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Cactus Gardening

All cactus plants are succulents, but not all succulents are cactus plants. Being able to tell the difference is one of the concerns in the cactus gardening section. Other questions to be asked and answered include the specifics of a cactus plant's adaptability, environmental impact, growing conditions, harmful stresses, native habitats, propagation methods, and value for people and wildlife.

2,395 Questions
Gardening
Botany or Plant Biology
Cactus Gardening

How does a cactus adapt to different environments?

Most cactus are very slow growing, and do not acclimate well to different environments from where they are native. Like most plants, however, they can adapt slightly to different humidity, temperature, soil, sunlight, and water levels.

Most cactus need a sunny location and well-draining soil to thrive.

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Cactus Gardening

Can a cactus shoot its spikes at animals?

No, cacti cannot 'shoot' spikes. An animal would have to touch the plant to be stabbed.

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Cactus Gardening

How long does a moon cactus live?

It can possibly live up to ten years

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Houseplants
Botany or Plant Biology
Cactus Gardening

What adaptations does a cactus have?

Cacti are adapted to the dry, hot conditions in which they live in several ways.

  • Their leaves are modified to spines to reduce transpiration, meaning they do not lose their stored water. These spines are prickly in order to minimize the animals eating the cactus.
  • Cacti have long roots which go in search of water very deep inside the earth and its stem is very fleshy to store water and use it very slowly in time of no rainfall.
  • Being grayish/silver in color helps to reflect the heat of the sun and reduce water loss.
  • Tiny flowers to similarly limit loss of water to the air.
  • Long, dense, but shallow root systems to scavenge available surface water.
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Flower Gardening
Cactus Gardening

What Type of plant is a cactus?

The cactus is more likely to be a very tall weed not tree even though most people consider it to be a tree.

From 17wolf359:

A cactus is a succulent plant. As the saying goes, "all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti". A succulent plant either stores water in it's roots, stem, or leaves. Cacti store water in their stems (and sometimes in their roots). Generally speaking, cacti do not have leaves (with only a couple of exceptions out of thousands of species). Cactus range in size from button size to massive trees weighing many tons.

In evolutionary terms, cacti are some of the most advanced plants on the planet, mostly because of the "areole". The areole is the part of a cactus that spines come from. The areole also produces branches and flowers and is exclusive to cacti. The cactus is also originally a "new world" plant, which is where it evolved. One species of cactus did make it to Africa, most likely spread there by birds. Cacti live in deserts and jungles, on the equator and as far north as Canada (and as far south as Patagonia).

Cacti have now naturalized in many parts of the world because of man and in some places like South Africa and Australia have become weeds.

A cactus is a xerophyte. It's a type of plant that takes in very little water and lives in a dry habitat.

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Cactus Gardening

How do the needles on a cactus help it to survive?

The needles act like a protective shield for a cactus, without it predators (birds mostly) would be able to easily eat it.

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Flower Gardening
Houseplants
Cactus Gardening

Why are leaves modified to form spines in the cactus plant how then does the cactus plant make food?

The cactus adapted to its harsh environment by developing thick skin to slow the evaporation of water. The leaves changed in order to reduce the surface area that water could evaporate from and over time became defensive spines to protect itself from animals trying to get inside its thick skin for the moisture.

The cactus makes its food, by having chlorophyll throughout the rest of plant. That is why the entire cactus is green.

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Houseplants
Alternative Medicine
Cactus Gardening

Is cactus good for your health?

Yes, cactus plants are good for the health of living organisms. For predators, it contains mineral and vitamin rich fruits and vegetables to eat. It conserves water by channeling dew and rain drops into the soil, where they're needed for ground moisture supplies and root intakes. It deflects and disperses light in bright, dry, hot environments. It fights pollution with its intake of carbon dioxide and output of oxygen. It holds sand together with its spreading, shallow, fibrous roots. It provides beauty, color, and vegetative cover in extreme environments. It supplies desert societies with drink, food, shelter, and tools.

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Flower Gardening
Houseplants
Cactus Gardening

What is the life span of a cactus?

There is no one life span for a cactus.

Specifically, the life span depends upon the kind of cactus. For example, the prickly pear (Opuntia spp) tends to live just 20 years. But the giant saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) may live more than 150-200 years.

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Cactus Gardening

What country did the cactus are commonly associated?

your just wasting your time...

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Animal Behavior
Cactus Gardening

What animals eat cactus?

Javalina, deer, rabbits, and even humans eat cactus. Various birds eat the fruit of the Saguaro and Prickly pear. Insects, birds, and bats pollinate the cactus.

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Cactus Gardening

What type of of cactus can you drink?

Maybe you're thinking of aloe vera? It's not so common in the US, but in Central and South America, aloe vera juice is very popular and, it's delicious.

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Deserts
Cactus Gardening

Is a cactus a tree or a flower?

A cactus is a plant that flowers not a tree. Most plants have flowers you can't say a cactus is a flower.

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Flower Gardening
Cactus Gardening

In what two states does the saguaro cactus grow naturally?

Arizona, California

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Houseplants
Cactus Gardening

What are the easiest types of cactus to grow?

The easiest types of cactus plants to grow include some of the most interesting cactus family members. For example, the epiphytic rat's tail cactus [Aporocactus spp] is an early spring bloomer, and enjoys life in hanging baskets. The curiosity plant [Cereus hildmannianus v. mostrose] has deformed growing points that serve as conversation pieces indoors. The silver torch cactus [Cleistocactus strausii] has scarlet tubular flowers and silvery spines. The porcupine hedgehog [Echinocereus stramineus] arranges scarlet petals around green stigmas. The yellow peanut cactus [Echinopsis chamaecereus f. lutea] has banana like stems and rare red night flowering blooms. Lacking in chlorophyll, it must be grafted onto a green cactus, to benefit from energizing photosynthetic products. The chin or spider cactus [Gymnocalycium baldianum and Gymnocalycium horstii] has pink funnel shaped flowers and metallic colored growth buds. The rose pincushion cactus [Mammillaria zeilmanniana] brings forth a carmine pink flowery contrast to its purplish black stem. The prickly pear cactus tree[Opuntia neoargentina] has yellow poppy like flowers and a tree like trunk. The golden and silver ball cactus plants [Parodia leninghausii and Parodia scopa] have open faced flowers and a covering of long, respectively golden and silver, soft spines. The holiday cactus[Schlumbergera and Zygocactus spp] has vivid red flowers and leafless, notched stems. The wave or brain cactus [Stenocactus multicostatus] has pale funnel shaped blooms that flower in spring and summer. The glory of Texas [Thelocactus bicolor] has feathery, flat faced summer flowers, and red and yellow spines. The golden column cactus [Weberbauerocereus johnsonii] has golden spines that darken with age. Its tubular flowers are pale pink or white.

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Houseplants
Botany or Plant Biology
Cactus Gardening

How do cactus survive in the desert?

CATUS ARE AWSOME. Cacti (plural) is a common name given to a group of xerophytic plants (adapted to dry regions).

They are able to survive to to a number of unique adaptations to their morphology.

They have long roots that spread out just under the surface in search of water, they grow more roots (feeder roots) when heavy rain falls these roots are then cut of by the plant so there is less plant to feed and less chance of precious water seeping out.

They also have spines which are modified leaves to keep animals from eating the stem; the needles also catch water then send it in towards the plant so it can slide of the vertical stem on to the floor to be absorbed by the roots. Reduction in leaves also means less water is lost through transpiration.

Cacti look swollen because they have adapted their stems and leaves (where they still have) to store as much water as possible and to lose as little water as possible by evaporation. They also have a very thick and waxy cuticle which cuts down water loss to the absolute minimum.

The whole of the stem is green and contains photosynthetic cells, so the plant does not need broad leaves to pick up light. There is plenty of light around anyway, so the plant can photosynthesize very well for most of the day.

Some cacti (particularly small ones) have rolled up leaves so there is less surface area exposed to the sun. It may have thorns to protect it from being eaten, and also be a grayish color so to reflect the heat of the sun and to prevent water loss.

474849
Flower Gardening
Houseplants
Cactus Gardening

What does the cactus have on the inside?

On the inside, a cactus plant has tissue. Central transport tissue takes water up from the shallow, fibrous roots and into the stem. Storage tissue within the stem holds water, dissolved nutrients, and photosynthetic products such as starches and sugars. The amount of water within the tissue may be guessed from the outside. The outer surface of the cactus has ribs that expand or contract with more or less water reserves.

333435
Taxonomy
Cactus Gardening

What is the scientific name for desert cactus?

desert

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Cactus Gardening

Does Africa have cactus plants?

Queen of the Night cactus was imported from South America and grows like a weed in South Africa. There are over 200 species of cactuses that were brought over by collectors. These cactuses have spread and take over grazing land for cattle. There are native succulents such as the living stones or lithops. Other succulents in South Africa are Stapelia, and various Adromishus.

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Botany or Plant Biology
Taxonomy
Cactus Gardening

Is cactus a flowering plant?

yes

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Houseplants
Cactus Gardening

Why does the cactus have needles?

Answer #1 The cactus has needles to lessen the loss of moisture through evaporation. Needles are the cactus plant's equivalent of leaves. The smaller the leaf or needle surface, the less the loss of precious moisture through evaporation. The needles also let moisture and rain water drip to the soil surface. The water then seeps below ground. Underground, the water adds to soil moisture levels and is taken in by plant roots. It dissolves nutrients that only can be used in soluble form by plants. Then it travels up through the plant by capillary action, for the meeting with sunlight in the photosynthetic interaction. Additionally, the needles offer general protection to cactus body parts from such environmental stressors as pests. Specifically, it may protect fruits, flowers, and fleshy parts from predators. Answer #2Cactuses are prickly so the animals stay out of the way, and so the animals can't drink their water up.

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Houseplants
Cactus Gardening

How many types of cacti are there?

There are something on the order of 2,000 different species of cactus. Those plant taxonomists who identify them are still sorting a few out, but that number is close. Links can be found below to check facts and gather more information.

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Cactus Gardening

How often do you water a cactus?

You should water a cactus once a week. If the plant starts to look bad water it once every nine days.

192021
Botany or Plant Biology
Cactus Gardening

How do you tell the age of a cactus?

By the number of arms

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Travel & Places
Scattergories and Words Starting with Certain Letters
Cactus Gardening

A cactus that starts with the letter s?

saguaro cactus

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