Cacti are really diverse, vast and are relatively hardy which make them a really popular indoor plant. But many can be a bit perplexed when it comes to thinking about how to care for their new cactus. Do you just leave it alone? Does it really never need watering? Does it need hot temperatures? These are just some of the questions we’ve come across when people are trying to find out how to care for their cactus.
Well we’re here to set you straight. With our help, and yours, your cactus will live and thrive for many years to come! Here are some tips for caring for your cactus…
Where do cacti originate? The desert. That means they’re used to fluctuating temperatures i.e. very high heat in the day and very cold at night. So you’re not going to kill your cactus by failing to maintain a steady hot environment.
Whilst it’s true that the majority of cacti need warm weather to survive, the ideal temperature for most cacti is between 18 and 32C which is pretty achievable in most homes! And as long as your home isn’t consistently below 10C it’s unlikely to get too cold for your cactus.
You will need a good light source to make your cactus happy. So a bright spot in your home is ideal. However, avoid long exposure to direct sunlight as this can do your cacti harm! The optimum light really just depends on the variety of cacti you have. But you’ll be able to tell if you’re getting it wrong because your cactus will tell you. If your cactus isn’t getting enough light you’ll see what was once dark, healthy flesh can grow pale as the cactus reaches for light. Cacti not receiving enough light will also put out strange growth patterns and can showcase “skinny” growth on top and etiolation.
Watering is an essential part of keeping your cacti healthy. Overwatering will stunt growth, but under-watering causes shrivelling. If your container does not have drainage holes, such as a terrarium, water sparingly to moisten the soil. But make sure water doesn’t pool up at the bottom of the container. And always allow the soil of your cactus to dry before rewatering. If your cactus is potted and has drainage holes, you can afford to water a little more. During the autumn and winter months winter-flowering cacti needs to be in the warmth and have regular watering at this time, but desert-dwellers can be left unwatered!
And really, that’s all there is to taking care of your cactus! The most important thing to remember is to pay attention to your cacti plants. They’ll definitely let you know if you’re doing something wrong – you just have to listen!