Cactus Care

How to Grow a Cactus Garden


Imagine a beautiful garden that is virtually maintenance free; that's what you can expect from a cactus garden. If you want to grow a cactus garden, consider combining the many different species of cacti. Each one has a different, appearance, size, texture and color, and put together will yield a unique and imaginative natural space for you to enjoy.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need

  • Shovel
  • Heavy gardening gloves
  • Plastic tarp
  • Large rocks or garden tiles
  • Potting mix
  • Several species of cactus


Step One

Define the size and shape of your cactus garden. Choose the location; the area must be sunny and have excellent drainage. For best results, build your garden on a hill.

Step Two

Outline the border of your garden and begin digging. If you have chosen to build your garden on a hill, dig into the hill at the upper end of the garden. You'll only need to dig up a few inches of earth over the entire base of the garden. Be sure to remove grass and weeds that will hinder the growth of your cacti. If your garden is level and there is no hill, dig out between 6 and 12 inches of earth to ensure proper drainage.

Step Three

Build a wall around the garden by placing a narrow strip of plastic (such as a tarp) along the border of the garden. This will keep weeds and grass from encroaching upon the garden space. Place rocks or garden tiles over the plastic strip, stacking them along the edge to the desired height (typically 12 inches or less).

Step Four

Fill the hole with soil to the top of the rocks. You may purchase a special cactus soil mix at the garden store. You also can make your own cactus soil mix by mixing two parts potting soil with two parts sand and one part gravel. This mixture makes a loose soil that allows for better drainage.

Step Five

Plant each cactus by digging a hole in the soil that is just deep enough to accommodate its roots. Leave the body of the plant on top of the soil. Fill in the soil around the base of the plant. If you live in a climate where the temperature could dip below 50 degrees, plant your cactus in its pot. When the weather gets cold, remove the pot and bring it into your home until spring.

Step Six

Maintain your cactus by watering it sparingly every two or three weeks. Once a year, in the spring, feed your cactus with a general purpose, balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10. Sit back and spend your free time enjoying your exotic and maintenance free garden.

Article courtesy of

About this Author