Saguaro Cactus Protection Laws
Written by craig braddick

Saguaro Cactus Protection Laws

The symbol of Arizona is the saguaro cactus. These are the tall and skinny cactuses that you may think of, when you think of the word “cactus”.

Go on the hiking trails in Arizona, and you begin to realize that they have a personality of their own. They begin to feel like familiar friends accompanying you along your hiking adventure. Native American mythology have numerous stories of how the saguaro cactus came to be and it typically involves people transforming into the saguaros. There is something magical and  special about these cactuses that you can’t deny. While not endangered these cactuses only grow in the Sonoran desert, adding to the uniqueness of this cactus.

Sadly, from real estate to vandalism, humans pose the biggest threat to the saguaros.  For this reason, there are laws protecting them. They are protected under the Native Plant Protection Act. If a person is caught cutting down a saguaro it is actually considered a felony criminal damage charge that can result in 25 years in prison. Any other type of vandalism, theft and attempts to transplant the cactus will also result in pricey fees and jail time. In order to legally remove and transplant one elsewhere, the land owner’s permission and a permit is required. In other areas such as any National Park Land, a saguaro cannot be removed. The saguaro cactus is more than just a symbol of the West, it’s the complete heart of the Sonoran Desert. Not to mention, the inside of a saguaro also provides shelter and the desert wildlife depends on this cactus for survival.


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Cactus and Succulent Care
Written by craig braddick

Saving A Dying Cactus

Most people who buy and tend cacti love them.  When they get sick it’s upsetting as they’ve likely been around for years.  Use these steps to help save a dying cactus at your home or business. Read on to learn more.

Cut Rotting Parts Away

Rotting is generally a sign of overwatering.  The black or brown sections of the cactus must be cut away.  Then you must decide if your soil is completely soaked and should be put in a new pot with new soil, or if you’ll be able to let it dry out and begin your new watering schedule again.  If you decide to repot your cactus you should use mix one part peat, two parts garden soil, and two parts coarse sand.

Adjust Daily Sunlight

Depending on the sunlight available your cactus may be getting too much or not enough sunlight.  For cactus which are becoming more narrow or rounded more sunlight should be added.  Either place the plant where it gets more hours of sunlight a day or choose to move it in the midday for best results.

Adjust Watering

For cacti that look wilted, are shrinking, or are wrinkled you should add water.  It’s important to allow the soil to completely dry before watering, to avoid root rot.  If your cactus is in a pot it should be one where excess water will drain easily.

Watering should be adjusted based on the temperature and season.  During the hotter parts of the year you’ll want to water about 1 time per week indoors.  During the cooler months of the year you’ll want to back that off and only water when the soil is dried out completely.  For outdoors you’ll need to monitor the soil and water when it’s bone dry and there’s no rain in the forecast.

Rinse Off Dirt & Dust

When the flesh of the cactus is covered with dirt or dust it cannot process the light properly.  You can use a soft sponge or rag to rinse off this residue.  You can wipe it down with a sponge soaked in water and a drop of dish soap or you may choose to rinse off your cactus under the faucet in the sink.  For outdoors you can use a house to gently rinse off your cactus.

Control Pests & Insects

Another cactus killer is pests and insects.  They’ll cause yellowing sections on your cactus and make it sick.  To common insects that are harmful to cacti are the spider mites and mealybugs.  You can purchase solutions from your local nursery for spider mites and use rubbing alcohol to kill mealybugs.  Spider mites are tiny red spiders that have webs that are like sheets.  Mealybugs appear in powdery white clusters.

Use Low Nitrogen Fertilizer

Use some fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season which usually starts around March.  Fertilizer is mixed and packaged in different ratios.  The ratio that is best for cacti is one where the nitrogen is rated at 10.  This means a common solution is a 10 (N) – 30 (P) – 20 (K).  Avoid excessive nitrogen as it will cause stunted growth and a texture that’s flabby.

How To Treat Cactus Rot

Cactus rot is caused by overwatering.  While owners might feel like frequent tending is how you care for plants, the cactus doesn’t need as much attention.  Most cactus that turn brown and black to eventually die have been overwatered by accident by their owners.

Let Them Get Dry

While most plants get sickly if they aren’t watered often the cactus is a plant that needs to dry out as part of it’s plant cycle.  The roots of the cactus are accustomed to having very little water in nature and will rot if you water them as much as you do your tomatoes.

Watch For Mushy Sections & Discoloration

It’s incredibly important to watch for your cactus to get mushy or start turning brown and or black.  These are signs that overwatering has occurred.  The roots are probably already dead and rotting.  Simply do not ever overwater.  Pay attention to your cactus soil and only water when it’s completely dried out.  It may seem neglectful, but that’s the natural environment the cactus is used to.

What To Do If You’ve Found Cactus Rot

It is time to trim them off with a sharp knife and repot or replant your cactus.  Make sure you use a good mixture of garden soil (2 parts), coarse sand (2 parts) and peat soil (1 part).  It’s also important to choose a pot that’s a little oversized and has good drainage holes.  If you’re growing cactus outside make sure the soil you’re planting in is good draining soil with a portion of sand to help facilitate this affect.

A&P Nursery Sells Cacti & Succulents in Arizona

A&P Nursery is excited to help you transform your outdoors with cactus & succulents in Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Tempe, and the rest of the East Phoenix Valley. Contact us, today!

Cactus and Succulent Care
Written by webtechs

Cactus & Succulent Care

If you are searching for “cactus care”, this post by A&P Nursery can help point you in the right direction.

Cacti and succulents are very common houseplant nowadays. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes from the petite to the grandiose. Cacti and succulents fall into the same category because they both have characteristics meaning they can grow in dryer environments.

Cactus and Succulents are low maintenance, water-smart plants that reserve water in their leaves and stems, creating a full or succulent aspect. They are usually found in hot, dry climates like the desert and have acclimated to tolerate long periods without water. There are a lot of varieties of succulents and cacti that grow from all over the world. For the best growing results each plant has distinct needs, but there are common rules for succulent and cactus care.

Water – If the container your cactus is in has drainage holes, water completely at least once a week during its active growth period. If your container doesn’t have drainage holes, water moderately to moisten the soil, make sure water doesn’t pool up at the bottom of the container which can cause your cactus to rot. Allow the soil to dry between waterings.

Light – Place your cactus in a south facing window that is brightly lit indoors or in an area with bright, indirect sunlight outdoors. Some cactus can tolerate full sun but must be steadily adapted to hinder sunburn. If the light source is insufficient, etiolation will happen, and your cactus will start to become leggy as it extends outward towards a light source.

Soil – Succulents and cacti grow best in soil that is fast draining and well aerated. Perlite or pumice mixed with soil works well for this, or you can pick up a cactus/ succulent mix at your local nursery.

Cactus & Succulent Growing Tips:

Lithop Care (living rock) – Take particular care not to overwater lithops, as they will rot.  Water lithops during fall (when you see flower buds start to appear) and spring (after leaf shedding has happened) thoroughly (until water runs through your containers drainage holes) and let the soil dry between waterings. Abstain from watering at all during winter and summer months, except for very sparse sprinklings at least once a month.  Keep your lithop in a brightly lit, south facing window. For more information visit

Nutrition – Fertilize throughout the growing season with a 10-10-10 fertilizer diluted to 1/4 strength for each watering.

Colors – Typically greener succulents are more accepting of low light environments. If your space doesn’t have a plentiful light source, try and avoid succulents that have blue, purple, pink and white tones.

Propagating – Cactus has a lot of methods for reproducing and can propagate from cuttings, leaf cuttings and producing seeds.

Artificial lighting – Succulents do their best in natural light, but if this not attainable (during winter months or your geographical location), you can still give them a light source via artificial grow lights. There are a lot of options for energy efficient artificial lighting readily available.

Cactus Re-potting

If your cacti or succulent is in a container, it’s best to re-pot is in the spring. To re-pot your cacti:

  1. Firstly water the cactus and allow it to drain before removing it carefully from the pot, using a folded piece of paper to protect your hands against its spikes.
  2. Clear away the old soil from the roots using a thin stick, like a chopstick, so that you don’t damage the roots.
  3. Put a layer of potting mix in the new pot, which should be slightly bigger in diameter, and sit the cactus on it.
  4. Fill the rest of the pot with the potting mix and firm it down.
  5. Don’t water for a couple of days to prevent the rotting of damaged roots.

A&P Nursery Sells Cacti & Succulents in Arizona

A&P Nursery is excited to help you transform your outdoors with cactus & succulents in Mesa, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Tempe, and the rest of the East Phoenix Valley. Contact us, today!