Cacti, often known as cactuses, are fairly slow-growing plants that can take years to exhibit noticeable growth. Is there anything you can do, though, to help your cactus grow more quickly? You’ll discover general care advice and advice on how to make your cactus grow quicker in this post.
You must maintain a regular watering schedule, enable adequate air exchange, and water cacti with soft water if you want them to develop more quickly. Additionally, nurture your cactus while they are growing and let them inactive throughout the colder months.
How can a cactus be grown at home?
Always grow under bright light, whether inside or outside. Use Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm & Citrus Potting Mix to plant your cactus in a pot. Use Miracle-Gro Garden Soil Cactus, Palm & Citrus to prepare the soil if you wish to plant in the landscape. When the top three inches of soil are dry, water.
How much time does a cactus need to grow?
If you own a cactus, you probably want to know how quickly it will grow and how big it will eventually get. Knowing this will help you determine where to place your cactus and what plants to grow next to it. How quickly do cacti grow, then?
Most cacti develop slowly; depending on the species, they typically sprout to the size of a large marble after 6–12 months and reach a height of a few centimeters after 2–3 years. The majority of cacti then increase 1-3 cm in height annually. There are a few prominent exceptions that can increase in height by at least 15 centimeters annually.
- The typical annual height growth rate for echinocactus, like the Golden Barrel Cactus, is 1-2 cm.
- Ferrocactus species typically grow by about 2-3 cm in height every year.
- Depending on its stage of development, the Saguaro Cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) grows 2–15 cm annually and can grow as tall as 75 ft.
For the majority of species, growing your cactus to its maximum size will require patience. We’ll provide you a growth timeline and some advice that can help you accelerate growth in this article. Please keep reading!
What causes cacti to grow so slowly?
Slow growth is necessary for cactus to survive. Water and nutrients are extremely scarce in the desert. The land is dry and nearly unfertile, and it seldom ever rains. Cacti receive extremely little of both water and nutrients from the ground, which limits their ability to grow. Plants need these two resources to perform photosynthesis, which requires both.
Which fertilizer is ideal for cacti?
The traditional idea of the ideal habitat for cacti is a hard, arid desert with two extremes: intervals of complete lack of precipitation or unexpected downpours that the plant must absorb, store, and use during the following dry spell.
It’s crucial to bear in mind that fertilizer cactus plants may keep them happy growing no matter the season, whether they are outside in the yard exposed to seasonal extremes or in a bright, sunny spot in the house.
Fertilizing cactus plants will help them adapt, actively grow, and even reproduce if it is one of their traits, just like with any other garden or indoor plant. The fertilizer needs for cacti are rather straightforward. Any decent houseplant food that is higher in phosphorus than nitrogen is a suitable option (diluted to half). A 5-10-5 solution may be effective.
Knowing when to feed cactus plants is essential now that you are aware of their true requirement for fertilizer.
How frequently do cacti need to 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.
How can cacti be kept in good health?
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.
How can cacti be kept 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.
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.
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.
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!