Indoor cactus are an excellent choice if you want a variety of plants inside of your house. You may have heard that even those without a green thumb can grow cactus because they are impossible to kill. People believe that they are a hardy, indestructible plant because they originate from the desert.
While cacti are more adaptable than other plants, it is crucial that you know how to care for them properly. You may wonder how often do you water a cactus or if you need to keep it in a particular location. You shouldn’t treat your indoor cactus plant like any other houseplant. Unfortunately, you will discover that they can be sentenced to death with improper care. Luckily, once you understand their needs, you’ll find that cactus don’t have complex needs.
Cactus Are Different Than You Think
Your mind image about cactus is probably of the desert with no rain. However, the inside of a cactus is actually quite moist. It has a similar texture to an Aloe Vera plant. If you cut it open, it has a goo inside. Due to their desert nature, cactus keeps the moisture in their plant cells to ensure they always have some kind of water. This method helps to ensure they can live throughout dry conditions.
Picking The Best Soil For Cactus Plants
To understand how often you need to water your plant, you have to consider the type of soil in which it is planted. Loose, draining soil is the best choice for optimal cactus health. Porous soil makes overwatering more forgivable because all of the excess water drains away.
Avoid using compact or clay soil that has contains too much organic materials like compost. It may seem like a great idea to have organic material inside of your soil, but it retains all of the water you pour inside, leading to rot and potential death of the plant.
Watering After Initial Planting
Once you have your cactus in its pot with soil mix, you need to water it properly. You want to soak the medium in which you planted the cactus. The first initial watering can be more than you will typically give the rest of the time. However, it is important that you allow the plant to drain when watering. Don’t leave a dish under the pot to catch water because it encourages rot.
Spring And Summer Watering
Spring and summer are the times when cactus plants do a majority of their growing. During this period, they are going to require extra water to continue the growth. If you have the cactus plants outside, you need to irrigate them to avoid withered leaves and to continue new cell growth. Their increased growth means you should water at least once a week or more often if the plant is located in full sun.
Fall And Water Watering
Fall and winter are a time of rest for cactus plants. Instead of sustaining new growth, your focus should be to provide them with just enough water to support the plant. Take care to make sure you water it at least once a week, but it wouldn’t require more than that. You also need to make sure the soil drains properly with each watering.
Understand The Type Of Cactus You Have
There are different cacti based on the region where they originated. It is important to understand the differences so you can provide them with the right watering technique.
- Desert cactus originate in a region where there is little moisture and humidity. It isn’t advised to mist these plants. In their native location, their roots reach down very deeply to find pockets of moisture. So, make sure to water the base of the cactus deeply rather than a mist.
- Jungle cacti originate in an area with a lot of moisture and humidity in the area. While rain is more prevalent than in a desert, jungle cacti can retain moisture from a mist. When watering these plants, you can provide them with either a deep watering or mist.
Most gardeners have the desert cacti, so it is best to avoid overhead watering. In fact, one of the most efficient ways to water a desert cactus plant is to set it in a saucer of water. The roots will intake all of the water, just as it would in its natural environment. However, don’t leave the pot in the saucer because it can lead to rot.
Cactus are a hardy plant, but they do require the proper watering. In general, you can expect to water your plant deeply once a week. If it is planted in full sun, you may have to water more often in hot weather. You should avoid overhead watering and opt for allowing the roots to soak up the water or to soak the soil deeply. Luckily, once you understand their needs, it isn’t difficult to take care of your cactus plant!