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Be it barrelled, bunny-eared or moon-shaped, a little water and your brightest room can help an indoor cactus flourish

Concept of contemporary and authentic house decor. Modern room with contemporary interior design, copy space on wall, wicker chair, plaid, carpet on floor and cactus plants in baskets
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iStockphoto
If you have a room in your home that gets six to seven hours of direct sun each day, choose this as the place for your indoor cacti plants.

A bright room and a slightly forgetful personality (hint: you don't need to remember to water it a lot!) is all you need to be a successful cactus plant-owner.

A desert cactus makes a great house plant, even indoors in cold Vermont winters.

These cacti are the kinds you might see in the desert Southwest. The forest cactus, which also grows well indoors and include ones like the holiday cactus, are a different variety.

Choose your brightest room that gets full sun - think four to six hours of direct sun a day - and ensure the plant pot will allow the soil to stay well-drained. And that's the extent of its care!

These cacti are slow-growing with small root systems and require very little water. Especially in the winter, you might go weeks, if not months without watering them.

Choose from some different cacti shapes and colors, like one with pads that are shaped almost like a rabbit's ears or a traditional barrel cactus. There are some cacti known as "old lady" or "old man" cactus with a sort of white, furry growth that resembles grey hair.

You may have seen the "moon" cactus in garden centers in florist shops. This variety is a green cactus on the bottom, and the top is a colorful knob in a bright red, orange, yellow or purple color.

This type of cactus has been grafted using two different kinds of cacti. The one on the top is a naturally occurring mutant that is grafted to the bottom cactus.

And that bright colorful growth is a natural color similar to how maple leaves change colors in the fall; once all the chlorophyll goes out, it reveals bright reds, yellows and oranges.

The moon cactus will grow well in your home in your brightest room, as well. In fact, it doesn't even need as much light as some of the other cacti. Over a couple of years, though, each cactus will have a different growth rate and this can cause the graft to fail.

Charlie's All About Houseplants webinar is Thursday, January 27 at 7 p.m.

Q: Your recommendation to use castor oil to relocate moles and voles from sensitive area does work to a degree. When they're pushed out of the perimeter of the lawn, they continue to burrow and deposit sizable amounts of dirt on the surface. Any suggestions for a humane and more permanent removal of these rodents? - Ed, in Richmond

A: Grubs that live in the soil are one of moles and voles main food groups. For a longer-term solution to eradicate moles and voles, first rid your lawn of those grubs.

By spraying beneficial nematodes on the soil and lawn areas in June and or September, you'll be parasitizing and killing many of those. Lesser amounts of this food source means you'll have fewer problems with moles and voles.

Beneficial nematodes are a live organism and you can sometimes find them in a refrigerated section of your favorite lawn and garden center.

The product will come with instructions and you'll use a hose-end sprayer and spray it on your lawn area.

Next week, we'll discuss winter pruning, in Pruning 101! Send your winter pruning questions to Charlie Nardozzi.

We've closed our comments. Read about ways to get in touch here.

All Things Gardening is powered by you, the listener! Send your gardening questions and conundrums and Charlie may answer them in upcoming episodes. You can also leave a voicemail with your gardening question by calling VPR at (802) 655-9451.

Hear All Things Gardening during Weekend Edition Sunday with VPR host Mary Engisch, Sunday mornings at 9:35.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or get in touch by tweeting us @vprnet.

Mary Williams Engisch is a local host on All Things Considered, Weekend Edition Saturday and Weekend Edition Sunday.
Charlie Nardozzi is a nationally recognized garden writer, radio and TV show host, consultant, and speaker. Charlie is the host of All Things Gardening on Sunday mornings at 9:35 during Weekend Edition on Vermont Public. Charlie is a guest on Vermont Public's Vermont Edition during the growing season. He also offers garden tips on local television and is a frequent guest on national programs.