You can be a beginner at gardening, or an amateur at taking care of your plants, and you are definitely looking for ways to add some energy and beauty to your spaces these days. But you might be overlooking a low-maintenance plant: cacti. That’s right, these spiky plants are definitely worth adding to your landscaping collection and may be much easier to care for than you thought. Here are 5 tips for caring for cacti.
Let them get some sun and enjoy the warmth, but not too much. You want it to be good for your spiny plant. “Cacti enjoy all the attention they can get from the sun and thrive in direct light; place them in the warmest and sunniest corner of your house. They like to go on summer holidays if you have a sunny terrace or garden. Take them outside if nighttime lows are above 50°F.
They will thrive outdoors and you will see them grow much faster compared to indoors. You don’t have to worry about watering them when they’re outside – the occasional rain shower should be enough for them! Bring them back indoors at the end of summer, when temperatures begin to drop below 50°F.
2-soil and fertilizer
The soil mix and foods adapted to cacti are key to healthy growth. Make sure that the correct soil mix is used when planting cacti. Cacti prefer soil with more sand and rocks, to drain water and keep the plant dry between waterings and prevent root rot.
Like the soil, it is important to use fertilizers for cacti to ensure they are not over- or under-nourished and receive optimal nutrition. You can also use fertilizer indicated for succulents. Dilute the fertilizer according to the instructions on the bottle. Water your cactus first, then apply the fertilizer to the moist soil so you don’t burn the roots. I would recommend fertilizing once in the spring and once in the summer. Cacti are not big eaters, so you don’t need to fertilize more often.
Cacti are plants that survive without much irrigation, as they retain water in their stems. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t need water at all. Check the soil every few weeks. When the top 2-3 inches of soil is dry, it’s time to water your cactus.
The reason most people fail with cacti is their tendency to overwater, which can lead to root rot and scab, which looks like corky, rust-colored spots on the stems.
Make sure the top layer of soil on your cactus has dried completely between waterings. In well-drained soil, your cactus will only need water every 10 to 14 days during the summer months. If you see wrinkles on your cactus toward the base of your cactus, your plant is very dry and soggy.
It may seem counterintuitive to water a cactus abundantly, but you will be amazed at how your cactus absorbs the water and fills up again. Make sure to always remove excess water from the pot saucer after watering, if any.
To care for cacti in the winter months, water them occasionally. Cacti usually go dormant in the winter and don’t grow at all or very little, which is normal.
4-Care when handling cacti
You don’t want to scream at a twisted skewer of these plants. It is essential to wear protective gloves every time you repot your cactus. You can even use kitchen tongs if that’s convenient. This way you avoid unnecessary spikes and punctures.
5-Which cacti to choose?
We must admit that we are supporters of this beautiful wonder of the desert. The nopal is a fun and easy to care for plant that is perfect for the person who wants to bring a little greenery into their home with limited time to care for a plant. Place your prickly pear cactus on a southeast or west-facing windowsill that receives full, direct sunlight from spring through fall.
The easiest cactus species to grow are the star cactus, the golden barrel cactusthe hedgehog cactus and the pincushion cactus.