duct tape, pulling it off, or quickly rubbing the area with a ball of old tights. The experts at Thejoyofplants.co.uk suggest using olive oil to refine the final fine spikes.

What pests do you need to look out for?

Verify that the plant’s body (the cactus’ “body”) and the root system are devoid of mealybugs. It is one of the most prevalent and challenging cactus pests, with a fuzzy white wax coating that contains oval insects. Additionally, aphids, scale insects, thrips, and red spider mites (eight-legged pests that cover a plant in a delicate, dense web) can appear. Check for damage and make sure the root system is sound. Cacti that have been kept in excessive moisture for an extended period of time may have rotted “from the pot,” which can also be brought on by fungi and bacteria. The real stem, which is green, may then feel supple.

Are all cacti prickly?

No. Cacti are typically thought of as desert plants, however there are also forest cacti that lack bristles; nonetheless, the variety that can be grown indoors is extremely limited.

How long does a cactus plant live?

Cacti can live for hundreds of years in the wild. They could live for ten years or longer indoors. The issue with old ones is that every single bump, scratch, or imperfection they receive stays with them; as a result, as they age, they start to look less attractive.

How versatile is a cactus?

By now, it should be clear that the cactus plant uses a variety of unique strategies to thrive in the desert. For instance, the cactus’ waxy coating aids in retaining water.

Compared to the water you often see, the water inside cactus plants is far thicker. Despite not tasting particularly good, it is safe for people to drink. In reality, people passing through the desert have been saved by drinking cactus water!

Many cactus have spines that are toxic in addition to being sharp and pointy. Ouch!

Cactus plants can live anywhere between fifteen and three hundred years.

When the fruit is mature and ready to be eaten, several species of cacti produce red or yellow hues. The cacti’s own pads or stems are also consumed by people.

A salad or soup can be made with cacti, or they can be fried or cooked. Cactus can be purchased as food in some nations, such as Mexico, at the grocery store. Cactus: Would you eat one?

Bees, butterflies, moths, and even bats frequently pollinate the flowers of cactus plants.

So certainly, the cactus plant is spiky, desert-dwelling, and green most of the time. But it’s also a truly remarkable plant with a variety of unique strategies for surviving in the desert.

Additionally, it is a helpful plant that produces fruit, can be utilized to create many goods, and contains drinkable water that has helped people!

A cactus can it move?

To emphasize the beauty, diversity, and extraordinary qualities of our common planet Earth, One Earth’s “Creature of the Week series” features a relatively obscure and unique species every Wednesday.

If you came across a creeping monster in the desert, you could have thought someone had used a machete to cut through a field of cacti. No, instead of seeming like a thorny snakes’ nest, this unique variety of cactus rests horizontally on the ground in colonies with only its tip pointed upward toward the sun. The crawling devil may also move across the desert on its belly, somewhat like snakes.

The creeping devil, also known by its scientific name Stenocereus eruca, is the only known moving cactus in the world and is an endemic to the state of Baja California Sur in northwest Mexico. The plant’s prostrate position aids in both its ability to move across the desert for extended periods of time as well as its ability to survive in solitude. It accomplishes this by spreading out horizontally from its stem while also eliminating its tail. It develops new roots as it gently creeps across the desert floor in order to attach itself and to take in water and nutrients. The plant receives nutrients back through the roots as a result of its back end disintegrating and assimilating with the soil. The creeping demon must, in a sense, kill off a portion of itself in order to travel, but this dead portion then feeds the newly formed living portion.

The climate where a creeping devil grows determines the pace of growth and the speed at which it moves. It moves at a speed of two feet each year in its natural region, where the climate is humid and marine.

This cactus can reproduce sexually, but due to its isolation and the dearth of pollinators in its natural habitat, it can also do so by cloning individual sections of itself, which separate from their bases, die, and then grow into new plants on their own.

Unfortunately, this enigmatic and unusual cactus is officially listed as an endangered plant in Mexico, mostly because of illegal trade. Cactus collectors will spend a lot of money to include it in their personal succulent gardens due to its uniqueness. On the illegal market, a single creeping devil stem can fetch between $4000 and $5000.

However, the agricultural sector poses a threat to this amazing cactus as well. To make room for their grazing cattle, for which the creeping devil is both an annoyance and a barrier to grazing, farmers will decimate entire colonies.

My cactus: Is it a boy or a girl?

A Florida scientist discovered a cactus with an interesting sexual life while researching bats in Mexico. The cardon cactus has three sexes—male, female, and hermaphrodite—and is therefore “trioecious.” Among the 1,600 cactus species, only the cardon is known to be trioecious, according to Ted Fleming, a biologist at the University of Miami. The majority of cactus species are hermaphrodites—they have both male and female reproductive organs in each flower—and depend on animals like birds, insects, and bats to spread pollen among the plants, but the cardon has evolved numerous reproductive strategies. Hermaphrodite plants have the ability to fertilize themselves, other hermaphrodites, or male plants to do so. A hermaphrodite or a male plant can fertilize a female plant. Fleming is still researching the cardon cactus to see if any of its reproduction methods are more effective than others.

Cacti are they poisonous?

There are many people who enjoy cacti, but the majority avoid handling them frequently because to their thorns. So, are the spines of cacti poisonous? Are the spines of cacti harmful? You may learn more about different varieties of cactus spines, whether they are poisonous or harmful, and other information in this post.

The spines of cacti are not toxic. However, some cactus spines (such as Cholla or hairlike spines) can be harmful if they penetrate deeply into tissues and can result in bruising, bleeding, and even dead tissues.

Cacti’s rate of growth

An eye-catching and intriguing addition to your decor can be made by a cactus plant, especially if it is rather large. Larger cactus, however, are scarce.

Due to adaptations for thriving in their natural desert habitat, cactus plants naturally grow considerably more slowly than most plants. A giant cactus houseplant is astonishing not just for its appearance but also for the dedication and effort needed to grow that big.

You may be wondering how quickly cactus plants grow if you own one but it doesn’t seem to be growing as quickly as your other houseplants.

The majority of cactus plant varieties develop slowly. Depending on the species, they may only reach a height of a few centimeters if grown from seed after the first two or three years. With a few notable exceptions that can occasionally grow up to 15cm each year, most cactus plants will grow from there at a rate of roughly 1-3cm per year.

Some of the lowest care plants you may choose to cultivate in your house are cactus plants, but this comes at the cost of requiring a lot of patience.

Do cacti count as animals?

With over 2,000 kinds, cacti are exotic and provide aesthetic value to homes in addition to serving as a popular tourist destination around the globe. In the past, I have pondered if cactus is a flower, a plant, or a tree. Keep reading to see what I discovered.

Do you consider cacti to be plants, flowers, or trees? The plant cactus is a member of the Cactaceae family, which has approximately 1700 species and 127 genera. Although cacti don’t actually have flowers, they do have areoles, which are sort of like branches from which the blooms grow. Cacti are not trees since they lack the wooden stems that trees do. Although cacti can reach tree height, their succulent stems exclude them from being considered trees.

The Pachycereus pringlei, the tallest species of cactus, may grow to a height of 19 meters, while Blossfeldia liliputiana, the lowest, can reach a maturity height of 1 cm. Cacti are often mistaken for trees, especially when they grow to be extremely tall. It is evident that they are not trees because of the epiphytes, which are plants that grow on trees.

Cacti may be consumed?

You can either leave the pads whole, cut them into strips, or chop them into cubes, depending on how you intend to use this vegetable. Cacti that are edible can be eaten raw or cooked. They can be grilled, sautéed, boiled, simmered, or deep-fried. Their ideal serving texture is soft and crispy. The texture of overcooked pads will be slimy. Combine them with various ingredients to create a range of wholesome, nutrient-rich recipes. Here are some recommendations:

You might need to switch the water you’re using to boil the pads and re-boil them. It’s possible that the sap coming from the pad is thick. As a general rule, the sap will be thicker the thicker the pad. After draining, the pads are washed in cold water. Why not prepare a traditional Mexican salad with diced tomatoes, cilantro, jalapenos, onions, and lime juice? Salt and pepper are other good additions.


Season the pads well with salt and pepper if grilling them. When the pads are somewhat brown in color and soft to the touch, they are prepared. Additionally, you may season them with a dash of salt, a squeeze of lime juice, and a little olive oil.

Cactus pads can be added to various meals, either raw or cooked, to create flavorful, nutritious foods. They can be blended into a smoothie, or they can be diced and added as a topping to yogurt or cereal. Why not attempt incorporating them into stews, casseroles, and eggs. They make a delicious addition to quesadillas and salsa. You can choose to consume this adaptable, healthy vegetable alone, in a robust vegetable soup, in a fruit or vegetable salad, or even simply by itself! It can also be prepared into a jelly. Cactus pads can also be pickled and used to other meals as a condiment.