Cacti are quickly making their way into the hearts of people searching for a low maintenance, cute, and spiky addition to their home. Despite being extremely easy to care for, there are still some do’s and don’ts when it comes to caring for your prickly friend. Following these tips will help you ensure that your cactus remains happy and healthy for years to come!
1. Size does matter
Like humans, cacti enjoy something that fits just right. Having a pot that is too lightweight for a heavy cactus could result in it falling over. Cacti have shallow roots, which enables you to choose a smaller pot than other plants. Another aspect of the pot that is important to consider when choosing a pot is the drainage hole, which helps keep the cactus watered but not too wet. You will also need to repot your cacti every couple of years, but do not choose a pot that is more than two inches bigger than the previous one. Keep the weight and size of your cactus in mind when choosing it’s home and it will be sure to thrive!
2. Err on the side of caution when watering
Keep in mind that cacti are desert plants. Like all plants, their two basic needs are sunlight and water. Though it is common knowledge that cacti don’t need a lot of water, a lot of people are confused on the amount of water they should be giving their plant. Generally, most people make the mistake over watering their cactus. One foolproof way to determine if your cactus needs to be watered is to use something like a wooden stick to test the soil. If the stick comes back completely clean, it is time to water your cactus. When you do water it, make sure to give it the good drink of water that it needs. Seeing the water come through the drain hole at the bottom of the pot is a good indication that your cactus has been sufficiently watered, but don’t let it sit in excess water. Another potential method of watering your cacti is a spray bottle to lightly mist them, but be mindful that some types of cacti will need more water than others. It is also good to keep in mind that cacti will need to be watered more during the hot summer months, but are dormant during the winter so they won’t need it as often.
3. Light is important
Though they seem like the perfect decoration for your new apartment, don’t forget that cacti need light just like any other plant. Keeping your plant out of the sun will result in a shriveled and sad cactus, so remember to let it get some rays! On the other hand, it is equally as bad to overwhelm your cactus with too much sun, as it can scar it and cause permanent damage. Instead, slowly introduce your cactus to a bit of light so that it can adjust. Putting your plants by a south facing window and letting them get comfortable is ideal.
4. Try fertilizing
Though it is a bit more effort, feeding your cacti is important to maintaining its health. This is an aspect of care that most people tend to neglect when it comes to care because they’re known for being low maintenance. If you can, fertilize your plants a few times throughout the year, except for the winter months. This can lead to the question of what type of fertilizer would be best for your cactus garden? The answer is simple, one can use any house plant food that has a higher level of phosphorus than nitrogen. If you decide to go this route, it is important to dilute the food so it is not too overwhelming for the cactus.
5. Temperature regulation makes a difference
Having your cactus in too humid of an environment can result in it rotting, which is not what any cactus lover wants. Bathrooms also do not always have a source of natural light, which we already know is an important aspect to the health of your plants. The temperature needs of your plant can also vary depending on the season. During the summer months, it is good for your cactus to be in a warmer temperature whereas in the winter, it is best to move them to a cooler one.
6. Ultimately, leave them alone
Though this article has brought lots of new aspects of cacti care to light, at the end of the day they are pretty easy going plants. Don’t overthink their care or mess with them too much, less is more! Set it and forget it (but not completely) is a good rule of thumb when caring for your cactus friends!