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The cac­tus is the must-have house­plant of the mo­ment, and your desk will be all the bet­ter for one.


Cacti need six hours of full sun­light a day. (You know, like in the desert.) That means they should be placed close to a west- or south-fac­ing win­dow. Ro­tate your plant oc­ca­sion­ally to en­sure each side gets its fix.


Desert lore has it that a sliced-open cac­tus can pro­vide emer­gency hy­dra­tion. In fact, drink­ing from one will make you quite sick. But it is true that cac­tuses store a sig­nif­i­cant wa­ter re­serve, so dur­ing the spring and sum­mer grow­ing sea­son, al­low soil to dry com­pletely be­fore wa­ter­ing.


Most cacti en­ter a dor­mancy pe­riod dur­ing fall and win­ter, when they pre­fer cooler tem­per­a­tures and less wa­ter. Move them away from ra­di­a­tors or heaters, and cut back to a light wa­ter­ing once a month.

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