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The Gardener's Guide to Cactus: The 100 Best Paddles, Barrels, Columns, and Globes

By Scott Calhoun

Offers a clear, helpful, well-­presented text.

New York Times Book Review

At last: a book that shows readers just how easy, hardy, and rewarding cactus can be for everyone — not just specialists. Succulent plant expert Scott Calhoun picks 100 of the best cactus available and shows how they can make striking additions to your garden or serve as dazzling container specimens.

Whether you want striking form, gorgeous flowers, or a low-maintenance plant for a spot that needs little or no supplementary water, you'll find it in this friendly, informative, eye-catching guide.

  • Detailed descriptions of the 100 best cactus for gardens
  • Stunning photos
  • Expert advice on planting and care
  • How to show cactus
  • Tips for growing cactus in containers
  • Best tools and planting media
  • How to identify and avoid pests
  • Helpful lists of spineless, culinary, and scented cactus

Media reviews

"A totally amazing and really fun book."

—Amy Stewart, Garden Rant

"Offers a clear, helpful, well-­presented text."

—Dominique Browning, New York Times Book Review

"Should be considered a definitive guide to using cacti in gardens and landscapes."

Country Gardens

"Gardeners new and old will close this book with an arsenal of ideas on how to take their cactus cultivation to a new level."


"Scott's firsthand knowledge and experience of working with these plants shines."

Danger Garden

"An outstanding volume that is both beautiful and useful."


"Provides cultural information in an easy-to-use structured layout. ... I'm thrilled to have [it] on my bookshelf."

Pacific Horticulture

"Has a little something for every garden—but it's not overwhelming."

Su Casa

"More than a primer, this useful guide provides cultivation tips for practiced gardeners."

New Mexico Magazine

About the author

Scott Calhoun

Scott Calhoun is an award-winning author and garden designer based in Tucson, Arizona, and the author of several award-winning gardening books. He writes a monthly garden column for Sunset magazine and has written for most national gardening magazines. In his design practice, he incorporates cactus into every residential space and sees them as the plant family of the future — especially in arid parts of the world.

Read more about Scott Calhoun

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