A marvel of nature-Cactus Flowers
Very often I have been accused of being surrounded by thorns and branded somebody who is surrounded by inauspicious things not recommended by Vastu at all because of my love for growing Cacti. With all due respect to the traditions and the intelligence of people who brand me “Thorny” (thank god T is not silent here) let me give a reason for my love for Cacti and Cactus flowers is only one of them.
We all know Desi Traveler loves to travel and travel is a demanding mistress, thus at times I would be away from home for weeks, there was a time before I got married when I will travel for 20 days in a month, either for work or for the sake of traveling. This led to a total neglect of my other love that is gardening. Ever since I was a child I have been growing a few plants in small pots. So when I started traveling it meant most of my plants would be either dead or in a pretty bad shape when I would return home, until I discovered Cacti at the home of one of my cousins.
The moment I saw my first cacti consciously it changed my opinion about the prickly plants. In my opinion, they are survivors, braving the harshest climate on the planet and adapting to come out winners. How can such survivors be considered to bring bad luck?
Once I got hooked to their curved spines I started growing them and the best part is that they don’t need buckets of water, you leave them alone and when you come back you find them welcoming you with a pretty bud, waiting for you to smile at it for it to open up the next morning. As far as Vastu goes I am sure any negative references to the Cacti are invented ones, for the simple reason when the original Vastu Shastra was written Americas were yet to be discovered the continent to which all Cacti belong. Most of the plants that grow wild in India are introduced ones to control soil erosion or are actually Euphorbia. Cacti are the succulents from the new world and Euphorbia is succulent from the old world. You can easily identify a Euphorbia by the poisonous milky sap that oozes out of its wounds if hurt. That is the reason cattle do not eat Euphorbia and the plant is extensively used as a hedge as well as on mountain ranges to control erosion.
|The Flower Dwarfs The Plant|
Any ways long story short please see below two of my Cacti that blossomed after 5 years ( last bloom being in 2007 in Gurgaon for the pink flower). Since then the plant has grown 4 times in size and need to be re-potted. The yellow one has been blooming on and off but I could never take the pictures due to my travels. In many cases, the cacti bloom almost every year when they receive a little water and they produce some of the most stunning flowers. A lot of plants actually produce flowers that are larger than the plant they are born on.
Alas the beauty is not lasting and most wither away only in a day or two but their zest for life continues as flowers soon give place to small berries that give life to insects and birds and birth to the next generation.
You can check the other photos of some of my cacti that have bloomed in past and decide for yourself if these plants are not some of the most stunning creation of Mother Nature by clicking here.
A plant that grows in minimal space, with little water and care and gives most beautiful flowers you have ever seen, what else can a nature lover ask for
PS: This post also appeared in print edition of ISOCS or Indian Society of Cacti and Succulents quarterly journal.