A cactus is a plant that inhabits the deserts, and other dry places. They come in all shapes and sizes; some are round and short and others, tall and thin. Many flowers of this plant are big and beautiful and some bloom at night. These flowers are usually bisexual. The flowers of this plant are large and showy in many species; they can be colored pink, yellow, red, orange and white. Cactus flowers receive little attention. Its flowers have dozens of petals and stamens. Cacti have an inferior ovary which is surrounded by material obtained from the stem. The flowers are pollinated by bats, birds, bees, small doves and moths and also by humming birds. These flowers are delicate and usually bloom in the spring for a short period of time. As it is a flowering plant, every kind of cactus plant is capable of blooming on maturity. Rather than in a group, flowers of the cactus plants occur singly. The flowers are used as a diuretic and in the treatment of Arthritis, Edema and Whooping Cough. It is also used in preventing infection of wounds.
Cactus plant is native to South and North America. It can be found in many habitats. It is also found in Temperate, Tropical and sub-Tropical regions. It ranges from deserts to tropical rainforests to high in the Andes Mountains.
Planting of cactus plant should be done in medium pots, which contain equal part of bird gravel, leaf mold and soil. At the time of transplanting, it requires regular watering. But excess water is not ideal for it. From the month of March to November is when the plant actively blooms. At this time it requires regular watering.
Cactus is a low maintenance plant, but for blooming it requires care. Some cactus plants do not bloom until they are 30 years old because they do not get proper light, fertilizers and water. A flowering cactus plant requires occasional pruning and full sunlight.
Temperature and Humidity
The Flowering cactus plant requires bright and indirect light. Too much light is not ideal for the plant because it fades the bloom. It requires a fairly warm temperature. During the daytime, a temperature of 70 °C is ideal for the plant. At night it requires a temperature of 55 to 60°C.
Flowers of cactus plants are very beautiful and they are sometimes used as a gift. It also has anti inflammatory properties. In traditional medicine, these flowers are used as anti diabetic and anti inflammatory agents because; flower extract is known to reduce the chances of diabetes and inflammation in medical conditions. Extract of Methanolic cactus flower reveal an anti “Ulcerogenic” (causing ulcers) and antioxidant properties. An Alcohol extract of the flowers has pain relieving properties. Its antioxidant property makes it beneficial for beauty. Because, these antioxidants protect the skin from damage by free radicals, its extracts also have been recycled as a component in the products of skin care. They are used in maintaining the moisture of the skin. The flowers of the cactus plant are used as natural food colorants. Essential oil is also obtained from the flowers and finds use in making perfumes.