The bold shape and variable fresh green color make the cactus one of the most unusual yet enticing plants. Because of several ornamental and health benefits of the cactus plant, it is being grown in the home and, in commercial gardens for years. The Cactus is one of the most alluring plants because of its sturdy structure, bright colors, and easy maintenance. If you are aspiring to have a cactus plant at your place or you already have one. But, do not know how to take care of a cactus plant? then, follow the guide below to know everything about the maintenance of cacti.
How to take care of a Cactus Plant
Manatinince and care of the cacti plants are not difficult, but it is a bit unique. The five best tips will help you to maintain your cactus plant.
1. Watering a Cactus
The hydration status of the cactus is the most stressful thing for the cactus owner. That’s why it is frequently asked how often to water a cactus. The first thing you need to understand as a cactus owner is: although cactus is a type of plant and water is essential for its proper growth, and development, the water requirement of the cactus is much more different than from all other plants.
The Cactus is the plant of the desert. It has lesser water requirements. Furthermore, the cactus plant can store water in its stem. Traditionally the cactus should be watered once a week. The water requirement of the cactus further reduces when it is kept indoors, and during the winter seasons. Under these conditions water them when you feel the soil around the cactus is dry.
2. Select a Sunny Place
Although it is possible to grow cactus indoor, as I have mentioned, it is a desert plant. So, it needs ample sunlight for the best growth. Cactus enjoy the company of the sun. It can easily withstand the sunniest days of summer. But be a little more vigilant during the summer season. If you observe that leaves are turning a little brown or yellow, then change the location of the cactus until the fresh green color of the cactus is back.
Cacti should get 8 hours of sunshine for proficient growth, but at the same time, It is important to keep in mind that long hours of aggressive sunlight can burn your cactus.
3. Choose appropriate Soil and Fertilizer
The right choice of soil and fertilizer is the key that ensuring the best growth of your cactus. Especially if you are pondering how to start care of small cactus. Then the best answer to this is to provide the right soil and fertilizer for the growth. Typically the cactus prefer to grow in soil that provides good drainage and sufficient aeration. So, the porous sandy and pebbly soil is an excellent growth medium for the cactus plant.
Cactus need fertilizers to thrive. Like the soil, the fertilizer requirements of the cacti are also peculiar. Make sure to add fertilizers that are specific to the cactus. So, they could get optimal nutrition. Nitrogen fertilizers work best for the cactus plant. Cactus gave optimum growth If the fertilizers are used skillfully, after keeping all the instructions under consideration.
4. Be vigilant of the Pests
Your cactus can face the attack of pests once a year. Several types of insects can attack cacti like black and brown bugs, mites, and scale insects. The most alarming thing about the pest’s attack is that they multiply crazily. These bugs can cover and destroy your cactus within a few days.
To save your cactus from Pests, You can spray dilute alcohol solution on your cactus. It will act as an insect repellent and will help to destroy all invisible pests. It can also damage the epidermis of the plant. So, make sure to dilute the alcohol solution well before using it. Ideally, a 1/3 alcohol solution is used. After spraying, if you notice any part of the plant that is severely affected by the Pests. Then, make sure to remove that part so it might not affect other parts of the plant.
5. Handle the Cactus with Care
Mostly the newbies who do not know how to take care of a cactus got pricks from the cactus. So, every time you are handling a cactus take very good care. Because spikes of cactus can give you painful pricks. You can wear long leather gloves or simple kitchen gloves to avoid any inconvenience.
Health benefits aside, there is a great demand for cacti for ornamental purposes. A great number of cactus lovers who grow them indoors, for ornamental purposes. If you are thinking to grow cactus inside your home, then here are some tips for you:-
How to take Care of a Cactus indoor?
- Most people think that it is difficult to grow cactus indoor. Well, that’s wrong. Cacti are not obliged to grow in the desert. It can be grown in a different environment. Although the growth will depend on how well the cactus is maintained.
- For indoor growth, you need to choose the appropriate cactus. For instance, if you are thinking to keep the cacti in your room and you do not prefer strong light in your room. Then you should choose green cactus because green cactus can withstand low light, but if your room has sufficient light then you can choose pink or purple cacti.
- If you are growing cacti indoors, then you should add fertilizers to them. So, they can get appropriate nutrients. Low nitrogenous and soluble fertilizers work best for the cactus plant. Add the fertilizer whenever there is new growth.
- As I explained, sunlight is the growth partner of the cactus. The more sunlight, the more cactus will grow. But if you are growing cacti indoors in a place where they cannot access the sunlight. Then you can use glowlights. Although, glowlights are not as good as sunlight. But it can act as a supplement to natural light.
- The last most important thing to understand is when you grow a cactus indoors, the water requirement of the cactus reduces even more. Excessive water can rot your cacti. So, add a very little amount of water after a week or whenever you feel the soil is dry.
If you haven’t even the slightest idea of how to take care of a baby cactus. Then here are some beginner tips for you.
How to take Care of a Small Cactus?
- If you have bought a mini-cactus that is not potted, then initially you need to be very vigilant as the mini-cacti is harder to take care of than the larger one. First of all, choose a pot that has a drainage hole in the bottom. The drainage hole will help to get rid of extra water. Choose a pot with a diameter of six inches or more, because the more soil mini cacti will get at the initial stages of their growth, the better it will grow. And of course, make sure that your small cactus is getting adequate sunlight.
Your cactus is now ready to grow.
Do you know which type of cacti is most adorable? That is moon cacti. They are just irresistible, they are also the most cultivated species of the cactus. The moon cacti have beautiful bright and eye-catchy colors. Growing these beautiful and adorable moon cacti is not tricky at all. Here are some tips for the best growth.
How to take Care of Moon Cactus?
- Moon cacti completely lack chlorophyll. So, this unique plant requires both bright light and shade for active growth, so chose an appropriate place accordingly. All the other growth requirements of the moon cacti are the same as the traditional cacti. Moon cacti cannot withstand extreme weather conditions like aggressive summer sunlight. Instead, they do well at the average room temperature.
- In winter it is advisable to keep the moon cacti indoors. Because it cannot withstand the frost well. Keeping all the requirements of moon cacti under consideration, it is better to plant moon cacti in pots. Avoid planning to plant them in the ground. So, you can change their position whenever you want.
- If you are thinking to grow cacti indoors then the moon cacti are the best choice for you. Because it has a low growth rate, so you don’t need to worry about its repotting. Also, moon cacti are not poisonous so, you can put them in your room. One downside of the moon cacti is that even after great care, the moon cacti survive only a few years.
Another type of cacti is spring cacti. Spring cacti are also called estrous cacti, as they bloom well during March and April. Spring cacti come in a variety of bloom and alluring colors. People from all over the world use spring cacti as a gift on thanksgiving. If you are thinking to cultivate spring cacti, then below are some guidelines for you.
How to take Care of a Spring Cactus?
- Spring cacti are the most unusual form of cacti as it doesn’t require sunlight for its growth, hot sunlight can burn the bright flowers of the spring cacti. Instead, it grows well in bright natural light.
- Spring cactus doesn’t require moist roots for their growth. It means the water requirement of the plant is quite less. You need to water your spring cacti only when you feel all the previous water is gone. Spring cacti can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, but it grows best in moderate or in slightly warmer temperatures. A slightly warmer temperature helps them to bloom fast.
Now let’s talk about the optimum soil that is required by the cacti. As it is one of the most attractive cacti. So, it has some unusual growth demands. Spring cacti are epiphytic which means it grows on other plants, barks, and rocks. So they do not require soil to grow instead if a plant is already grown on the soil, spring cacti will grow on that plant. Although the spring cacti take their nutrients from the debris of the plant it is growing on, you can add fertilizer to accelerate the growth process.
Spring cacti are long-lived plants and easy to maintain. You can also pick them as an indoor plant.
Grafting technique for Cactus
Nowadays grafting techniques are being adopted in the commercial as well as at the domestic levels to get the variable color combinations of the cacti that add more charm to their beauty. In the grafting technique, the cut piece of one species Is grafted on the wounded piece of another plant. Grafting of the cacti is the best way to get the multiple species, and colors of the cacti in your garden. This technique is not difficult to perform. The real challenge is the maintenance of the grafted plant. So, if you are thinking of performing grafting then make sure how to take care of grafted cactus properly to avoid any trouble.
Do the repotting of the Cacti important?
Repotting of the cactus is an important growth factor. Although the cacti do not require frequent repotting. But, repotting is necessary if you see the roots coming out of the drainage hole. If repotting is not done it will limit the growth of cacti. As a general rule, cacti should be repotted during the spring season because during the spring season cacti enjoy active growth. You should repot your active growing cacti like the spring cacti after 2 to three years and if you have slow-growing cacti like the moon cacti then repot them after 4 to five years if you want appropriate growth. Make sure to handle the plant with great care while repotting and take good post-repotting care of cacti.
How often should I water my Cactus?
Water your cactus deeply but infrequently, every two to three weeks. Allow the soil to dry completely between waterings.
Can I keep my Cactus outside?
Yes, cacti thrive outdoors in bright, sunlight. However, bring them inside if the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
How can I safely handle my Cactus?
Use gloves or a towel to protect your hands from sharp spines. It is important to avoid bumping the cactus against any surface as this can lead to damage or breakage.
What are some common pests that affect Cacti?
Common pests of cacti include mealybugs, spider mites, and scale insects. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil to control them.
What should I do if my cactus is getting too tall or top-heavy?
You can use a stake or support to prop up the cactus and prevent its toppling. If you wish to control the height and size of the plant, you can prune it.
The cactus is a plant that is super easy to grow. You just need to keep a few things under consideration. First, maintain the optimum hydration state of the plant as described above, the second thing is, to make sure to provide adequate sunlight to your cacti, and the last most important thing, that acts as a backbone for the growth of cactus is the appropriate use of soil and the fertilizers. If these three things are maintained cacti give ample green growth.