There are many advantages of having a cactus garden. One of the most remarkable things about cacti is the lack of water needed to keep them growing and producing flowers all summer long. In Phoenix, you only need to do supplemental waterings during long droughts and the hottest summer months. For cacti not yet established they should be watered every two weeks until they get a healthy root system.
Cacti are the most misunderstood plant on the planet. Most people refer to cacti as those nasty sticky plants that look dried up and rugged. Some say cacti are only found in the desert and only in a few countries. Many people do not realize that many cacti put out fruit that are used for making candy and jams. There are even other varieties that are used in tamales instead of meat.
The true fact is cacti are the most beautiful and remarkable plant on earth. You can find cacti growing in almost every country except for a few in the Antarctic region. There are varieties that can take below freezing temperatures and others that can withstand 125° weather. What other plant can be half eaten by animals and remain thriving for several more years? Cacti produce several vibrant colored flowers periodically throughout the warm months.
For a person who is too busy for gardening but wants the companionship of plants, there is no better plant than a cactus. Cacti require very little care and water. All one needs to do is plant it and sit back and enjoy. Unlike perennials, cacti are extremely easy to cultivate and cuttings can be rooted out in as little as three weeks. Most cacti are cultivated by cuttings or seed.
The Opuntia species are the most practical variety of cacti to cultivate for the novice grower. The opuntias provide varieties without spines and some with dense showy spines. Most opuntias are fast growers and very easy to transplant without going into transplant shock.
I must warn all potential cacti gardeners, once you have began working with cacti for a while, they can become highly addictive. You will never be able to enter a nursery ever again without leaving with several varieties of cacti. From there you will eventually advance to eBay searching for rare and hard to find cacti.