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Look after your Cacti



Cacti are not that hard to look after. I find them easier than most house plants. At least if I forget to water them now and again, they will not die on me!

I think the biggest rule with them is under water rather than over water.

I just get so much pleasure out of these plants I find even if I have two plants of the same variety, they seem different, and even seem to grow differently, and the flowers are fascinating.

And on the varieties like the Rebutia's and Lobivia's, they have flowered three times in one year for me.

You can grow your cacti and succulents in a ready made cacti soil mix, or you can make your own, by combining two parts peat-based potting soil, with one part very coarse sand or grit.    

Fertilizer can be added to every second watering, during the summer.  Either a specially formulated cactus fertilizer can be used, they even like tomato plant food (eg Tomorite). 

The quantity and frequency of watering, in the summer months, when the plant is growing, provides one of the biggest dilemmas to cactus owners. Since a cactus does not wilt at the first sign of drought stress, the plant itself offers few clues to a need for water. A good rule of thumb is to water when the top 2 to 3 centimetres of soil is dry. The soft leaved succulents and cacti tend to wilt a bit when they need water.Just remember in winter they really will not need water at all, unless in a very hot room.
 Myself I find the Rebutias, Mammilarias and most of the spiny ones, do not need any watering in the winter,and in the summer, I water when I think they really need it. But I do not soak them, or leave them stood in water, as if you do they will rot.
  The softer leaved succulents like the Christmas cacti etc, need maybe a couple of  small waterings over winter but do not over do. If in doubt do not water. My opinion is, plants are like people, some need more water than others, and some need less. They are all different, and we soon learn how much our own plants need, and where they like to grow.

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