Care deep and loving deeper for thorns…

I bought a cactus. A week later it died. And I got depressed, because I thought, damn. I am less nurturing than a desert” – Demetri Martin

Who can relate?
Have you ever enticed to buy a cactus or a succulent assuming that it is just way too easy to nurture them?
I am one of you.
Maybe because it is small, maybe because it is green just like in lush surroundings, soil and water will do. It’s not. Though my affection still grows as these little darlings of earth blows me away in every beat of nature. I am somewhat accustomed to succulents (though its alluring to blend cravings with cactus) I bought some, overlooking the fact that taking care of them is different from cacti or any other plant I took care of.
My passion in planting such midgets can be traced way back in my elementary days. In the flat terrains, North of Luzon, I and my siblings will walk to a distant store to buy our pots and some plants, anxiously go home and mold those tiny little greens to the soil and our world shines deep fancy like a rainbow paints the sky. It turned dark one day as my grandmother’s visitor took one of my favorite cactus (back in the days, it’s difficult to resist your visitor’s wish and my grandma doesn’t know how much cactus mean to me) I cried hard because my grandmother gave one of my favorite cactus to her visitor. As a child, I thought that her visitor is a clown and should not come back anymore.
Fast forward about 3 decades.

With all the nature’s rainbows and darkness, I settled here down South, with a little bit of terrain and weather is somewhat calm. Being a housewife is not easy so I need to turn my life around. I got connected to FHMOMS.(Filipina Homebased MOMS) lately and I attended their free webinar April this year and I got excited about Canva. Little I know, Cactus and succulents will come into play again to my life via Canva that became my starting point to get back and consequently directed me to planting cacti once more after 3 decades, this time as a business and can be used as event giveaways.

Now, there are over a hundred cacti and some succulents under my care which I propagate so that it can be offered as party/event giveaways at a reasonable price.

Here are some tips that I can give based on my experience in taking care of them.First, Cactus and succulents need different care.

For Cacti, most of them need full sun, but since most of them came from Uplands (say Benguet Province) they need to be adopted in average tropical climate. We have to change the soil or at least add some that is from our community to help little greens adjust in atmospheric conditions. Let them stay in shade for a week then slowly introduce them outside – two hours underneath the morning sun until they become habituated. Once they have adapted,they love full sun or six to eight hours under the sun.
Recommended watering is just once a week or two times a week during hot season. The best way to water them is direct to the soil not touching the body of the plant. Or do the double pot method wherein you will place the pot in a basin with water. That way, the water will go up from beneath not touching the body of the plant.Overwatering is the main cause of casualty in planting cactus and succulents. However there are some variety of succulents that love water. They prefer to be put under the rain. Examples are jellybeans, crested and mini jade.
Breeding cacti and succulents is like painting a picture bright with sensation, they add spice in your intricate, thorny but exciting life. Raising cacti and succulents, with your hands full of smudge, makes you feel that you are connected to nature.
That warm love and tenderness is my ticket to happiness and future success.

Written by: Joy Monica Perez

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