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How to Build a Cactus Garden

How to Build a Cactus Garden

This is an article on how to build a cactus garden, including finding a good spot in your yard for a cactus garden, how to build the cactus garden and precautions to take for the cacti.

Cacti are some of nature’s most beautiful and exotic plants. Most cacti are native to the desert and arid regions. Many cactus, aloe and agave that come from Australia and Africa do very well here. The cactus garden can also be used as a focal point


The first step in making a cactus garden is, of course, to plan it out. You may want to include some contorting and mounds in the garden, along with some boulders. I think the most important key is to make it look natural.


Cactus soil is also another necessity. As you plant the cactus you will use this to back fill the hole along with the existing native soil. If you want to be ambitious you can make your own by thoroughly mixing two parts potting soil, two parts sand and one part gravel. Adding pumice stone to the mix would be advantageous. It may be a bit more difficult to find. I remember the Desert Botanical Garden selling it as well as some specialty nurseries in the valley.


Now comes the fun part, choosing and planting the cacti in your cactus garden. Choose plants that will do well in your area. If your plan to have the garden in a corner or only viewed from one location, you might want to think of having the taller plants in the back. If you are going to be able to view the garden from 360 degrees consider planting the larger plant in the center.

You may also want to think about planting the cacti, pot and all, in the ground. Cutting out the bottom of the pot could also be a thought. Then if you need to move them during certain time of the year, you can simply lift your plants out of the ground and bring them to another location. Of course this may not be practical with all plants, especially larger the ones.

When planting your cacti, be creative in your design. You can plant the cacti in a pattern or randomly, however you choose. After you have finishing planting your cacti, your cactus garden is complete.

I also think you should not rush the selection of plants. Don’t just but the plants to finish think of this project as a process. I am not saying to procrastinate in choosing the plants, but look for those that are unique and have some character.

This is one area where I believe you do not need to have odd numbers of the same plant. In my cactus garden I have a selection of agaves each being different. The only grouping of the same cactus is a grouping of 3 golden barrels. I believe you should not become attached to the plants, if they become too big for the area, I relocate them.

You may also want to have splashes of color here and there. This will add more interest.


Your cactus garden will need very little maintenance. No watering or irrigation is needed after they become established, the rainfall will be enough. However, you can always soak the ground with a hose when need be.


6 Responses to “How to Build a Cactus Garden”

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