What are Jungle Cacti?
When the term 'cacti' is mentioned, most of us conjure up images of succulent plants covered with sharp spines that grow naturally in a hot and arid desert environment.
Thus it is hard to believe that there are actually 'jungle cacti' that grow naturally in a moist and lush jungle, an environment that is almost the complete opposite of a desert.
Jungle Cacti are a group of cacti that grow in rain forests. Unlike their desert relatives, these plants do not resemble one another and many do not even have spines.
Watering your Jungle CactiJungle cacti do not tolerate drought and the roots should be kept moist at all times. Depending on the growing conditions, it is usually sufficient to water these plants once a day. More frequent watering may be required if the weather is very hot and dry. But make sure that you don't overwater your pants! Dehydrated plants will show symptoms like wrinkled stems.
Soil for your Jungle Cacti
Most Jungle Cacti are either epiphytic or lithophytic meaning they grow in trees or grow on rocks respectively, that is why these plants are ideal for Hanging Planters. This type of cacti gets its nutrients from the air or from dead leaves. It is important to note that there are no parasitic cacti. Those that grow in trees do so for support, but do not sap nutrients from their host. For best results we’ll want our soil to mimic these natural conditions.
How much light do my Jungle Cacti need?
Jungle Cacti can survive in a wide range of light conditions. However, we’ll assume the goal is not to have plants simply surviving, but thriving. For the plants to thrive the amount and intensity of light are key ingredients.
Not only is light essential for healthy stems, it also triggers blooming in many species. In ideal conditions a particular plant may exhibit fantastic growth with many show-quality stems, but they won’t bloom. In this situation exposing the plant to longer and more intense sunlight will trigger it to bloom. Don’t forget that plants can get sunburn just like people do. If you have a plant that has been mostly shaded, don’t just stick it out in direct sunlight or you will certainly end up with a badly scared cactus. This is even true for desert cacti that occur naturally in extremely hot, intense sunlight.