7 Biggest Secrets of Growing Cacti and Succulents

Garden 24

Cacti and succulents are among the most unique type of indoor plant. Through millions of years of evolution, they have developed amazing methods of water storage and self protection. This evolution enables them to survive in some of the most desolate growing areas on earth.

For indoor plants, cacti and succulents are the perfect choice. Typical hot, dry indoor conditions are often harmful to leafy foliage plants, but provide the ideal climate for many kinds of succulent plants. In addition, these plants are very tolerant of neglect, requiring little watering or other care throughout the greater part of the year. The results are often large, colorful blossoms, an added bonus whenever they appear.

Outdoors, cacti and succulents are a great addition in the landscape or on a patio during the summer. Although most cacti plants are not able to protect themselves from frost, a few will survive even the coldest of winter climates.

No matter what you desire in plants, cacti and succulents have the diversity and adaptability to suit almost any lifestyle. A small investment will reward you with enjoyment for many years to come.

Light

Give them bright light or put them at your sunniest window indoors. If you keep them in a dark location they will get weak. If you put them outdoors they might burn if you give them too much direct hot sun, therefore, provide an area with filtered sun, or put them in a place where they will receive a few hours of direct sun and bright light.

Watering

Most cacti have small root systems and are susceptible to damage from too much moisture. Allow plants to dry thoroughly between watering.

Another thing to remember is when you water, water well! Make sure that the water is running through all of the soil and flushing out the bottom of the pot. A well-watered pot will feel much heavier than one that didn’t get thoroughly saturated.

Temperature

Regular household temperatures are great, but in the wintertime be sure to keep them away from freezing temperatures next to a window. They can handle 35°F to 40°F (2°C to 5°C) just fine and will be dormant  at these temperatures.

Soil

There are plenty of major garden centers around that carry commercially packaged cactus and succulent mix for sale.

Fertilizer

Cacti and succulents are not heavy feeders but do benefit from light feeding during their growing period – usually the warmer months of the year (March through October). Any all purpose balanced liquid fertilizer is fine, something like a 20-20-20.

Transplanting

Your plant will be perfectly happy in the original pot for at least a year and doesn’t really need to be moved. However if it is getting too big for the pot,first  choose a pot that is only a size larger than the original.

Gently tap the plant out of its pot and carefully loosen some of the soil around the outside of the root ball. Put some soil mix in the new pot and set the root ball on top of it. Fill in around it with new soil lightly firming it in making sure that the plant is sitting at the same soil level it was originally. Do not water the first few days.

Propagation

The main ways in which cacti and succulents are propagated are by cuttings, seeds, and offsets. To select the appropriate way to propagate your plant, observe how it grows. Most barrel types are grown from seed or offsets. Most seeds are easily germinated and many commercial varieties are self-fertile.

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