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Everything you need to know about cactus

Definetely, Cactus is what everyone is talking about, Cactus can be found in houses, offices, restaurants, shopping malls, etc. Decorating places around the world, this is thanks to its versatility, easy to take care of, it does not require much maintenance and thanks to its great variety we have many options to give our spaces a quite elegant, green and modern look.

What are they?

They came from the family called Cactaceae. This family of plants is native to America except for the Rhipsalis baccifera, this is native to Africa.

Its most notable characteristics are its ability to store water, which allows it to adapt to any environment, especially in arid places, and its areola, a vegetal structure where thorns, new shoots and flowers emerge.

Living in areas of extreme climates, cacti carry out gas exchange during the night when they consume carbon dioxide, unlike other plants, their stems are basically the body of the plant and their green color is due to the fact that they are photosynthetics.

The Cactaceae is divided into 4 sub families Pereskioideae, Opuntioideae, Maihuenioideae and the Cactoideae.

In addition there are more than 200 genera of cacti with some 2,500 species, most adapted to arid climates.

Variety mini garde cactus.

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In biology living beings are classified according to their similarity and phylogenetic proximity. This is called taxonomic classification. Below we present the taxonomic classification or their sub-families.

From argentina to mexico


These are the most primitive cacti to the point that they don’t look like cacti, but they are not succulent. They resemble wild roses more than cacti. They are called lemon creeper, pink cactus, leaf cactus, bleo, guamacho, palo de puerco espín or supire.

They generally require higher humidity than the rest of the cacti. Pereskia are the only cacti that have leaves but they are not succulent, the shrub species usually measure up to 1 meter, while the arborescent ones can reach up to 20 meters. They are easy to grow, grow quickly, and are quite blooming.

Pereskia grandifolia
Pereskia grandifolia
From nort america to sur america


Its common characteristics are its harpoon-like spines, the presence of glochids, which are very small spines that detach with the minimum of contact and are very irritating, the presence of leaves and growth mainly by knuckles..

Opuntioideae are highly variable depending on their genus and species. The appearance may resemble that of a tree or shrub. It is divided into 5 Austrocylindropuntieae, Cylindropuntieae, Opuntieae, Pterocacteae, Tephrocacteae tribes.

onli in los andes argentina – chile


It is the smallest of the cactus subfamilies when only understanding of a genus the Maihuenia that grow at high altitudes in the Andes of Argentina and Chile.

The Maihuenia is a slow growing tussock plant with short, cylindrical stems with solitary flowers that tend to form large mattresses with small, persistent leaves from which three spines grow.

In all america


It is the subfamily of cacti with the largest number of tribes and genera, the cacti of this family have a great variety of forms, as an example we have the Mammillaria that include some 350 species and varieties.

The main characteristics of the cactoideae are their bushes that have multiple, very short aerial stems and the absence of thin thorns.

In South America there are many places rich in a great variety of cacti, but it is in Mexico where the greatest diversity is concentrated. Now that we know the main subfamilies into which the cacti are divided, learn more about how to care for them.

How care cactus

Like any other plant it needs the already general care that plants require such as irrigation, temperature, light and how much fertilizer they need. Here we will explain all that, but clearly focusing only on the cacti.

How to water

If you live in very cold areas, it is not recommended to water the cacti since they rot, it is necessary to wait for the seasons of the year in which the temperature rises to start watering and depending on each season, increase or decrease the frequency is watered.

Spring: Start watering every 10 days and as the temperature increases, increase the frequency every 8 days.

Summer: Watering more frequently is recommended every 4 days.

Autumn: Decrease the frequency of watering again every 8 days and as the temperature decreases, decrease it again until every 10 days until the point of finally cutting it if it reaches too low temperatures.

Make sure that each watering moisten the soil well so that the water reaches the roots of the plant well.


This kind of plants not survive in temperatures below 7 ° C, if the plant is protected during winter, make sure that the temperature is not higher than 20 ° C because needs winter rest.

Also make sure that the soil and the environment around them are not very humid, especially in very cold areas.

How much light need?

Cacti generally need a lot of sunlight, but there are certain types or genera of cacti that do not bear direct sunlight.

You can check in the following link which types needs shade click here.


Survive in arid lands, if they are planted in highly nourished lands, their growth and flowering are truly spectacular.

If you want to know in more detail the type of soil and fertilizer needs so that they look much more beautiful than they are, you can click here.

Learn more about cactus care

The world of cactus is very wide, we invite you here to visit our cactus care section where you will find more information about the types or genera of cacti and their specific care.