How To Keep Cactus Alive Indoors

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 frequently should I water my houseplant cactus?

  • Watering cacti should only be done when the potting soil is at least 90% dry.
  • Small to medium-sized indoor cacti, which are succulent plants, often require watering every 10 days or more during the spring or summer and every 4 to 6 weeks during the winter.
  • The ideal way to water cacti is to completely saturate the soil with rainwater or distilled water, and then to stop when water begins to drain from the drainage hole in the potting container.

Cacti may exist without sunlight.

If you are unfamiliar with cacti plants, you might be unsure of their ability to live in the absence of sunlight. These are desert plants, after all, and you would be inclined to believe that shielding them from the sun is beneficial for them. Is that indeed the case? Most likely not.

Can a cactus survive in the absence of sunlight? The quick response is “no” Like other plants, cacti require sunlight to survive. Although these arid plants can endure brief periods of darkness, they require a lot of sunlight to grow and bloom. A mini-cacti plant typically needs four hours or more of direct sunlight each day to thrive.

Some cacti species are marketed as low light plants because they lack spines. The Christmas cactus is a nice illustration of this kind of cactus. The issue is that if you don’t give your cacti plants enough sunlight, they’ll become malnourished and maybe die.

Why is the cactus in my house dying?

Overwatering is the cause of cactus rot. The cactus doesn’t require as much maintenance, despite owners’ perceptions that plants should be cared for frequently. The majority of cacti that unintentionally overwater and finally die are brown and black in color.


The cactus is a plant that has to dry out as part of its life cycle, unlike most plants that become ill if they aren’t irrigated frequently. The roots of the cactus are accustomed to having very little water in nature and will rot if you water them as much as you do your tomatoes.


It’s crucial to keep an eye out for signs that your cactus is becoming mushy or is beginning to turn brown or black. These indicate overwatering has taken place. Most likely, the roots have already decayed and died. Simply put, avoid overwatering. Keep an eye on the soil around your cactus plants, and only water when the soil is absolutely dry. Although it may seem careless, the cactus is accustomed to that atmosphere in its natural habitat.


It’s time to use a sharp knife to clip them off and repot or replant your cactus. Make sure to combine garden soil (2 parts), coarse sand (2 parts), and peat soil (3 parts) well (1 part). Additionally, make sure the pot you purchase has sufficient drainage holes and is somewhat larger. If you’re growing cacti outside, make sure the soil is well-draining and contains enough sand to aid this effect.

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.

Do I need to mist my cactus?

Regarding how to water these plants, there are various schools of thought, but one thing is undeniable. Don’t mist cacti in the desert. They are not indigenous to areas with high levels of humidity and surface wetness. Instead, they dig down into the earth to extract any lingering moisture from the rainy season. Cacti in the jungle are a little different and benefit from misting. The Christmas cactus is an illustration of this kind of cactus.

Generally speaking, as most planted cacti are desert dwellers, overhead watering should be avoided. Potted plants can be placed in a saucer of water to allow the roots to absorb moisture. After the earth has become wet halfway up, remove the plant from the saucer.

Another way to water cactus plants is to merely sprinkle water on the soil’s surface. Heat, direct light, and the location of the planting are some of the elements influencing the amount of water in this scenario. Typically, once a week is plenty for a slow, deep watering. This could mean soaking a container until water flows out the drainage holes or using a garden hose at a low setting to drip water steadily for many hours into the plant’s root zone.

Just keep in mind to water your cactus plants wisely and to identify the variety and origin of your plants. This can make choosing when to water plants much simpler.

Can you use tap water to water cacti?

Amazing and distinctive plants like cacti require particular watering practices. Cactuses have extremely precise requirements for how and when they should be watered. We shall discuss general cacti watering requirements even though all cacti require various watering intervals. In this article, we’ll discuss how much water cactus require, how frequently to water them, what kind of water to use, and how to water them properly.

How much water do cacti need?

Let’s start by stating that every cactus requires a distinct amount of water, and this will vary depending on a variety of circumstances. Let’s go over the key elements that influence how much water cactus require. It’s a common myth that cacti don’t require water, however this is untrue. Water is necessary for cacti, especially when they are growing. Additionally necessary for transpiration and photosynthesis, water is lost throughout these activities.

  • Does your cactus prefer dry or humid conditions to grow? Cacti that thrive natively in hot, dry environments will require less water than those that live in more humid environments.
  • What type of soil are your cactus planted in? The cactus needs more water if the soil is sandy and light. Cactus, however, will require less water if the soil is thicker, such as if it contains clay.
  • Is your cactus currently growing? Your cactus will require more water when it is growing than when it is dormant.
  • Are there any holes in the cacti containers? You will need to water your cactus more frequently if you are using a container with drainage holes.
  • What is the weather like right now? You should water your cactus more frequently when the weather is hot.
  • The air is it dry? If the air is dry, you will need to water your cactus more frequently.
  • What size/length are the roots on your cactus? Generally speaking, cacti with longer roots require more water than those with shorter, smaller roots.
  • What kind of pot does your cactus have? In general, cacti in plastic or ceramic pots with glaze need less watering. This is due to the extended humidity retention times of glazed ceramic, plastic, and terracotta pots over those of other containers.

How often to water cacti?

Watering your cacti will be primarily necessary from April to September, when it is growing. Water your cacti once every 7 to 10 days during this growth phase, but make sure the compost is largely dry (not completely) before doing so.

You might need to water your cacti every 5-8 days if they are outside. Water your cactus only about once a month or so throughout the winter (the period of rest). While some owners may advise stopping all watering, your cactus still needs water to survive. Even in the dead of winter, water will evaporation, so be sure to lower the temperatures inside.

Before giving your cactus more water, make sure the compost is dry. You may check if the soil is damp by sticking a wooden stick into it. A soil meter can also be used to measure the light, moisture, and pH of the soil.

Which water to use for watering cacti?

Reverse osmosis filtered water, distilled water, or rainfall are the best options for watering cacti. Most under-sink reverse-osmosis filters filter water and remove various contaminants, making it safer to consume and use for watering cactus.

Avoid using tap water as much as possible since your cactus can be extremely sensitive to the minerals that accumulate in the soil over time.

To determine how clean the water is, use a TDS meter similar to this one. Any figure under 150 is acceptable for the ppm (part per million) measurement.

If you water your cacti with rainwater, collect it and utilize it as usual. You can use tap water if you don’t have any distilled, reverse osmosis-filtered, or rainfall.

But make careful to let your cactus sit in an open dish for a day before hydrating them with tap water. Boiling it will also soften the water. If you regularly water your cactus with hard water, you will need to change the compost or medium more frequently to get rid of mineral accumulation.

Please keep in mind that cacti only use a small amount of water in the compost to stay wet or to drink. Water is mostly used by them for transpiration and cooling down. Therefore, underwatering can also be a problem in the summer.

Should I use cold or warm water for watering cacti?

Warm water is preferred by cacti, and they won’t absorb water that is too cold. So, between 86 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal water temperature for watering cacti (30-40 degrees Celsius).

After coming into contact with the earth, water that is between 86 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit turns cold. Cold water is terrible for cactus since it won’t absorb the nutrients and will lead to rotting.

How to water cacti?

When watering cacti, you must exercise caution. Make sure the medium constantly dries out in between waterings. This is crucial because if you overwater the plant, the cacti’s roots will begin to rot.

Watering cactus can be done in one of two ways: from above or below. The majority of cacti tolerate being watered from above. However, you can water from the bottom if a cactus has sticky leaves that are obstructing the compost.

Watering cacti from above or bottom

Pour water gently out of a watering can with a tiny spout to water plants from above. Use a saucer filled with water underneath the plant for 25 to 30 minutes to allow the plant to absorb water if the leaves are too thick or hairy to water the cactus. Throw away any residual water after that.

Owners of cacti should choose the type of watering they intend to utilize. You can try both methods to see which works best for you. Take two clear, identically sized containers for this. Put the same kind of compost or soil in both containers, and water one from above and the other from below.

The soil in both containers should then be compared after one or two hours. You can begin utilizing this approach for watering cactus if the below procedure has been successful and the medium is moist both on top and below. You’d better stick to watering cacti from above if the water stayed on the bottom.

The shape of the cacti and the soil will also determine whether you should choose to water from the top or the bottom. Bottom watering is preferable if a cactus is too thick and fills the container from all sides. The same is true for soil that is dry on top but doesn’t become wet at the bottom.

What time of the day is best for watering cacti?

The morning and midday are the optimum times of day to water cactus. Never water cactus at night or in the evening. This is due to the fact that temperatures can dip relatively low even after a hot day in most nations in the Northern Hemisphere, including the USA.

Additionally, low temperatures will make the water too cold even if you water your cactus in the evening, which can lead to root rot. So that the water is absorbed throughout the day and the medium dries up before the next watering, water your cactus plant in the morning.

There is also a good probability that your plant may receive some moisture through dew, which is fairly typical if you live in the United States.

Should I mist my cactus?

In addition to regular watering, spraying your cactus will be beneficial. You should water your plant in the morning, and you should mist it at night. However, only use a mister like this one, which emits a thin mist rather than water droplets.

After dusk, when the stems are still warm from exposure to the sun, is the ideal time to spray your cactus. Only use lukewarm water. If your cactus has hair, don’t worry—misting will simply serve to keep them moisturized and stop breakage.

Don’t be concerned about misting a hairy cactus—it helps to minimize breakage greatly!

Cacti roots are rotting, why is this happening?

If the roots of your cacti are rotting, you may have accidentally overwatered them once or more. The primary cause of the fungi illnesses that result in the rotting roots of cacti is waterlogging. In this situation, you will need to repot your cactus, remove the dead roots, and treat the plant with fungicides. Use new soil and soap to wash the old container.

One indoor cacti watering trick:

You can use this approach to encourage your cactus to absorb more water indoors by simulating a natural habitat. To achieve this, water your cactus just before daybreak, and once the sun is up, cover it with a cloche or bell cover of some sort. When the cactus is covered, the sun will shine into the cloche, raising the temperature and causing humidity.

This cover should be left on for about an hour. After an hour, begin removing the cloche slowly (expose more parts of the cactus to the environment in 10 minute increments). You can prevent temperature dips in this method. The best choice is to use this irrigation method on indoor cacti.

A cactus will flower more quickly, establish roots more quickly, and become healthier overall in these humid conditions (akin to those in a greenhouse). The cacti won’t suffer if you use the “hot bath” approach occasionally; they won’t even suffer if you stop using it. During the growth period, these hot and muggy temperatures replicate the hot, muggy summer weather in their natural habitat.

We appreciate you reading this article on watering cacti. Check read the following article to learn more about how much light cactus need!