How to water a cactus? How to take care of a cactus?
Growing cacti or succulent plants is one of many people’s home landscaping or hobbies. The low maintenance cost of cacti makes them a popular houseplant.
Although people think of cacti as living in a desert without much water, they may actually require more water than you expect.
They must be watered at least once a week, especially during the warmer months of the year.
The easiest way to water them is to use a spray can, although you can use other methods as well; tropical cacti and desert cacti have slightly different needs.
When should I water my cactus? How often should I water?
During spring and summer, you should water your cactus at least once a week.
Cacti grow in the northern hemisphere from March to September, when they need the most water, and when they become active, water the soil thoroughly to keep them moist. Remember that exposure to sunlight, for example, also affects the rate at which the soil dries out. In hot, dry conditions or weather, you may have to add water 2 or 3 times a week.
- If you are in the southern hemisphere, you will need to water your cactus more frequently from September to around March.
- During this period, you can also add some fertilizer to the cactus.
During autumn and winter, water your cactus at least once every 2 to 4 weeks.
Most types of cacti stop growing in the fall, but even though they are hibernating, they still need a little water to survive! So we still have to spend some time monitoring the quality of the soil and when it dries out, we still have to water to keep the cacti nourished.
- Remember that cacti do not need a lot of water anyway, but even less when they are dormant.
- If you accidentally add too much water, you can replant or add new soil or fertilizer to absorb the excess water.
Check the dryness occasionally by touching the soil
Sometimes it seems impossible to understand the needs of a slow growing cactus, but the soil is a good hint of what to do next.
- Stick your finger down into the soil and if it feels dry, it’s time to re-water the cactus; if it feels moist and the soil sticks to your finger, then you can continue to wait.
Water the cactus before the soil is completely dry.
Tropical plants like the Christmas cactus (tropical cactus) are not as drought tolerant as the desert cactus.
If you happen to have a tropical cactus, make sure that the soil is always a little moist. If you have a desert cactus, you can wait until the soil is dry to make sure it is not too moist.
- Tropical cacti still only need to be watered once a week. You just need to check the soil a little more to make sure it doesn’t get too dry.
When the soil is too dry, watch out for cacti that have dried out and shrunk.
Monitoring changes in the appearance of the cactus can also help you determine when to water.
If the cactus is starting to shrink, it will probably need more water. If the surface of the cactus will begin to wrinkle or even appear to have shrunken and become smaller, it will need a little more water to see if it can recover.
- Please note that crumpling may be caused by other problems, such as roots that are tangled and unable to absorb water. However, if the soil feels damp, it may be necessary to check for other problems such as some plant diseases, insects or environmental changes.
- If it is planted outdoors, it is also important to reduce the frequency of watering the cactus if the cactus itself has been rained on, and to check the soil condition of the cactus, as well as the drainage function of the potted plant.
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