When I see a good deal, I just can’t help myself. Any chance to get a new little plant for $1, I am all over it. This week I picked up a bunch of lovely, and one not-so-lovely cacti at my local hardware store. Now what to do with all these cacti? The perfect solution is a simple cactus garden. Here are some simple tips to building a sweet little cactus garden.

Use a container with sufficient drainage:

In this instance, I picked up my container on sale and it did not have a drainage hole. That always makes me nervous so I decided to create my own drainage. All cacti need excellent drainage otherwise they will be susceptible to root rot.

Use a soil that is coarse and free flowing:

I love a pumice or lava rock based soil for my cactus. Make sure and choose something that is coarse and free-flowing. A succulent or cactus mix will do and you can even amend those soils with some pumice or perlite.

Wear gloves and use tongs:

Obviously, cactus pins hurt! Wear gloves or use tongs to handle your cactus. One tip I saw online was to wrap the fingers of your gardening gloves with duck tape.

Choose cacti that are interesting and different:

I always like a contrasting arrangement. Choose different heights, textures and colors to make your garden interesting and unique. I always think is that odd numbers are best. Go with 3 medium size or 5 small cactus bunched together. Add some rocks or sticks for more “desert” decor.

Wait at least one week before watering:

After potting up a cactus, wait at least one week before watering. This will give the cactus time to adjust to its new home. Waiting is especially important if you just brought the cactus home from the nursery. Since you won’t have a good idea about when it was last watered, it is better to err on the side of caution and wait.

Cactus desert garden

Unfortunetly, the little pin cushion did not make the cut. When I pulled it out of the little pot, it was completely rotted out.

rotted Mammillaria pringlei

Stay tuned for updates on this simple cactus garden project. I anticipate some cool growth and unique changes on in its future.