How To Care For A Cactus

Give them a drink, but not too much, and take long intermissions. “Because they store water in their stems, cacti are famed for surviving with little to no watering. That doesn’t imply they don’t require any watering, either. Make sure to inspect the soil periodically. It’s time to water the plant if the top two to three inches of soil are dry “says Palomares.

Thon reiterates Palomares’ counsel and adds: “The temptation to over-water cactus can cause root rot and scab, which manifests as rusty-colored, corky regions on the stems, which is why most people fail at growing cacti. My recommendation is to under-water; you can typically bring them back from the dehydration stage without any problems.”

How are indoor cacti cared for?

As long as they are placed in an area that receives at least 4 to 6 hours of sunshine every day, cacti can be cultivated indoors. To ensure they are etiolated, we advise rotating them daily in your brightest windowsill, which is typically a southeast-facing window.

How often should a cactus be watered?

The most frequent reason for cacti failure is improper watering, whether it is done too much or too little. Cacti have evolved to store water for extended periods of time and can maintain moisture through droughts because they are endemic to arid regions and dry temperatures. They have a limited capacity, which is why over-watering can result in a variety of issues.

When it comes to regularity, watering your cacti will largely depend on the season but also on the variety. Checking the soil is the easiest technique to determine whether your cactus needs water: It’s time for a drink if the top inch is dry. That entails applying the “soak and dry procedure” on cactus.

What is the soak and dry method?

The soak and dry technique is thoroughly wetting the soil until part of it begins to flow out the drainage hole, then waiting until the mixture is nearly dry before wetting it once more. If done properly, this strategy will help them endure a period of under-watering should you need to travel or leave the house because it takes use of their natural tendency to store water (or if you just get busy and watering falls to the wayside, as happens to all of us now and again).

Watering during the growing season versus the inactive season

Like with many houseplants, the season affects how frequently you need water. It becomes more crucial that you get in the habit of examining the soil to determine whether your cacti are thirsty. A healthy cactus needs watering every one to two weeks during the growing season, according to general wisdom. The frequency changes to once every three to four weeks during the off-season.

Even then, it’s crucial to examine the soil. The same way that not all interior spaces and not all cacti are alike. The only way to be certain that your cactus require watering is to carefully examine the soil to determine how dry it is because there are so many different factors.

Does cactus require sunlight to grow?

Succulents and cacti typically require between 10 and 14 hours of light every day.

However, there are several things that affect how much light you should provide! What kind of light is it? Is it man-made or natural? Is the light direct or indirect?

You should at the very least be aware of whether your succulent prefers full sun, full shade, or a combination of the two. If you’re unsure, you can presume the plant needs full sun. Cacti and succulents in general are!

Ever questioned why you couldn’t simply leave the lights on all the time? That would imply that it is constantly expanding, right?

Actually, not quite. Like people, plants also require rest. Particularly in the case of desert flora. They engage in CAM photosynthesis, a unique type of photosynthesis. They truly only produce plant food at night, unlike other plants. They would starve if the darkness didn’t exist.

Are cacti simple to maintain?

Succulents and cacti are drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plants. The fleshy tissues of their stems, roots, or leaves, which come in a variety of hues and patterns, are where they retain water. With these professional tips, you may learn to grow succulents and cacti yourself or give them as gifts:

  • Succulents and cacti do well in containers. They don’t require frequent repotting because they grow slowly.
  • If your plants are not a cold-hardy kind, bring them indoors during the winter.
  • To allow moisture to evaporate, containers must include drainage holes.
  • For proper drainage, always use cactus soil or mix sand into your potting soil.
  • Succulents generally prefer somewhat acidic soil (5.5-6.5).
  • Overwatering is the most typical killer of cactus and succulents.
  • To determine how damp or dry the soil is, a moisture meter is a useful instrument. When in doubt, avoid watering!
  • When they are actively growing in the spring and summer, succulents require more water.
  • Depending on the temperature, water once or twice a week. Reduce watering to every two weeks when the temperature rises to 90 degrees or higher.
  • When the temperature is too hot, plants go dormant so they can survive on the water they have stored.
  • Reduce watering to once every 3–4 weeks in the late fall and winter.
  • In the spring, summer, and early fall while they are actively growing, plants are hungry.
  • Use fertilizers designed for cacti and succulents.
  • Your plants need nitrogen fertilizer if they are starting to look a little stunted.

Growing a jade plant is quite simple. Between waterings, allow the soil to totally dry out. prune to maintain symmetry.

Aloe Vera: For generations, burns have been treated with the soothing fluid of this succulent plant. Avoid letting the plant sit in water and let the soil dry out between waterings.

Ponytail Palm: This plant belongs to the succulent family and is not at all a palm tree. This plant is ideal for careless gardeners because of how much water it can store in its bulbous stem.

The ideal choice for an experienced gardener is a Christmas cactus. Buds can fall out from even the smallest amount of under or overwatering. Place to promote the production of buds and flowers in a chilly environment (about 55 degrees).

Hens & Chicks: These two plants also go by the names echeveria and sempervirum, respectively. Allow plants to gradually dry out in between waterings.

Crown of Thorns: To preserve the leaves and blooms during flowering, simply allow the top inch of soil to become dry.

A very resilient succulent plant that can withstand a lot of abuse is the snake plant. Once a year, fertilize, and let the plant dry out in between waterings.

Where in my home should I place a cactus?

Nowadays, cacti and succulents are highly popular indoor plants, therefore taking good care of them is crucial. They occur in a wide variety of sizes and shapes, ranging from the small to the enormous. Because they share traits that enable them to endure in arid conditions, cacti and succulents belong to the same category.

The majority of succulents and cacti are endemic to desert environments. They will therefore thrive in conditions with lots of light, good drainage, hot temperatures, and little wetness. However, some cacti and succulents, like Schlumbergera, enjoy semi-shady and wet environments because that is their natural habitat.

The easiest way to take care of cacti and succulents is to try to mimic their natural environment. The essential factors you should take into account when taking care of your succulents and cacti are listed below.

Light, temperature and ventilation

It is advisable to arrange cacti and succulents in a bright area because they do best with good light sources. A place that faces south will get plenty of light. But be careful not to place them in direct sunlight since the strong light may cause the plants to turn yellow. The best kind of light for growing cacti and succulents depends on the species that you are using. For instance, forest-dwelling epiphytes like Rhipsalis require some shade, whereas an Echeveria requires strong light.

It is ideal to keep the plants cool at night, between 8 and 10 degrees Celsius, during the fall and winter. The plants will survive in high temperatures, but they require sufficient ventilation in the spring and summer.

Compost

Since Westland cacti and succulent potting mix has included girt and sand for the best drainage, it is a good compost to use. Additionally, it has the ideal quantity of nutrients for your succulents and cacti.

Watering and feeding

It’s a popular misperception that succulents and cacti just need a tiny bit of water. Although their leaves and stems can store water, allowing them to survive in dry environments, they will not grow in environments with little water. Your cactus or succulents’ ability to develop successfully depends on regular watering. Underwatering results in shriveling while overwatering stunts growth.

Instead of using tap water to water plants, use lukewarm rainfall. This is because the minerals in tap water can settle on the leaves and accumulate in the soil. Additionally, minerals obstruct the plant’s access to vital nutrients.

Spring and summer

The plants need to be watered at least once a week during the growing season. Give the soil a good soak when watering, letting any extra water run away. Every time you water the compost, give it a little time to dry out.

Utilize Westland Cacti and Succulent Feed, a recommended recipe to use, to feed your plants once a month. They create more robust growth that is more resistant to disease and has superior flowering thanks to it. Simply take a 5ml quantity of the feed from the dosing chamber and mix it into 1 liter of water.

Autumn and winter

The plants enter a period of rest at this time. Reduce watering so that the potting mix dries out in between applications. The type of succulent and the environment it is in will determine how frequently it has to be watered. Winter-flowering cactus should be kept warm and watered frequently now, whereas desert-dwelling cacti don’t need to be watered. Cacti and succulents don’t need to be fed during this time.

Re-potting

The optimal time to repot cactus or succulents that are pot-bound is in the spring. To replant:

  • Before carefully taking the plant from the pot, water it and let it drain. Use folded paper to shield your hands from the spikes.
  • To avoid damaging the roots, remove the old soil from around them with a thin stick, like a chopstick.
  • The new container, which has a slightly larger diameter, should be filled with potting soil before placing the plant inside of it.
  • The remaining potting mix should be added to the pot and compacted.
  • To stop the rotting of injured roots, stop watering for a few days.

The finest care for your succulents or cacti comes from maintaining these conditions. The most crucial thing to keep in mind when taking care of your plant is that you are trying to mimic its natural environment!

Do I need to water my cactus?

The watering needs of cacti and succulents varies slightly from those of other plants.

Succulents and cacti don’t need as much water to survive as other types of houseplants because they resemble desert plants.

That does not imply that you should skip watering dried-out succulents. But many individuals question if misting succulent and cactus plants occasionally is appropriate.

Succulents and cacti shouldn’t be misted when being watered because it can weaken the roots and promote fungus. Do not shower succulents and cacti with a spray bottle. Spray misting is not only insufficient in terms of water supply; it also runs the risk of making the plants rot.

While it is not advised to spray these plants, there are a few circumstances in which you should sprinkle cacti and succulents.

How can I tell if my cactus is in trouble?

When a cactus looks shriveled and husk-like, it is dead. Additionally, dead cacti can become unstable in their soil and topple over. They could start to smell rancid and becoming mushy, both of which are indicators that they are rotting. Cacti that are dead lose their spines and frequently appear brown.

Cacti are watered either from the top or the bottom.

Cactuses need regular summertime hydration to grow and stay healthy, but if you overwater it or mist it too frequently, it could rot from the base up.

Follow the advice of knowledgeable cactus growers and water from the bottom. Put the potted cactus in a shallow saucer that is half-filled with water every week during hot weather, or whenever the pot feels light, and leave it there for approximately a half-hour or until it soaks up the water. Enough water will be absorbed by the soil for the plant. Furthermore, since the majority of the moisture will be near the pot’s bottom, deep rooting will be promoted.

How do I determine the health of my cactus?

You must be aware of the fundamental indications of a balanced plant if you want to recognize a healthy cactus.

Although cactus plants can grow in a variety of ways, there are certain common signs to check for to see if your cactus is in good condition.

The Cactus Has a Healthy, Green Color

It could not be healthy if the cactus is paler than usual or has brown areas.

It is frequently an indication that they are not receiving enough light or water when cactus start to lose their color.

The Cactus Is Growing New Spines

The cactus will produce new spines if it is healthy. This is an indication of the plant’s health and growth.

The absence of new spines or the loss of existing ones on the cactus could indicate a problem with the plant.

The Cactus Has a Healthy Root System

Brown or mushy roots could indicate that the cactus has received too much water.

It may indicate that the cactus is waterlogged if the roots are dry and brittle.

The Cactus Has Firm, Intact Skin

The cactus may not be receiving enough water if the skin is damaged or peeling.

Additionally, keep an eye out for diseases and pests. Any of these issues indicate that the cactus is unwell and needs to be handled.

The Cactus Is Producing Flowers

When cacti are in good health, they can blossom. It’s a positive sign if the cactus is flowering.

The absence of blossoms indicates that the cactus lacks the energy to do so, which could indicate that something is amiss.

The Cactus Is Standing Upright

A cactus in good health will be erect. A symptom that something may be wrong with the cactus is if it is slanting to one side or is not standing up straight.

The Cactus Is Not Rotting

There is a problem with the plant and it needs to be treated if the cactus is rotting.

Black stains on the skin, white mold, and mushy or soft tissue are a few indications of rot.