When To Plant Cactus In Arizona

In Arizona’s warm desert regions, cacti can be transplanted at any time of year, but spring and early summer transplants are likely to grow more quickly. Due of the cold soil temperatures, winter transplants undergo delayed root development. Sunburn and heat stress are bigger risks for transplants in the middle of the summer.

My outside cactus needs to be planted soon.

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.

How frequently should a cactus in Arizona be watered?

Watering. The most frequent query we receive at the nursery is this one. Let me start by stating that each circumstance is unique. If you are successful, don’t pay attention to me.

The guidelines that have always worked for me are:

Cacti in the ground appear to be kept from stressing out as much and grow more uniformly when there is slow, deep watering. This practice is also known as “deep soaking.” A deep soak is a two to six-hour drip from a garden hose that is slow yet constant. The length depends on the size of the plant.

I water my plants twice a day. I first water multiple pots at once (about a 4 foot length) until the pots are full. I return and water the plant once more to ensure that the soil in the pot is well moistened.

Daily temperatures play a role. More watering is needed when the weather is warmer. It takes less irrigation to maintain plants in cooler climates. For more details, see “Seasonal Watering Tips” below.

Size of the plant matters. You will need to water a plant less frequently as it grows larger and becomes more established. It can go longer between waterings since it has a bigger “storage tank.” For instance, a big Saguaro would never require watering, yet a tiny 1 gallon gold barrel might require watering as much as once per week.

Don’t give newly planted cactus any water. The same guidelines still apply whether repotting or adding to your landscape: plant dry and wait to water. Weather has a big impact on watering; the colder it is, the longer you have to wait to drink. Usually, you should leave succulent roots at least a week to recover before exposing them to water. Only re-water when the soil is completely dry at the roots; every circumstance is unique.

Seasonal Watering:

Summer is defined as three days in a row of 90 degrees or higher during the day. A deep soak is a two to six-hour drip from a garden hose that is slow yet constant. The size of plant impacts the duration.

Wait one week before watering for the first time if the daytime temperature is OVER 90. Wait two weeks before watering for the first time if the daytime temperature is UNDER 90. Exceptions:

When it is over 90 degrees outside, agaves need to be watered right away. Wait longer to water if the temperature is lower than 90.

Saguaros should NEVER be watered. There are also some reasonable exceptions to this rule. If the area is really dry and your saguaro is clearly getting smaller, we may be experiencing a drought and you may need to water. This is not a free pass to wash the plant down everytime the thought enters your head; do it with a purpose. Since it seems to be so unusual, I have never understood what is meant by the term “Common Sense.” And no, your next-door neighbor is not the greatest person to ask about the plants you use in your landscaping. The man from New Jersey who lives next door might not be a better source of guidance if the nurserymen suggested following a precise design! A man in a loud voice who is far from home is an expert.

Initial Summer (except Saguaros) When the temperature is OVER 90, both native and non-native cactus should have a deep soak every two weeks. Agaves may need watering once per week in extremely hot weather, although this is typically too frequently. Because their roots are constantly exposed to extremely hot temperatures, plants in pots in full sun are a peculiar situation that require frequent hydration checks. After waiting 15 or 20 minutes, insert an unfinished wooden dowel or wooden paint stirrer all the way to the bottom of the pot to check for moisture. The important thing is to use unpolished wood so it can absorb moisture. You will quickly discover the routine you need to adhere to in order to maintain your plants.

Native and non-native cactus should receive a deep bath once a month if the daytime high is UNDER 90 degrees, but ONLY if there hasn’t been more than an inch of rain in the previous 30 days. Do not water if there is more than 1 inch of rain in a 30-day period.

Native cactus should receive a monthly deep bath if the daily high is OVER 90. Cacti that are not native to the area need two deep soaks per month.

Even in the absence of winter rainfall, it is advisable to avoid watering native cactus. Cacti that are not native to the area should receive a monthly deep bath.

After the third summer, native cacti should have naturalized and no longer require watering (apart from Saguaros). It’s best to naturalize non-native cacti so they don’t require watering. However, a long soak is advised once a month when the weather is really hot and there hasn’t been any rain.

What is the ideal location to plant cacti?

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!