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How To Grow And Care For Cactus Plants

How To Grow And Care For Cactus Plants

When you want to give your place a tropical or desert-like outlook, you should consider growing cactus plants in your house. Cacti can be grown outdoors in your garden and, lately, people have been bringing these desert dwellers to home on their desks and office space to spice up their area. 

We promise you that growing cactus plants in your house will give your entire area an exotic appearance especially if you bring some of the unique cacti varieties!

how to care for cactus plants

 

While you may have a misconception that growing cactus plants indoors may be hard, let us enlighten you that it is not the case at all. Growing and caring for cacti can be quite easy and surprisingly these desert lovers are low-maintenance and need less care and attention from you. Now, let us get started on "how to grow and care for your cactus plants indoors"

Tree- and Rock-Forming Cacti

It's estimated that there are thousands of different cacti species and subspecies out there. Cacti from both desert and woodland environments are popular houseplants.

beautiful cactus plants

 

Desert cacti are distinguished from forest cacti by their hairy, spiny appearance and distinctive shapes (balls, paddles, etc.). Forest cacti, which have a succulent appearance and originate in the subtropics, can also be found in temperate woods. Forest cacti are just as slow-growing as their desert counterparts, and they also produce stunning flowers and are incredibly hardy.

Tending to Cacti Indoors

Cactus plants are the toughest, hardest to kill, and easiest to care for houseplants, and they also bring a special flair to any dreary nook or window sill. These plants only need bright or dappled sunlight and infrequent watering to thrive. They need to be left alone throughout the winter because they are dormant at that time. While some of these bare-bones beauties will blossom after a period of care and attention, others may never open their petals under artificial conditions. These plants, however, will bring a little bit of the tropics or the desert indoors, where your guests will be in amazement at your cute spikey companions.

fairy tale cactus

 

We'll go on to their detailed instructions for tending to your cactus now. If you want to start a cactus collection or already have some of these unusual plants, this advice will help them flourish and maybe even blossom.

Tips for Growing Cactus Plants

Most cacti are sold at their mature stages, so all you need to do is dig a hole in some well-draining cactus potting mix and drop the cactus in. Cactus roots need at least two to three weeks to settle into their new environment before you can start watering them. For indoor use, nothing beats this strategy.

Environment Conditions: Temperature and Humidity

Temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for cacti. These plants in their natural environment, are sometimes subjected to subfreezing temperatures. Indoor plants that haven't been hardened off to the cold still need to be kept warm during the winter.

cactus plants in the sun

Even though most houses have a somewhat humid environment that is ideal for cactus plants, spraying them sometimes will revive them if you notice them wilting.

Cactus Plant Lighting

Some cacti in the desert and forests actually thrive in full sun, but others can be easily damaged by the sun's rays. When summer comes around, make sure your prickly pals have access to a sunny windowsill or a source of constant, filtered strong light. It's possible that cactus plants benefit from occasional trips to warmer climes. Take them outside so they may soak up the sun and grow as quickly as possible. It's best to put them in a south-facing window during the winter so that the morning sun can warm them up.

Soil for Cacti

Since most cacti are native to arid locations, they like soil that drains quickly and doesn't retain water. Cacti in the desert require gritty, dry soil in which to flourish. To improve drainage and air circulation, you can also use ordinary potting mix in combination with the sand or perlite. This is true for cacti in the desert as well as those in the woods.

gritty soil

Watering Cactus Plants

Your cactus will be at its most active and show its most beautiful blooms throughout the warmer months of spring and summer. During this time, you should soak them once every 10 to 20 days and then let the water completely drain out. Reduce watering and allow the soil to dry out completely during its winter dormancy. It is imperative that when the soil becomes dry, you do not water the plant's leaves but rather the soil itself.

In and out of the pots

The sluggish growth rate of cacti means they rarely require repotting. Root-bound conditions actually promote flowering in several cactus species. In the spring, before the plants have had a chance to establish themselves, cacti should be repotted if they require new soil or are showing signs of rot. The first step is to don a sturdy pair of gloves for safety. Then, using a clean trowel to loosen the roots, take the plant out of its current pot. Put some cactus potting mix in the bottom of a terra cotta or clay container. Carefully add your plant, making sure the soil covers the roots and filling in any gaps around the edges.

Chemicals Used To Nurture Cactus Plants

The cactus plant is able to survive in the most adverse of climates. A fertilizer would be great, but it's not required. Good plant development and even flowering might occur from fertilizing when the plants are actively growing. Over-fertilizing or using it incorrectly might kill your plant, so be sure to always check the manufacturer's recommended levels in fertilizer.

Trimming and shaping

cute cactus plant with flower

The only time you should undertake extensive pruning on a cactus is if you want to limit its expansion. However, a pair of clean, sharp garden shears can be used to prune away any diseased or damaged branches. Cactus pruning is done primarily to encourage the growth of new plants from the parent plant. Wear sturdy gardening gloves at all times to prevent accidental hand injuries.

Indoor Cactus Plants: Their Many Species

Growing cacti inside is possible with many different types, some of which have the classic cactus spines and others which more closely resemble other succulent plants. The numerous lovely cactus plant varieties suited to indoor cultivation can transform any room into a tropical oasis. Included in this group are the Bunny ear cactus, Christmas cactus, elderly woman cactus, golden ball cactus, Moon cactus, Fairy Castle cactus, and many others.

types of cactus plants

Learn more about the many different kinds of cactus plants that may be kept inside or outside the house by reading our blog post titled "15 Indoor And Outdoor Cactus Plants For Your Home."

Diseases and Creepy-Crawly Pests

Cacti of any kind are susceptible to pest infestations such mealybugs, scales, fungus gnats, and spider mites. Symptoms include wilted leaves, a moldy covering, and the presence of insects on the plant's stems or in the soil. You can usually get rid of pests by gently washing them off with a spray from the sink hose or some cotton swabs. Cacti that have been overwatered often develop fungal rot, which manifests as dark, sunken patches on the stem that eventually become mushy. Your cactus may be dripping black slime due to bacterial decay. Remove the afflicted parts of the plant and spray them with a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution if either of these problems appears.

cute mini cacti

Your small cactus collection will thrive under the guidance of these straightforward and easy-to-follow maintenance instructions. If cacti are your thing, we hope you've decided to give one a home. Before we meet again, read our previous posts about succulents!

Succulents & Cacti blogs!

Our cacti collection!

FAQ

Why do we associate meaning with cacti?

Cacti represent nurturing, safety, and motherly affection in Native American culture. Cacti are considered "a protector" because of their ability to endure severe environments and are therefore often presented as presents.

When kept in the house, how long does a cactus typically last?

The average lifespan of an indoor cactus plant is 10 years, while more fragile varieties may only make it a few months. On the other hand, there are species that can survive up to 300 years in the great outdoors.

The question is what sets a cactus apart from other plants?

Areoles, which can be found on cacti, are little cushion-like structures that contain trichomes. It is possible for spines, flowers, branches, and leaves to develop from areoles, which are little bumps or clusters.

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