Due to the fact that some species of cactus are native to freezing desert environments, they can withstand temperatures as low as 20 degrees below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. These plants may exude water, which will give them a slightly deflated appearance, or they may contain spines or hairs that deter frost. However, many cacti cannot withstand cold or temperatures below zero. Always examine the hardiness zone of a cactus before purchasing. Bring your cactus inside as a houseplant if you reside in a location outside of its range. Row covers, tents, and frost cloths can all be used to protect your cactus from the bitter cold outside.
To review, humidity is the quantity of water vapor in the atmosphere. Cacti typically like low humidity and good airflow, though they do appreciate water after drying up. Winters are frequently dry, so keeping your cactus next to a heater inside won’t cause any issues. The air outside is frequently dry due to wind chill. Keep an eye on the humidity if you live somewhere where it gets cold and humid. If the relative humidity exceeds those ranges, you might wish to bring your cactus indoors because most cacti like a relative humidity of 40 to 60 percent.
How cold must it be for cacti?
If you have enough light, cacti are some of the most rewarding houseplants. Few blooms can match them in terms of color, size, or beauty. Space is typically not an issue because most cacti grow slowly. They are extremely resilient and flexible. They do not “thrive on neglect,” unlike what the general public thinks. They “thrive on gentle loving care, like most plants, but they will at least “survive on neglect.”
Except for epiphytic (tree-dwelling) cacti and succulents like the Christmas cactus, rhipsalis, and orchid cacti, which demand less sunlight, greater humidity, and more watering than other species, the general care instructions below apply for cacti and most other succulent plants. They also prefer fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content. Compared to other species, add less sand to your potting mixture. Other succulents such as haworthias likewise favor brilliant indirect light over direct sunlight.
Give cacti and other succulent plants the brightest or most sunny windows you have indoors (four to six hours of direct sun). They will grow abnormally long and thin in low light conditions. Your plants will benefit greatly from spending the summer outdoors in the morning or late afternoon sun, when there is greater air movement and light. The majority of succulents can withstand intense outdoor sun, but they must get used to it. When putting plants outside, place them in partial shade or shadow at first and gradually expose them over the course of a few weeks to the strong late spring and summer sun.
Spiny and woolly species need the greatest sunlight, whilst spineless species typically need shade during the midday hours. If your plant has a reddish tint, it may be because the amount of sun it can withstand is reached or exceeded.
When you water, make sure to water well and wait until the soil has dried before doing so again. In particular, succulents are vulnerable to rot from excessive watering. If the earth around your plant is already moist, NEVER water it. Pots that are dry weigh less than wet ones. When the soil inside clay pots is moist, they feel chilly and damp to the touch. When the soil has enough moisture for the plant, succulent leaves are solid and plump.
The majority of cacti and several other succulents prefer to maintain a significant amount of dryness during the cooler months of the year (usually October through April). Over this time, drink less water than usual. To encourage new growth in the spring, spray your plants in the early morning hours of warm days. The spines of plants will allow them to absorb moisture. In order to prevent new roots from being stifled by excessively damp soil during the early spring, we also advise watering plants from the bottom of the pot. Fill the plant’s saucer with water, give the soil, pot, and plant around 30 minutes to absorb the moisture, and then drain the extra.
If you embed your plants in a mixture of 50% coarse builder’s sand and 50% peat, they will grow to their fullest capacity if they are in clay pots. This stops the soil from drying out too quickly and enables the roots to grow in the consistent wetness that the peat/sand mixture creates. Make sure there is excellent drainage in the tray that contains the peat/sand mixture.
Keep succulents and cacti above freezing in the winter. Some plants require a temperature range of 35 to 40 °F at night (some cacti and other succulents can endure temperatures well below freezing if kept absolutely dry.) A minimum temperature of 50–60 degrees is preferred for more tropical succulents like adeniums, euphorbias, lithops, and stapeliads.
Plants need to be shielded from intense heat in the summer since potted plants’ root systems are more susceptible to harm. Good air circulation and cautious watering will prevent fungal and rot issues in humid and hot conditions.
From May to September, feed your plants once per month using a fertilizer that contains low nitrogen (10% or less), such as 5-10-5 or 10-30-20. Nitrogen overload promotes excessively quick green but weak development. As the majority of cacti have evolved to thrive in nutrient-deficient soils, always dilute the fertilizer more than the label recommendations suggest.
In the spring or early summer, repotte. When young, most plants like annual repotting with just one pot size increase. Without relocating the plant to a larger pot, you can carefully remove the top inch or two of soil after you reach roughly a 6-pot size and replace it with fresh mix. Since succulents are typically heavy plants, especially when potted in clay, moving them into ever bigger containers can be challenging.
Steer clear of soils that contain a lot of peat moss. Peat retains moisture for too long and is difficult to remoisten after being fully dried (a frequent occurrence with most succulents). You can add some coarse builder’s sand to the soil to promote drainage and a tiny amount of peat to the soil to improve texture. As much as 40% sand is appreciated by stapeliads, wooly cactus, and lithops (living stones). The base of the plant should have a top dressing of fine gravel since it encourages greater water absorption into the soil, shields it from excess moisture, and looks good too. For every 3 inches of pot size, add a tablespoon of gypsum and bone meal, if possible.
Use a pair of wooden tongs or a piece of newspaper that has been rolled up to help plants with a lot of spin out of their pots. If the plant is resistant, resist the urge to pull it out because doing so will harm the roots. Try again by striking a hard surface with the pot. As much soil as you can take out without harming the root ball. To prevent rot, always repot the plant at or higher than the prior soil level. You might need to stake species of columns. To give new root hairs time to grow after repotting, wait a week or two before watering.
Can cacti endure the winter outside?
The resilient cactus are easily able to live in locations with a lot of snow cover. Cacti can get burnt or frostbitten in locations with strong winds, sun, and little snow. As late in the growing season as feasible, carefully wrap the plants in burlap to prevent damage.
Is it bad for cacti to be cold?
You might be surprised to learn that cacti are among the best-known warm-weather plants and can suffer freezing damage. However, even in Arizona’s hot and dry summers, wintertime lows of 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) are not uncommon. Cactus may suffer freezing damage as a result of this. You’ll need to know how to care for a frozen cactus if you discover that your cactus is harmed after a cold spell. Can you revive a frozen cactus? How can a frozen cactus be revived? For advice on helping a cactus harmed by cold, continue reading.
How are cacti kept alive throughout the winter?
With their striking shapes of all kinds and stunning color variations, cacti are among the world’s most distinctive and lovely plants. They go well with a variety of home decor themes, including minimalist, boho, and, of course, anything with a southwestern influence! Who hasn’t had the need to collect each and every one of the miniature cactus plants on display and take them home? Plants require proper care once they have been adopted because they are more than just static decoration. Cactus plant care isn’t tough, but it is a little special, just like the plants themselves! Below are our top five suggestions.
You may probably imagine what type of environment cactus prefer since they typically grow in desert climates! Sunlight in plenty. But take care! Even cactus can burn, particularly if they are in full sunshine and positioned behind a glass window, which intensifies the effects of the sun. The best window is one that faces south. You may need to move your cactus to a cooler location if you see that the side facing the sun is beginning to turn yellow or brown.
Keep your cactus in a bright area of the house, such as one with artificial lighting. You can put your cactus outside on the patio throughout the summer to take advantage of the intense summer sun.
For many plant owners, watering cacti plants has been a worrying thought. We are aware that they require water because they are plants, but we have also been warned about providing them with excessive amounts of water because they originate from the desert. Cacti actually require regular waterings; they only have a particular defense against drought.
The need of water cannot be overstated if you want your cactus to grow. You can feed them water once a week if they are in a sunny area with good daytime heat. The sole need is that the soil be completely dry between waterings. This will prevent the plant’s bottom margins and roots from rotting or becoming wet.
You can use less water in the winter because there is less sun and it gets colder at night during this season, which causes cactus to go dormant.
Flirt with the Dirt
A variety of cacti species are grown together in a container garden to create an oasis of lovely plants, and these gardens are highly popular. This frequently necessitates repotting the cacti! Consider the type of soil you’re using in the new container in addition to constantly wearing thick gloves (or using salad tongs to pick up and handle the cactus). Cacti prefer their own distinctive flavor of dirt, thus it must be highly efficient at draining surplus water. Many nurseries and flower stores sell bags of cactus soil, which is sandier and rockier than standard potting soil. This is necessary to ensure that the water drains and doesn’t keep the cactus damp.
Plotted and Potted
Take a close look at the container you are selecting before you repot the cactus. The best option is undoubtedly a container with drainage holes, as you won’t have to worry about the bottom collecting water. Cacti can, however, also be grown in containers without drainage holes; it just requires a little more attention. Always check the soil before watering to make sure it is completely dry. To avoid unintentionally drowning your cacti, another alternative is to meter the water you use. Depending on the season, a 1/4 to 1/2 cup per week or two is sufficient to ensure the health of your cactus.
In the Mood for Food
Fertilizer can be quite beneficial for cacti, and there are specific types with the nutrients they require. (An additional excellent alternative for a well-balanced supper is a 10-10-10 fertilizer.) Since they love to be fed in little quantities frequently, you can fertilize them sparingly with each watering during the summer growing season. In the winter, decrease your efforts to give the plants time to recuperate.
BONUS TIPDress up Your Cacti
Cacti are lovely guys on their own, but it’s always fun to give them a little makeover! From a lovely pot with extra personality to organic accents. Traditional containers for these desert-dwelling plants are made of terra cotta or clay, although a glass terrarium-style planter or ceramic dish can also be used. We enjoy placing stones and pebbles of various sizes and colors on top of the ground. We also include wood, sand, and big rocks. Make sure you can still use a finger or a moisture meter to determine if the soil is dry or not.
Browse through our collection of cactus! We enjoy potting up lovely planters filled with varied succulent and cactus species and celebrating the uniqueness of each individual plant.
Don’t be reluctant to adopt some of these beautiful plants now that you are an authority on cactus maintenance! Have fun picking out your favorites and bringing new companions home to make your own lovely and joyful cactus gardens.
Will my cactus survive outside?
Many gardeners think it’s nearly impossible to cultivate cacti outside or that these succulents can only survive in hot, dry climates. Thankfully, that is not the situation. Plants like cacti and other succulents are excellent for landscaping. They can grow and thrive in a variety of climates, need minimal upkeep, and are always simple to grow and take care of.
So, are cacti a healthy outdoor plant? Yes. Although cacti plants often flourish in indoor settings, many kinds can also thrive when planted outdoors. You can always locate a suitable cactus species that can survive outside, regardless of the climate in the area where you live.
While some cacti species can withstand extreme heat and light, other types thrive in cold winter settings. It is up to you to identify the species that will thrive in your region.
How long should my cactus be left outside?
The fact is that cacti plants can struggle throughout the winter. If you don’t shelter them from the bitter cold, they can perish. The cold will make them look dull. However, this does not obligate you to bring your plants inside each time the winter weather arrives.
Many gardeners are shocked to discover that there are numerous varieties of cacti plants that can endure all four seasons outside, even the winter. Sadly, in the world of cacti plants, the cold-hardy kinds are frequently disregarded. Many folks aren’t even aware that they exist.
Check the cacti plants’ level of cold resistance before purchasing them if you intend to keep them outside all year.
The iconic Opuntia family of prickly pear cacti include the true champions of frigid climates.
There is typically a vast variety of sizes, forms, and colors among the Opuntia species. They feature flowers that might be red, yellow, or bright pink and grow close to the ground.
Opuntia fragilis, which can endure temperatures as low as -35oF, and Opuntia poryapantha, which can withstand temperatures as low as -25oF, are two of the toughest cacti species in the Opuntia family.
The Opuntia compressa species thrives across the majority of the United States and Canada and is also cold-hardy. Additionally tasty are its luscious crimson fruits. Cylindropuntia, Corynopuntia, Escobaria vivipara, and Echinocereus are some of the other cold-tolerant cactus species.
Growing cold-tolerant cacti plants does not, however, imply that you should neglect to provide them proper care during the winter. You’ll still need to devise strategies for shielding them from severe weather.