Cacti are an excellent choice for houseplants as they are low maintenance, unique and come in a wide range of shapes and sizes.
But if you want to keep your cactus healthy and thriving, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Here's a guide to caring for cacti as houseplants...
Cacti require soil that is well-draining and doesn't hold moisture for too long. A mix of regular potting soil and sand or perlite works well. Make sure the pot has drainage holes so excess water can drain out.
Cacti don't require frequent watering. In fact, overwatering is one of the most common mistakes people make when caring for cacti. Water your cactus when the soil is completely dry. The frequency of watering depends on the size of the pot, the size of the cactus and the climate you live in. In general, watering once a week in summer and every two to three weeks in winter works well.
Cacti require bright, direct sunlight for at least four to six hours a day. If you're keeping your cactus indoors, place it near a south-facing window or under a grow light. If your cactus isn't getting enough light, it may become elongated and lose its shape.
Most cacti prefer warm temperatures between 70°F and 80°F (21°C and 27°C). They can tolerate cooler temperatures but avoid exposing them to frost or extreme cold.
Cacti don't require frequent fertilizing. In fact, too much fertilizer can be harmful. Use a low-nitrogen, water-soluble fertilizer once a month during the growing season (spring and summer). Don't fertilize during the winter months.
Cacti don't require frequent repotting as they grow slowly. Repot only when the pot becomes too small or the soil becomes too compact. Repotting should be done in the spring.
Here are a few tips for keeping your cacti healthy:
Use gloves or a piece of cloth when handling cacti to avoid getting pricked by their spines.
Keep your cactus away from pets and children as the spines can be harmful if ingested.
Rotate your cactus periodically to ensure all sides receive equal sunlight and to prevent it from growing in one direction.
By following these tips, you can keep your cacti healthy and thriving for years to come.