I'm with Cactus

As we struggle to get out of the single digit temperatures in the Midwest, I find myself filling my windows and home with as many plants and cut flowers as I can to brighten the day and make it feel like spring.  Because we Midwesterners have to bring these plants indoors and back outdoors depending on the season, we require hearty plants (and souls) that can endure the shift in environment.  

 

My current obsession and a trend that is absolutely taking over indoor styling is the classic cactus.  These little guys come in so many shapes and forms, you will surely find one to fit your personality.  And speaking of personality, they each have one of their own.. and it changes over time.  The mysterious way in which cacti grow and in what form is unique to each plant!  And different than a dog or cat, you really only need to water these guys once a month to keep them alive- perfect for my non-green thumbed, workaholic, busy-bodied friends out there!

 

To learn a little more about cactus life and how to care for them, I visited one of my favorite Chicago shops, Alapash.  Located on Damen just north of Lawrence, this shop is perfectly curated to owner Marco’s taste.  While you’re there picking out your perfect cactus, browse all of the other lovely homewares he’s hand selected.  (Then go next door to Groundswell cafe for a great cup of coffee.)

 

For tips on cactus care, scroll to the bottom!

Here's what I've got hanging around my house:

Cactus Care thanks to Marco!:    Like all plants, these guys need light.  Your bigger, older cactus should be in west or south facing windows for that intense, long lasting afternoon light.  Smaller cacti can handle eastern sun as it is a gentler, morning sun.  Worried about the cold weather windows like I was?  Not a problem, according to Marco.  The dessert nights actually get quite cold!  It's good for the plant.  As for watering, they hold a lot of water in their cute little bodies.  Stick to a once-a-month watering plan.  It's a great place to start.  If you're trying to grow your cactus, you can experiment with a twice-a-month plan during the summer months.  Your cactus will start to yellow if it has too much water- so be on the look out!  Lastly, use fast draining soil so that the plant can dry out between waterings.