Cacti are in fashion
The stinging, green and tough plant has become fashionable. It works well in the greenhouse as decoration for those who use the greenhouse as an extra oasis in the garden.
The cactus – the stinging, green and tough plant has become popular. Many associates the cactus with the 1970s, a phenomenon that as many other things have had a comeback.
“The cactus is in fashion again,” says Maja Samsø Bastian. With her sister, Gro Samsø Bastian, and her friend, Cecilie Krawack, she has founded Kaktus København (Cactus Copenhagen) which specialises in cacti and other succulents. The three cactus-enthusiasts are all in their late 20s and weren’t even born in the 1970s when the cactus was a hit in the window ledge. But they all have multiple guesses to why the cactus has become so popular again.
“A cactus is almost a statue. They are fun to work with because there are so many options. If you but a couple together you can make your own alive decoration” says Cecilie Krawack.
Another reason for the cactus’s popularity might be that it is a very grateful plant. It doesn’t need a lot of caring as long as it gets lots of sun and a drop of water from time to time.
Cacti are fun to decorate with, especially if you mix the sizes to make your own sculpture.
Cacti in the greenhouse
Cacti thrive in greenhouses as they tolerate lots of heat. People gradually decorate their greenhouse as an oasis they can enjoy, especially during chilly days. The cactus is a fun and different plant to decorate with.
“Most buy cacti as an interior decoration. It works as a green addition to the room and it gives a raw look” says Maja Samsø Bastian.
Even though most customers in Kaktus København buy the stinging plants for their apartment the founders see the point in decorating with cacti in greenhouses.
“They are fascinating plants which can both hang from the ceiling, be on their own as a sculpture in the soil or you can gather several smaller cacti on a table and design them differently in pots,” they say.
Use different kinds of pots – it helps create a look and adds an extra dimension to your cacti setup.
You can hang your cacti from the ceiling.
Play with pots and heights and mix with other succulents.
Photo: Anne Marie Jørgensen
Let your cacti multiply
Besides acting as interior decoration, you can easily make slips from a cactus. Then one cactus can easily become more.
It is simple. You pull off one of the new shoots when it is 0.8 – 1.2 inches or more. Then you let it dry out. It needs to dry for approximately 10 days. Then you plant the slip 1/3 into the soil. It’s a good idea to use soil specially for cacti and succulents, as this soil is plentiful in minerals and reminds more of the soil cacti originally grow in. Remember that the roots need air, so a pot with a hole in the bottom is the most optimal solution. You should not irrigate the cactus at first, but a little sprinkle with a floral spray in the morning is fine. Almost all sorts quickly establish roots.
It is easy to take slips from a cactus.
Cacti in the greenhouse
The plants thrive ideally in the greenhouse as they get all the sun they need. Like for many other greenhouse plants airing out is a must, preferably through draught on warm days. It is lovely to look at all the shapes and colours of the plants if you use the greenhouse as a place to relax.
During the summer it is usually enough to irrigate once a week. Fertilizer can be added in a very thin dissolution of water.
If you can keep your greenhouse frost-free, many cacti and succulents can overwinter in there. A chilly overwintering may for some cacti provide a richer flowering. If the winter is frost-free but chilly you should not irrigate between October and April. Some sorts of succulents, like agave and aloe, like a monthly drop of water.
Be careful moving cacti directly from the living room to the greenhouse
If you move your plants to the greenhouse in spring, be aware of the strong sunlight, it can be too intense for plants from the living room. It takes adapting, so the plants should be in partial or full shade from the midday sun in approximately a week to not get burned by the sunlight.
Be careful of the prickles when you transplant
It might be a good idea to use a pair of long tweezers or another tool when transplanting the cactus to a pot. In this way, you avoid getting stung.
It’s a good idea to use a pair of tweezers when you transplant your cactus. In this way you avoid colliding with the prickles.
Photo: Anne Marie Jørgensen
Om Nanna Stærmose
Nanna is the Danish writer of many of the articles in the Greenhouse Forum.
Nanna visits happy greenhouse owners and tells their stories about basic cultivation, but also those stories that are more oblique.
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