Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - February 25, 2005

From: London, Other
Region: Select Region
Topic: Cacti and Succulents
Title: How do cacti stay in ground
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

How do cacti stay in ground? I know that flowers stay in the ground by their roots but what about cacti?

ANSWER:

Cactus have roots, too. Some have shallow spreading root systems and some have large tap roots or a cluster of tubers. An old night-blooming cereus (Peniocereus greggii) can have a very large tap root weighing as much as 100 pounds. to read more about cactus, you can visit the Cactus Museum web page. The cacti use their shallow roots to absorb water when it rains, but many of these roots may die when it becomes dry. Read about How Cactus Survive in the Desert.
 

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Smarty Plants on bio-security
June 11, 2005 - Hello, My friend and I are summer interns at the Bryan Mound Strategic Petroleum Reserve Site in Freeport, Texas. Our jobs as the interns is to find a plant that is friendly to the animals around our...
view the full question and answer

Agave americana/Century Plant care and life cycle.
June 10, 2009 - How often do century plants bloom? Do you have info on how to care for them?
view the full question and answer

Native plants for highlights in a cactus garden
March 12, 2008 - Hi, I'm looking for some groundcover (succulents or herbs), shrubs, and other perennials to plant along with the cactuses (20 or so) I got from the CDRI plant sale in Fort Davis. The most important ...
view the full question and answer

Century plant leaves falling over from San Antonio
April 10, 2013 - Have a large century plant about % feet tall. The leaves are falling over. Can you tell me what to do to avoid this.
view the full question and answer

Which cactus grow in the Eagle Pass, Texas area?
May 11, 2009 - I would like to know which types of cacti grow in my area since I can't seem to find any websites that may give me a way to identify them. The type I seek is the round type of cacti not nopal types. ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.