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How Big Can a Cactus Get? (And What Factors Affect Growth?)

How Big Can a Cactus Get? (And What Factors Affect Growth?)
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The cactus will make for a fantastic addition to your property because of its unique flowers, the stunning shape, and its size. No two cacti are the same, so you can decorate your house with this plant in a myriad of different ways.

The cactus plant greatly improves the aesthetic appeal of your house and adds considerable interest to a living environment. You can easily place it on a shelf or you can keep it on the windowsill.

The word “cactus” comes from the Greek word “kaktos,” which essentially means a spiky plant. The cactus is native to many parts of America, and it is also found in Mexico.

However, the cactus is perhaps most commonly seen in deserts. It is a unique plant that has the capability to survive for days and months without receiving any water.

Over the passage of time, cacti have adapted perfectly to thrive in the intense heat of deserts, and they do not die quickly when compared with other plants. The heat and the harsh environment of the desert does not have any impact on their survival.

As a result of that, it’s easy to assume that the relatively warm and dry conditions found in heated homes won’t have any negative impact on the growth of this plant. If you love plants and want to add something unique to your house, the cactus is a great choice.

Even though the cactus grows considerably slower than other plants, you should know that it requires little to no maintenance whatsoever. The plant is capable of storing moisture within its roots, its stems, and its leaves.

As a result of that, the plant is able to regulate its own food. You only have to make sure that you place it in a warm, airy, and light spot. Make sure that the temperature does not get overly hot (anything around 18 degrees Celsius is good enough).

The plant is also able to withstand the direct sunlight with ease.

How Big Can It Grow?

Cacti usually grow a few centimeters a year. Most common cacti that you can keep at home are relatively small, and they tend to grow to around two to three feet in maximum height.

However, there are certain varieties that can reach immense heights, though they are not adapted to survival at home. For instance, the Saguaro cactus is perhaps the tallest free-standing cactus plant in the world.

It grows anywhere between two and 15 centimeters a year, and there have been plants that have reached a height of 75 feet or more. Remember, growing your cactus to its full height is going to require a lot of patience.

It’s common knowledge that this is a waiting game and understanding the growth procedure is important. Here are a few things that you should know about the growth of a cactus.

Why Does the Cactus Grow Slowly?

There are two important factors that you need to consider regarding the growth of the cactus plant. First of all, you should know that these plants have adapted significantly for survival.

They are usually found in areas that have inadequate amounts of rainfall, and even that is not frequent. Because of this reason, these plants are more focused on survival.

All of the cactus plant’s energy is focused on survival instead of rapid growth. If the plant does not prioritize survival, there is a pretty strong chance that it will die.

After all, this is the only reason why the cactus is the only plant that is capable of surviving in harmful climates where no other plant is able to thrive.

It’s also important for you to understand not all types of cacti are found in harsh and arid regions. The jungle cacti, for instance, has adapted to live in jungles, and it is quite different when compared with the ordinary cactus plant we think of.

Then, the other factor you need to think about is the fact that there are no leaves on the cactus. Most of the other plants or trees usually have leaves on them. They might be of different shapes and thicknesses, but the leaves still exist.

The leaves of a plant contain chlorophyll, which is the substance used by the plant to convert sunlight into energy. It is what gives the plants their green pigment.

Because the amount of chlorophyll in most plants is quite high and concentrated, they are able to grow quite strong in a short span of time. However, the cactus plant does not have any branches or leaves.

Instead, they contain spines that do not contribute in any way to the production of energy. The leaves of most plants are simply not suitable for the hot and arid climate of the desert.

Cacti also have considerably less green tissue when you compare them with other plants. This greatly slows down their ability to grow, as per the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.

Factors That Affect Plant Growth

There are three major light requirements for all plants: quantity, duration, and quality. The cactus needs a considerable amount of light, and you have to make sure that it gets direct sun exposure.

You have to make sure that the plant gets around five to eight hours of sunlight. It does not necessarily need to be kept in a hot spot, you just need to make sure that you keep it in a warm area.

During the winter months, it’s best if you move the cactus to a place that’s cooler and slightly lighter.

Taking care of a cactus is not difficult; you just need to make sure that you take a bit of time and properly remove the small spikes. For instance, you can use duct tape to remove the small spikes.

These are just a few things that you should know about taking care of the cactus plant and how quickly it grows. It’s a great addition to your house and will look really good!

Will Simpson

Saturday 29th of October 2022

What do you mean by removing the small spikes? My cactus has a lot of smaller branches growing at the base. Does this mean I should cut them all off?