There are many types of cacti to choose from. Some are grafted, and many have blooms in the spring. This segment also talks about the importance of light for growing a healthy plant.

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Cactus Plants for Your Home

This has always been quite popular, but it’s a grafted cactus. We can see these in this red color here, however there are yellows and other colors. Because it’s a Gymnocalycium, it has no chlorophyll in it, and it can’t conduct photosynthesis. So, the red top on the cactus would die if it was left on it’s own, because it can’t make it’s own food. So, it’s grafted to a green cactus, like this one. It supplies the roots and the green base for photosynthesis and transports the food up to the top to keep it alive. That’s how we get a nice, colorful, decorative plant.

This is a Mammillaria type cactus. The thing to notice about it that it’s a heavy bloomer in the spring. This type will get rings of small flowers around the tip of each of the offshoots. It’s a beautiful when it’s blooming. This plant is pink, but there are some that bloom with reds or white flowers. So, cacti do bloom in the spring.

If you want another one for visual interest, you might look at the golden barrel cactus. This one is prickly with a traditional cactus appearance. Don’t let the small spines on other cactus fool you because they are sharp and can stick in you.

The other thing to know besides how to water them correctly is light. They need very high light and full sun. Don’t put them in low light or in a north window, or across the room from a window. They need the brightest light possible. If they don’t have enough light, they’ll get thin and the new growth stretches up high. Then, they begin to look ugly. It’s a sign of lack of light. It’s not from too much water or fertilizer – it’s almost always caused by a lack of light. And that’s also true of succulents.

This feature story prepared with Alan Stevens, retired former Kansas State University Research and Extension State Leader, Horticulture. For more information, visit your local county extension office or visit our website at

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