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Most interesting plants to add to garden
The most interesting plants to add to your garden are not always the most popular. Most people don't realize the incredible versatility of some of the plants that grow around us. But a plant's beauty can be measured in many ways: the flower it bears, the way it smells, the texture of its leaves, the way it grows and thrives, and the way it is used. So no matter what you've been told, you can add just about any plant to your garden, from perennials, annuals, biennials, bulbs, grasses, shrubs, and trees to flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Some are exotic and expensive, but all are fascinating. All that remains is to ask yourself which of these you can add to your garden.
Cacti &, Succulents
Cacti and succulents are the most unusual garden plants of all. These desert-tolerant perennials come in all colors, sizes, and shapes, and their foliage is fascinating in its variety. Some, like the giant barrel cactus, have spiny skins and leaves, others have prickly, hairy, or leafless parts. Some bear edible fruits, and some flower for the sheer enjoyment of it. Succulents are hardy, long-lived, and drought-tolerant. They're also an easy plant to grow.
These fast-growing, succulent plants are popular in home and commercial landscapes. With their interesting foliage, colorful flowers, and unique growing habits, they add a colorful note to a dull garden.
Cacti &, Succulents (Perennial)
Cactus are the spiny, fleshy, or fuzzy stems of succulents. In many cases, cacti and succulents look very similar, but some are different enough to be distinguished. This is true with other plants, too: they are often easy to identify simply by studying their leaves, flowers, fruits, or root structure.
Cacti are very easy to grow. Because they have a thick, strong root system, they can handle dry, barren, and rocky soil. Most cacti are not drought-resistant, but if you provide them with a thick mulch and regular watering, they'll thrive.
Succulents are very similar, but their leaves are fleshy and soft, and the plant grows slower and doesn't have a thick root system. Succulents also tend to grow in a more free-draining soil. Because they get more moisture from soil and from their surroundings than do cacti, they can be grown in areas with little or no moisture.
One of the most distinguishing characteristics of cacti is the color of their prickles. Some cacti have spines with a pale color, like gold, others, like the barrel cactus, have spines that are much darker. Cacti in general can be very variable in color, as well. It is possible to grow many types of cacti, as long as you choose carefully. If you're planning to grow just one type of cactus, it's best to choose one that grows a lot of flowers.
Cacti are often grown in combination with succulents or other plants, because it is not possible to grow many types of cacti in the same container. With this combination of plants, you can grow two types of cactus, and you'll still have some succulents to grow.
In general, cacti and succulents can grow in areas of heavy shade, because most have thin leaves. They grow best in areas that receive little direct sunlight. If you choose to grow your cacti and succulents outside, do not place them in the middle of a bed of flowers or other plants. They can grow to be very large, but they will likely shade the rest of the plants.
Cacti prefer soil with a very high water content. Succulents require a lower water content, although they can tolerate more salt and humidity. Succulents can grow in drier soils and in containers with a somewhat lower water content.
#### How to Grow a Cactus
Cacti are a relatively easy plant to grow. They like soil with a high water content. It is best to start your cactus plants in a pot that holds an ample amount of soil. It will take several weeks to a few months for them to grow roots, but this is a process that will happen no matter what type of soil you choose for them. If you plan on growing more than one cactus, it's important to keep them separate until they are large enough to withstand the space you plan to give them.
Many different types of cacti require a soil with very low moisture content. If you choose to grow your cacti outside, make sure the soil has a higher water content than one that will be used in a container. This is why cacti are best suited to pots. Be sure to choose a pot that holds soil that is well drained, and a porous pot can keep the soil dry better than one that is not porous.
A fairy pod cactus can grow up to several feet in length, and its leaves are large, broad, and heart-shaped. The fairy pods are not very pretty but are the only variety of cactus that flowers.
Cacti are relatively easy to grow. It is important to make sure the soil does not dry out. Most are easy to grow and will give a healthy, thick, succulent bush.
#### How to Grow a Succulent
Succulents are much more difficult to grow than cacti, primarily because of the soil requirements. Most soil requires high humidity or the soil will dry out, and cacti are much less prone to this problem. If you live in a humid area, choosing a cactus is best. But if you are in a hot, dry climate, you may need to experiment with other types of plants to get the benefits of succulents.
Cacti and succulents are the most easy to care for if they are watered regularly. If there is no sign of moisture, and the soil is dry, the plant should be watered. However, if the soil is damp, the plant will need to be watered less often. To make sure the plants are not too much water, put a thermometer in the soil to get an idea of the soil temperature. After a week or so, you can use the thermometer to tell when the soil is warm enough and when it is not. If it is not warm enough, water the soil to at least room temperature.
While a cactus is hardy to extreme temperatures, succulents will suffer if it is too hot. If your container garden is too warm, put the container in direct sunlight or in a well-placed grow light. If the plants are in direct sunlight, place the container on a shady, overcast day.
Once your succulents are established in the container, you can leave them for more than two months without watering them. If they need water, you can use a trowel and pour water into the pot at the top of the roots, making sure you are not too far down from the plant so it does not burn it. Check for any disease or pests, and correct them if there is anything to worry about. After watering, you may leave the plant undisturbed until it has the chance to dry out. If you can't do this for several days, it might be time to water the container.
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