What Does A Cactus Need To Grow

It’s a widespread notion that cactus can survive under neglect, however this is undoubtedly untrue. A cactus need the five things listed below to survive:

Light

In science class, we all discovered that all plants need light for photosynthesis. There must be light, regardless of the kind of plant or how much light they truly require. Cacti are the same. A cactus actually prefers sunlight because it is abundant in its native environment.

The quantity of light a cactus requires can vary depending on the species, although most cacti can live in bright, direct sunlight.

It is possible to have too much light, too. A cactus can get burnt if it is exposed to high-intensity light for an extended period of time. To prevent this problem, it is advised that you provide your cactus protection from harsh light, especially if you are trying to adapt it to a new location.

On the other hand, your cactus will grow tall and thin in quest of the light it need, a process known as etiolation, if you don’t give it enough sunshine. The plant won’t also be able to blossom because it doesn’t receive adequate sunlight exposure for photosynthesis.

So where is the ideal middle ground? Cacti like direct sunshine, but if you’re keeping yours indoors, you’ll need to expose it to full-spectrum light for 12 to 14 hours each day. Your cactus will receive all the wavelengths that sunshine offers thanks to full-spectrum light. To control the number of hours your cactus is exposed to light, you can use A Plus LED Grow Lights for Indoor Plants or this Fauna 100W COB Plant Grow Light Full Spectrum.

Here are a few quick cactus lighting suggestions to remember:

  • Pick a location for your cactus with care. Whether you keep it inside or outside, make sure it gets enough sunshine where it is.
  • To prevent shock when moving a cactus to a new location or transplanting one, gradually increase its exposure to light.
  • If your cactus lives indoors, attempt to modify the illumination according to the seasons. If you bring your cactus indoors over the winter, be sure to give it the light it requires, even if you have to reduce the quantity to reflect the season.
  • Pay close attention to how your cactus looks; if you spot a light sunburn on its surface, act quickly to offer some protection.

Air

Your cactus needs to be in an aerated area; as obvious as this may sound, plants require air to survive. It must be kept in a well-ventilated area where it has unrestricted access to both oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Cacti breathe differently than other plants, which helps them thrive in hot, dry climates. A cactus closes its stomata during the day and opens it at night, but most plants do the opposite to prevent water loss.

A cactus can increase the air quality at night by producing more oxygen, but it isn’t a good enough excuse to cram it in a closet or other small, enclosed area. Your cactus has to be kept in an airy, open area so that it can breathe properly, especially at night.

Water

Underwatering is one of the worst mistakes that cactus owners do. Plants believe that because cacti can survive in hot climates, they can go for weeks without water. Cacti are robust plants, but they still need frequent watering to live, just like other plants. If you don’t give them enough water, they usually die.

On the other side, some cactus owners could overwater their plants. Water that accumulates at the bottom of the container may eventually cause root rot. It is crucial to comprehend that cactus can survive periods of drought but prefer a dry environment.

How much water does a cactus thus require? The Cactus & Succulent Society of San Jose’s specialists say that cacti only require weekly watering. Make sure the soil is loose and that the pot has holes at the bottom so that any extra water can quickly drain. Water the cactus until the soil is completely soaked and water begins to drain from the drainage holes.

What circumstances must exist for cacti to survive?

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!

How should cactus be cared for?

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 is a cactus maintained?

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.

Location Observation

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.

Hydration Fixation

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.