5 Main Benefits of Succulents in Your Home

Benefits of succulents

Everyone can see that succulents are beautiful and make amazing home decor. But that’s not all succulents are good for! There are so many other uses and benefits of succulents besides just looking pretty. They improve air quality, have lots of medicinal uses, can improve your concentration, and more. 

Today, we’re going to cover five of the amazing benefits you’ll get from keeping succulents in your home. If you weren’t already a succulent collector, you will be after reading this post!

Succulents Improve Air Quality

Did you know that succulents can clean the air?

Succulents, like aloe and snake plants, are particularly good at removing toxins from the air. However, you’ll still benefit from keeping any succulent in your home as they will improve the air quality as well!

All plants have pores on their leaves that allow them to absorb gases in the air, including ones that aren’t good for you to breathe, like benzene and ammonia. So ditch that loud, noisy air purifier and get yourself some succulents!

Succulents also humidify the air, which improves the air quality in your home even more! They release water vapor through the pores in their leaves during photosynthesis, which puts a little extra moisture in the air and prevents it from getting too dry. Check out our more in-depth conversation about if succulents clean the air!

Dry indoor air can cause unpleasant symptoms, like sore throats and dry skin that nobody wants, so head to the garden center and pick up some more succulents today. They will enhance your home as well as give you health benefits! And you get to pick out cute little planters like these to put all your new succulents in!

Read more: Impressive Indoor Garden Ideas

Succulents Have Medicinal Properties

Succulents have been used throughout history to treat medical problems like cuts, burns, stomachaches, and more. Lots of them have medicinal properties, including aloe vera and yucca.

Several parts of aloe vera plants have medical benefits, including the juice and gel.

Aloe vera juice has become a pretty popular drink—you can get it at just about any health food store. It’s known to help reduce inflammation, especially in the digestive tract, so lots of people drink it to help with stomach problems.

Aloe vera gel has tons of benefits for the skin and is a common ingredient in body lotions and face creams. Rumor has it that Cleopatra applied it to her face daily to keep it looking supple and soft! That isn’t all. Check out our article about how this succulent helps treat eczema.

Historically, yucca was used to treat cuts and scratches, but now it’s also used as a treatment for arthritis. Yucca has saponins and other antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and ease joint pain. You can take yucca as a supplement, but we also like to cut it up and turn it into some delicious oven baked fries!

Succulents Improve Your Concentration

You already knew that keeping succulents on your desk can give you a boost of happiness at work, but did you know that it can improve your productivity and focus too?

That’s right! Two recent studies confirmed that keeping plants at your desk boosts your concentration so you can tackle your tasks faster.

The first study in 2011 had one group of people perform a reading task at a basic wooden desk with nothing on it, and a second group performs the same task at a desk with lots of plants around it. Unsurprisingly, the group surrounded by a bunch of pretty plants performed much better! A second study conducted in 2015 confirmed the findings, so you can definitely improve your concentration and attention just by keeping some beautiful succulents on your desk.

Your succulent habit will more than pay for itself because of that raise you’ll get at work for being super productive!

Excited to bring some succulents into your office? Check out these two articles to make sure your work environment is succulent-friendly— “Can Succulents Survive in My Work Environment” and “5 Office Succulents You Wish You Had at Work!”

Succulents Make a Tasty Snack

While we don’t recommend that you pick up a random succulent off your shelf and start munching on it, we do recommend that you check out a few different types of edible succulents, including sea beans, pineapple, yucca, and some species of cacti, like opuntia and saguaro! Aside from this list, check out an additional 6 edible succulents that will excite your tastebuds!

Sea beans are super good for you and are gaining popularity in the culinary world. They might be a little harder to get your hands on than the ordinary green beans you see in grocery stores, but it’s worth it to track some sea beans down!

They have a flavor and texture that’s similar to asparagus, but they’re a little bit saltier because they’re grown on salt marshes and beaches. You can eat them raw or pan fry them up and serve them alongside some fish for a quick, healthy meal. They’re rich in protein, calcium, iron, and iodine, so you’ll definitely get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals if you include this succulent in your diet!

You already know we love to make fries out of yucca, but you’re probably wondering what in the world could we benefit from with a cactus?! Well, we love to cut it up and make a salsa out of it. We love to throw a little bit of pineapple and a hot pepper like habanero into the salsa too.

It sounds a little weird, but trust us—it’s super tasty and has health benefits too! Salsa made with cactus has lots of vitamin C and fiber, plus it’s low in calories. Opuntia leaves only have 23 calories per cup, so it’s a much more diet-friendly taco topping than guacamole. That leaves you lots of extra calories for margaritas!

Speaking of tasty snacks, if you want unlimited grocery delivery straight to your door for only $14.99 from Amazon, click here to sign up! We have it for the office and it comes in handy quite often actually, our favorite snacks are these nut mixes right now!

Taking Care of Succulents Reduces Stress

Studies have shown that taking care of houseplants reduces stress. After a long day at work, coming home and tending to your plants can help reduce your blood pressure, calm you down, and recover from the stress of all the mental tasks you completed during the day.

Succulents aren’t fussy or hard to care for, so they might even reduce your stress more than other plants! For the most part, you won’t have to worry about killing them, especially if you follow all of the succulent care tips we show here. The main thing you should watch out for is overwatering, but besides that, caring for your succulents will be a breeze!

ALSO READ:


Now that you know all of the benefits of having succulents in your home, are you going to buy a few (or a few more)? Let us know which types of succulents you’re going to adopt in the comments section below or share your stories in our exclusive Facebook group, Succulent City Plant Lounge!

To continue enhancing your succulent knowledge, check out these informative articles from Succulent City! Take a look at Are Succulents Poisonous?, Caring for Succulents in the Spring, and How Long Do Succulents Live?.

Did you enjoy reading this post? If so, you’ll really enjoy the ebook about All the Types of Succulents for Indoor & Outdoor. With this ebook, you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents.

Happy planting!

Who is the Queen of the Night Succulent?

Queen of The Night Succulent

Queen of the night cactus is a darling. Not just among succulents’ enthusiasts; but ages long cultures view it in a revering light.

Is it because of the name “queen” in it?

Or was the name as result of the elevation in the first place?

Wonder no more because you’re about to get all the juice right below. But only if you keep reading.

queen of the night cactus
@jerjer76

Epiphyllum Oxypetalum

Queen of the night cactus is a member of the Cactaceae family, just like any other cactus. Further on, it is among the 19 species that make up the Epiphyllum genus, this particular one (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) being the most popular.

On occasions, the epiphyllum oxypetalum plant has been referred to as night-blooming cereus though has no relation to the night-blooming species in the Cereeae tribe.

Besides queen of the night, this species is also referred to as the Dutchman’s pipe cactus. There is a lot more names given to this plant in different cultures as you’ll get to see in a few.

queen of the night cactus
@leobeira

Description & Characteristics of the Queen of the Night Cactus

Epyphyllum oxypetalum has a varied stem growth. The stems don’t just grow erect from the ground, but can be sprawling, ascending or scandent and also bear numerous branches.

Primary stems have woody bases, a cylindrical shape up to a height of 6m and are laterally flat. Meanwhile, secondary stems are flat with oval tapering ends.

Flowers are large, white in color and fragrant – only that you’ll have to check them out during the night if you want enjoy them.

What is the origin of the Queen of the Night cactus plant?

The epiphyllum oxypetalum species like many other succulent plants and cactus plants has been found to be a native of southern Mexico and parts of south and central America.

The Queen of the Night cactus plant is quite a popular plant owing to its extensive cultivation. This has definitely bolstered its population and hence the designation “Least Concern” by the IUCN.

ALSO READ:

queen of the night cactus
@ozonenursery

Interesting facts about the Queen of the Night

Queen of the night cactus isn’t just another cutie pie succulent. In some cultures, it has been assigned particular notions that are reflected in the names it’s identified as.

  • The Japanese refer to it as Gekka Bijin meaning beauty under the moon.
  • In Indonesia it’s a flower of triumph (Wijaya Kusuma)
  • In Sri Lanka it’s a flower from heaven (Kadupul)
  • Indians have named it Brahma Kamalam, after the Hindu god of creation lord Brahma. According to their beliefs, your wishes will be fulfilled if you offer your petitions to God when the plant’s flower is blooming.

The Chinese on the other hand use it figuratively to refer to someone who scores a sudden but short-lived moment of success – just like the flower of this plant that blooms at night but can’t live to see the next dusk.

queen of the night cactus
@chorynurticehandayani

How to Care for Queen of the Night Cactus Plants— the Right Way

Being a succulent, this is an easy peasy plant to take care of in your garden of succulents and cacti. You know, like being light-handed on some care aspects that should otherwise be thorough and so on.

For a robust and low maintenance cactus of this kind, here are the minimum specifics to keep in mind for the epiphyllum oxypetalum plant.

Should you keep your Queen of the Night hydrated?

The queen of the night cactus hates water just as any succulent out there. So, be sure to heed this if you want it to thrive. If you didn’t know already, succulents and cacti do not need as much water as other plants in order to thrive.

If anything they need less water and should only be watered when fully dried out. (Drainage holes and breathable pots/planters are what allows these types of plants to thrive best).

From spring all the way to fall, the watering frequency should be once every 2 weeks. Keep a lookout if the soil is still damp or moist, if it is, stretch out the watering process another couple days or 1 more week to ensure there will be no rotting.

Come winter, cut back on watering to allow the top soil to dry up completely. That means you’ll be watering once every 4-6 weeks.

queen of the night cactus
@glennflavinhh

What are the ideal temperatures for the Queen of the Night cactus?

This particular cactus thrives in Zone 10 and 11. (If you’d like to know what zone your other plants are use this plant hardiness tool to find out). So, you’ll have to bring them inside during winter if you’re based in zones where minimum average temperatures can hit 35°F during winter.

Temperatures between 50°F and 90°F are ideal for this kind of cactus.

Proper soil and fertilization for Queen of the Night Cacti

Be sure to use a well-draining soil mix for your queen of the night cactus. That way you’re sure its roots are safe from rot that comes by as a result of excessive moisture due to the soil holding water for too long.

Use a commercial cactus and succulent mix or create your own by mixing regular potting soil with pumice/perlite and coarse sand.

Apply a low nitrogen fertilizer once a month from spring to fall. Alternatively, you can use a natural fertilizer (compost).

queen of the night cactus
@glennflavinhh

Sunlight recommendations for your Queen of the Night Cactus

Direct sunlight and this cactus don’t get along well. Remember in the natural habitat it grows on other plants shielding itself against direct rays in their shade. So, if your region is ideal, planting them outside should be under bigger plants.

Placing this cactus in an environment where it’s closely matched to its natural habitat is ideal.

But for indoors, a couple of hours by a window will go a long way.

Propagating the Queen of the Night Cactus

Before we begin, if you haven’t checked out our article on propagating succulents successfully, we highly recommend you read it and learn the overall process behind propagation and why it works.

If you want to increase the number of your cacti quick, go with the cuttings option. Of course seeds are also an avenue but the wait is going to be a little longer.

For cuttings, make sure to make them either in summer or spring 2-3 weeks after the flowering season. Make a cutting long enough for planting and allow it sometime (a week is good) for the cut part to dry. Whatever you use should be sharp and clean to avert any infections. We highly recommend getting a handy tool like this for easy cuts, it’ll make your life so much easier.

Proceed to insert the cutting in a well-draining moist potting mix. (For organic enthusiasts and practitioners you might want to use this organic soil mix by The Next Gardener). Place the pot in a bright spot away from direct sunlight. Water every time the soil dries up until the plant is off to a start when you can now adopt the watering routine above.

Remember, less water is better than more water for these types of plants.

queen of the night cactus
@glennflavinhh

How can you Repot the Queen of the Night Cactus Safely

The epiphyllum oxypetalum plant is going to outgrow its original pot as the years go by, like anything that grows. So, repotting is a sure thing if you want to keep your plant beaming.

Again, give it some time after the flowering season, usually a month is enough. Fill the bottom of the new pot with gravel to aid drainage.

Now carefully pull out the plant by its root ball from its current pot and place it in the above pot. Make sure it isn’t stuck. Otherwise, loosen up the soil mix by passing a gardening knife or garden shovel through it in a back and forth motion along the edges of the pot. Fill up the pot with a fresh mix and give it a week before watering. Allow the soil to dry for a month before doing it again after which you can proceed with the usual frequency above.

Pests & Problems to Look Out for your Queen of the Night

Queen of the night cactus is vulnerable to attacks from common pests that munch other cacti and succulents. These include mealybugs, slugs, aphids and scale bugs – among a host of others. It is important to check your plants regularly for signs of these little intruders.

Apply any of the following in case you spot them:

  • Spray the epiphyllum oxypetalum plant using a combination of rubbing alcohol and water
  • Spray with the required pesticide or insecticide
  • Blow them off using a jet of water. Just be sure to keep the soil covered so as it doesn’t end up being waterlogged.

Fungal Leaf Spot

What is fungal leaf exactly? It’s like a deteriorating plant typically spotted when a plant becomes covered in black/brown patches. Not only is it not appealing but it can be a sign your plant needs more attention to overcome this.

For a severe case, it may be impossible to salvage the plant entirely and propagating a new one is the only worth while step. But in case of just a few spots, using a fungicide is a big saver. With more than 100 reviews we believe this fungicide from Souther AG will be a safe bet if you’re using method.

queen of the night cactus
@lucysompie

Uses of Queen of the Night Cactus

Besides the epiphyllum oxypetalum plant being ornamental, it can be used for the following.

  • Strengthen heart tissue
  • Alleviate heart pain
  • Calm the nervous system

Where Can I Buy A Queen of the Night Cactus?

In a lot of places.

With the Queen of the Night’s popularity, it is easy to come across a piece of it in succulents’ retailers either offline or online. This cactus being amongst the more popular cacti won’t be hard to come by when searching for it.

Offline, walk into your local nursery and grab one for yourself or pick it up from your friend’s place – with their expressed permission, of course.

Online, you have a lot of places to choose from including Amazon, Etsy, Succulent Box, Mountain Crest Garden etc.

queen of the night cactus
@glennflavinhh

Think you’ll have yourself a Queen of the Night cactus plant now? As beautiful as they are, they’re also low maintenance! Easy to care for and the right amount of neglect goes a long way, not your typical high maintenance Queen.

Did you enjoy this article but are still confused and have more questions you’d like answered? Feel free to join our exclusive group at the Succulent Plant Lounge. We have members asking questions daily and are being answered from our awesome members as well.

If you’d like this read you’re going to love our full in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers asking for more, we listened and can’t wait to share it with you here! With our very detailed ebooks, you’ll get more information than these short articles, some ebooks are 30+ pages, perfect for a weekend read.

Thanks for reading with us, and like always, happy planting out there!

The Rat Tail Cactus: Everything You Need To Know

The Rat Tail Cactus: Everything You Need To Know

Perhaps you’ve come across a hairy looking cactus plant with long stems that look like rat tails. Or perhaps not…

The popularity of rat tail (Aporocactus flagelliformis) cactus plant has grown more profoundly in homes than in the wild over recent years. They are actually almost termed as a threatened cactus variety in their native land of Mexico.

With the growing popularity, there is obviously a need to learn how to grow and care for them.

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about the rat tail cactus plant— from its origin to how to care for it. If you have one passed down from a friend who also got it from a friend, here is an opportunity to learn.

The Rat Tail Cactus: Everything You Need To Know
Rat Tail Cactus growing in the street @cactinaut

Disocactus Flagelliformis—the Rat Tail Cactus

The Rat tail cactus plant is scientifically known as Disocactus flagelliformis (L.) Barthlott. It belongs to the Disocactus genus of the Cactaeae family.

As far as where it’s from, the Rat tail cactus is a native of Mexico, just like many cacti. It is largely found in the southwestern and central parts of America. Learn more about the cacti community in Mexico by going here.

Rat tail cacti have a very distinctive look. The plant itself is green in color when young but turns to beige as it ages. It has long trailing stems that go as long as six feet at maturity and half an inch in diameter. Moreover, this is why they are often planted on hanging baskets or pots, kind of like this one we have in our office.

The stems have tiny reddish yellowhairy’ spines that can be trained into different forms and shapes.

Its flowers, which bloom in spring and early summer, are bright pink to red and sometimes pale pink or orange. They can grow up to two meters wide and 3 inches long. The flowers only grow and bloom for a few days and shade off. In some cases, they rarely even grow.

The stem’s grow is at a rate of about a foot every year.

In the wild, Aporocactus flagelliformis do not grow on soil. They either grow on other tree structures, rocky crevasses, and tree crotches or on top of the soil.

The Rat Tail Cactus: Everything You Need To Know
a great gift @houseplantslove

The Right Conditions for Growing Your Rat Tail Cactus

The rat tail cactus, just like other cacti plants, does not require much attention or special growing conditions. With the right soil type and climatic conditions, your rat tail cactus should thrive.

Below are conditions that rat tail cactus will thrive best in:

Light Requirements

Given that this plant is adaptable to desert conditions it thrives best under direct sunlight. Therefore place your plant where it can access full and bright sunlight. You can take it outside when the weather is sunny and warm. If your house has not enough sunlight, you can use indoor LED plant lights to supplement the small amounts of natural light it can get.

The Rat Tail Cactus: Everything You Need To Know
hanging out @plantsyall

Temperature & Climate

The best temperatures for rat tail cactus are between 45° to 50° degrees Fahrenheit but it can tolerate temperatures of up to 90° degrees Fahrenheit.  During the summer, early autumn, and spring the Rat Tail cacti do great at normal room temperatures. However, during the winter time, the rat tail cactus enters its dormancy stage and therefore you will need to relocate your plant to a place with cooler settings for it to rest.

The Rat Tail Cactus: Everything You Need To Know
spread the cacti @ropeandroot

Best Soil to Grow the Rat Tail Cactus

The Rat tail requires rich potting soil to thrive best. Well-draining soil meant for cactus or succulents is most recommended for rat tail cactus. A perfect mixture of soil for this cactus would be four parts of loam, one part vermiculture and one part sand for drainage. Lining the pot or basket with organic materials, such as sphagnum moss, will help the cactus thrive even better.

We highly recommend this soil mix by Bonsai Jack. It is one of the best soil mixes on the market. It doesn’t need to be mixed with any other soil, it helps fight root rot, perfectly pH Balanced & is pathogen-free (ie: won’t kill your plants). This soil is the go-to for our office plants. Go ahead and get the 7 Gallon Bag if you are plant nerd like us :). Pick up some of our favorite soil by clicking here: Bonsai Jack Succulent Soil.

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How Much Water Does the Rat Tail Need?

Water your succulents regularly during their active growing season. You can then cut back on the watering as it matures. Reduce watering during Fall and don’t water at all during Winter unless you notice excessive drying of the soil. And even then, just water it very slightly-— just enough to dampen the soil.

Fertilizer Needs

Apply fertilizer onto the stems of the rat tail cactus every couple of weeks. Use a liquid fertilizer for ease of use. The liquid fertilizer should be diluted to a mild strength. Do not use any fertilizer on your cactus during the winter season!

The Rat Tail Cactus: Everything You Need To Know
family gathering @appetiteshop

How to Successfully Propagate the Rat Tail Cactus

Propagating is the easiest way to quickly grow your rat tail cactus. They can grow from any of the six-inch stems.

You can either cut an entire stem into sections of an inch each or cut off the tip of a stem if you only need to plant a single cactus. For cutting, try these shears and see how they perform. Place the cuttings out in the air to dry for at least three days before potting.

To plant, poke the bottom end of the cuttings into the soil. Do not poke the cuttings too deeply into the soil, just about an eighth of an inch (2 cm) deep. You can use a stick to hold it firmly so that it doesn’t fall over. You should notice some root forming within two to three weeks of planting.

The Rat Tail Cactus: Everything You Need To Know
indoor decorations @plants_everywhere

Repotting Your Rat Tail Cactus the Right Way

Since rat tail cactus grow pretty quickly, you are better off repotting them once every year but only after their active growing season and flowering.

Repotting greatly helps to replenish nutrients for a flagelliformis as it quickly uses up the nutrients. When repotting, the best basket size to use for a rat tail is a 9” – inch basket and the best pot size is a 6” – inch pot.

When the cactus overgrows the pot or the basket size, it is time to discard the overgrown plant. Before discarding though, propagate and start a new plant. You can reuse the pots you already have but you will need to thoroughly clean it first.

The Rat Tail Cactus: Everything You Need To Know
repotting @shed_bkk

Common Pests and Diseases for Rat Tail Cactus

Rat tails have a high resistance to pests and diseases, however, they easily get attacked by red spider mites and a host of scale insects, so keep a pesticide nearby!

Spider mites are tiny almost invisible to the naked eye insects that cause damage to rat tail’s tissue. They do this by sucking up the sap from the leaves. You can easily spot them by their webbed nests. The best way to deal with spider mites is to immediately quarantine the affected plant as you treat it. Use a neem- oil- based insecticide If the infestation is heavy, otherwise just washing it under running water should suffice.

Scale insects are larger than spider mites so they can easily be spotted, as they are dome-shaped. Nevertheless, scale insects invade rat tail cactus by attaching themselves to their surface. Thus, to remove them you have to forcefully scrape them off or wipe off with a cotton swab dubbed in alcohol.

Another common concern for rat tail cactus is root rot. This is caused by overwatering or by poor drainage, so be sure you have this in check!

ALSO READ:

The Rat Tail Cactus: Everything You Need To Know
cactus selfie @smartplantapp

There you have it, everything you need to know about the Rat Tail Cactus plant.

Before we conclude (or forget), we wanted to share this awesome opportunity from Amazon, in honor of our recent partnership with the online- giant. For a limited time, Amazon is offering a FREE 30-day trial of their famous Amazon Prime Membership! Get full access to all the perks, including FREE 2-day shipping on all eligible products, which is perfect for all the new care items you’ll be stocking up on for your Rat Tail Cactus. Click this link to learn more and sign up today!

Want to continue expanding your succulent plant knowledge? Head over to our articles How to Successfully Grow Indoor Succulents and How Long Do Succulents Live.

If you’d like this read you’re going to love our full in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers asking for more, we listened and can’t wait to share it with you here! With our very detailed ebooks, you’ll get more information than these short articles, some ebooks are 30+ pages, perfect for a weekend read.

Thanks for reading, happy planting! ?

Everything You Need to Know About the Brain Cactus

Everything about the Brain Cactus

Brains.

This spooky, scary cactus really does look like brains! If you put it in a faux human skull planter, you may be able to fool a few people into thinking your Brain Cactus is a real human brain! Maybe an idea for halloween 2019?

OK, we’re just kidding about the real brains thing! The Brain Cactus is bright green, so you probably won’t be fooling anybody with it anytime soon. But it does have curvy stems that wrap and twist around each other into a round shape, so the whole plant does look a lot like a brain.

This unique cactus has an interesting history and some specific care requirements, so if you want to learn more about it, keep reading!

Also, for our new readers that don’t know. We’ve been collaborating with Amazon to provide our readers amazing deals! Like this one, you can sign up for Amazon Prime for a 30 day FREE trial. How cool is that? Our team is thinking about getting new planters to spice up the office!

Anyways, onwards to the brains…

everything to know about the brain cactus
sunny brain cactus @plant_addiction__

Origins of the Brain Cactus

The Brain Cactus, also known as the Mammillaria ElongataCristata’ cactus, is native to central Mexico. It’s a rare form of the Mammillaria Elongata cactus and has a unique, crested shape. Its growth pattern kind of looks like worms or brains, which is how it got the nickname Brain Cactus.

Mammillaria Elongata cacti are called Ladyfingers and grow nice and straight, but this crested form has stems with lots of kinks in them that grow in one big round clump. How did that happen?

It didn’t happen through cultivation—it actually happened through mutation or damage.

All succulents, including cacti, have a center of growth. This center of growth is called the apical meristem. If the apical meristem gets munched on by an insect or damaged somehow, your cactus may start to grow in a wormlike crested shape. Pretty cool, huh?

That’s not the only way that crested cacti can form, though. Sometimes a mutation happens in the cells of a cactus and causes it to become crested. Mutations happen much more rarely, though.

everything to know about the brain cactus
brain cactus @maijamasena

How to Care for the Brain Cactus Properly

Taking care of a Brain Cactus is easy, but there are a few things you should know, especially when it comes to propagation. Keep reading if you want to learn how to take care of the amazing Mammillaria Elongata ‘Cristata’ plant!

The best soil to use for your Brain Cactus

The best cactus soil is going to be something that drains well, like succulent soil or a homemade soil blend made with potting mix, perlite or pumice, and sand.

We highly recommend this soil mix by Bonsai Jack. It is one of the best soil mixes on the market. It doesn’t need to be mixed with any other soil, it helps fight root rot, perfectly pH Balanced & is pathogen-free (ie: won’t kill your plants). This soil is the go-to for our office plants. Go ahead and get the 7 Gallon Bag if you are plant nerd like us :). Pick up some of our favorite soil by clicking here: Bonsai Jack Succulent Soil.

Our Pick
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Repotting the Brain Cactus safely

When you get your Brain Cactus home from the nursery or in the mail, you’ll probably want to plant it in a new pot.

When you repot this cactus, you have to be careful! It has spines that can hurt you, so put on a thick pair of gardening gloves before you try to pick it up. Once you have your gloves on, grab your new pot and cactus soil and fill it up, leaving some room for the plant and its roots.

Now you’re ready to take your cactus out of its old pot!. Run a trowel around the edges of the pot to loosen up the soil. Gently pick up the cactus and shake as much of the old soil out of the roots as you can. Plant it in the new pot and add more soil around it so that the soil reaches the top of the pot. Hold off on watering it for a few days to give it a chance to acclimate to its new pot.

You should repot your cactus once every two to four years in the spring. If you see its roots peaking out of the drainage hole, that’s a definite sign that it’s outgrowing its pot and needs to be replanted!

everything to know about the brain cactus
up close and personal @stringofplants

Brain Cactus water requirements for ideal growth

Most cacti don’t require a lot of water, and the Brain Cactus is no exception. Excess water can get in the folds of this crested cactus and rot it quite quickly, so you have to be careful when watering it! Make sure that you don’t get water on the body of your Brain Cactus. We like to use a small watering can and point the spout at the soil, not the plant.

We use the “soak and dry” method to water our cacti, so we keep pouring water onto the soil until water runs out of the drainage hole of the pot. Then we wait until the soil is completely dry to the touch before watering again.

I know what you’re thinking. Soaking my cactus with water? Won’t that cause it to rot?

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everything to know about the brain cactus
brain cactus in yellow pot @omniasucculents

Cacti have a reputation for needing very little water, so I totally understand why you think that! But this watering method actually mimics the weather patterns in their native environment, the desert, so it keeps them nice and healthy.

Deserts get periods of heavy rain followed by long periods of intense drought. Cacti soak up all the water they can during those heavy rains and then dry out during the drought, drawing on their water reserves to keep themselves hydrated.

So soaking them mimics those heavy desert rains and drying them out mimics the drought. They love this watering method, so try it out!

As for frequency, we soak out cacti once every one or two weeks during the summer, and then cut back to once every four to six weeks during the winter.

everything to know about the brain cactus
potted brain cactus @succiexhi

How much sunlight does a Brain Cactus really need?

Like most cacti, this one likes bright, direct sunlight. With that being said, you shouldn’t leave it in the hot summer sunshine for more than four hours. If you do, your cactus could get scorched!

When growing this cactus indoors, you should put it near the brightest window in your home to ensure it gets enough sunlight. Having some sort of window sill planter will make it look pretty too!

The ideal temperature for Brain Cactus growth

Unfortunately, the Brain Cactus isn’t cold hardy, so you’ll have to bring it inside for the winter. It can’t handle even a light frost, so bring it indoors at the start of fall.

If you don’t quite understand the difference between hardy or soft plants, be sure to take a detour here.

everything to know about the brain cactus
pretty in pink @pottheadluver

Does a Brain Cactus need any fertilization?

Sure thing! You should try fertilizing your Brain Cactus about once a month during its growing season in the spring and summer. A water soluble cactus fertilizer like this one is a great choice.

If you want more options be sure to ask some of our green thumbs in the Succulent City Plant Lounge.

Propagating the Brain Cactus the Right Way

Propagating Mammillaria Elongata ‘Cristata’ is a lot different from propagating other cacti and succulents, in case you’ve read our most popular propagation guide. But because it’s crested, you’ll have to get a little creative with your propagating techniques to preserve its unique shape.

This plant does produce offsets that can be divided and replanted, but we’ve heard that these offsets usually have a normal growth pattern that’s more like the Mammillaria Elongata. You may get lucky, though—normal looking offsets can become crested as they grow, so don’t pluck them off your plant and throw them out. Try and replant them and see if they become crested as they mature!

You can also propagate the Brain Cactus from cuttings, but those cuttings should be grafted onto another cactus for best results. Grafting is kind of like creating a Frankenstein cactus. You cut off the head of one cactus, take a cutting from another, and mush them together to create one brand new cactus!

It sounds weird, but it works! If you put a cutting from your Brain Cactus on top, the new cactus will have the same characteristics and crested shape, which can’t be said for other methods of propagation.

Grafting works best if the two plants you use are closely related genetically. So, if you can get your hands on a Mammillaria Elongata, you should graft your Brain Cactus onto that. If you can’t find a cactus that’s the same species as your Brain Cactus, then just try to use a cactus that’s in the same genus.

everything to know about the brain cactus
outdoor garden @arelys_succulent_shack

Let’s begin

To begin, cut the body of your Mammillaria Elongata with a grafting knife. Make sure that the part of the cactus that’s still in the soil is at least a few inches long. Discard or set aside the top part of the cactus that’s no longer attached—you won’t need it.

Then, take a stem cutting from your Brain Cactus that’s at least one inch long and put it on top of the Mammillaria Elongata.

On the cut side of both of your cacti, you’ll see a ring—at least part of those two rings need to overlap in order for this to work. So when you layer your Brain Cactus cutting on top of the Mammillaria Elongata plant, make sure that they line up.

Grab some rubber bands and use them to hold the two pieces in place. You can wrap the rubber bands around the pot as well to better secure them. In about two months, the pieces will be joined and you’ll be able to remove the rubber bands!

In the meantime, continue to care for the plant just like you would any other cactus. There’s a small risk of infection and a chance that your graft will fail, but it’s a pretty reliable way to create a new cactus if you use species that are closely genetically related.

everything to know about the brain cactus
beautiful brain @cactusky9

Well, that’s everything we know about the Brain Cactus! We hope that this post has given you the confidence you need to grow this awesome little succulent. It’s not hard, we promise!

Is this plant going on your wishlist? Let us know in the comments below!

Loved learning about this succulent and now inspired to add more to your collection?! (We don’t blame you) Check out Succulent City’s new line of ebooks covering topics from, “All the Types of Succulents for Indoor and Outdoor,” “Different Types of Planters,” and many more helpful in-depth ebooks. Head to this link to view our full line of ebooks and get started with our complementary guide. 

Happy planting! ?

9 Types of Cacti for Succulent Lovers

9 Types of Cacti

For the plant lover you are, cacti are no doubt a top pick. And for a couple of ~good~ reasons.

With the numerous shapes, sizes, and colors, every type of cacti can offer you the ultimate all-in-one decor solution— at home or work. But what’s even more appealing is their simplistic nature that makes caring for them a breeze.

You don’t need some top-level gardening skills to have these desert- dwellers shining — although that would be a nice thing. And no full attention either. Occasional peeks at them can go a long way – of course, coupled with a few very simple care regimens.

Seriously, with all the various types of cacti, there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t grow at least one for yourself!

So, with all the types of cacti out there, how do you settle on a few serious plants? This is an overwhelming decision to make, right? Well, you could grow as many types of cacti as you wish. But, there isn’t just enough space and time for that.

For a start, have a look at the following 9 types of cacti.

But before we dive into that… If you want 2 FREE E-Books, sign up here for a FREE 30-day trial of Amazon’s Audible program! Consider it a gift from your friends at Succulent City!

9 Types of Cacti
9 Types of Cacti @csg.succulents

Chollas – Cylindropuntia

These are a type of cacti popular for their barbed spines that grab on tightly to anybody that comes in contact with them (clothes, fur and so on). That’s something to be weary of right there.

Be careful not to touch any species of Cholla with bare skin. You’ll regret it, guaranteed.

The species come in a range of sizes, with some growing to sizes of trees while others being creepers or shrubs. Get your own Cholla on Amazon!

These natives of Mexico and parts of the United States require a well-drained soil and adequate sunlight.

We highly recommend this soil mix by Bonsai Jack. It is one of the best soil mixes on the market for your garden. It doesn’t need to be mixed with any other soil, it helps fight root rot, perfectly pH Balanced & is pathogen-free (ie: won’t kill your plants). This soil is the go-to for our office plants. Go ahead and get the 7 Gallon Bag if you are plant nerd like us :). Pick up some of our favorite soil by clicking here: Bonsai Jack Succulent Soil.

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Additionally, the Chollas do best in temperature ranges of 50° F to 70°F (10°C – 21°C).

Watering is a huge deal before maturity, but always ensure the top soil in your garden is dry before doing it. When mature, watering can be revisited occasionally. In cases of prolonged drought, keep up with the watering routine you’d stick to when the plant is establishing. Give your Chollas a home in these planters! They’ll look great in any home or office!

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9 Types of Cacti
Chollas @fdvlandscape_photography

Christmas Cactus – Schlumbergera Bridgesii

This such a unique member of the cactaceae family in a couple of ways.

For one, it is not a natural desert dweller like the rest. Instead, it’s a coastal resider, the Brazilian coastline being the natural habitat. And that means it can still do well in conditions other types of cacti find unfavorable.

Secondly, they favor low light sites— as direct sun rays can have a devastating effect on the leaves. If your home or office is a lowlight setting, here’s our list of 7 best succulents for low light environments!

Finally, the Christmas Cactus plant lacks the characteristic of spines, present on a lot of types of cacti species, instead of spotting serrated true leaves. The species also develop colorful flowers, including red and pink. If a pop of color is what you’re looking for, get yourself a Christmas Cactus, or check out these 5 succulents with red flowers and these succulents with orange flowers!

As it is not suited to desert conditions like its cousins, Schlumbergera Bridgesii should never sit in a completely dry potting mix. Always water when the mix is partially dry.

The Christmas Cactus plant can do with a little bit of low light. But guess what– if you want to see those blooms… give it some light – indirect, that is.

The Christmas Cactus can develop and become rather large. So, we found this set of 2 beautiful planters—one smaller and one large, that you can transfer your cactus plant through when it gets larger.

9 Types of Cacti
Christmas Cactus @plantgazing

Hedgehog Cactus – Echinocereus

Echinocereus is a genus type of cacti that grow in clusters of 3 to 60 stems. Each of these stems are ribbed with numerous spines on its surface.

The flowers (which are usually large) form at the end of these almost cylindrical stems and develop into edible fruits. Yep… Cacti and succulents can be edible. Check out this list of 6 edible succulents you may like to taste!

The Hedgehog Cactus plant can tolerate temperatures up to 50°F minimum and thrive on moderate watering – once every other two weeks.

Be sure to keep the frost away during the cold months!

Let the plants enjoy the sun – lots of it. Ideally, 6-8 hours a day is fine. They love it that way!

To keep up with the hedgehog theme, we found this adorable hedgehog- themed planter and this cute hedgehog and cactus coffee mug! Check them out!

9 Types of Cacti
Hedgehog Cactus @chubbyplantpeople

Saguaro – Carnegiea Gigantea

Saguaro is one of the few types of cacti that grow up to be huge, imposing, spine-covered trees. This native of Mexico (Sonora Desert) can reach a height of 12 m upon maturity – which can take up to a hundred years! There’s even a grow-your-own kit on Amazon! Take a look, here.

The barrel-shaped stem is the water storage room, expanding considerably to keep as much of it as possible. A mature Saguaro stem can take up more than 700 liters of water in a rainstorm!

Keep your Carnegiea Gigantea in a well-draining soil mix, which you can get here, for optimum growth. And while at it, have it get access to a healthy amount of sunlight.

And this type of cactus plant needs very little watering to thrive – basically once a month during the growing seasons. With all the water-saving capacity this cactus has though, you may need a large watering can! In winter, when the plant is dormant, consider watering once or twice for the whole season.

9 Types of Cacti
Saguaro @abitofeastandwest

Peyote – Lophophora Williamsii

Another spineless member of the cactaceae family.

Peyote is recognized for its chemical components that give a general high feeling when ingested – used mainly by religious groups.

This type of cactus plant can attain a height of up to an inch and a diameter of 2 inches. The stem is green in color and globular with a number of ribs dotted with fuzzy hairs.

Give your Peyote cactus a well-draining mix and cut back on watering as soon seedlings are good to go.

Make a point of shielding your plant against direct sun rays. The Peyote does best in temperatures 70°F to 90°F (21°C -32°C). If keeping outside, try keeping your Peyote under this sun-blocking shade cloth! Helps keep your plants from becoming sun-burnt.

Just so you know: unless you’re a member of the Native American Church, stay away from the Peyote. Due to its dwindling population, growing this type of cactus plant has been outlawed and it’s only permitted to members of NAC specifically those in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon and Nevada.

9 Types of Cacti
Peyote @j.lithops_conophytum

Bunny Ears Cactus – Opuntia Microdasys

The Bunny Ear Cactus is one of the most grown type of cacti species, owing to its rabbit head appearance.

It lacks a central stem, instead, it is composed of pad-like segments of varying length and breadth. Each of the segments are covered by lots of glochids occurring in clusters. And they cause some serious irritation on the skin, so beware of the deceivingly fine darts.

The Opuntia Microdasys does best with temperatures of up to 100°F (38°C) but prefer readings below this during the cold season – typically between 50°F and 65°F (10-18°C).

Don’t fret too much about water. The general rule for cacti holds – the less the better. Pick up your watering can as soon as the potting mix is dry at the top.

Check out a more in-depth conversation about the Bunny Ears Cactus in our article, here!

9 Types of Cacti
Bunny Ears Cactus @synthesispgh

Old Lady Cactus – Mammillaria Hahniana

This is a solitary growing type of cactus with the stem bearing a cylindrical shape. The entire plant is covered with white hairs and spines, hence the name “Old Lady.”

Summer and spring are the seasons when the Old Lady Cactus grows up pink blossoms at the apex.

Mammillaria Hahniana is quite hardy and can tolerate temperatures as low as -5°C (23°F) to -10°C (14°F). Find out what a “hard” or a “soft” cactus is, here

The ideal watering frequency is once a week during the growing seasons and once a month in winter.

Want to see those blossoms? Be sure to let the sun shine on the Old lady.

9 Types of Cacti
Old Lady Cactus @b.e.s_garden

Epiphyllum

This is a collection of close to 20 epiphytic cacti endemic to Central America.

The stems are broad and flat, usually with lobbed edges. Epiphyllum Oxypetalum is a particularly popular species in this genus.

These cacti aren’t so fond of direct sunlight, so shielding them under other plants is highly recommended.

Use a well-draining mix and apply a sporadic watering regimen in order to have healthy Epiphyllum plants – once every two weeks for spring to fall and once a month during winter.

9 Types of Cacti
Epiphyllum @a.planted.life

Star Cactus – Astrophytum Asterias

The Star Cactus is native to Mexico and parts of the United States. The plants are small and globular, reaching a maximum height of 2 inches and a diameter of 6 inches. The stem is ribbed with each rib having a couple of white hairy areoles.

The blooms, which are yellow, come out to play between March and May.

Astrophytum Asterias do love sunlight, so be sure to expose it to the rays every few hours per day for better growth.

Water this plant once every two weeks during the growing seasons. Reduce this frequency when the plant enters dormancy in winter – once a month should do it.

Do the Star Cactus sound like the plant for you? Take a look at our article dedicated to this unique plant, and find out more!

9 Types of Cacti
Star Cactus @galateasart

Think you’ve found your ideal type of cactus to incorporate into your unique lifestyle? Check out this amazing opportunity to help get your collection started… Have you heard of Succulents Box? They offer more than 200 varieties of succulents, that are organically grown in California, along with monthly subscription boxes of fresh succulents and air plants! Starting at just $5/month, you could be on your way to creating a beautiful succulent garden, all from the comfort of shopping at home! Click this link to learn more about Succulents Box and start your subscription today!

Comment below which types you’ve added to your own home or garden, or share with fellow succulent lovers in our exclusive Succulent City Plant Lounge Facebook group!

For additional succulent content, we’re on Instagram and Pinterest! Check them out for daily succulent inspiration!

Want to enhance your succulent knowledge? We have some additional articles for you to try out! Take a look at Can Succulents Survive in My Work Environment, Why the Prickly Pear Cactus is One of the Most Popular Cacti, 9 Cacti That are Hard to Find, and What Adaptations Does a Cactus Have. You’ll be a succulent and cactus guru in no time!

Happy planting, friends! ?