When people hear “cactus,” it’s common for their first association to be prickly and difficult to care for. Although this is true for many species, there are quite a few varieties of cactus that are attractive, easy to care for, and grow well under fluorescent grow lights!
A cactus is not like other plants we have in our home. It needs special attention and light. So after buying cactus, you don’t just put it in a corner and expect it to grow well. Here are some things that can help you maintain your cactus green thumb and take care of it beautifully.
Tips to Grow Cactus Plants
Growing beautiful cactus is simple, but it requires some basic knowledge to help you grow your cacti. Here are eight easy things that you can do to ensure your Cactus Green Thumb is a success!
1. The Right Lighting for Cacti
If you’re growing a cactus indoors, fluorescent lighting is a must. Most grow lights on the market will do fine, but keep in mind some types of light may be too intense and can harm your plants.
Lights are essential because Cacti do not have leaves to capture light for photosynthesis. Instead, they absorb sunlight with their stems. Without light, a cactus will not produce food and nutrients from the sun or grow well.
To avoid burning your plants with hot lamps, keep them at least 24″ away from your plants.
2. WATER! WATER! WATER!
Cacti are desert plants, and as such, they do not like to sit in wet soil. How much you water your cactus will depend on the plant’s specific needs, which you can find from the supplier who sold you your plant. As a general rule of thumb, let your soil dry out halfway between baths.
If you have several cacti in a small area, it is best to water them separately instead of giving them all a bath at the same time. This way, any toxins applied between baths will not damage all your plants.
3. The Right Soil for Cactus
Cacti soil must be light and airy, almost like fine-grained sand. It’s vital that you pot your cacti in the right type of soil; otherwise, it may damage your plants. Treating your cacti with fertilizer or other chemicals is not necessary as they will do just fine without them.
The suitable soil will help your cactus grow strong without getting wet or dry. In addition, you don’t have to worry about fungus gnats if you use the right soil.
4. Temperature Matters
Cacti are not cold-hardy plants; they need to be between 65-80 degrees during the day and no less than 45 at night. Cold temperatures will kill your cactus. Especially if you have different varieties in one area, avoid keeping them all together, or they may all perish from the cold.
When cactus is at the right temperature, their colors are more vivid, growing stronger. So keep them at the right temperature to keep them healthy.
5. Pots for Cactus
It is essential to use pots to give your cacti adequate room to grow. Their roots are long and shallow, so they need ample space to spread out. You can use decorative planters or plastic containers with drainage holes in the bottom.
Use sterile soil for potted cacti. Arid soils that are not fully sterilized can cause root rot and fungal infections that kill your cacti. You can find different decorative pots at any craft store.
6. Cactus Fertilizer
Cacti are desert plants, so it is unlikely that they will ever need fertilizer. It’s best to let them grow independently without any help from you. However, if your cacti start turning pale, yellow, or brown, you may consider fertilizing them with a diluted water solution every couple of weeks.
7. Airflow matters!
Your cacti need to breathe to grow well, so you mustn’t wrap your plants in plastic covers or close them in cabinets. They can handle different types of humidity, but they need good air circulation, so allow the stems and skin to dry completely between waterings. Close up your cacti, and they will die, so be careful not to suffocate them with plastic bags.
8. Cactus Should Not Get Touched
Children love to touch and play with plants, but they shouldn’t touch this one because the spines can damage or irritate your skin. Also, it would be best not to have any cacti around you if you have kids.
As for repotting, it is best to leave the job up to an adult who understands how plants grow and will be gentle with your plants. You can find all of these plants online or at a local plant shop near you!
The world of houseplants just got more interesting now that there are cacti plants to grow. Keep them healthy and happy by following these simple rules!