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Have you ever seen the beauty of cactuses showcased in containers? Adding a cactus to a container helps to set it apart from the rest of the landscape and helps it to stand out so that its unique texture and shape really stand out. However, if the thought of having to plant a prickly cactus yourself has given you second thoughts about doing it yourself, it isn’t as hard as it seems. Let’s take a closer look at how to plant a cactus in a pot.

I have planted my share of cactus in the past, usually without getting accidentally stabbed with the spines. My method of choice was to use an old towel to cover the cactus while I removed it from its pot and planted it. However, on a recent trip to B&B Cactus Farm in Tucson, I was able to observe an expert plant my newly purchased cactus.

B&B Cactus Farm

 

Whenever I find myself in Tucson, I try to find time to visit this cactus nursery, which has a large selection of my favorite type of cactus. Torch cactus (Trichocereus hybrids) are rather unassuming when not in flower, but are transformed when their large blossoms open, several times in summer.

‘First Light’ Torch Cactus Hybrid

I first traveled to B&B Cactus Farm last year with the intention of buying one torch cactus. However, as often happens with me and plants, I came home with two, including this stunning ‘First Light’ torch cactus.

This time, I decided to buy one more torch cactus hybrid – unsurprisingly, I bought two again as well as a colorful container to plant one of them in. 

I had planned on planting it myself once we returned home, but a conversation with one of the cactus experts changed my mind.

Damon was busy potting cactus at a table with a large pile of succulent potting mix behind him. I struck up a conversation with him and found that he had an interesting story that had him ending up at a cactus nursery in Arizona. He worked in the banking industry and moved to Arizona from Oklahoma a year ago, and began work at a local bank. After awhile, he decided that being a banker wasn’t for him and found happiness working with cactus. As he put it, “People are always stressed about money when they visit the bank, but everyone who comes to the nursery is happy, because plants make people smile.”

We had a great time talking and I decided to have him pot my cactus, which would make it easier to transport home. When I explained that I had a gardening website and wanted to take a video of him potting the cactus, he graciously agreed and provided lots of helpful advice.

So here is a banker turned cactus expert, showing you how to plant cactus in a pot: 

I hope you enjoyed Damon’s helpful tips. For more helpful videos, subscribe to my YouTube Channel

Last weekend, my husband and I went away to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.  We’d been looking forward to leaving kids and work behind and spending time alone eating great food, sleeping in and long walks enjoying beautiful surroundings.   

30 years ago

Now with past anniversary milestones, my husband would give me a piece of jewelry, and you would think that being married for 30 years would be marked by maybe a ring or necklace, but I wanted something else for this milestone anniversary.


Last month, one of my blog followers sent me a photograph of his stunning torch cactus (Trichocereus/Echinopsis hybrid), ‘Flying Saucer’.  Ever since I saw the brightly-colored flowers of this cactus, I knew that I wanted one for my garden.

Since our anniversary trip was to take us through the city of Tucson, we planned a short diversion to B&B Cactus Farm.

As we pulled up to the nursery, I was hoping that they had a ‘Flying Saucer’ torch cactus just for me.
These cacti are native to South America and do very well in the desert Southwest.  Their large blooms come in many different colors and often repeat throughout late spring and summer.


Walking through the cactus nursery, there was a large number of agave, cacti, and other succulents, which were somewhat distracting me from my mission to find the section where the torch cacti were located.

Finally, I found them!


Some were in full bloom like this ‘Blood’ variety.


Toward the entrance, they had the larger specimens including a few large ‘Flying Saucer’.  


There were also some other hybrids as well.


It was hard to believe that even the younger torch cacti could produce the large, colorful flowers.


The blooms last only a day, but there are often multiple blooms.


At this point, I should mention that while I appreciate many different types of cacti and use many in my designs, I only have a few in my landscape.  


But, because I love flowers, I wanted to make room for one of these lovely cacti.

It is hard to believe how these cacti, that blend into the background throughout most of the year, are completely transformed by these breathtaking blossoms.

Now, back to my decision.  As you might have expected, I was tempted by the other varieties of torch cactus.  While they did have the ‘Flying Saucer’ one that I wanted, they only had a few large specimens.  So my choice was to buy one large one or two smaller torch cacti for less money.


I elected to buy a smaller ‘Ember’, which looked similar to the ‘Flying Saucer’ and I picked the ‘First Light’ since I love pink flowers.


As we drove away, I looked back at my new torch cactus in the back seat thinking that I couldn’t wait to plant them when we got home.  My husband smiled and said, “You never cease to surprise me, choosing cactus to mark our 30th anniversary rather than jewelry”.

We had a wonderful weekend together, and my torch cacti will be planted this week.  I’ll be sure to show you pictures of their blossoms.  Have you ever seen a torch cactus or perhaps, have one yourself?

For more information on these cacti and their beautiful flowers, click here.