I’m A Cactus At Heart

By Mary Ellen Ellis | February 7, 2021
Image by Jamalrani
by Mary Ellen Ellis
February 7, 2021

I love all succulents. What’s not to love? They come in a range of unique colors, shapes, and sizes. Their fleshy leaves and stems are delightful and so different from other plants. They’re sturdy and tough. My absolute favorite is any cactus, and if I had to describe myself in a succulent, that would be it. 

About Cactuses

To choose cactus as my spirit succulent means feeling a sense of kinship with thousands of species. All cactuses evolved to grow in dry conditions, from the driest regions of the world to those areas prone to drought. 

They come in a huge range of sizes and shapes and are all flowering plants. As a houseplant, a cactus is pretty easy to grow. It requires good sunlight and a little water, mostly in spring and summer. It’s tough not to succeed with a cactus in a container, but it is possible both to over and under water

Why I’m a Cactus

I first think of cactuses because I love the desert. Like these tough plants, I thrive in the desert. My favorite desert is the Sonoran Desert where the king of cactuses reigns. The saguaro is the tree of the desert, growing up to 40 feet (12 m.) tall. It’s beautiful and stately. I wouldn’t say that about myself, but I also feel at home in this dry, gorgeous ecosystem. 

Most people think of cactuses as prickly, and they are. Most cactus types long ago shed leaves in favor of spines that defend them against hungry herbivores. I too can be a little prickly. But, like a cactus, the spines are only on the outside. Inside, I’m kind and caring. 

Cactuses do well with little water, which is not something I can claim. However, they do love the heat, and so do I. Basking in the sun is one of my favorite hobbies, and summer is my favorite season. A cactus is a self-sustaining plant. While I do need more water, in other ways I’m similar. I am independent and rely on myself most of the time. 

Succulents are unique plants. They adapted to store their own water and to fit into a range of ecological niches. I’ll always appreciate every type, but the cactus is my hands-down favorite.

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