How to Grow Succulents and Cacti

Make a drought proof, low water garden 
Its been said that people either love cacti or hate them. For lovers of cacti and succulents, this comprehensive 8 lesson course is a must. The course studies major cacti & succulent groups and the differences in how to treat plants from each; in terms of soils, feeding, watering, pruning, pest control, planting procedures and more. It will stimulate your interest, and set you on the path to becoming an expert with these unique plants.

A Home Studies course for Nurserymen, Gardeners, Teachers, Breeders, Plant Collectors
                       or anyone else working with cacti or succulents.


Course Content

There are 8 lessons in this course structured as follows:

  1. Introduction

    • Review of the system of plant identification
    • Physiology
    • Information sources
  2. Culture A.

    • Planting
    • Staking
    • Mulching
    • Soils
    • Feeding
    • Pruning etc.
  3. Propagation

    • Methods of propagating cacti & succulent plants
    • Propagation of selected varieties
  4. Using Cacti & Succulents
  5. Culture B.

    • Pest & Disease
    • Irrigation
    • Greenhouse growing
  6. Cacti developing your plant knowledge.
  7. Succulents developing your plant knowledge.
  8. Special Project

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Develop knowledge of botanical naming conventions and their application in understanding the horticultural potential of cacti and succulents.
  • Evaluate needs then select or improve growing media for cacti and succulents
  • Propagate different types of cacti and succulents
  • Explain a range of uses for cacti and succulents
  • Manage growing conditions for cacti and succulents
  • Explain the cultivation of a range of cacti.
  • Explain the cultivation of a range of succulents.


Cacti and Succulents are a very large group of unusual plants which everyone may not think is attractive but all must agree is most interesting. These plants are very often grouped together; both in articles or books; and in gardens where they are planted.

A succulent is a plant with thick, fleshy stems or foliage; normally with a lot of sap.

Cacti and succulents are however, two very different groups of plants. Cacti commonly come predominantly from deserts, or very dry areas. Cacti come from a much more diverse range of climates. Some succulents are native to deserts; but others are native to relatively high rainfall areas.

Most cacti need to be treated relatively similarly. Good drainage or at least relative dryness in the root zone is important. Too much moisture and cacti can easily rot.

The way you treat a succulent plant is different from place to place though; from place to place and according to what you are trying to get from the plant.