Cacti and Succulents
Cactus and succulents offer a gardener a wide variety of choices when it comes to choosing a plant or plants that can be used in a garden. Cactus and succulents can be grown in your garden or even in a window box as both of them make great ornamental plants as well as a feature in your garden.
Even if you don't have much space you can still grow many species of cactus and succulents such as; Crassula , Lithops , Mammilaria to name but a few species, in decorative pots or dishes. If you are restricted with space you can keep your cactus and succulents in small pots or be creative and design your own dish of oddities that will attract many comments.
Many people are unaware that they have cactus and succulents in their home, plants such as the wax plant (Hoya carnosa), string of beads (Senecio rowleyanus), Rosary Vine (Ceropegia woodii) and many varieties of Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera spp.) are common in many homes throughout the world.
Cactus and Succulent Care
It is really relatively easy to take care of most cactus and succulents provided they get enough light, are carefully watered and are regularly inspected for pests.
Medicinal and Culinary Uses of Cactus and Succulents
A variety of cactus and succulents species have been used for many centuries as food and medicine. The succulent Tequila Agave (Agave tequilana) has been used to make a popular Mexican drink, Tequila, for centuries. The cactus, Opuntia ficus indica also known as the Prickly Pear is grown as a fruit crop as its fruit can be eaten raw or be used to make some flavorful jams.
Succulent Plant species such as Bulbine falax have been used to treat minor injuries, sunburn, insect bites and even mouth ulcers. Hoodia gordonii is responsible for the the latest weight loss craze that is sweeping the world, apparewntly Hoodia gordonii when taken in either an extract or capsule form will take away your appetite.
Recommended Cactus and Succulents for Beginners
Succulents and cacti have a few fundamental differences but they both have evolved to survive some of the harshest climates that can be found on our planet. Cacti are largely from the Americas and succulents originate from Southern Africa, especially the arid regions of South Africa.