The most important things to consider when buying a cactus is the type of growing conditions the particular plant needs and the amount of care you will have to give it. If you have a busy lifestyle and can't take much time for your plant, you will need to choose a cactus that requires very little special attention. You should also consider your climate and the location where you will plant any cacti because certain species are more likely to thrive in certain environments.
There hundreds of cacti species you can choose from when trying to find the ideal cactus. Make sure you purchase from a reputable home improvement store or greenhouse since some cacti are endangered and may be heavily regulated in terms of buying and trading. When picking out your plant, make sure that it appears healthy and vibrant. This means one that has attractive coloration, no broken needles, and a consistent size and shape throughout. Cacti with bruising or other discolorations should be avoided.
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You should also check up on any type of cactus species you are considering. Some varieties are more likely to thrive in certain environments than others. If you do not live in an area where cacti are found naturally, you may have a more limited selection to choose from unless you keep the plant indoors. Read up on the amount of care each cactus will need as well, since your plant will not flourish if you don't have enough time to spend on it.
If you have any questions on proper care and treatment, ask an experience grower or even a botanist to find out how you may properly care for your new cactus. Information may also be available on inserts included with the plant itself or in books or online. Make sure you have an area planned out for planting either outside in the garden or in your home. If you want an indoor cactus, make sure you use a pot that's big enough for it to grow.
When planting outdoors, plant as early in the season as you can. This will give your plant time to grow acclimated to its surroundings before the weather becomes cooler again. Keep cacti out of direct sunlight to avoid burns, and make sure that the plant bed is well drained using rocks or gravel for water runoff. You should also use soil that is especially designed for cacti since other potting soils will not be effective.