Most people are aware that cactus are a type of hardy desert plant that can store water and that often have sharp spines. But even though they share some fundamental similarities, types of cactus are available in a wide range of sizes, shapes and colors. There are many distinct varieties of cactus, often categorized based on their shape, and knowing about the many types of cactus can help you decide which variety is best for your indoor gardening needs.
Popular Types Of Cactus
Among the most popular and recognizable types of cactus are the columnar cactus and the barrel cactus. Both types are named for their shape and can be found in nearly any home and garden center that carries a selection of house plants. The columnar types of cactus include the carnegiea and the stenocereus as well as many other popular varieties. Named for a shape that roughly resembles a column, columnar cactus have the potential to become significantly taller than they are wide.
In indoor growing conditions where their root growth is limited by the size of their containers, most columnar cactus will not become unmanageably tall. Nonetheless, this variety should be checked periodically and turned from time to time if it is receiving sunlight from a single direction, such as from a window. Because of the columnar cactus’ height, care should be taken that its growth is not lopsided and that it doesn’t begin to lean to one side. Occasional turning of indoor types of cactus will ensure straight, even growth.
The barrel cactus, as its name suggests, is round in shape and often much wider than a columnar cactus. For this reason, types of cactus of the barrel variety are in less danger of tipping over. In addition, many types of cactus in the barrel category can produce attractive flowers at certain times of the year, provided that they receive adequate light and nutrition.
Because many of the people who are interested in cactus prefer types of cactus that are small and compact, the globular variety of cactus is also a well-liked choice. With a shape resembling a globe, globular types of house cactus grow close to their soil and are sometimes available in varieties with no spines. Unlike the columnar cactus, the globular cactus is suitable for placement nearly anywhere in the house because it is more difficult to accidently tip over this shorter plant.
A visit to your local garden center will probably turn up examples of these and other types of cactus. Before purchasing any of these types of house cactus, however, it is important to know how quickly they will grow and how large they will eventually become. Your garden center’s staff should be able to offer you advice about the perfect types of cactus for your home based on your indoor lighting, temperature and humidity conditions.