Welcome to this article that will be talking about why a cactus plant might start to reduce the number of leaves it has and instead grow spines. This can be caused by a multitude of different reasons but we will be listing some of the most common ones.
The first and most common one will be because the plant wants to conserve water usage. The spines will require less water than the leaves. So when the conditions might be harsh then this process will happen.
Follow along and we’ll be discussing this even more in-depth. The cactus plant is a fascinating one to grow at home and have as a houseplant.
Leaves Of Cactus Are reduced To Spines Why
Just like we said at the beginning of this article here, there are many reasons why a cactus plant might start to develop spines instead of leaves. It might look weird at first but rest assured there is no real harm in this and it is perfectly normal.
The reason we laid out for this happening is that the plant is trying to conserve the amount of water it is using during the day. When the condition might be harsh the plant needs to be thoughtful with its resources.
The spines will require less energy and water during the day and therefore is the reason why a cactus plant might reduce the leaves to spines instead.
Generally speaking, the cactus plant is a very very hardy variety that can manage through some tough conditions. Climates that other plants just can’t survive in.
Don’t take it as a bad sign the leaves are disappearing thinking the plant is starting to die. It will simply store the water it has and use it in small amounts to survive.
We have found cactus plants still surviving after not seeing a drop of water for over a month. This makes cactus a perfect houseplant too since it will require basically no work or maintenance.
Are you growing a cactus outdoors and it’s starting to turn yellow in color? In this article, we will be discussing why that might happen and some solutions to it, Outdoor Cactus Turning Yellow.
Spines Of Cactus Plant Are Modified
The spines of the cactus are what would be referred to as modified leaves. They are created as the plant is trying to be more conservative with its use of water.
The spines require a lot less of it to be maintained and when conditions are extra difficult this is a great technique for the plant to pull off.
The spines also serve other purposes too. They will protect the plant against herbivore animals that might want to eat it. But they also radiate heat to the plant, making it able to survive during cool nights.
During these nights they also collect water that might be condensing from the ground. This helps the cactus plant further be able to survive in harsh conditions like a desert for example.
The cactus plant is a fascinating one to have at home and you can clearly see the impact the environment around it will have on the plant and the way it will be growing.
Wet soil causes brown spots on the plant and dry soil causes it to start growing spines. We like it a lot for the incredibly low maintenance that comes with growing it as well.
If you are curious about growing a cactus plant in sandy soil then we have the perfect article for you, Cactus Grown In Sandy Soil.
Why Do Cactus Have Spines
There are a few reasons why a cactus might start to grow spines. We find it often comes down to there being not enough water in the soil and the plant is trying to preserve the small amount it has.
Luckily cactus plants are very good at doing this and will still survive. They do, after all, grow wild in the desert where the conditions are a lot harder than what you might have at home in the window.