How to Plant a Cactus Arrangement

A cacti arrangement in a terrarium.

Tools and Materials:

  • Cactus plants
  • Shallow pot or container
  • Well-draining soil
  • Pebble and gravel mixture
  • Thick gloves or newspapers
  • Small tongs
  • Spoon

Cacti are an interesting plant that often remind people of a desert. In their deep green hues and varying shapes and sizes, they're attractive plants to keep in one’s home, but are also alluring as far as their lifespan and care goes. Below, learn more about these plants and how to easily create your own cactus arrangement with which to adorn your home.

Caring for Cacti Houseplants

A collection of cacti and succulents on a potting bench.

Cacti are generally easy to care for as houseplants because they’re simple to keep happy and thriving. Desert cactus plants enjoy about four hours of direct sunlight each day, particularly sea urchin cactus. Tropical cacti prefer partial shade. Finally, tropical cacti enjoy direct sunlight in the winter months, but prefer more indirect sunlight during the remaining months of the year. Since tropical cacti thrive when receiving less light than many other houseplants, they’re a wonderful choice for a cactus garden that will reside indoors.

Since cacti are typically desert plants, they enjoy spaces that boast low humidity and generally warm temperatures. However, keep in mind that tropical cacti prefer slightly more humidity.

As far as watering goes, cacti are usually quite low maintenance in this department. After all, they’re used to residing in climates that receive little precipitation. For most times of the year, these plants should only be watered once their soil has nearly completely dried out. While tropical cacti should be watered practically weekly all year, in the winter, water desert cacti only once a month. Tropical cacti plants should have perpetually moist soil instead of dry while the plant is in flower.

Creating Your Cactus Arrangement

Now that we’ve discussed the care necessary for a cactus arrangement to flourish, it’s time to get to the fun part: actually creating the garden. These can be highly versatile, very interesting to look at, and are fun to put together. Follow the steps below and you’ll be on your way to having a beautiful arrangement to adorn your space.

Step 1 - Choose Your Container

First, choose the container you’ll use for your arrangement. You can get creative here, using a colorful oblong dish or a more simplistic pot. Keep in mind that cacti don’t have deep roots, so a shallow container works best.

Step 2 - Add Gravel and Soil

Every plant arrangement starts with the right base. For a cactus arrangement, that means spreading a layer of pebbles and gravel at the bottom of your container. On top of that, you’ll need well-draining soil. Using soil that is specifically meant for cacti and succulents may be best, but any will work as long as it drains in a minute or less.

Step 3 - Place the Plants

A cacti and stone arrangement in a terra cotta dish.

Now’s your chance to design! Place the cactus plants that you wish to use atop the soil, arranging and rearranging them until you’re happy with the setup. These can be close together in a cluster or more spaced apart—whichever way you like better aesthetically will work. Once you’re appeased by the design, create holes in the soil that are suitably sized for each plant.

Step 4 - Don’t Get Pricked

Now that you’re ready to plant the cacti, you’ll need to be careful not to prick yourself when removing cactus plants from their original containers. This isn’t as tricky as it sounds; simply wear a pair of thick gardening gloves and utilize tongs to gently remove plants from their original potting. If you don’t have any gloves readily available, you have alternate options. Try using layers of newspaper to protect your hands from being pricked. Then, add your plants to their designated spot on your arrangement.

Step 5 - Secure the Soil

After you’ve secured your plants into their new home, push down on the soil to ensure it’s secure and that plants are set in their place. You can use the back of a spoon to easily complete this step.

Now all that’s left to do is regularly care for your arrangement and enjoy its beauty within your home. Cacti plants complement almost any decor theme or setting and make for wonderful low-maintenance plants.