My family has always ran into an issue when ever we receive a new plant: they almost always die. Whether it’s too much water, too little water or not enough sunlight, one determining factor always seems to doom the plant to its inevitable wilting and death. However, I refused to give up and recently hoped to break this trend with one simple action: buying a mini cactus.

Luckily, I’ve been successful; it has been one month and the cactus is still growing and healthy! And I’ve discovered that its spikes are not actually painful but soft, almost like coarse fur. But what fascinated me the most was how it could go for many days without being watered and still be fine. So I did a little research…

Because a cactus has no leaves, it doesn’t give up its water through evaporation as easily as other plants. In fact, the prickly spines of cacti are actually highly-modified leaves, which reduce water loss by restricting air flow near the cactus. Its stems provide a lot of room and have a protective coating for storing water. Also, most cacti have extensive but shallow root systems that allow them to soak up any rainfall that may come their way. Some cactus species can even go for two years without water, and it’s useful to note that in an emergency in the desert, you can always cut open a cactus to find liquid.

Hope you enjoyed my spontaneous article and happy hiking!


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