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How to Care for Your Cactus

Introduction

You don’t need an introduction for the cactus! Cacti are possibly the best-known of the succulent family, recognizable by its distinct spikes in pictures, movies, books and film as a symbol of the desert. However, you can also grow a cactus at home, which can be far away from a desert. Follow the basic instructions for succulent care in “How to Care for Your Succulent” and read below for more information on how to care for a cactus. 

Lighting

Cacti prefer bright, but indirect sunlight. It is best to put them in a place with 4 hours of direct sunlight a day at the most, like an east-facing window.

Soil and Potting

When potting your cactus, you should pick (or mix) a soil that is quick draining so your cactus’ roots don’t rot from too much water. 50% commercial cactus potting soil and 50% gravel, sand or pumice would be highly recommended.

When choosing a pot for your cactus, you should choose a pot with a small hole at the bottom to let the pot drain as well as a saucer for the excess water.

Watering

When learning how to care for your cactus, you should remember that watering is a vital aspect. You should only water your cactus when the soil is dry; and then only enough to soak the roots. In the spring and summer (growing season), you should water your cactus about once a week at the most, while in fall and winter (the dormant season), you should only water your cactus about once a month.

It is best to use rainwater when watering your cactus: if you water your cactus with tap water, the minerals may leave deposits that can harm your cactus.

You can learn more about watering in “How to Water Your Succulent”.

Fertilizers

You do not need to fertilize a cactus, as they live in environments where they receive little nutrients. If you choose to give your cactus fertilizer, though, feed it once a month on 10-10-10 fertilizer diluted 4 times.

Conclusion

You now know the basics for how to care for a cactus. Now you can have a little piece of the desert in your own home, whether it’s to remind you of warm and sunny days in the winter or if you simply enjoy their distinctive shapes. Start building your collection today!