Cacti and succulents

Low maintenance and drought tolerant, cacti and succulents make attractive and easy-to-grow houseplants. A few can also be grown outdoors in sunny, well-drained conditions. Readily available in great diversity, these often inexpensive plants are fascinating and highly collectable.


Cacti and succulents are easily recognisable by their fleshy leaves or stems, in which they store water. They come in a huge range of shapes, colours and forms, some covered in spines, others smooth or furry, some gently rounded, others angular and sculptural.


Cacti and succulents generally like low moisture, dry air, good drainage and high temperatures. However, some do grow well in semi-shade and humid conditions.


Too much water can stunt growth or lead to rot, while too little water causes shrivelling. Cold temperatures also increase the likelihood of rot. Most are sun-lovers and aren’t happy in poor light away from windows.

Did you know?

Cacti and succulents use a means of photosynthesis that makes good use of limited water, but is quite inefficient. This is why they typically grow much slower than many other plants.

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