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Carpe Diem: Cacti

Carpe Diem: Cacti (KFOX14)

Part of what makes the desert landscape beautiful is the cacti. Yet cacti are widely misunderstood.

Jean Claude Linossi is the president of the El Paso Cactus and Rock Club. Linossi said there are couple of widely accepted misconceptions about cacti.

"People think that cacti like to grow outside in the hot sun, which is not necessarily true," Linossi said. And, contrary to popular belief, cacti do require water, especially in the hotter months.

Linossi said it's important to know the needs of a cactus plant before planting it. Native cacti tend to thrive here, Linossi said, but more exotic cacti can die in the Chihuahuan Desert without the proper care. For that reason, he says, it's important to understand what kind of soil the cactus requires and how much sunlight and water it needs. Once you have made the proper determinations about what cacti you'll be planting and where, Linossi said there is one thing all cacti require to make a smooth transition to your yard. "When you transplant the cactus, keep in mind that you have to have the roots callous for three or four days before you put it back in the ground because where you cut it, it has to heal back," Linossi said. Allowing the roots to callous prevents bacteria and disease from finding its way into the plant. And finally, Linossi said, don't water the cactus plant for three days after planting it.

On “Gear Friday,” we'll look at the items and methods you can use to handle a cactus as you try to plant it.

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