How To Maintain Cactus 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 a cactus inside?

  • 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.

Can you keep cacti inside?

Despite being recognized for their love of sunlight, many cacti grow well as houseplants. For some unusual decor, place one on your windowsill or in your living area. The ideal houseplant, indoor cacti typically require less light and are smaller in stature.

Bunny Ears Cactus (Opuntia microdasys)

The bunny ears cactus gets its name from its look and is native to Mexico. Its two pads are designed like bunny ears. They should be handled carefully since they have glochids or brown prickles on them. The bunny ears cactus is the ideal indoor plant because it may reach heights of two to three feet. If given enough light, it will blossom with white flowers and bear purple fruits in the summer.

Chin Cactus (Gymnocalycium)

Gymnocalycium is a kind of cactus native to South America and is frequently referred to as the “chin cactus.” Greek for “naked kalyx,” its name alludes to the flower buds’ lack of hair or spines. Some chin cactus like shade, while others do better in sunlight, depending on the kind.

Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea)

Although it grows slowly, the Saguaro cactus can reach a height of forty feet. This indicates that you can use it as an indoor plant for a number of years before relocating it outside. It has the traditional cactus appearance thanks to its barrel-shaped body. This plant, which is a native of the Sonoran Desert, needs a lot of sunshine. Place the plant in direct sunlight if it is being maintained indoors.

Old Lady Cactus (Mammillaria hahniana)

The mammillaria family, which comprises 250 species, includes the old lady cactus as a subspecies of pincushion cactus. It is renowned for its halo of small pink or purple flowers that bloom in the spring and possesses hairs and spines. A sandy potting mix should be used to plant the old lady cactus, and it should receive water every other week.

Star Cactus (Astrophytum asteria)

The star cactus, also known as sea urchin or sand dollar cactus, can be recognized by its circular body that is divided into eight slices. It has small white spots and white hairs all over it. It produces a yellow blossom in the spring. The star cactus is the perfect indoor plant because its diameter only reaches two to six inches.

Easter Cactus (Hatiora gaertneri)

Easter cactus, a native of Brazil, blooms in late winter or early spring. White, orange, and lavender are just a few of its bloom colors. The plant has a distinctive shape because of the way its spines are piled on top of one another.

Christmas Cactus (Schlumbergera bridgesii)

The Christmas cactus, which is frequently mistaken for the Thanksgiving cactus, blooms in the dead of winter. It boasts vivid red blossoms and is frequently given as a Christmas gift. The Christmas cactus thrives in average indoor settings. Don’t overwater plants because it will make their roots rot. Although this plant can thrive in low light conditions, its blossoms benefit from additional light.

Moon Cactus (Gymnocalycium mihanovichii)

The moon cactus, also referred to as the chin cactus, varies in size, shape, and color. The hibotan cactus is a well-known cultivar. Its South American origins can be traced to its vivid red, pink, yellow, and orange hues. On window sills that receive some light, these little plants flourish.

How can a cactus be kept strong and alive?

Cacti are tough plants, to be sure, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them completely. To stay healthy and flourish, cactus plants, particularly those cultivated inside or in gardens, need continual care.

Watering

Cacti are desert plants, but they require enough irrigation when planted indoors to keep them healthy and increase their growth and reproduction rate. But watering a cactus requires knowledge and planning. Cacti require a waiting interval between waterings in contrast to other moisture-loving plants so that the plant can use up the majority of the water that has already been provided. Cacti do not require frequent watering since they store their water in their succulent stems. Only water when the top two inches of soil feel completely dry.

Sufficient lighting

If you keep cacti in a dark environment, you might not be so lucky because they prefer light. The plant begins to change color and eventually perishes in the absence of light. Make sure you give your cactus ample light when growing them inside. Put your plants in a window that faces west or south to do this. Your cactus only need a minimum of six hours of light each day to remain strong, healthy, and thriving.

Avoid overexposing new or immature plants to light, though. The exterior skin may become scorched as a result, making it vulnerable to insect and fungus attacks.

Use proper potting soil and container

The soil and container you use have a big impact on how long your cacti live. Always use appropriate-sized containers with drainage holes for optimum outcomes. These will aid in the drainage of surplus water to prevent cases or root rot.

Use the right soil mix when planting (here are some suggestions). The soil shouldn’t be too heavy because it will cause it to absorb too much water. In this situation, a soil mixture with lighter dirt would be excellent.

Fertilization

Although cactus is a desert plant with few nutrients, this does not mean it does not require fertilizer. A properly nourished cactus will have a brilliant appearance overall, grow and mature more quickly, and produce flowers that are brighter and more consistent.

Cacti don’t require a special fertilizer mix; an all-purpose fertilizer that has been heavily diluted will suffice. For optimal results, use a low nitrogen water-soluble fertilizer with a ratio of 5-10-10 or 10-10-10.

Cacti that are flourishing are happy cacti. Cactus enthusiasts need to become familiar with the traits of a healthy cactus as well as take precautions to guarantee that it stays that way for the duration of its life. Your cactus will survive to fulfill its purpose, whether it be indoors or outside, with the right care and attention.

How long does a cactus live indoors?

Carefully! To loop around the top, use either very thick gloves or folded newspaper. With tweezers, you may remove huge spikes that have stuck you. Small spikes can be removed by covering them with duct tape, ripping it off, or quickly massaging the area with a ball of old tights. The experts at Thejoyofplants.co.uk suggest using olive oil to refine the final fine spikes.

What pests do you need to look out for?

Verify that the plant’s body (the cactus’ “body”) and the root system are devoid of mealybugs. It is one of the most prevalent and challenging cactus pests, with a fuzzy white wax coating that contains oval insects. Additionally, aphids, scale insects, thrips, and red spider mites (eight-legged pests that cover a plant in a delicate, dense web) can appear. Check for damage and make sure the root system is sound. Cacti that have been kept in excessive moisture for an extended period of time may have rotted “from the pot,” which can also be brought on by fungi and bacteria. The real stem, which is green, may then feel supple.

Are all cacti prickly?

No. Cacti are typically thought of as desert plants, however there are also forest cacti that lack bristles; nonetheless, the variety that can be grown indoors is extremely limited.

How long does a cactus plant live?

Cacti can live for hundreds of years in the wild. They could live for ten years or longer indoors. The issue with old ones is that every single bump, scratch, or imperfection they receive stays with them; as a result, as they age, they start to look less attractive.

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 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.

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!

Can I keep a cactus in my bedroom?

Although cacti are attractive plants with powerful protective energies, their spines are an issue. They are pointed objects that project focused energy into the surrounding space and resemble tens of thousands of tiny arrows. Cactuses should never be placed in a living room, bedroom, or front entry because of this.

Without sunlight, can cacti grow indoors?

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.