How To Plant 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.

Do cacti require special soil?

Cacti, with their striking shapes, textures, and vibrantly colored flowers, are excellent houseplants since they thrive in the normally warm, dry indoor environment and don’t need much care. Cactus plants are simple to cultivate indoors, especially if you start out with the correct potting soil.

How much soil do cacti require? Cacti require a potting medium that is porous, sandy or pebbly, offers lots of airflow, and has great drainage. Additionally, a good cactus potting mix should have some organic material that, when moistened, makes moisture available to the plant roots but quickly dries up.

What do cactus plants inside need?

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 main 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. Allow the compost to dry out somewhat between each soaking.

Feed your plants once a month using Westland Cacti and Succulent Feed which is a good formula to use. 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!

How should cacti be planted correctly?

Do you secretly yearn to live in the desert? Plant a cactus to begin your path toward your dream. In regions where they can withstand freezing temperatures, these low-maintenance plants make beautiful landscape plants as well as ideal houseplants. You did read that correctly, There are a ton of cold-tolerant cactus species! For instance, prickly pear cacti may survive rather far north. Giving a cactus what it wants in terms of light, soil, water, and food can ensure its success in any location.

Where to Grow a Cactus

Cactus plants come in a wide variety, some of which even grow in trees! However, the majority of individuals either grow theirs inside as houseplants or outdoors in the landscape. Always read the plant tags for precise information, but in general, cacti want full light and soil that drains quickly. This calls for growing close to a window that faces south or west indoors.

When the nighttime temperature is at least 65 degrees F throughout the summer, you can bring indoor cactus plants outside. Move them to an area with more sun after they have spent some time outside in a protected area getting accustomed to it. If you intend to transport plants between indoors and outdoors, morning sun is optimal.

When to Plant a Cactus

Try to put a cactus outside in the late spring or early summer while the plants are actively growing. They’ll start off more smoothly and swiftly put down roots.

How to Plant a Cactus Outside

1. Most cactus plants require light, permeable soil. Mix native soil and Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for Cactus, Palm & Citrus in equal parts to prepare the soil in the planting location. The cactus is protected by Moisture Control technology against both over- and under-watering, both of which can be problematic.

2. Create a hole that is 11/2 times as big and as deep as the stem or root ball of the plant (some transplanted cacti don’t have large root balls).

3. Position the plant in the hole so that its north side faces that direction. If there isn’t a flag or chalk marking this side, make sure to inquire before you leave the garden center. Here’s why it’s significant: The more sun-exposed south side of the plant typically produces tougher skin that is more resistant to sunburn. On the other hand, the north side might not be able to withstand the sun as well.

4. Add more soil mixture to the area around the root ball and gently pat it down.

5. Lightly water.

6. To acclimate a cactus to the intense outdoor sun before planting one that was produced in an outdoor greenhouse, cover it with a little amount of shade cloth for a few weeks.

How to Plant a Cactus Indoors

1. Choose a container that is 112 times as broad as the stem or root ball of the cactus. You might want to use an unglazed container because it will dry out more rapidly if your environment is humid or you have a tendency to water plants excessively.

2. Add fast-draining to the pot until it is 1/3 full. The perfect nutrients are included in Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm & Citrus Potting Mix to give your cactus a head start.

3. Set the cactus in the pot with the stem or root ball at the same depth as it was before being moved. To protect your hands, put on gloves or cover them with many layers of newspaper.

4. Fill in the area around the rootball, leaving a space of about an inch between the soil’s top and the container’s rim.

5. Lightly water the soil until it resembles a wrung-out sponge.

How to Water a Cactus

It may come as no surprise to find that under-watering is the second most prevalent reason for cactus plant deaths, even though over-watering is the most common cause. Finding the sweet spot can be challenging because it differs in the summer when plants are actively developing from the winter when they are more passive. A decent rule of thumb is to water your cactus when the top 3 inches of soil are dry if you’re growing it indoors. This might imply a few times every week during the summer and just once every four to six weeks throughout the winter. Watch out for your plants: They likely need water if they start to appear a little wilted. However, unless there hasn’t been any rain in your region for several months, you shouldn’t need to water your cactus at all outside.

How to Feed a Cactus

Cacti may not require a lot of water, but they do require food. If you used Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for Cactus, Palm & Citrus to prepare the soil before planting your cactus outdoors, you should begin feeding it Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food a month after planting. This will provide your prickly baby quick nutrients. Meals should start for potted cactus plants approximately a month after planting. Apply Miracle-Gro Succulent Plant Food directly to the soil, then water as usual to feed your succulent plants. Make sure you read the instructions before using any type of plant food.

How to Prune a Cactus

Put simply, don’t! If you do, all you’ll get is a cut-site area of corky, dried-out scar tissue. The best course of action if your cactus outgrows your living space is to give it to a friend who has more room and get a new, smaller specimen for yourself.

Dealing with Cactus Problems

If you don’t submerge your cactus, it should continue to thrive with little trouble. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to prevent rot problems caused by overwatering besides starting over.

Do cacti prefer little pots?

Your cactus or succulent plant’s survival depends on the pot size and soil type you choose.

In this section, you will learn how to pot or repot your plant, how to knock out a plant, and how to manage prickly plants, as well as everything else you need to know about properly caring for your cactus or succulent plant.

When they’re young, succulents and cacti can be kept in a dish garden. For a start, the common clay bonsai trays are excellent.

The plants can be moved into their own pots when they become too large. No matter the temperature—45°F or 85°F—the plants will remain the same size if you keep them dry. The plants will rot if you water them in cold weather or when they are dormant.

Avoid overpoting. Rotting roots are frequently caused by overpotting. Put the smaller pot into the larger pot and fill the area in between with gravel if the plant is top heavy. This will provide the plant with a sturdy foundation without putting it at risk of decay.

Pot Size

Cacti and other succulents should be potted in the smallest containers possible. Use a pot for cactus that is just big enough to accommodate the plant. Use a pot that is just a little bit bigger than the root ball for other succulents.

The drainage provided by the holes on the pot’s bottom is insufficient for some plants. Make the hole in a clay pot bigger by using a hammer and a screwdriver. For a plastic pot, use a hot knife or hot ice pick.

In either scenario, take care to avoid burning yourself or breaking the pot. If the clay pot does crack, save the fragments for your subsequent planting endeavor rather than throwing them away.

Soil

The potting material is less significant than excellent drainage. A thick layer of gravel or crumbled bricks should be put over the porous soil. More humus (organic matter) is preferred by spineless succulents in their potting soil.

We typically use the terms “heavy,” “organic,” and “light” to describe different types of soil. These definitions mean as follows:

Heavy. This is composed of clay, loam, or good garden soil with roughly one-third humus. It should contain roughly one-third washed builder’s sand or perlite where good drainage is necessary.

Organic. This is humus-rich soil, leaf mold (decomposed leaves), or some other organic material-rich soil. The drainage will be improved by using perlite or coarse builder’s sand.

Light. This describes a material with an open texture that has great drainage and can be kept damp but never wet. Plants that spend time in trees in the natural world benefit from it.

How to Pot

1. Choose a pot that is not excessively huge.

2. Fill the bottom with enough drainage material.

3. Insert your potting material into it until it is roughly one-third filled.

4. Check the plant’s size (make sure it won’t be too high above the pot’s top or too far down in the pot). Unless the plant prefers to move horizontally, in which case it should be placed at one edge, place the plant in the middle.

5. Fill all the crevices between the plant and the pot with your potting medium while holding the plant gently where you want it to stay.

6. Shake the pot to help the soil settle, then gently press the earth down around the roots. Add extra soil if there isn’t enough or if it starts to pack down. Older plants get more earth packed around them than seedlings do. So that there is room for water, leave a space between the top of the medium and the top of the pot.

7. Give the plant water.

Repotting

The process is essentially the same when working with plants that are already potted, with the exception that you must start by taking the plant out of pot 1.

Sometimes the plant can be readily removed, but other times it can be more difficult. Do not pull on the plant if it is stubbornly refusing to emerge from the pot. The container breaking can be preferable to the plant being damaged or having its top broken off.

How to Knock Out a Plant

If the plant is stuck in its pot, try gently tapping the pot against something hard, like wood or concrete, to see if you can squirm it out.

If it doesn’t work, try carefully slicing the inside of the pot with a knife to see if the plant will now emerge.

If that doesn’t work and the pot is made of clay, use your hammer to smash it with a few controlled strokes that won’t harm the plant.

Take part of the soil around the root ball out once the plant has been removed from the pot. Prune away a portion of the roots if they appear to be overgrown.

You can take a knife and simply chop off the outside of the root ball, including the roots, on some plants where the roots become extremely, extremely thick. If you wish to retain your plant in the same-sized container, you can also utilize this root pruning technique.

You can keep your plant “growing on” in the same container for years by first cutting some of the roots and then portion of the top.

How to Handle Spiny Plants

Handle prickly plants by wrapping them in a narrow band of newspaper. Using the band like a belt or harness, wrap it around the plant. For each plant, use a new band.

Gloves are uncomfortable to handle because the small spines break off inside the glove and the huge spines stab right through the glove.

Actually rather simple to propagate are cacti and other succulents. Learn everything you need to know about successful plant propagation in the section that follows.