How to Grow Cacti Successfully -Landscaping with CactiPublished: 01/05/2023 | Updated: 07/09/2023
Cactus plants are lovely plants to grow. There are hundreds of varieties, suitable for the indoors and outdoors, and rewarding to have either way.
In this article, we have everything you need to know to grow cactus plants inside and outside.
Why Grow Cactus Plants?
There are many desirable reasons to grow cactus plants. They are pretty and interesting to add to a room or a garden. And they are also good at absorbing the bacteria and radiation around them. Which makes them beneficial for clearer, healthier, and fresh air.
And for all their benefits, they fall under low-maintenance plants. Those succulents don't require much.
They all have hidden surprises for those that have the patience- there are flowering varieties!
And best of all, they are extremely easy to propagate and grow!
What do Cacti Require?
As cactus plants and succulents evolved to fit desert conditions, they grow best when you provide those conditions.
A lot of sunlight
Highly drained soil
A moderate amount of water
And while not all cactus plants are the same, and what some cacti require isn't a necessity for another, this a good comprehensive list.
For example, some cacti don't need as much direct sun as others. So always pay attention to the exact type you're getting.
Common Type of Cacti
When you buy cacti, you should have in mind whether you're getting them as a houseplant collection or you intend to transfer them outdoors before you head to your garden center.
Different varieties do better with slightly different conditions.
Here are the most common and liked cactus plant types to start with!
Indoor Cactus Plants
Indoor cacti tend to be smaller and need less direct sunlight than outdoor cacti. If you want to get houseplants, those are the best types to start with:
The Christmas cactus naturally grows on trees and rocks in coastal mountain areas. They can be found in South America.
That means that it's a perfect indoor cactus because it's fine with a shady and humid atmosphere.
Forest cacti are among the flowering cacti. A forest cactus doesn't require as much bright light as most cacti so you can easily grow this cactus indoors.
This cactus is famous for its bright, yellow flowers and star-like shape. Like forest cactus and Christmas cactus, this one can grow indoors well.
However, it's also more used to harsh conditions than the rest on the indoor list, so if you choose to plant it in your landscape outside, it's also fine.
Even among outdoor cactus types, it'd still depend on the conditions and climate of your area and zone.
If you live in a very humid area, it probably wouldn't be the best idea to get desert cacti varieties, for example.
However, those are some types to start with:
Those are probably the varieties that flash into your mind when you think of cacti.
Desert cacti can survive harsh conditions better than all the previously mentioned indoor cactus types.
If you live in a hot dry area, these would be the best varieties to go with.
Originating in Argentina, the peanut cactus is a slow-growing cactus with an interesting shape and attractive orange-red flowers.
Like most cactus plants, it likes full sun, but it needs cooler winter temperatures (though with no frost), to reproduce.
Steps to Growing Cactus Indoors
If you want to grow indoor cactus plants, then we have the steps you need!
Make Sure the Pot has Enough Drainage Holes
Drainage is very important for any cactus as they store water and any excess water can cause rot.
Fill The Pot With Cactus Specific Soil and Potting Mix
Once you have the pot, fill it with your cactus potting mix. Regular potting mix doesn't do it as they aren't fast draining,
You can either buy ready-made soil for cacti or prepare your own by adding sand to the soil in a 1:4 ratio.
Put it Where it Can Get Enough Light
Put the pot on a sunny windowsill where it would receive bright but indirect sunlight, so a west-facing window is best.
It should be a corner where there is sunlight for around 8 hours a day. Not getting enough light can also cause root rot.
During the growing season, water weekly. Excessive watering can lead to weak growth, so once a week is enough to make sure they don't dry out entirely.
Don't over-fertilize either. Apply fertilizer for succulents every couple of weeks during the growing season.
Steps to Growing Cactus Outdoors
That's it for houseplants. grown indoors. For your garden's new plants, however, the steps are slightly different.
First, make sure to plant them in the actively growing period, from late spring or early summer to late summer, so that they establish roots easier.
Choose a Sunny Spot in Your Garden
The first step isn't very different. Whether a sunny window or a bright location in your yard, this remains the most essential thing for your cactus.
Prepare the Right Soil
Well-draining soil is one of the most important requirements of those great plants.
Plant the Root Ball
The root ball should be planted so deep in the soil it's fully covered. Once you plant it, fill in around the root ball then gently firm it down to level the surface.
Water when the three top layers are dry. Around once a week is good.
Compared to other plants, cacti don't need much. They are easily some of the most low-maintenance plants you can get.
You won't have to water that much. And in winter, you shouldn't water them and leave the soil get completely dry for their dormancy period.
Their rest period might get disturbed by rainfall though, so you'll have to protect them from that after planting them outside.
As for pests, mealy bugs and spider mites can bother your cactus.
Otherwise, just wear protective gloves when you're handling them!
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