What are tropical cacti? (with photo)

The native climates of tropical cacti are humid areas with abundant vegetation.

Tropical cacti may or may not be recognized as actual cactus species. These plants usually grow in humid conditions with bright but reduced light exposure. When removed from their native tropical climates, they are often found as ornamental plants in homes. Specific types include coral cacti, holiday cacti, and prickly pear cacti.

The native climates of tropical cacti are humid areas with abundant vegetation. Although these areas have dry and rainy seasons, when rain falls, it is usually plentiful. In general, the tropics refer to regions around the Earth’s equator. Various types of ecosystems can characterize these areas, ranging from deciduous forests to tropical forests.

Specific types of tropical vegetation are classified as tropical cacti or shade cacti. As a general rule, these varieties thrive with plenty of water and fertilizer and relatively little sun. Numerous species classified under the broad term holiday cactus – such as the Christmas cactus – constitute a popular type of tropical cactus. Another important example is the coral cactus, native to tropical forests. An adaptable cactus known as an opuntia – or prickly pear cactus – can also grow in tropical climates.

Tropical cacti are sometimes not recognized as real cacti as they have some key differences from traditional plants. Mainly, normal cacti are found in very dry desert regions and are therefore succulent or water-storing plants. Tropical cacti, on the other hand, originate in areas where water supplies are plentiful, such as rainforests. To adapt to their environment, traditional cacti possess certain characteristics that are often absent from tropical varieties, including the following: a thick stem, a limited growing season, broad roots, and structures called spines in place of leaves. Tropical varieties often have leafy segments called phylloclades instead of spines.

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These plants are often used as house or garden plants, with soil bases often consisting of sand mixes. Proper care with irrigation and lighting is important for cultivated tropical cacti. Light exposure should be bright and abundant, but plants are often resistant to direct sunlight. For some varieties, such as coral cacti, soil moisture should be fairly constant. Many types of holiday cacti, on the other hand, can survive watering every other day. An indoor plant can be kept in a pot in cooler weather, while outdoor plants should be moved indoors when the weather gets colder.

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