“You can’t grow cactus in Florida” is a fallacy that many newly minted gardeners will hear. Experienced growers know that there are many types of cacti that grow quite well in the state. While cacti are primarily considered a plant of dry, arid landscapes, they can also flourish in Florida. There are even native cactus species.
Cactus gardening and landscaping has become a trend in the state. The prickly pear cactus is one of the most common types of cactus that individuals will find. It sports yellow blossoms in spring, red fruit in the autumn, can grow up to three feet tall, and spreads readily. It shouldn’t be planted where children or pets will be. However, that’s not the only type of cactus that will grow in the humid environment.
Typically thought of as a short-lived hothouse plant for northern climates, the Christmas cactus is an anomaly that prefers more moisture than desert varieties, along with rich, moist soil. It blooms between February and November and to bloom it requires 13 hours of darkness and cool nights. It’s best grown as a patio plant that can be moved inside if the temperature drops.
Dragon Fruit Cactus
Classified as a member of the cactus family, the most common is Hylocereus Costaricensis. It grows as a vine and will need support. The flowers are one of the largest in the world, extremely fragrant, and bloom for a single night. Moths and bees will be the primary pollinators. It’s best to have two plants for pollination if fruit is desired or hand pollination will be required.
The blossoms give way to bright red, sweet fruits that have a taste described as a cross between a pear and a kiwi. They grow rapidly during the summer months, but rest during the remainder of the year, blooming from July to October.
Night Blooming Cereus
The cactus is unique in that it has no spines and displays a vine-like growth habit. A single plant can grow up to 20 feet in length. The flowers are fragrant, large, and only bloom for a single night.
The Triangle cactus is known by names ranging from barbed wire cactus to sword pear. It has large, white blooms that bloom at night and are attractive to moths and hummingbirds. It features an upright growth habit and can attain a height of 23 feet if left alone. It will also tolerate temperatures of up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
RCH Landscaping is a full-service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians has an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.
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